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Sweat soldering with third hand


#1

Hello- I am having difficulty sweat soldering a 22ga, 1/2"wide strip
of sterling silver to a 22 ga. 2" round circle of sterling silver. I
realize the heat on the larger piece has to be uniform and I feel it
is but I am having trouble keeping pressure on the smaller piece with
third hand, pick or anything else. I have to use hard solder on
this.

Does anyone have an idea to hold the smaller piece firmly against
the larger piece ? I can’t seem to use stainless steel wire to bind
them together as the round piece won’t hold it. Help!

Judy K


#2

Woodworking clamps; available at Harbor Freight, Loews, home Depot
and any woodworking specialty shop.

john
http://rasmussengems.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#3

Hi Judy,

A couple of suggestions I have for you:

Using hard silver solder for this sweat soldering operation is going
to be really tough. If you can use medium solder, using less heat,
you will have a far easier time of it. Another suggestion would be to
get both pieces perfectly flat, before you melt the medium solder
chips on the back side of the smaller piece. ( make sure it doesn’t
warp from excessive heat!) As long as both remain flat (except for
the melted pieces of solder) you should be able to put both pieces
together, flux, and heat with a broad flame, heating as evenly as
possible. I’d recommend a sturdy, flat screen, and heating from
below. I try not to use any cross-locking tweezers, etc., as they can
create more of a problem.

I have a few pieces of 1/4 in. wide square steel rod, cut into 3 in.
lengths. If I have a problem holding down a large flat project like
this one, I’ll weight the pieces down with a piece or 2 of the square
steel rod. They don’t absorb much heat, and serve to hold pieces down
gently when soldering.

Jay Whaley


#4

Try turning it upside down after tinning and heat from the back. 22
is thin, you might be getting some heat warping.