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Soldering silver to steel


#1

Hi, I need to attach decorative silver (1/2 to 3/4 in. wide) to metal
french barrettes. I know that I can’t use regular solder. The
barrettes are steel. Should I use soft solder and a soldering iron or
some kind of liquid nails or glue? I have seen beautiful silver
barrettes at a craft show and looked to see how they were attached.
It appears to be a glob of soft solder. Thanks. Any suggestions would
be welcome.

Lynda Keen
Lynda Keen Jewelry
www.keenjewelry.zoomshare.com


#2
I need to attach decorative silver (1/2 to 3/4 in. wide) to metal
french barrettes. 

I use a low temperature solder called Sta-Brite. You have to be
careful not to overheat the barrette or it will lose its temper and
have no spring. Of course you want to solder the barrette last and
don’t pickle it with the steel barrette.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado
rockymountainwonders.com


#3

Hi Lynda,

Iron, steel, and also stainless steel can be soldered with your
jewellers silver solder. Use plenty of ‘Easy-flow’ or 'Tenacity’
paste flux to keep the metal bright and shiny where the solder must
flow.

Plumbers silver solder contains a little silver, is cheaper than
jewellers silver solder, and is very good for soldering iron and
steel as well as copper and brass.

Cheers, Alastair


#4

Hi Lynda,

Hi, I need to attach decorative silver (1/2 to 3/4 in. wide) to
metal french barrettes. I know that I can't use regular solder. The
barrettes are steel. Should I use soft solder and a soldering iron
or some kind of liquid nails or glue? I have seen beautiful silver
barrettes at a craft show and looked to see how they were
attached. It appears to be a glob of soft solder. Thanks. Any
suggestions would be welcome. 

I wear barrettes all the time, so I like to make them, too. I do not
recommend soldering them, because the barrettes eventually break (if
you wear them every day, as I do.)

At first, I soldered tubing to the barrette, and flared it to make a
tube rivet. They look great, but are a pain-in-the-neck to re-do when
the barrette finding breaks.

Now, I attach with a silver “staple”. I hold the finding on the
barrette where I want it to go, and mark where the two holes are. I
bend two pieces of wire (16 gauge or so) in half, file a flat spot on
the ends of the bends so that there will be a strong joint, and
solder that to the decorative barrette----standing up straight like a
pair of soldiers. The holes in the barrette finding slide over the
wires. The wires are spread and laid down. Round the endings of the
wires. This method looks good, is easy to do, and easy to replace the
finding when it breaks.

If my description does not make sense, I can shoot a photo or two…

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#5
I need to attach decorative silver (1/2 to 3/4 in. wide) to metal
french barrettes. 

The French barrette backs probably have holes at either end. On the
back of your silver design you could solder vertical wires, run the
wires down through the holes in the barrette back, and either curl
it around to keep the top and bottom pieces of the barrette together,
or solder the wires to the French back. This way, the flexing of the
barrette in normal wear will not cause the design piece to pop off
the back, if soldering the whole barrette back to the design part
isn’t done well enough.

I’ll be interested to hear how others do this. I also sometimes
drill two holes in the design (top) part, insert longer pieces of
wire, and make some of the wire into a design (soldered down) on the
top, and the lower part of the wires would be used to fix the design
to the barrette backing, as described above.

Judy Bjorkman


#6

The French barrette backs probably have holes at either end.

The kind I buy have the holes. I solder a mini bolts to the silver
and use the holes to pass the bolts through, screw on the nuts,
apply Lock-Tite and use a cup burr to smooth the nut edges. The nuts
don’t protrude too much this way and help hold the barrette in the
hair.

Donna in VA


#7

Cynthia Eid, thank you for describing your method for attaching
barrettes. I’d be very interested to see photos for clarification.
Thanks!

Susan Ellenton


#8

I have been having some trouble soldering sterling silver to steel
or wrought iron… Does anyone have any advice? I am using ultra flux
and a 45% silver harris product silver solder. I have had mixed
results in the past using jewelers silver solder.

Thanks,
George
OrganicIronConcepts.Com


#9

Try using a black flux (Handy Flux Type B-1 Paste or STAY-SILV Black
Flux) they are boron modified fluxes and help with steel and
stainless brazing.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#10

Hi George,

Are you making a knife?

Depends what you are attempting, there may be another way to do the
same thing without solder.

Regards Charles A.


#11

I had been using Ultra flux.


#12

The Ultra Flux I am familiar with is just white paste flux. The
black fluxes will work quite a bit better but they are not required.
The biggest thing is to get in and out fast, get the work up to
temperature rapidly, let the solder flow and get the heat off of it.
We use standard jewelers silver solders on sterling to steel and
iron with no problems.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#13

Hi,

Use Black Flux with silver solder to solder silver to steel. It makes
an incredible difference when soldering steel. I also like it with
copper and copper alloys—black flux holds up against the copper
scale better than white paste flux. I used to get it from a welding
supplier, but I think that Rio Grande carries it now. I learned about
black flux from Arline Fisch and Munya Avigail Upin.

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#14

I got some type B1 ages ago, so long ago I can’t even remember how I
liked it. I must have liked it, because it’s “made for” the job, but
in subsequent years I haven’t really had much trouble soldering steel
without it. The important thing is to get the surfaces clean and keep
them covered in flux (plain ol’ handy flux paste is what I’ve almost
always used) to prevent oxidation. Things go south real quick once
oxidation sets in, so I sometimes have to work the molten flux around
with a tool to keep relevant areas covered.

Dar
http://www.sheltech.net


#15

as a knifemaker using only hand tools,

I can tell you that steel can take any dimension. I work in 0-1 tool
steel because I can effectively heat treat it instudio with my torch.

I urge you to apply a larger set of cutting tools, hacksaws, larger
more agressive files. and make yourself a Sen. (Japanese; like a
drawknife for steel) if you have an interest in handworking steel I
will happily share what I know.

just think: SlowSilver.

Jim