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Soldering on texturized silver

Hi there,

Last week I helped my mother to get rid of some “rubbish” and now I
am the owner of a garbagebag full with laces. These where from my
grandmother and my greatgrandmother.

I spent the last days with annaelling and rolling the silver and the
lace trough the rolling-mill. I am thrilled!! It lookes great! I did
a couple of pendants with the backside beings “laced” but now I also
want to get the lace texture on the front of the designs. But how
cann I solder the bezelwire to a texturized surface? I guess solder
wouldn’t flow and big gaps appear.

Thank you again for your help!
Marlein Bong
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

But how cann I solder the bezelwire to a texturized surface? 

Well, this is how I would do it:

Make a bezel cup: solder the bezel to sheet silver and to itself;
cut around the bezel; file or sand or otherwise make smooth.
Position the bezel cup on the piece of patterned silver; decide
where you want it to go and then lightly scribe around the cup. Cut
out. Insert the bezel cup and solder, using a solder with a lower
melting temp than what you used for the bezel.

Since I never do this kind of work, it’ll be interesting to see what
others with more experience have to say. :slight_smile:

I love lace-patterned silver.

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts


You could solder an insert inside the bottom of the bezel, leaving a
small amount of the bezel protruding below the insert. Then place
the bezel on the textured piece and carefully mark all of the high
points of the textured background on the bottom edge of the bezel.
Then carefully file the bottom edge of the bezel at those points,
thus allowing the bezel to conform to the textured surface. Then
solder. This is probably a fair amount of work to do but it should

Let us know how it turns out.

Joel Schwalb

If your texture is not terribly deep, the bezel may solder on just
fine. You might want to try a trial run on a scrap of the same
texture. If it doesn’t work, the methods recommended by others here
should work fine. Incidentally, a relatively recent issue (meaning
within the last year or so) of Lapidary Journal had a project with a
reticulated backing, in which the bezel is soldered to a flat sheet,
then the reticulated piece has a hole cut in it that matches the
bezel. It is slid down over the bezel and soldered, and a frame
added around the outside. You could look that up. When I have tried
to do that kind of thing, I have always ended up having to add a
wire or other trim around the bezel as well, to hide where I didn’t
get the fit exactly right.


Seems to me we have been over this subject several times in the past
year or so…there was a similar discussion about soldering bezels
to reticulated sheet.

Well, anyway, what I do (and have been doing for years) is lay the
bezel on the textured sheet lightly pencil in a line around the
bezel. Then with a small mizzy wheel or other light sanding wheel
in my Foredom, cut a narrow channel inside the line. Once or twice
around and its done. Now lay the bezel into this small channel and
solder! Takes but a tic…

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2

Whoa, Marlein,

So it looks like Joel, who is way more experienced than me,
suggested that you set the bezel cup ON the textured silver. My
suggestion was to set it INTO the textured silver.

Let us know what you do!

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts

Whoa, Marlein,

So it looks like Joel, who is way more experienced than me,
suggested that you set the bezel cup ON the textured silver. My
suggestion was to set it INTO the textured silver.

Let us know what you do!

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts

Hi Christine,

I think that either way would work fine. Now that I think of it,
cutting an opening in the textured silver to match the outside
dimensions of the bezel would probably take less time. All that it
takes is a different perspective to see a better way.


Joel Schwalb

But how cann I solder the bezelwire to a texturized surface? I
guess solder wouldn't flow and big gaps appear. 

There are three ways I can think of that might work:

  1. Mark off the section where you want to attach the bezel. Very
    carefully sand off the texture until it is smooth. Then attach the
    bezel wire to the sanded area.

  2. Cut a hole in the lace the size and shape you want,and then run
    it through the mill on the silver. Watch out for distortion though.

3.Run the lace through on a thin sheet of wax, smooth out the
section where you want the bezel, cut the pattern to the size and
shape you want, and have it cast.



I can appreciate the dilemma of soldering a bezel onto a textured
piece of metal. There is a wonderful product called Stop-Flo. I
use it all the time to keep the solder from going into the little
crooks and crannies of the textured silver. I, of course, solder
with paste solder matched to the temperature that is most
appropriate for that part of the project. If you have other items
or findings to be soldered onto this piece you can use easy solder
to solder the bezel to the back textured piece (use hard to solder
the bezel together so it does not open when doing that step) and
save the extra easy for the last step as it does melt at a lower
temperature than the easy.

When using the Stop-Flo, just paint on with a paint brush all
around outside the bezel, but as close to the bezel as possible.
If you place this any where under the bezel, it will not allow the
solder to flow in the area where you have painted it… That is the
whole idea, so be careful of placement. It is a fairly quick drying
liquid. I buy mine at the Mine Shaft in Pompano Beach, FL
800-654-3934. They do ship. (No affiliation).

This is wonderful product since it will wash off at least 85%
easier than yellow ochre after it is heated and at least 100%
easier than the white out everyone touts, it is also non toxic. It
is not exactly cheap, but to me worth every penny. You can leave
it on, if you do not have to solder an area where you have put the
Stop-Flo, until ready to pickle. There is no residual left in the
pickle. You then rinse and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush.
Takes just the most gently of rubbing to get it off.

Happy soldering.
Beth Katz
Paste and Powder Solder for Jewelers and Metalsmiths

I got in on this discussion late, so don’t know what the original
posting said about the problem. However, this is how I solder a bezel
to any texture: Make a bezel cup from bezel wire and plate. Cut it,
file it and polish it. Place this cup on your textured silver and
make sure it’s level and has enough contact points for a secure join.
If not level, or not enough contact, remove some of the material with
a mizzy, cratex, sanding disk, whatever will most closely resemble
the outline of the bezel cup. Float a tiny bit of solder on the
underside of the bezel cup (or use powdered solder). Place the cup on
the textured silver, heat the assembly from the bottom of the
textured silver until it flashes. Check it for a secure fit after the
pickle to make sure it will stay on by really tugging on it. Run a
little bead of anti-flow around the bezel if you have to do other
solder operations. With practice, you’ll know when you can get away
without having to use any anti-flow and skip this step. I’ve used
this method on everything from sugared pieces to deep reticulation.

Ok here’s my 2 cents…

Depending on the shape of the area that you are going to solder to
you have options…

If you are soldering down a round bezel… You can take a flat end
piece of round stock steel and use it as a punch to level the area
where you will make the solder joint…

This will decrease the profile of the solder joint (ideally the
surface of which will remain flat and you will get a nice surface
joint due to surface tension and capillary action) there will still
be voids beneath the surface… Therefore add more solder than
needed… And precise heat control is in order. I would recommend
medium solder as if you aren’t sure of the contact area and integrity
of the solder joint… Then using easy solder is pretty much a
guarantee of premature joint failure…

If you have an irregular shaped bezel then you can take a flat
tipped chasing punch to create a flat surface that is close to the
shape of the piece to be soldered…

The other option is the brute force option (and is the least as far
as integrity) which is to flow medium solder into the voids and then
follow with easy to conceal the vacancies.

Just my 2 pennies…
Jon P

Hi Beth and all, You’ve sold me on the stop-flo…I’ve been using
white out but have been concerned about it’s health affect. I took a
few minutes to look at your website and intend to try your products
soon. Your concepts seem like a good step forward.

Thanks, Marianne

    the bezel is soldered to a flat sheet, then the reticulated
piece has a hole cut in it that matches the bezel. 

I just tried a dirty little trick that worked really well for taking
care of any discrepancies between the shape of the hole and the
outside of the bezel:

If your bezel is relatively deep (say, 2 mm or over) and the gaps
between it and the textured surrounding metal aren’t too big, you can
actually push the bezel outward to make it conform to the hole. I did
this by pushing the bezel from the inside with a burnisher shaped
like a cuticle stick (orange stick).

I used just the rounded edge to press the metal into contact with
the edge of the hole, so that only that part of the bezel that would
be soldered was pushed outward. (This kept the outside of the bezel
from looking lumpy when all was done.) I soldered the pieces from
the back. The result was a beautiful solder seam that looked as
though I’d spent hours filing to get the perfect match.

I doubt that this would work for really obvious gaps, but for those
little ones that drive you mad, it should be a great savings in time
and frustration.


Jessee Smith
(who has been neglecting her e-mail and is now responding to posts
several days old.)