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Soldering silver bezel to bronze


#1

Hi all - I have been having trouble soldering bronze and silver
together - does anyone have any tricks?

The solder will flow to a certain point then it just globs up or
sinks into either the bezel or the heavy bronze- I can not seem to
get the bronze clean enough - II have been heating the piece evenly
from the bottom - then going at it from the top in a circular motion
around the bezel- I have been soldering in steps: a glob here and a
glob there - I have used my titanium solder pick - when the solder
is liquid- to try and move the solder around the bezel - and this
helps a bit but I seem to be using way too much solder and I can not
get into some of the areas as the piece is convex - I am using hard
solder - cleaning every at every step - Any ideas?

Thanks,
Robyn


#2

Robyn,

Depends what kind of solder you are using. Who is the manufacturer?

Couple of ideas.

  1. the bottom of the bezel, should be very, very flat, even if it is
    a curved piece and more so. Straight bezel stock from your
    manufacturer is not flat enough. If you can sand it with say, 220
    grit to WIDEN the profile of your contact, this will help. Don’t rub
    back and forth. Be mindful and aggressive with your material. One
    long stroke, of say at least 6 inches.

Do it with just a little piece and look at it under a loupe. You
will see the bezel widen out, almost like a flange. That extra bit
means EVERYTHING when you solder.

  1. if you are seeing the solder sort of “mushy” or look grainy, I
    would choose another manufacturer. My favorite solders is Hoover and
    Strong.

  2. when you say “heavy” what does this mean? Sheet, cast piece?

For awhile I was soldering silver bezels to copper for some
production brooches which were a bear to connect. They required test
after test to create a system which I could do it without thinking.

One way that helped me, was to finally hold the piece in my tweezers
and heat from underneath. Not on a trivet, cause you are heating up
the steel mesh too, but watching the flame carefully.

These are just the times when you take off your artist hat and don
your lab coat.

Karen Christians
cleverwerx.com


#3

Great!- thank you for all the The contact between the
bezel and the cast bronze is not consistant as the “profile” is wider
in some areas more than others - I will call this an experiment and
start again! Not sure who the maker is of my solder - Ithink is is of
high quality though as I have had other successes solder other
things.