I’m making a ring with a 22k bezel and sterling back. Soldered the bezel with 22k easy gold solder and would like to use gold solder to connect to the back, but concerned that the sterling will melt before solder flows… Any advice would be much appreciated, is my first foray into mixed metal. Thanks!
Google is going to be your friend here…sterling melts at 982C…there are some 22 kt solders which melt quite a bit lower, around 760C, but you would have to ID the solder you have and check with the manufacturer or find the data for it on line. Alternatively, you could try an experiment and use a little piece of the solder to try to solder together a couple of small pieces of scrap sterling. If the sterling gets quite red when the solder finally melts, you will know you need to be careful not to overheat the joint. If the sterling turns bright red and the solder hasn’t melted or flowed, get off the metal and reflux and try again, 'cause you’re getting close to melting your piece. I’ve heard instructors say that they make their students do some melting and ingot making first, before soldering, because then they know what the metal looks like as it melts. Once you have consciously melted the sterling (or whatever) it’s easier to see the signs and to keep from melting it when you don’t want to. You can always melt a few bits of sterling to use as “balls” for decoration somewhere…-royjohn
Thanks so much
Rio used to have a yellow sterling solder.
I’ve always used silver solder in those cases ( my favorite is 66 ). Mostly because there is much more silver metal than gold and you will have to heat your silver more in order to heat the whole thing up to desired temp. One main danger is your bezel could sink in the silver and you don’t want this.
I do a lot of this mixed metal gold (fill) bezel on silver backplate for my rings. Gold would be much easier, but neither my customers nor I can afford it. Gold fill can be very tricky since it’s both gold and brass. I use a medium silver solder and it always looks just fine. Oh yeah — I coat the gold fill component with a mixture of boric acid and denatured alcohol prior to soldering. You probably don’t have to do that with solid gold.
Not withstanding the fact that gold solder is lot more expensive than silver solder, I have usually used gold solder when soldering gold and silver together. I never really thought a lot about it, it just makes sense for the pieces that I make. The silver portion is usually much more massive than the gold potion and it is also usually fairly smooth compared to the texture of the gold. As a result, I would rather clean gold solder out of the silver than the other way around should the solder run where I don’t want it to run. My two cents…Rob
Thanks so much for all the tips. I ended up using medium silver solder and held the backing in a third hand and kept the flame at the bottom of the backing. Worked perfectly!