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Silver hard solder leaves brassy color


#1

Hi there

I have been lurking for a little while enjoying the posts and info
and have been looking thorugh that archives for any info on the
problem I’m having. I am very new to jewelery making so please
forgive me if I am missing the obvious.

I am having trouble with my hard solder leaving a brassy sort of
line on the seam. I am using a propane sievert torch, pripps flux to
prevent firestain and a borax flux paste applied to the seam I wish
to solder. The solder is flowing beautifully and there aren’t any
apparent issues with the solder pitting. I am pickling in a safety
pickle and neutralizing the piece in bicarb of soda. The line where
the seam is just shows as a very thin line of a sort of brassy
colour, not likethe more pinkish shade of firestain. Once the piece
is finished, as it starts to tarnish, this line becomes more
pronounced and very obvious. I have tried different solders from
different sources in case I had got muddled up but I am having the
same results with all which means the problem is most definitely me.
I am sorry if this is one of those newbie questions that has been
addressed before but I have tried searching in the archives but I
cannot seem to find anything directly relating to this.

I would be extremely greatful if anyone could help me to understand
where I am going wrong.

Many thanks


#2

Tony,

Hard Silver solder is a very good colour match (and melts rather
close to sterling but is close in colour) All solders have other
metals in them to lower the flow point, these change the colour
down. A good silver solder seam has no thickness and no fillet. Real
hard jewellery silver solder should not show that much or you just
have to hide the seams better. There are other “silver” solders used
by fridge type folks for copper. Really cool temperatures (1100 f)
and thick and slushy. Bad colour and working properties. I still have
some in my studio but I have to really smack myself on the side of
my head before I’ll use the stuff.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#3

Whose solder are you using? There are many brands and alloys of
solder. Before you spend your time in trying to fix it, send a sample
of your soldered piece documenting your steps and send it to the
manufacturer. Let their technical team figure it out since that’s
what they do.

I know Hauser and Miller’s solder can leave a yellow line, and it
could be due to the zinc in their alloy. Can’t say for sure though.

karen christians


#4

Many thanks for this info. I am not sure who’s particular solder I am
using, we have a shop in Edinburgh that sells silver etc but he just
has unmarked strips and I wasn’t even aware that there are different
brands, I assumed that there was a particular “recipe” that was
standard. I received some suggestions to enhance my pickle and that
seems to have worked well.

I am very greatful for all of these pointers as being fairly new I am
extremely keen to understand the processes better so that I can begin
to do my own problem solving as it’s the only way to learn properly I
belive. I will be more careful with my flux application too, I am
using a borax cone and grinding a paste with a little water. I am
sure that with more attention to these 3 ares, I will be able to
overcome this issue.

Many thanksx