We sell large quantities of Bali made sterling retail. If a customer
is allergic to sterling posts I can use Stay Brite A to solder hypo
allergenic (stainless steel) findings. Heating near where the post
will be attched until the solder flows, with a small bushy flame will
get the solder flow to not be globby when stay brite flux is used. I
have probably done a thousand solders of earrings, occasionally
bracelet repairs when I could not remove stones due to the expense
A customer buys a pair of earring for $20 bucks, they will pay $6 for
a soft solder if they really like them. They won't pay to have the
stone removed and reset and a new bezel which will cost as much as
the earrings cost. Tell the customer to toss them, or compromise?
Customers are advised that I am not responsible if something happens
to the stone or the piece and not to put undue stress, don't put it
in a pocket or purse and allow it to get mashed. I can also change
post earrings to wires by soldering a small loop on the top of the
earring, I actually solder the front surface of the bottom of the
jump ring to the back surface of the earring to provide max contact.
I would never use low temp on gold unless there is no way to fix it
the right way.
Most customer have no way of subjecting their jewelry to temperatures
of 200 degrees. I tell them it will hold unless you drive over it
with your car.
A bad solder joint in any metal will fail. I have had less problems
with comebacks with soft solder than with hard. Sometimes with Bali
work, the solder flows and looks like a good attachment, when it
breaks, I can see that the solder flowed around the outside edges
where the jumpring attaches, but not underneath. Since I cannot x-ray
every piece I make or buy, theoretically if it held together through
stone setting and polishing, I assume it to have a good joint.
There is being technically right, and sometimes we have to be
practical. If a customer had an inlay piece that I could not remove
all the inlay to hard solder, I can soft solder it and know that it
will hold fine.
Glue, (chemical bonding) is nowhere as permanent as soft soldering,
no way, no how, not now, not ever.
Richard in Denver