Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Solution for Pitted Solder


#1

Hi Everyone,

I’ve read the archives as to why solder pits (medium silver solder)
but now that I’ve already done the bezels (they are pitted at
junction to the bezel plate), how can I fix them (there are
several…argh!) I am using Rio’s MY-T-Flux for its firecoat
capabilities.

Thank you.
Donna


#2

Hi Donna,

In the future make sure the underside of the bezel and the surface
the bezel is to be soldered to are clean.

You might try using a touch of Handy paste flux between the bezel
and the backing.

I found that worked for me. I am sure paste flux will cause the
solder to flow without any pits.

Coat all the metal with an anti-firescale flux. Do not use too much
paste flux as it will wash away the anti-firescale flux.

To correct the problem clean and put paste flux on the joint and
coat the rest if the project with anti-firescale flux and re-solder.
Be careful as the temperature to melt the solder will probably be
higher that the original solder temperature.

Lee Epperson


#3

Hello Donna,

I've read the archives as to why solder pits (medium silver
solder) but now that I've already done the bezels (they are pitted
at junction to the bezel plate), how can I fix them (there are
several...argh!) I am using Rio's MY-T-Flux for its firecoat
capabilities.

My-T-flux is not really designed to be a protective coating flux.
The benefit of a self pickling flux is to keep the metal clean
inside joints while soldering, especially if the solder job is
taking longer than planed. Also the joint will clean up easier after
soldering incase you don’t get the solder to flow the first time and
have to go back (yuck).

As for the pitting it could be a lot of things such as over heating
the solder, pickling to long, quenching in pickle to soon after
solidification, re-flowing the solder joint while soldering
something else on the piece. Strong pickle is hard on solder joints
so be careful about leaving pieces in to long. Also, if you can see
the pits in your solder seam try using less solder, a good joint
requires very little solder.

Hope this helps,

Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support
800-545-6566 ex 13903


#4
I found that worked for me. I am sure paste flux will cause the
solder to flow without any pits.

I also have had very good success with paste flux for gold and
silver soldering. I use one for silver brazing from a welding shop. I
flux and heat till the bubbling stops. I use sheet solder, but
ususally ball up the solder snipets and place them with tweezers or
my solder pick against the side of the bezel, contacting the bezel
and the bottom sheet. When you heat it properly, the solder is sucked
into the seam, and the solder flows like a little river.

Gold solders without cadmium do not flow as well as solder with
cadmium regardless of the type of flux I use.

Richard Hart


#5
I also have had very good success with paste flux for gold and
silver soldering. I use one for silver brazing from a welding shop.
I flux and heat till the bubbling stops. I use sheet solder, but
ususally ball up the solder snipets and place them with tweezers or
my solder pick against the side of the bezel, contacting the bezel
and the bottom sheet. When you heat it properly, the solder is
sucked into the seam, and the solder flows like a little river. 

Richard is right on about paste flux. I use handy flux or harris
stay- silv from the welding supply. Thin it down with distilled
water till it the consistency of liquid soap. Don’t let it dry out
it will get lumpy and hard to use. If it does get lumpy put it in a
covered pyrex dish with some water and put it in the microwave and
heat for 2-3 minutes and stir till smooth.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#6

Hi Everyone,

A big thank you for all the wonderful info on filling the pitch
bowl…I will put the info to good use.

Also, thank you on the pitted solder question. I’ve reflowed it with
handiflux and they are better (not perfect but better). Hopefully
next time I can avoid that. I think I definetly had too much solder
as I was trying to build a fillet around the bezel (I think that is
the word?). I also may have had too much My T Flux on it…if that
is possible.

Best,
donna


#7

Pitted solder can also be a bi-product of how you quench. If you
have a red hot piece that has just been soldered, your soldered joint
is extremely friable and delicate. Quenching in either cold water or
hot pickle will cause the solder to pit and break down. Move it away
for several seconds to cool down and then quench. This is especially
important on larger pieces. They might look cooled down, but the
metal is still very hot.

-k

Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
http://www.metalwerx.com/
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio