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Soldered jump ring


#1

Hello everyone, I have two questions… first, I am looking for a
source of soldered jump rings in ss, 14k and 18k gold - I need 18 ga.
with an ID of 8.75mm, specifically. Does anyone know where I might
find some or know of someone who will custom make them up for me?

Second, I hope to teach myself how to solder very soon (as soon as I
get an area set up where I can feasibly do it). I was thinking about
starting out with a handheld butane torch (such as the Blazer or the
similar one from Proxxon) since I don’t have a lot of funds to invest
at the moment and I don’t plan on doing anything large right away. I
basically want it right now for things like soldering jump rings and
bezels. Would this type of handheld torch work sufficiently for
karat golds as well as silver? If I start learning on sterling
silver, is it much different soldering gold?

Also, since I am unable to take a class on the subject and I don’t
know of anyone in my area who might be interesting in
mentoring/teaching me, I am contemplating the video Rio has on Basic
Soldering Techniques. Does anyone have any experience with this
video? If so, would it be a good investment or are there other,
better sources for learning basic techniques?

Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated!

Carrie Otterson
Wired Contemporary Jewelry
http://www.wiredjewelry.com


#2

Hello Carrie, As to a source for soldered jump rings - Rio Grande,
catalog page 390, offers a variety of sizes and shapes in sterling.
On using a torch to solder bezels and jumprings - The handheld
butane torches will work, but will not give you much time of use. A
better choice might be the disposable (I dispise that part) propane
torch available at hardware stores will give you much more time for
the money. It does have a large flame, so the learning curve for
soldering without melting your piece will be steep. That was my
first personal torch, and I did everything in both sterling and 14K
with it. Soldering the two metals is different because the sterling
conducts heat so well, that the whole piece has to be brought up to
temperature. Gold, not such a good heat conductor, is actually
easier to solder IMHO. Best of luck on your endeavors, Judy in Kansas


#3
I was thinking about starting out with a handheld butane torch
(such as the Blazer or the similar one from Proxxon) since I don't
have a lot of funds to invest at the moment and I don't plan on
doing anything large right away.  I basically want it right now for
things like soldering jump rings and bezels. 

It can be done - that’s the only torch I ever had when I was
actively smithing. However, I found it very limiting, and would
have upgraded immediately if I could have afforded it. As I now try
to get back into the bench work, I’m looking for a good general-use
torch - I can afford one this time - but I understand your dilemma.
You will find that you’ll want less weight and bulk, and more flame
control … but for the moment, it can be done.

Tas


#4

I use a Bernz-O-Matic Pencil Torch (#500-145 from Rio Grande) for
everything I solder except the largest items. No steep learning
curve with this small flame.

Nancy
www.psi-design.com


#5

Hsin-Yi Wu, The Bernz-O-Matic Pencil torch for propane is much more
versatile than the butane Blazer type microtorch. I have a butane
microtorch that I never use because it runs out of fuel fairly
quickly and it does not work well (nor is it intended to) for larger
items such as earrings, pendants, etc. The BOM Pencil torch works
well for anything up to about 2 or 3" in diameter. Anything larger,
I use the standard hardware store propane torch head. Although I
solder almost every day, a 14-oz. tank of propane lasts two or three
months.

The flame on the Pencil torch is regulated at the handpiece and at
the tank, but essentially it is either “on” or “off” without much
flame variation. I adjust the flame intensity by distance from and
time the flame is on the metal.

The Pencil torch setup is portable and the hose is long enough. I
have the propane tank in an inexpensive plastic holder (at most
hardware stores) so that I never pull the tank over.

Definitely go with the Pencil torch-propane setup. You may only be
interested in doing jumprings now, but when you want to expand your
metal work, you can.

Nancy
www.psi-design.com