Hi all, I am generally a lurker in this list, but now I have a
question. I need suggestions about soldering jump rings (that is what
we call them in the uk). I would like to hear peoples experience on
soldering jump rings. I am soldering jump rings on jewellery using a
small Butane torch and silver solder paste. The are difficult to hold
and the process is slow applying paste to each joint and the heating
with the torch. Are there quicker ways of applying paste/heating with
torch? Are there entirely different processes to achieve the same
Richard, Try using sheet or wire solder insted of paste. Clip into
small chunks and place on the soldering block. Hold the jump ring in
a pair of soldering tweezers with the joint down. Flux solder
snippet, jump ring and attachment point. Melt solder into a ball and
pick up with the jump ring as you would with a soldering pick. Heat
the piece until the flux turns liquid and touch the jump ring to the
piece. When solder flows remove heat quickly. It helps fo have a good
solid rest for your wrist unless you're a lot steadier than I
am. Hope this works for you. Jerry in Kodiak
for what it's worth, you can get Solder filled jump rings in a
limited number of sizes, and solder filled wire also, from Rio
Grande. I've used these, they're great. All you have do is make sure
they're fitted well, and heat 'em up, they're self soldering. Because
of the solder core the wire is a sterling alloy, but the outside is
fine silver, so you can get a very nice polish.
In the past (ok... I only started this whole jewelry thing 6 months
ago, but I'm learning fast) I would sit around for hours and pick
solder. It worked, but it was messy, cheap and time consuming. Solder
filled rings look nicer, are pre made, and cost about twice as much.
If you're doing production work though, they're much faster which
means you'll make more money I guess, I just prefer the ease in use.
hope it helps
The use of solder filled wire to make jump rings for soldering is a
great time saver. There is one caveat though. *Joints must be
straight and tight*. The solder in solder filled wire will not bridge
gaps. Snipping a coil into jump rings will not produce the necessary
flush cuts. The only safe way to achieve this is to saw the coil into
Of course if your need is for only a few jump rings, they may be
hand sawn. If you use many, your best bet is to use the Jump Ringer.
With it you can wind and cut up to a three inch long coil into
perfect rings with an inside diameter from 1.5 to 13 mm within 1 1/2
minutes. It will do any jewelry metal except platinum, titanium and
niobium up to 12 gauge.
Jump Ringer and accessories are available from most jewelry tool
distributors in the U.S. and Canada.
Ray Grossman Ray Grossman Inc. Manufacturers of Jump Ringer
To make soldering jump rings easier you might try this technique:
roll out a narrow strip of solder in the rolling mill or cut and
pound a strip of solder very thin. Cut the strip into small snippets.
Insert the appropriate size snippet into the seam of the jump ring
using tweezers or pliers, (it should be thin enough to not force the
join open). Heat the joint until the solder flows. It makes a perfect
seam every time, as the solder cannot jump to one side and flow away
from the seam. This isn't practical for soldering dozens or hundreds
of jump rings at a time, but if you need to control exactly where
your solder flows this is a handy alternative to using a solder pick.
Another tip is to use a pencil for a solder pick. I learned this
trick from Belgian master goldsmith Evert de Graeve, when he taught
the Advanced Goldsmithing class at the Revere Academy in 1986. Shave
back the wood of the pencil leaving only the graphite, about an inch
and a half long. A hard pencil is preferable. When you heat the
solder snippets touch one with the pencil tip just as the solder
melts and it will stick to the tip. Place the snippet (now a sphere)
on your fluxed piece where you wish it to be, and it will stick there.
The difference between this and a metal solder pick is that the
solder can not melt onto the graphite pencil tip, it is only suspended
there until it is touched to another surface. It requires a bit of
practice and patience to perfect the use of the pencil soldering pick
but it is a very useful tool. The solder sphere has to be picked up
by the graphite just as it goes molten, or else it won't adhere to the
tip. Using this technique you won't have the trouble which often
plagues beginners, of getting the soldering pick itself welded to the
item being soldered. The wood of the pencil might burn a bit if it
isn't shaved back far enough, and the graphite will brake if it is
dropped, but I haven't had a metal solder pick in my studio during the
15 years since taking Evert's class. I promptly discarded them all
when I got back to my bench.
Happy soldering to all,
Michael David Sturlin, jewelry artist @Michael_David_Sturli
Michael Sturlin Studio, Scottsdale Arizona USA
Hi Richard, I use and electric soldering machine to solder mine. I
hooked wires from one electrode to a pair of pliers. I grasp the
jumpring with the pliers and hit the graphite electrode just to heat
it up a bit and touch it with past solder and hit the graphite
electrode again. If the voltage it correct it works fine. Vince,
I have a bunch of questions and wasn't sure which search terms to
use to try and find answers in the archives, so here goes. I need to
attach a fine silver chain to a pendant I maid with jump rings. How
can I do this solder operation without possibly melting the chain,
and what's the best set up to use? Someone told me yellow ochre or
maybe "cool jool" could be painted on the chain which would prevent
the heat from affecting that area. I have an annealing pan with
pumice so do you think I should bury the chain except the last
several links which I will solder the jump ring through? Also, would
you suggest using soft, medium or hard palettes/rod, etc? I know so
much of soldering needs to be learned by trying different methods,
but I'd rather not melt my chain.
Second question is about filing/sanding/polishing tiny areas of
fretwork(the internal shapes), especially smaller angles. I have the
tiny size files which are ok for rounded areas but not the angles. I
cannot roll my sandpaper small enough to get in there. Any flexshaft
attachment you would suggest,and what about polishing?
the answer for your soldering operation is "heat controle" Small
solder items need a very controled heat where bigger items need more
in order to let the silver flow. That's the reason why small tips
are designed for a torch. The fine tuning can be made by
increasing/decreasing the flame distance to your item. Don't pull
your flame away from your soldering operation put keep it on the
spot, work with the flame by controlling the heat coming in to your
workpiece or moving back of it. You can not controlle heat by
pulling it rapidly away from your piece and moving back into it. This
is a big mistake I see almost every day by people who like to learn
how to solder properly.
Use a reducing flame rather then a oxidzing flame. Keep that little
yellow tong in your flame telling you that all oxygen is used,
The hottest point is not at the tip of that bright bleu flame but
about an inch away from it depending on how big the flame is.
You can use yellow oker as a flow stop. Graphite powder mixed with
alcohol can be used aswell, some craftsmen even use liquid paper. All
of this will work but the best way of having no problems is knowing
howmuch solder you need for this operation and that is something you
have to learn by doing. The more solder you have, the more chance you
have that it flows in area's you don't like to solder. You can
alway's add solder buth you can't take it of. There is no "best way"
on how to approach this operation, the best way is the one which
works the best for YOU, with your equipment and your experience.
Next tip is to heat up both items at the same rate. If one items is
heated more then the other, solder will flow to the hottest spot. If
both clean items are heated at the same rate, the solder will melt
on both items at the same time and will glue them together with
liquid metal making a perfect bond.
Like germans use to say "bung macht den Meister", you only become an
expert after a lot of practice.
I use tooth picks for very small area's and needle files. Load the
tooth pick with polish and of you go. An other item which still exist
is polisching cord. You can loaded it with paste and polisch very
small area's with this thin cord (about 0.5 mm).
Have fun and enjoy
I am learning to solder jump rings - sterling silver. The standard
advice is that they should be sawed/filed so well that the two ends
fit together so well that you can't see light between them. But when
I do this I then have problems finding the seam again when it is time
to place the solder ball. Is there a way I can mark that seam that
will remain visible under the flux?
And while I'm at it: does anyone have any advice about using a
"third hand"? I have a stainless steel one and find it virtually
impossible to use it in conjuction with hard or medium solder and my
butane "Blaser" torch.
The solder simply never flows. Would a unit made from titanium be
less of a heat sink?
But when I do this I then have problems finding the seam again when
it is time to place the solder ball. Is there a way I can mark that
seam that will remain visible under the flux?
Place a chip of solder there before you even turn the torch on, kind
of glueing it down with flux that then dries.
No placing solder balls. Some people will open the jump ring and
stuff a solder chip in.
And while I'm at it: does anyone have any advice about using a
Third hands can be a heat sink, avoid as much as you can. One thing
you can do is position the jump ring so that it's hanging off the
edge of a charcoal or other block. (I'm assuming it's connected to a
bracelet or something here.) Then solder it. It's isolated, it's
positioned, you can see it.
Two things you can do to make it easy to find the place to solder
When you make the joint, mark it with a magic marker. It won't
interfere with soldering. White flux doesn't make the line go away,
only the heat will.
Then line up your rings on a block with the joints all oriented the
same. I use 7:00 since i hold my torch in my left hand and pick
solder with my right hand. 7:00 meaning where the minute hand would
be on a watch.
I wouldn't use a third hand. Too much of a heat sink. if you are
joining things with a jump ring. orient the parts being joined away
from the flame.
Then solder the ring.
1. If the jumpring (jr) is attached to a piece of jewelry, I grasp
it with a pair of crosslock tweezers with the opening of the jr as
far as possible from the tips of the tweezers. This depends on the
jr being large enough to have some distance from those tips.
Titanium c. l. tweezers are good to use here because solder will not
fuse to the tips. If you don't have titanium tweezers, you can paint
the tips of your tweezers with a little yellow ochre to prevent
solder from flowing and fusing onto the tips.
I rest the tweezer/jr combo on a soldering brick, so that the tips
of the tweezer extend out beyond the edge of the brick. Any kind of
brick will work. You need a little height so that the tips are over
air, not over the brick, and the opening of the jr is out there,
too. Now you know where the opening is and it won't shift.
I use a tiny brush to apply some paste flux (liquid will work, too)
to the opening of the jr.
I ball up a very tiny paillon of Easy solder nearby where the
tweezer/jr combo is. You can use Hard or Medium solder, depending on
where the jr is and what else has to soldered.
I light my torch, which is a Smith torch, with a moderately small,
not the smallest tip.
I use a titanium solder pick, dip it in a very little flux, heat it
and touch it to the solder ball. The ball will stick to the heated
I gently heat the jr, bringing the pick/solder combo near it. I
touch the solder ball to the heated jr, where I know the opening is,
when the jr has been heated sufficiently. The solder ball should
flow directly into the opening.
Hope this helps,
I learned a great trick from a wonderful Chinese/Cambodian
traditional high karat chain making jeweler named Seng Au.
Get a charcoal block and cut a several slits in it so that your jump
rings stand up straight in it. Make sure your seams are centered on
Solder away. You can do several at once and there is no issue of the
tweezers causing a heat sink on one side of the jump ring.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry
I learned from Soham Harrison (on youtube) a great method to solder
jump rings for my loop in loop chains. What I like to do is put the
solder chip under the seam of the jump ring, then heat the jump ring
as normal, the solder is drawn up into the seam perfectly. You can
set up a whole board of jump rings this way and then just solder each
link and move on to the next.
This saved me a lot of time.
I've soldered thousands of jump rings. (I used to make chains.)
I found the most efficient way for me was as follows.
1. Close the ring flush & tight.
2. Lay the rings in a row on a firebrick. I laid the rings about 1mm
apart side to side.
I usually laid 3 rows on the firebrick (4 1/2" x 9") about 25 mm (1
Keep all the joints oriented in the same direction. I placed them at
3. After placing the rings on the firebrick. I applied solder paste
to the inside of each ring so it spanned the joint. I applied a small
amount of solder, a glob about the diameter of the wire used to make
4. Then I turned the brick around so the joints were now at 6
5. Then I start my torch and starting at the lower right hand
cornner apply heat to the ring from the outside & solder each ring
until they're all soldered. Then collect the rings on a piece of
copper or wire the rings are made of so they can be pickled if
Typically I used medium paste solder. I've made rings from 10 to 20
Hope this helps.
Who would have thought so many ways to solder a jumpring.
I use solder paste just put on join and solder then turn jumpring
over and heat again to make sure solder has flowed through join.
This is why Orchid is so cool. So many ways to do the same task. One
of them has to work LOL.
All the best
Soldering jump rings with the Orion Fusion Welder is very easy and
only takes just seconds to do. No clean up just a couple of clicks
and your done with a very strong weld. This is so simple anyone can
master this in minutes. Get a copy of Stullers In The Bench July's
edition and you will see your humble corrispondent in the tech news
section featuring this great new technology.
Terry R. Reichert
Pro Ice Jewelers
I usually place the rings in a row with the openings at six o'clock
(on the bottom). I spray with flux, then torch the rings. They get
all fluffy, but then I can see the split and add solder. Foe me, the
positioning is how I do it. Practice, too.
For closing single jump rings, I put tiny paillons on the fire brick
with a fluxed brush, then lay the seam of the jr right on top. The
weight of the ring keeps the chip from moving, and the heat is from
the top of the jr, pulling the solder up through. Just line em up and
torch away! For jr already in a chain, I suspend it over the edge
with tweezers grasping as far from the joint as possible and pick
Frequently I'll stabilize the torch in the vise and work the ring
through the flame with my left hand and drop solder from a pick in
the right hand.