I have a question regarding soldering sterling silver.
I have just realized that my solder joins are not really “joining”.
(yikes) And I am not sure what I am doing wrong…
So, I began to practice soldering again. I did the below more than 30
times, with the same results
The set up: (I tried 2 different joins)
15mm long, 2x1mm rect wire, on a charcoal block. 5mm long, 2x1mm
rect wire, laying across above wire. (kind of like a cross) secured
with a “staple” (made from small paperclip), also used pins…
20mm long, 2x1mm rect wire. mitered 5mm in from end, bent to a 90
degree “L” shape.
pieces sanded/filed flat, join is flush and clean. pieces fluxed
with grifflux #1. (I made a new batch of flux.) used one chip Rio
Hard sheet solder. (I used Rio med solder a few times as well).
used Smith Little Torch with #5 tip flame is approx 20-25mm long,
with a soft tipped blue cone. (I tried bigger and smaller flames as
I heat up the piece, watching for the flux to go clear and glassy.
then one of 2 things happens:
the flux goes clear, but the solder doesn’t flow, and the piece
starts going “bright orange” then the solder flows as the surface
of the metal goes “shiny”, so I pull the flame off.
the flux goes clear, and the solder flows before the piece starts
going “bright orange”.
I pickle, then pull out the piece, and look at the join. I see a
solder “fillet” all around, so I think the join is good.
Then, I take a pliers to check the join, and the 2 pieces pop
I then examine the 2 pieces, and on each piece I see a “broken
fillet” around where the 2 pieces touched, and where the pieces
touched there is a “fine, crusty, white residue” which sometimes has
some color in it (yellow, rust, brown, black). It appears that the
solder is not going “thru” the join".
why is my solder not flowing thru the join? what is this crusty stuff
and why is it occurring? (is it flux?..)
I have not heard/read anything about this yet, and have been under
the impression that my joins were ok, so I never asked while in the
Any help would be greatly appreciated…I’m stuck in neutral.