Soldering D wire for a ring

I’m using 10 gauge sterling silver D wire to make a size 6 1/2 ring shank and have 2 questions:
1: is the gauge thick enough for a ring? the D shape seems to make the 10 gauge wire less substantial because it essentially is 10 G wire cut in half. Thoughts please!

2: best method to solder D wire so that the integrity of the round exterior isn’t compromised. Any different than round 10 gauge wire? Thanks!

It will be a fairly light ring. How you prepare the joint will determine how good the solder joint will be. Anneal the metal first. Then square up the ends with a file removing any flashing. Form the ring in such a way that the ends come together and the joint is flush throughout. You may need to temporarily flatten the area on both sides of the joint to make this happen. Apply a boric acid and alcohol wash to the entire ring and burn it off. Flux the joint and then solder with medium solder unless you are doing additional soldering steps, then use hard solder. I usually suspend a ring in locking pliers and apply the solder to the inside of the joint and pull it through with the flame. If the joint is incomplete, you can cut it with a fine blade and resolder. The blade then acts like a file. There are many variations on this process and others may have different ideas. Cutting the right length of wire for the desired size is also a trick. There are charts on line and at metal suppliers websites that will help you figure this out. Add a little extra for filing. Good luck…Rob

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Thanks Rob. The part about suspending the ring in locking pliers and applying solder to the inside of the join and pulling through with the flame is what I’m after.
With round wire, I’d put a fluxed pillion of solder on a solderite board and the shank on that palllion of solder. The flame would be positioned above that to pull the solder up the join.
D shank is a bit different. I appreciate you sharing your technique!
Thanks and have a good holiday season! …Joanne

Thanks and the same to you…Rob

You mention the part about holding the ring in Chanel lock tweezers and pulling the solder through to the front. Sounds good but I’m confused about the set up. Is the flame from underneath with the shank in the air?!

I should have said locking tweezers on a stand or just a notch cut into your bench pin. The ring will be suspended in front of you with room under it to work the flame pulling the melted solder through the joint towards the heat of the flame. You are heating the piece, not necessarily the solder. When the joint and surrounding metal get up to temperature, it will transfer heat to the solder until it melts. Melted solder will always move towards the heat, in this case through the joint. You are doing the same thing when you rest a joint on top of a piece of solder and then heat from above. Hope that helps…Rob

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I think I get the picture of how this should look. Thanks like let you know how it worked!

Good luck…Rob

rmeixner has some good tips. However It’s really tough to get true flat ends with a file. Silver is notoriously fussy when it comes to solder seams. Silver solder will not fill in gaps. My advice would be like he said, anneal the metal first. Then using a rawhide hammer and a ring mandrel make a full circle with the two ends slightly over lapping side to side Then saw through the overlap. You will get a perfect cut then. Even if the cut is crooked, the ends will match perfectly. Place the solder pallion on the inside of the ring as advised above. Use hard solder if you can.

And remember… If you mess it up don’t worry. You can always melt the silver down and use it again as along as you remove the solder.

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This is how I’d approach the soldering ~
I prefer to put the solder between the joint, rather than just behind or using a pic to place the solder. In that way you get the solder melting at the lowest flow point. Every time the solder is melted, it’s my understanding that the flowing point of the solder increases. The ring should have enough tension, that when the solder melts the ring closes.
If it was very important that the joint be totally invisible, I’d fuse the ring together.


Like Rob I do a lot of but soldering that requires a good flush fit. I suppose any soldering requires a flush fit but depending on the project how you accomplish the fit changes. I built this expanding wheel sander housing with a level table just slightly below the center of the wheel. What you can’t see are the faint registry lines in the table to indicate 90, 45, and 22.5 degrees.

I use this rig every time I need to true up a surface for soldering. It was easy to build and it has been indispensable at the bench.

Don Meixner



another thought…do not clean up the solder on the ring shank seam until you are finished with all other soldering operations…so that the solder doesnt pull back from the seam and leave a filet…



boric acid and alcohol wash

Hi is this solution 50/50 mix. Does it so fire scale?
Thankyou in lieu

Denatured alcohol and boric acid. The chemist among us will know the theoretical ratio. I just go until no more boric acid will dissolve. As you use it, you will need to add more alcohol since it easily evaporates. I keep mine in a mason jar that seals easily. Make sure to seal it before you light up the torch to burn off what needs burning off. You don’t want to set your shop on fire. It helps to prevent firescale on a piece. I use it on a piece that is semi polished, but needs more soldering. I also use it if I am annealing a piece that has already been polished.