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Silver and soft solder


#1

Hi there, I have a casket that needs repairing. There was a coat of
arms that was soldered (upright) the the lid of the casket and
subsequently broken off. The area was then covered by soft soldering
a silver rectangle to the lid. I plan to remove the rectangle with a
saw blade but I was wondering if it would be possible to re-solder the
coat of arms back to the lid - I’ve heard that soft solder will cause
pitting in the silver due to the lead/tin content. The casket is a
museum piece and therefore re-attaching the coat of arms with epoxy
(or similar) is an option (it appears to have been tried before). Any
thoughts gratefully appreciated

Eileen Procter
Objects Conservator
Australian War Memorial


#2

Dear Eileen,

There is pewter solder available that melts at a low temperature and
does not contain lead. While I normally would not use it on things
other than pewter I know that one can attach silver, copper, or brass
to the pewter while using it. I would ask and experienced pewter
smith about the possibility.

Best of Luck,
Pauline


#3

Eileen ! If the the coat of arms and lid is metal get you a tube of
TIX solder and the flux that goes with it. Tix solder is a low heat
solder but it will hold 4000 lbs. l do a lot of puting findings on
Silver, Gold, Copper , Brass , and Nickle Silver. But it will not
stick to AL . Tube of 20 stick will cost about $12. + flux. Bill D.


#4

Eileen, Since you are asking this question I think it reasonable to
assume that you don’t know enough about metalworking to repair a
museum quality piece yourself. I would get in touch with a metals
conservator at another museum and ask for help. As I am sure you
know, the least invasive, most easily reversible repair would be the
best. Be very careful not to further damage the piece. Steve.

Steven Brixner - Jewelry Designer - San Diego CA USA
mailto:@Steven_Brixner4
http://www.brixnerdesign.com


#5

OK, here goes with the “stupid question” for Bill D. (or anyone) -
Please give an explanation of how TIX solder and flux is used, and
on what materials it works best.

I’ve never used TIX. Apparently TIX flows with low heat, but does
that mean to use a soldering iron, a simple flame, or what. I do
some repairs/re-makes on costume jewelry, and would like to be able
to use a better quality solder than the coil that comes with the
soldering iron. After the joint is soldered, is there any special
action to be taken, like filing or polishing?

If the the coat of arms and lid is metal get you a tube > of TIX
solder and the flux that goes with it. Tix solder is a low > heat
solder but it will hold 4000 lbs. l do a lot of puting > findings
on Silver, Gold, Copper , Brass , and Nickle Silver. But > it will
not stick to AL . Tube of 20 stick will cost about $12. + > flux.
Bill D. > Many thanks in advance and especially to Hanuman for
making Orchid possible. Judy in Kansas

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681


#6

I use Tix solder occasioally for assembling things- and I sometimes
use a heat gun rather than either a soldering iron or a torch for
raising the temperature of the pieces I am soldering together. The
heat provided by the heat gun is enough to flow the solder without
removing the temper of hardened parts or oxidize them.

Rick Hamilton
Gold and Platinumsmithing,
CAD/CAM and modelmaking,
Jewelry Photography…


#7

Dear Steve, I hate to burst the bubble, but I am a metals conservator
s. I work for the Australian War Memorial on a variety of objects -
the greater part (for me) consisting of rifles, swords/bayonets,
medals and vehicles. I studied iron, aluminium and cuprous metals at
university - silver has fewer problems associated with corrosion.
While I am capable of treating the casket, I wanted to know how much
heat was required before pitting occured - is soft soldering possible
(given that soft solder already exists on the casket and coat of
arms) or will I have to resort to epoxy? Having re-read the original
article, I realise that it was perhaps not phrased as well as it could
be. The curators would like the coat of arms re-attached to the lid
of the casket as it is going on display as a symbol of our nation
(therefore returning it to its’ original specifications is what they
require of me).

Eileen Procter