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Soldering with Star Ruby


#1

Not sure what happened to the intro I submitted upon request when
subscribing but I presume it is out there somewhere.

Anyway, I have been soldering electronic stuff since about 10 years
old but I am just getting into this sort of soldering. My torch is on
the way and I will begin the learning experience tomorrow.

Question I have at the moment is:

I have a star ruby ready to solder on to a ring shank, probably soft
solder as I am told it is called and wonder if anyone can tell me if
star saphire has any heat sensitive problems.

I can take it out of the setting but I would rather not. It does
not fit very well and I had to cut the gem to make it fit and not
sure I can get it back in again.

Thanks,
js


#2

Hello Jack

Certainly no real soldering on a Star Ruby or saphire with your new
torch! soft soldering should be ok but I would not recommend to do
that for durability reasons.

Ortwin


#3

It will be very easy to replace if it’s in little pieces. Seriously

  • there’s been an ongoing thread about this topic - sapphires should
    never be soldered in situ.

Tas


#4

Hm…I was always told that you could solder on corrundum, you just
should not quench it in the acid afterwards. That the stone tolerates
heat, but not a sudden cool down. As to Star Rubies-Saphires, I’m not
sure if the impurity that causes the star (rutile?) affects this
rule.

Jeanne
http://www.jeanniusdesigns.com
Jeanne Rhodes Moen
Kristiansand, Norway
http://www.jeanniusdesigns.com


#5

I think you mean “easy solder” - soft solder is lead based and will
eat into the metal, won’t last a few days on a ring and will cause
all sorts of color match problems.

Star rubies tend to be rather sensitive things and heating them can
destroy the star - not always - just sometimes. Take the ruby out of
the setting, solder on the setting and then reset the ruby.


#6
soft solder is lead based and will eat into the metal, won't last
a few days on a ring and will cause all sorts of color match
problems.

Aiee! This comment fills me with dread! I frequently use soft
solder (specifically, Stay-Brite) to attach nickel or steel findings
to larger pieces, or in cases where the finding has a springiness
that will be lost at hard soldering temperatures (i.e. barrettes).
Stay-Brite proclaims itself to be lead-free, and it has reliably
produced solid-feeling, good-looking solder joints.

Will a lead-free soft solder used in such a way eat into metal or be
prone to breakage when used in this manner? Is it a jewelry faux
pas, or okay? Thanks in advance for your responses!

Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com


#7
Will a lead-free soft solder used in such a way eat into metal or
be prone to breakage when used in this manner?   Is it a jewelry
faux pas, or okay? 

the stay bright is the best soft solder out on the market. we use it
in our shop

Jack


#8

Jessee,

No, the lead solder won’t eat into the metal unless you subsequently
bring the piece up to a much higher temperature than is needed to
flow the soft solder in the first place.

Jerry in Kodiak


#9

I suspect that these are silver-tin solders. And the will eat into
the metal if you heat the piece above the point where the tin
starts to dissolve into the silver. i.e. you should not try to hard
solder or anneal after using a soft solder.

Bill Bedford


#10

Thanks for the responses - oh joy, I feel so vindicated! The
Stay-Brite has been incredibly helpful in preserving the integrity
of many kinds of findings, and taking care of the “I wonder if this
will melt” anxiety. Usually, the soft soldering is the last step I do
before giving the thing a final finish and photgraphing it for the
website.

Heating to a high (hard-soldering) temperature afterwards seems
highly illogical; is there a situation where you’d want to do this?
Just curious…

Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com


#11

All,

This horse has been ridden into the ground over the years by
different people on Orchid I can only relate my experience which is
this I have soldered regular sapphires of every color also pink
stars blue stars black stars synthetic stars natural stars. All of
them were set in place. I have retipped, rebuilt, reshanked,
repronged, repaired bezels, heated to orange mildly heated with NO
ill effects no customer complaints down the road. So Pleeeeze do not
recomend people to use soft solder on gold or platinum I may have to
clean up that mess some day. If in doubt take it out if you feel
insecure, unsecure. But for the love of God do not use soft solder
unless you are attempting to fix a mood ring.

Thanks J


#12

A word of warning though about low melting point solders. Use too
much and they lower the overall percentage of precious metal and you
will not be able to sell the items as gold in the carat you
fabricated in or as sterling silver.