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Soldering wavy wire


#1

How do you solder a wavy, round wire element to a flat sheet so that
they are touching along the entire length? I tried this once and
almost went insanetrying to line them up. I finally had to give up!


#2
How do you solder a wavy, round wire element to a flat sheet so
that they are touching along the entire length? I tried this once
and almost went insanetrying to line them up. I finally had to give
up! 

1 Dont use round, use half round

  1. run solder along flat side of your half round wire first

  2. use a strip of flat sheet longer than you need.

  3. clamp wire to each end of sheet and heat to sweat together at
    ends

  4. bend sheet in a curve to tighten wire onto sheet.

  5. heat from underneath of sheet. from middle outwards pressing down
    on wire as it sweats together

  6. flatten out when soldered, or curve more to what ever you want.

  7. cut to final length.

This will work fine for rings and bracelets.

Done it this way for yrs
Ted.


#3
How do you solder a wavy, round wire element to a flat sheet so
that they are touching along the entire length? I tried this once
and almost went insanetrying to line them up. I finally had to give
up! 

Do it in stages. Solder at one end, or both ends if you like, not
worrying about getting it all at once. When you’ve done this, can now
gently mallet the wire down (Gently! you don’t want to stretch
anything) to better contact the sheet.

Reflow the solder, adding a but more. if just a little doesn’t
contact right as you’re soldering, you can often just lightly press
it down with a solder pick, or let cool, mallet slightly to close
gaps, and repeat. Each time you melt the solder, it sligthly raises
it’s melting point, so if you’re careful, what you’ve previously
soldered on an attempt won’t remelt.

Often, the trick is to make sure the sheet and wire are both fully
annealed. Then in soldering, use a broad, large enough flame so you
can evenly heat the whole sheet and wire, so there aren’t hot and
cold spots (which tends to let things warp or expand unevenly,
opening up gaps when, prior to soldering, there were none. A mistake
beginners often make with silver is using too small, or too sharp/hot
a flame instead of a softer, broader, larger flame that can heat the
whole job. There are plenty of times when a tiny flame is very
useful, but with silver, at least, this is often not the case. Most
of the time, unless there’s a good reason not to, you want to heat
the entire job, not just the spot where you want solder to flow,

Working with larger pieces of sheet, another trick is to lightly
planish the center of the sheet, so it very slightly, almost
imperceptibly, domes up in the middle. What this does is give it a
direction in which to move, increasing or decreasing that slight
doming, if it wants to expand unevenly while heating. That makes it
easier to control.

Another thing to watch for is if you’re using two different metals.
They will expand/contract at different rates during heating, which
can make keeping good contact tricky.

In addition to using a large enough flame so the whole job is heated
evenly, to control warping, it can also help to use a higher grade of
solder. What that does, at least with silver, and often yellow golds,
is be allow both pieces of metal to remain fully annealed, almost
limp, at the point when solder flows.

Silver at the melting point of hard solder simply won’t have any
spring, so will tend to want to just lay there flat without warping.
At the melting point of easy solders, the silver can sometimes still
have quite a mind of it’s own. Plus, easy solder doesn’t flow as well
anyway.

Keep at it. It’s possible.
Peter


#4

Ted, thanks for the suggestions. have been beating my head against
the wall trying to fuse flattened wire to sheet argentium. the curve
should make a huge difference

joanne davis-woods


#5
How do you solder a wavy, round wire element to a flat sheet so
that they are touching along the entire length? I tried this once
and almost went insanetrying to line them up. I finally had to
give up! 
1 Dont use round, use half round 

That sounds great advice, but how do you make half round wire wavy,
without it twisting out of alignment? At least with round wire, it
it twists it doesn’t matter, but the flat bottom of half round wire,
doesn’t want to stay at the bottom when bending it into a circle or
wavy form.

Helen Hill
UK


#6

Hi Helen,

C’mon your supposed to be a jeweller/ gold/silver smith, its easy,
as your in the UK, so am I.

Ill tell you how I do that.

You clamp the half round wire, obviously fully annealed, to a flat
piece of whatever you might have in your metal shop such as a piece
of 1/8in brass, steel copper etc Then you need a 3 of the cheap
chinese snap clamps with the teeth ground away so they dont mark your
wire, clamp the wire to the sheet with 2 clamps, bend, then add a
clamp. remove the end one of the 3, then bend again. Clamp. you must
always have 2 clamps holding the wire to the sheet before you bend
again. I bend by hand. Thats on a small scale. I did just the same to
make the roof frames for my truck. they were in 1.5 by 2in ali
clannel by 12 ft long!. Did that on an 8 by 4 sheet of ply wood bent
to a drawn curve. Had to do 6 off. !st one 1 hr, the last 15 mins. So
you see, Necessity is the mother of invention.

Let us know how you get on.

Ted Nr. Corfe Castle Dorset.


#7

I would shape a piece of round wire into whatever shape I wanted.
Then run it through a rolling mill to create enough of a flat surface
to meet your soldering and design needs. Get one end started and then
move along using a pick to hold it down if the capilary action of the
solder doesn’t pull it down to the sheet that you are soldering it
to. Other posts have suggested other methods to keep everything flat
and to get the solder to flow. The most important thing is that
everything is clean and use a lot of flux. Once you are done, you can
use a rubber abrasive wheel to reshape the flat top of the wire to be
halfround. You will likely have some flux residue on the piece. After
you pickle it, just drop in your rinse water and leave it there. Most
of the flux will dissolve or go wherever it goes. This saves a lot of
cleanup time. Good luck. Rob

Rob Meixner


#8

Thanks for the details Ted! I’ll give it a try some time.

Helen