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Sawing identical peices

Greetings Orchidians,

I am a new student of jewelry making . I am taking a class at the
local community college and find that I love this stuff. I am making
a pair of sterling silver earrings. These require a great deal of
cutting (piercing) and I need to know how to stick two pieces of
sterling sheet together so I can cut them out. I would prefer not
having to saw each individually. My instructor told me to solder them
together with electrical solder, then when I want them apart heat
them and toss in water and they would pop apart. It did not work.
This also leaves solder residue on the pieces. Help. I’m sure there
is a simple, yet unknown to me, way to do this.

Bill Mayfield

I use spray adhesive by 3M to hold two pieces of sterling together
for sawing identical pieces. The instructions on the can tell you how
to use the adhesive for a permanant bond or a temporary bond. Use the
instructions for permanant bond. When you are finished sawing, heat
the pieces with a torch and the adhesive will melt. Any remaining
adhesive will come off in the pickle.–Vicki Embrey

You can glue them with crazy glue and heat to separate or safer, use
double stick tape. The problem with sawing through two layers at once
is that it’s the same as sawing thick metal and will take a bit
longer. Since they are earrings, you will want to remember to reverse
one design so they will look right when worn. Keep low temperature
(most hardware store solders) away from precious metals.


Superglue the wo pieces together and then warm them up to seperate
them. Frank Goss

Bill, The solution to your problem is the use of some double faced
tape. That works like a charm, and it you have trouble prying it
apart when the sawing if finished, just heat with a torch until it
burns the tape away. And welcome to what may well become an
addiction…the making of jewelry! Susan Ronan, Coronado, CA.

I have used rubber cement but prefer double sided sticky tape You can
then either burn the tape out with your torch
or use a product such as goo gone.

bill - just use 3 - 4 drops of a cyanoacrylic glue (superglue) when
you’re through sawing, pop the mess in the freezer for 15 - 30 mins &
they’ll pop apart (i know, you’ve heard THAT before) with a little
help from an xacto blade point. been there,


One easy way to double (maybe up to four thicknesses) is super glue.
clean well before gluing, let set about 30 minutes to fully set.
Separating, two different way soak in acetone (watch the fumes, highly
flammable) OR heat pieces over 350 F, (watch the fumes, use positive
ventilation). Have fun.


Hi, Simply Glue the 2 pieces of metal together using elmers glue, then
after cutting the piece out, heat it with a torch until the glue bond
breaks and wash of the residual glue. A more novell approach that I
have never seen mentioned is to take a small piece of injection wax,
warm the surface of the metal slightly so the wax just barely melts,
then put your other piece of silver on top and heat it until the 2
pieces bond. The wax will act as a saw lubricant and will reduce saw
blade breakage when drilling and piercing.To seperate the 2 pieces,
just heat until seperated and clean the wax of the surfaces . Various
wax solvents can be used as well as elbow grease. Daniel Grandi We do casting,finishing in gold, silver,
bronze/brass and pewter for people in the trade.

Hi Bill,

A word of caution, DON"T solder your sterling (or any precious metal)
sheet with low temp electrical solder. It will contaminate the

There are several ways to fasten your sheet together prior to sawing
to get duplicate parts. Here are four:

  1. Use contact cement to glue the pieces together and use solvent or
    heat to separate them.

  2. Use tape around the perimeter.

  3. Cut notches and bend tabs of metal up to locking the pieces

  4. Screw the pieces together.

It is best to avoid low melt solders. If you get any on a piece that
you will be silver soldering, it must completely removed before
soldering. If you don’t it will result in the low melt solder
migrating into your metal and leave a dark area and possibly pitting.

Timothy A. Hansen

TAH Handcrafted Jewelry
e-mail: @Timothy_A_Hansen

Bill, Have you thought of double stick tape, or even thinner fusible
mesh from a fabric store, just press with a warm iron. Teresa

Hello Bill –

Yep – everybody hates to deal with getting two of the same thing
exactly alike, but the solution is really simple and you’ll like it
– glue. I’ve used several types and find that superglue is the
easiest. It grabs on tightly and you can get the pieces apart fairly
simply with acetone (fingernail polish remover). Just don’t use a
whole lot – one or two drops is quite sufficient. I usually
concentrate it in one spot, two if the pieces are larger. Watch your
fingers, tho !!

Have fun!

Dear Bill,

All you need to do is “laminate” them with Elmer’s glue. For
stronger bonding just add a piece of paper in between with the glue.
Afterwards just soak in water. You can put several pieces together
depending of the thickness. Be sure to hold your blade straight up
and down to get the piercing even as you saw.

I would not use any non precious solders on precious materials the
soft solders contain lead which will contaminate you golds and
silvers which is a huge mess to get rid of.

Have fun
Marta in hey the sun came out finally in Sacramento

   I am making a pair of sterling silver earrings. These require a
great deal of cutting (piercing) and I need to know how to stick two
pieces of sterling sheet together so I can cut them out. I would
prefer not having to saw each individually. 

Bill: try using the double sided photographic mounting tape (acid
free), do your cutting and then drop it in some alcohol or acetone
for a few minutes, then separate and clean up.

Albert Zabinski
USA Club Listing

Hi Bill,

You can use instantaneous or epoxy adhesives to stick plates. There
are various hardening time adhesives. So if you need much time to
attach plates precisely, you can choose a long hardening time
adhesive. Those adhesives are weak for acid and heat, so you can
remove them by dipping into acid or heating.

Another effective usage of adhesives is to solder small parts
precisely. First you fix some parts precisely with adhesive, and cover
them with burnt plaster except the part you want to solder. Next you
can heat them. The adhesive burns away, but burnt plaster keeps to fix
them. So you don’t have to mind fixing parts to precise solder. I
recommend this method for silver, but not for gold and plutinum.

Gold and plutinum can be fixed electrically by metallic bond without
solder (but the bonding strength is not so strong). There are electric
machines to create metallic bond. You can fix parts precisely by the
machine temporarily and then solder the parts. But I don’t know the
english name of that kind of machine, so I’m glad if somebody let me
know the name. The machine costs high, but the principle is simple.
It’s just a constant current curcuit and you can make it about a few
tens of $US. The current is from 0mA to about 1mA.

If someone are interested in making it by oneself, I can let you know
the circuit diagram. But I’m making it just now, so please wait for a

Takashi Tomoeda

I use double stick tape to hold the pieces together. Carpet tape
works well. - Deb

Bill I have glued two pieces of sterling together by coating both
pieces with Elmer’s white glue (same glue that woodworkers use) and
making a sandwich with a piece of paper i.e. silver on the outside,
paper and glue on the inside. You have to let it dry for a few hours
before you can pierce it.

When you are done cutting, just drop it in warm water and after a few
minutes the two pieces come apart. The glue is then easily wiped

Good Luck

In Cold and Sunny Calgary.

    I need to know how to stick two pieces of sterling sheet
together so I can cut them out. I would prefer not having to saw
each individually. 

A simple method I use to do this is to take the two pieces of sheet
and glue them together with regular all purpose (Elmer’s) glue with a
thin sheet of paper inbetween (regular laser or printing paper). Then
place the (metal-glue-paper-glue-metal) sandwich in a vise and leave
it there for a few hours or overnight. Heavy books might even work.
After it’s set you can draw or transfer your design to the metal and
pierce. Just be sure that you hold the blade straight up and down
(not at an angle) so the pieces come out the same size. This method
also works well for drilling rivet holes that line up nicely. To take
the two pieces apart simply throw them in a hot ultrasonic cleaner for
a few minutes (or soak in hot soapy water).

Amy O’Connell
Amy O’Connell Jewelry

    I am making a pair of sterling silver earrings.  I need to know
how to stick two >     pieces of sterling sheet together so I can
cut them out. 

G’day; I always use double sided Sellotape available from any good

    My instructor told me to solder them together with electrical

I would try and lose that so called ‘instructor’ as soon as possible

  • that is the worst possible instruction a REAL jeweller would
    provide. Never, under any circumstances contaminate precious metals
    with lead or lead containing solder. NEVER!!! The reason? Because the
    plumber’s type solder will alloy (eat) into the silver, gold, etc, and
    after that you will never be able to silver solder or even to anneal
    your work again. The lead solder/precious metal alloy melts far below
    the temperature when proper precious metal solders melt and flow. And
    keep any lead based solders far away from your jewellery bench. Cheers,
  Bill Mayfield > 

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ

Try drilling your holes with a drill press.Use carbide drills(should
have a large shaft) & cutting oil(keeps things cool).