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Solder "tinning" query


#1

Hello everybody,

I make a number of jewelry pieces that consist of a pierced layer of
metal soldered to a backing layer, often quite detailed with lots of
narrow strips of metal. I’ve been sweat-soldering these to their
backing, but the process of placing teeny bits of solder all over
the back of the pierced layer is very time-consuming. I’ve tried pre-
sweating evenly placed pallions across the back before piercing, but
this creates bumps that interrupt sawing and often leaves areas that
must still have solder added.

I’d like to cover the back of the metal I’m piercing with a
perfectly even, gapless layer of solder before piercing - almost like
a bimetal. I was thinking I might roll some solder down super-thin
and then apply it - anybody done this? Will it just puddle?

I was also wondering if I could use a similar process to apply a
thin coating of silver-rich solder to the back of copper pieces, to
keep from turning the wearer’s skin green.

Many thanks for all your help,

Jessee Smith
Cincinnati, OH
www.silverspotstudio.com


#2
the process of placing teeny bits of solder all over the back of
the pierced layer is very time-consuming. I know a jeweler who
made a "style" out of the air blisters she got, sweat soldering
layers together...

I’m not sure this will help, but it might be more efficient to sift
powdered solder onto your sheet, after coating it with paste flux
(put it in a shaker can?). That should be pretty quick and even, so
it might work to do before piercing. If you pierce first, there’d be
danger of the solder getting on the front. You can buy powdered
solder from Beth Katz at Unique Solutions,
http://www.myuniquesolutions.com

Noel


#3

What about powdered solder - filing solder until you have enough to
sprinkle on your piece? Don’t know if it works, but I’ve thought
about trying it. There’s also a website that sells powdered solder -
can’t remember which - if you’re interested, I could go through my
bookmarked websites to locate it.

Sheila


#4

Hello Sheilla, Filing solder and using the filings as powdered
solder is certainly a classic method and works quite well.

Tom Arnold


#5
I was also wondering if I could use a similar process to apply a
thin coating of silver-rich solder to the back of copper pieces,
to keep from turning the wearer's skin green 

Why not just go ahead and sweat solder a thin silver sheet to the
back of the copper. If you already hve the solder melted over the
copper, you’re more than halfway there. It would sure look better and
be more “professional”. But I am curious to learn whether solder
against the skin is a good idea.

Allan
silvermason.com


#6

You can flux the area and use wire solder, uncut, to “stick” solder.
As the flux melts, tough the metal with the tip of the wire and when
the metal is hot enough, the solder will melt onto it. Coast the
solder along by moving the heat and probably, your soldering “poker.”

marilyn


#7

Sheila,

The place that has the powdered solder available is Unique Solutions,
Inc. www.myuniquesolutions.com. The prices are not current, since the
metals market changes every day, but you get the listing of the items
available along with melt and flow temperatures. Specialty solders,
for those who want special sizes in wire solder, are also made to
your specs should you want larger diameter wire since people who do
larger projects, need larger diameter wire solder for those projects.
We will be happy to quote prices if you email.

Beth Katz, Unique Solutions, Inc.


#8

I’ve been hoping someone would answer the side question I asked
about this. What would the effect be of wearing a layer of solder
next to the skin?

Allan
silvermason.com


#9
What would the effect be of wearing a layer of solder next to the
skin? 

Solder is, I believe, silver, copper and zinc, so it shouldn’t cause
any problem at all, I wouldn’t think, unless someone had an alergy
toone of those. Noel


#10

Many thanks to all who have helped out with this question! Noel, I
think your idea of using the powdered solder sounds like the most
convenient solution. I have, in the past, tried to use solder
filings, but I’ve always had trouble getting them to flow. Does this
have to do with the “going in hot and fast with the torch” that Beth
describes on her website?

Also, I generally use Battern’s Flux; will this work with powdered
solder, or is a paste like Handy Flux better?

Thanks again,

Jessee Smith
Cincinnati, OH
www.silverspotstudio.com


#11
I generally use Battern's Flux; will this work with powdered
solder, or is a paste like Handy Flux better? Of course, once you
have your convenient jar of powdered solder, you can easily try
differentfluxes, but my guess is that a paste flux will work best
because it will stay evenly applied and wet long enough for the
powdered solder to stick. 

Just as a side note, my usual way of using paste solder is to stick
just the very tip of a soldering pick in paste flux, then touch that
to the surface of the powdered solder to pick up a little, then use
the pick to place the solder where I want it. I don’t actually use
it much since I was given a bunch of tubes of paste solder (also from
Beth) but I love that I have around 20 silver solders on my bench.
If the goddess doesn’t like the first one I chose on any given day,
maybe she’ll like another! I have at least half a dozen fluxes, for
the same reason.

Noel


#12
What would the effect be of wearing a layer of solder next to the
skin? 

If it was ‘soft’ solder (tin/lead or equivalent) - black skin If it
was ‘silver solder’ probably green skin (from corrosion of the copper
in it) Gold solder would probably be OK…

Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#13
I've been hoping someone would answer the side question I asked
about this. What would the effect be of wearing a layer of solder
next to the skin? 

Even though I brought this up, I’ve pretty much decided it would look
too gross to really be a good solution - I think soldering on a very
thin layer of sheet silver is probably the better idea. Solder in
small quantities is worn next to the skin all the time in things like
sizing seams on rings, but over a large surface, might there be
enough copper to still cause greenness?

Jessee Smith
Cincinnati, OH
www.silverspotstudio.com