Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Soldering small ring on a mokume pendant



As I said in “About yourself”, I’m a french metalworker, and I’m
studying mokume gane jewelry. I’ve got wonderful Steve Midgett’s book
"Mokume gane". I’m learning…

I can’t speak english very well, and it’s difficult for me to gather
good tricks among bazillion available on the web. That’s why I’m
coming to you, to ask you few questions about problems that I’m
encountering. I spend a considerable amount of time on the bench,
but it’s difficult to re invent all techniques alone in the

I’m making mokume gane pendants and earings (copper, nickel silver,
brass), and I’d like to know how could I make solder to close a small
brass ring (from 0.5 to 1mm dia. brass wire), without damaging
pendant’s polishing and patina (with torch flame, for exemple). I’m
trying silver soldering, with pendant in water, except ring, but
unable to to get a beautiful and small solder, or sufficient
temperature to allow the silver solder to melt. Attachments are really
big problems for me. I don’t have the technique, and perhaps not good
tooling (oxygen acetylen torch with 43 l/mn nozzle)?

There are many books on Amazon, but wich to choose?

Hope you will give me a little help :wink:

I apologize for my poor english

Thank you, and best regards to all



Hey Philippe your English is fine. English gets pretty well torn up
on this forum every day! Not to worry.

I understand your problem but not the why. Why are you finishing and
patinaing the piece before soldering on the ring? It seems you have
the steps in the wrong order. Patina should be the last step with
the addition of a little burnishing to set the highlights. To expect
to maintain a refined patina on the piece while high temperature
soldering is a bit much to ask. On the other hand it is the kind of
thing that can be achieved with a Orion TIG welder or a laser
welder. Neither a really good $ choice. Do the patina last.

There is much to be gained from every book on the this subject.
There is no best. As you can, get them all… the videos too. Good
Luck and Happy Holidays all.

Reactive Metals Studio, Inc



Can you solder everything before final polishing and putting on your
patina? That will save you almost all of this trouble*.

Another problem might be that you are using brass with silver
solder. When brass and silver get together they can form a eutectic
alloy with a lower melting point than either of the metals being
fused, this cause a run-away melt down and makes your work look like
it has slumped. Because this is a basic chemical process, no amount
of torch control is going to save you here. Try using copper or
silver rings instead, you may have a lot more success, or only use a
tiny amount of solder so that you do not have enough silver to cause
the whole brass ring to melt.

Also, try alternative connectors if you must get the piece patinaed
and finished before the ring is attached. There may be something you
can do with rivets, collets or folded bits of metal. Look at Tim
Mcreights The Complete Metal Smith for ideas - a small reference book
full of great ideas.

*but may cause you a problem as well - If you are using a patina
which involves ammonia it can make silver soldered joins brittle and
weak. Make sure you protect the soldered joint during patination with
some stopping agent like wax or bitumen.




In your asterisk note, what’s reacting to the ammonia? The silver Ag
itself, something in the 7.5% portion of sterling, or an element
specific to silver solder? And what wax + cleanup method would you
recommend? I have Renaissance for finishing, but expect you’re
talking about something more along the lines of paraffin.

And Philippe,

I liked Chris’ suggestion of cold connects–always a nice design
element and may be the path of least resistance. More book

Excellent technique reference–had me making tube rivets easier than
I expected:

(Soft fine silver 2.3mm OD/1.8mm ID is a great framed hanging hole.)

Or two design books based on cold connects:

Ann Ray



Thank you for your answers, and sorry to answer so late. Strange,
this email dicussion group, far less easy to use than an ordinary
forum, especially when you’re a stranger and you don’t have a lot of
time :slight_smile:

I know that I should make whole hotwork before polishing, but it’s
difficult 'cause I use an electro chemical polishing process,
soldered thin ring is often destroyed by acid bath.

Very frustrating, but words to clearly explain are missing to me…

However, I thank you for having spent a little of your time. Your
advices are precious for me!

I’d like to show you my work, but first I have to understand how to
post pictures

Best regards to all