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Soldering filigree remains problematic


Dear Janet in Jerusalem,

I have made my first “S” ring. It is not up to my usual standards, so
I am going to try again. I couldn’t get the frames to match where the
ends of the sheet come together.

Soldering remains problematic. What kind of boric acid/powdered
solder mix do you use? I tried 2/3 boric acid and 1/3 powdered
solder. Do you have recommendations?

Do you always solder your frames together prior to inserting and
soldering filigree wire?

Can you describe how you spread out a coil of filigree to get it even
when filling a space between frames?

An admirer of your work,

Don Allen



i just received some filgree pieces that were made in India. I
wanted to study how they were made more than anything else. The
first thing I observe is the back solder seems thick and raised. How
and what kind of solder looks like that. Nothing shows on the front
at all. Second the piece is not flat but appears to maybe been
assembled in a mold of somekind and then soldered together? I would
be interested in your ideas. These are silver pieces by the way.



Hi Rockey,

I am not the most authoritative person out there to answer this
question. (Any takers?)

From what I have learned so far, it is powered solder applied in a
mix of boric acid sprinkled over a dampened assembly. The tops of the
filigree is dried off by blowing on it before the solder is sprinkled
on. This keeps the surface free of obvious solder build up.

I don’t know about making filigree in a mold. Everything I have
learned so far suggests filigree is assembled flat then formed into
different shapes. It is amazing how these delicate wires stand up to
the forming process. But they don’t stand up unless you have done a
good job with your soldering.

I hope this helps.
Don Allen