Silver soldering trouble

Hello everybody

I’am from Romania and I am just starting in this wonderful hobby of
jewelry making. I’am trying to make make a couple of copper rings
but i’am having big problems in silver soldering. I have bought two
strips of silver solder from, one medium
(720-765 DegreesC) an one easy (705-723 DegreesC). The problem is
that i can’t get the silver solder to melt. I don’t think that the
problem is the temperature beacause the copper piece turns orange
hot so does the solder piece (a very small an thin one) without
melting. I’ve also been able to fuse two small ends of a copper ring.

I also like to say that i haven’t used borax yet beacause i can’t get
any in my country.But even so, I think the solder sould ball up.
Could it be a problem with the solder? How can i know for sure that
is silver solder?

Assuming you have silver solder, and you probably do, it sounds like
a flux issue. The copper will oxidize so much I doubt you can solder
it without flux. The solder may not melt and certainly won’t flow
onto the hot copper. Maybe someone can suggest another flux if you
cannot get borax, though I get it at the grocery. How about boric
acid ?


Hi jack, surely not hijack. i ve been teaching manufacturing for
almost 10 yrs. working most of the time with copper. my
experience,is that trouble is only while soldering pipe, then you
have to take care of threee things 1. hav to picle it regularly2.
overheat riuins soldering because fire scale is formed and 3 finally
ussing boric acid as flux hepls hope you try this… ramesh

Hi Raul - I had this same problem of my solder refusing to melt for
the longest time - finally developed the habit of swiping some steel
wool over the solder wire before dipping it in flux - works great!

Susan “Sam” Kaffine

Yeah…solder has to be clean to flow! What a time I have had with
students…now each wire length of solder is cleaned by pulling it
through a 3M Scotchbrite pad. Also, if sheet solder is used, it is
also wiped with the 3M. Snippets are never saved since they oxidize
while not being used. Really don’t know what the comment was about
using the steel wool, but I would think it would have some reaction
since it is steel! Any reaction in the pickle or contamination of
any kind?

Rose Marie Christison

I’m coming late to this, but want to comment that there aren’t that
many absolutes. I have seen posts saying not to store snippets as
they will oxidize - I store mine all the time with no trouble. I use
a glass jar that formerly held pimientos, very well cleaned. One for
each sort of solder snippet. They can sit for months with no problem.
I suspect much is in HOW you store or use something.

I use steel wool to clean silver before soldering sometimes, and
have never had a reaction. That said, I don’t leave bits of steel
wool on it!

Your mileage may vary.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio

Have to agree with Beth. For years I have stored snippets for months
on end in both glass and plastic containers with tight lids with no
problem. I do not leave them in the open or in plastic bags however,
as they react to the chemicals used in making the plastic bags and
will corrode. When the snippets are added to the piece being
soldered, I insure they take on some flux just to ensure everything
is ready to flow. No problems there.

from Don in SOFL.