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Soldering 18k bezel to silver so that the silver can be oxidized


#1

When I use silver solder to attach an 18k bezel to silver backplate, the thin line of solder won’t oxidize with liver of sulfur. The solder shows up a little gold-ish—like maybe it sets up a eutetctic condition? What am I doing wrong? I try to keep the solder amount very low…


#2

I’d have to see the design but would generally advise to use gold solder. It won’t oxidize either but will blend into the bezel and get the effect you want.


#3

Bob Claborne,
My experience is that the
silver melts before gold solder flows.


#4

Hello, Have you tried sweat soldering your joint? As mentioned, the gold and silver will want to mix at the point of soldering. By ‘smearing’ the melting silver solder onto the base of your bezel, then placing it on the silver and fluxing the joint, I think you will have the least chance of that gold-silver mix. Of course that means you pull the heat away immediately when you see flow.

However, sweat soldering with gold solder would be even easier - particularly if you use the x-easy solder.

Let us know how your piece finished out.
Judy in Kansas, who is trying to gin up the energy to prepare for the last show of the year!!


#5

Thanks, everyone. They’re just basic bezels on backplates to be soldered onto simple silver ring shanks. I’m used to soldering gold to gold, silver to silver, but this combination with the oxidation is proving a real bear. I’ve seen a lot of photographs of work with gold bezels crisply affixed to blackened silver backplates with no line at all. Sweat soldering 26 ga. bezel seems a little labor intensive. I thought there was an easier way.

Whatever the solder, maybe the best technique is to use as little solder as possible. Someone suggested using white vinegar to dissolve the liver of sulfur into. That’s an interesting idea…


#6

Just use as little silver solder as possible. Make sure the joint is nice and tight (no gaps or light passing through between the bezel and plate) and you shouldn’t have too much of an issue. The line should be thin enough that it isn’t really noticeable.