By large, I mean 2-2.5" by 1.5". We cannot get the solder to flow
properly. My instructor, suspects that the metal is oxidizing
before the solder can flow, causing the problem. I believe we use
Borax in water as the shop flux. We can really use your help.
Yes, your instructor is correct about the oxidation. I would suggest
that Borax and water (water? why not alcohol?) is part of the
Try a nice paste flux such as Dandix, which will last much longer.
Borax and alcohol is the standard for gold, not copper, for a
The other problem is heating, usually. With copper, if you take too
long, you’ll reach the point of no return, where it will never
solder because of the oxidation.
You want to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Once you
switch to Dandix, I suggest soldering it on the tripod, spending
some time directing the flame at the underside – the large base.
Soldering together things that are very different in size can be a
challenge. So heat the larger piece first and then very quickly,
bring the flame to the bezel, and never let any part of the piece
That should do the trick. Good luck!
What other resources are there out there? Rio Grande has a
comprehensive video out on soldering that explains the why of
everything and has graphics and close up videos.
I have a free ebook on my site on how to make jewelry, including a
chapter on soldering. I wrote it in 1992, so the graphics are