I can think of several things in your description that may be the
source of your problem. I make a LOT of sterling chain and much of
the soldering is done "in the air’. I use a third hand with sharp
tweezer to hold the jump rings. A large 3rd hand may be heat
sinking the heat away.
I use Handy Flux because when fluid you can place the ball of
solder where you want it,and it will stay there (usually) Then
slowly bring the piece up to soldering temp. Excess flux will be
removed in the Sparex.
The jump ring must be closed tight. It is a well known fact that
a ball of solder will jump 3 0r 4 mm from the pick to a place on
the hot piece that you don’t want it, but will not flow to fill a
gap smaller than a blond human hair.
You may also try using a lower melting temp solder. Sometimes I
use a super easy flow that melts at about 1100 deg F. If all else
fails, try some Tix solder. You can heat the jumpring with a
soldering iron. The Tix should be strong enough to hold
I do a couple of things that the books tell you not to do. Since
most of my work is fabricated from sheet and wire, I pickle
everything to white before working. This will reduce the oxidation
that may be forming to keep your solder from flowing. When all
soldering is done, I remove scratches with 600 grit wet or dry
sandpaper and sometimes finish with 0000 steel wool. Then it goes
into a vibratory tumbler with Green Buff from Rio Grande.
Overnight in the tumbler will give you a polish. I put a days
production in at night and take the polished pieces out in the
morning. I eliminate the buffing on 90% of my work. Be sure you
remove scratches or you will have shiny scratches.
Bobbing compound will bite into your metal. Try skiping this step
if you can.
UFO’s are real–the Air Force is swamp gas!