One of my big problems is positioning of pieces. I have binding
wire but it only helps so much. If I have things I need to solder
that are different heights, sometimes I can't get the wire to bind
them to keep them where I want. My question is what do you all use
(other than a tack welder) to do this? I've looked at investment
compound in the Rio Grande Catalog and also soldering grain. Which
is easier to use or best to use?
Most people I know who embed things in investment to solder just use
investment, not the special stuff. Both work fine, investment is
I find that binding wire creates more problems than in solves, most
of the time.
It’s a pain to set up, draws heat away, etc.
Propping things up may work better. Buy some Solderite soldering
pads and cut them up (they cut/break very easily) into small pieces
so you can make layers and have part of your jewelry hang off when
Some jewelers use Super Glue to “tack weld” something in place while
they solder it. I’m not recommending this, of course, because of the
More experience soldering will help. Just solder a lot. Take more
classes, with different teachers. Soldering is difficult to teach
because it’s something you just have to do and do until you get a
feel for it.
My second question is what are the requirements to moving my
soldering bench from the garage to the downstairs? I looked
through the Bench Exchange studio visits and most folks seem to
have their torches by their benches.
Yes, this is true, this is the standard set up in the jewelry
industry. We are however, not an industry known for safety.
Two books will help you. The Jewelry Workshop Safety Report by
Charles Lewton Brain and one on ventilation, that I don’t seem to
have any longer – I think Rio sells it.
This is a topic which has come up a lot before on Orchid. Try
searching on these terms:
and see if you can find them. Select “Entire” when you search.
Another thing I do sometimes is search Orchid using google.
Sometimes I find what I’m looking for more quickly that way. Put in
your search terms as well as the word Orchid.
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay