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Soldering multiple settings on a pendant


#1

I have read multiple books on metal working (nothing) and searched
the archive for a helpful description of soldering multiple settings
onto the same piece of silver. There is one article in the archive
about using hooks which I did not fully understand. If some one has
further elucidation on the “hooks” method or another approach to the
situation, I would really appreciate it. I am trying to make a
pendant with one large and five small cabs soldered to the same
backing. I have a butane torch and a dual fuel system (oxy-propane)
to work with. I will really appreciate any input.

Mary


#2
I have read multiple books on metal working (nothing) and searched
the archive for a helpful description of soldering multiple
settings onto the same piece of silver. There is one article in the
archive about using hooks which I did not fully understand. If some
one has further elucidation on the "hooks" method or another
approach to the situation, I would really appreciate it. I am
trying to make a pendant with one large and five small cabs
soldered to the same backing. I have a butane torch and a dual fuel
system (oxy-propane) to work with. I will really appreciate any
input. 

There are hundreds of ways of handling multiple items. Choice of the
design will be the deciding factor of which one to use. Can you show
us you design?

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#3

I do not know if this will help in your situation, but one way I
have approached soldering multiple settings is to lay everything out
on a piece of soft wax, and make sure the base of each setting is
pushed well into the wax, and all joints are touching just the way I
need them, and oriented correctly. It is quite easy to make
adjustments in the soft wax, until everything is exactly right. Make
sure to leave all prongs clean and exposed well above the wax.

Next I mix up some investment, and pour it over the wax and exposed
prongs, letting it set up. After the investment had hardened I
gently remove the wax. Now the base of each setting, and all my
joints are exposed to the torch, and I solder the entire assembly
together in one step.

These days I also use the laser to tack settings into the exact
location I need, and then solder all together.


#4

Try step soldering…hard medium easy in that order…or depending
on the application…build a shelf where you need the heads soldered
on…

Russ
The Jewelry CAD Institute


#5

Mary

There are a lot of ways to proceed. I use a Smith Little torch and
charcoal block and hard solder for most soldering. Place the backing
piece on the charcoal block and paint with flux, heat the flux, dip
the bezel strip pieces in flux and place them where you want them on
the backing, heat and finally wet your solder pallions and place them
around the piece (usually inside the bezels) and solder. I would work
around the outside of the backing piece, bringing it up to temp and
then briefly hit the bezels. Hope this helps. I do not get the
’hooks’ part.


#6

What I have done many times is use a foil cupcake paper, melt sticky
wax at the bottom. Next lay you project out onto the sticky wax.

Next mix a small amount of investment and pour onto the laid out
project, let set for about an hour. After its set up. remove from tin
cup cake paper and remove wax, any left over wax, simply burn off
with your torch.

Now that you project is held together with the harden investment,
(showing the back side of the heads and pendant or whatever) solder
you pieces together. Remove the investment by breaking apart. Any
leftover investment should come off in the ultrasonic cleaner. Any
questions, feel free to ask.

Good luck, Steve Cowan, Arista designs


#7

Hoi Mary, here is something that can help

Rio Water-Soluble Soldering Clay
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/rio504093

Karl Fischer soldering aid fixo-thermo
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/fischer7519

Kiffer


#8

Mary,

The simplest way to accomplish this is to use a flat back piece, and
have bezels (no bottoms) made that will fit your stones. I would
suggest using a tripod and screen if this is a larger piece, so that
you can heat the work from below and bring the entire piece to
temperature at once rather than trying to solder each bezel in a
separate operation. Start with clean, pre-polished pieces. Use a
good fire coat, and paste flux (alternatively, I found Prips,
self-made or purchased, to be extremely effective), place the bezels
into position, and place your solder chips (inside the bezels will
keep cleanup to a minimum). Use a large bushy flame and begin to
heat from the bottom. Keep a solder pick handy to keep things in
place, and watch for the flux to turn clear as soldering temperature
approaches. As the solder begins to flow onto the bottom plate,
bring the flame to the top of the piece, moving constantly, and heat
the bezels gently and evenly to ensure that they solder completely.

I recommend bezels to start because they are easier to solder and
there is no fear of melting multiple little prongs. Smaller pieces
can be done on a charcoal block or fire brick, because of the heat
reflective surface, but it’s harder to heat the center of the back
plate without getting underneath. You run the risk of melting the
settings before the solder flows onto the back. If your back plate
is curved, you can use binding wire to “tie” your settings into
place, but you need to be very careful about how much tension you
place on the sides of the settings and the edges of the plate to
avoid distortions that can take place when the metal is hot, and to
avoid soldering some of the binding wire to your piece as well. Your
settings will need to fit closely to the curve of your piece since
solder will not fill in open gaps.

Pickle well, polish carefully, and use a nice oxidized patina
between the settings to set them off nicely. Have fun.

Melissa Veres, engraver


#9

Melissa-

You’re a marvelous teacher; your instructions were so clear. I wish
you lived in my neighborhood. My mentor is quite ill and I miss the
one-on-one interaction with a witty master silversmith.

Marly


#10

As Leonid says, it all depends on the design.

I don’t know the article about ‘hooks’ but it may be the
following…

Make a J shaped wire of suitable material. Put a crossbar on the end
but perpendicular to the bend, Like a T on a J but at right angles.
Place your bezel and lay the point of the J on it to hold in place.
Put a small stable weight on the crossbar to sort of lock everything
in place and then solder. You can shape the J point as needed to hold
whatever item you’re dealing with. Not too much weight though. The
point is just to keep stuff from floating around on the hot flux.

The advantage is that its a very small heatsink, you can solder from
the top to maintain alignment. The investment trick works but often
soaks up a lot of heat.

What I’ve done occasionally is to tack solder by using paste solder.
This takes less heat usually so thin bezels are a bit safer to
solder. Once all bezels are tacked, go back in with ‘regular’ solder.


#11

I’d solder them all on at one go. First polish the surface the bezels
will be affixed to - a high finished polish (if you don’t do this
you’ll likely cut grooves with whatever polishing wheel you use
trying to take out surface imperfections). Dip and burn off alcohol
and borax mix bottom sheet. Dip bottom of each bezel in flux and set
in place on sheet. Torch it to crust flux. Heat piece gently with
larger tip and spritz on fire scale preventing flux - a good crust.
Place solder snippets INSIDE each bezel ring, very close to but not
touching bezel. If its not a giant piece, and you are good with a
torch, I’d heat it from above so you can see whats happening an move
the torch to where needed - more control than heating from below, and
less likely to raise fire stain. I’d use EZ or even Extra EZ solder
(I assume this is the last soldering operation on the piece), and
"just enough" so it fills only the joint and doesn’t go out onto the
visible part of the sheet.

Dale Repp The Silver Forge


#12

Steve, your way of soldering multiple settings is right on. One thing
that works really well also is using modeling clay arranging your
setting just the way you would like them when finished. Then use your
investment method let it dry, pull off the modeling clay and now you
can solder from the back, and heat up the whole plate evenly. The
investment comes off easily in pickle, or water. Thanks new little
tricks we all can use.

Sigi
http://sigidesign.com