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Tin solder


#1

I have made a fairly large fabricated sterling piece with a heavy
base and slim stems for candle holders soldered on to it. There are
some tiny dings in the surface of the base in areas I cannot sand
down - made from centerpunching before a design change (error number
one.) I can’t afford to reheat the entire base to easy solder temp
for fear of reflowing and tilting the series of delicate stems, so I
thought of trying tin solder w/tix flux to simply fill the pits. I
tried it on a test piece of silver first and 1) found that the solder
flowed everywhere except INTO the pit, even when I spread it with a
pick, so I ended up with a shiny patch with the pit still in the
center, and 2) the flux turned black almost immediately upon
heating, though the heat wasn’t high enough to flow the solder.

So, is it possible to use this type solder to fill small pits, can
it be done with a torch (I have a an oxy-propane setup) and why did
it stick everywhere except inside the pit? I did learn from the
archives that if overheated the solder will eat away at the silver,
which explains the enlarged pits on the sample.

Now I have a coil of this stuff & a bottle of flux and no idea if I
can use it in emergencies for my sterling pieces.

Thanks folks


#2

I thought of trying tin solder w/tix flux to simply fill the pits

Linda, the old saying been there done that, put the tin solder in
the trash can. Even if you get a good solder joint or fill in the
pits the solder will “disolve” its connect to the sterling silver
and fall off and leave a pitted area. The two do not mix.

In my own trial and errors filling a pit with any solder will not
work. You will still have evidence of the solder, of course you
could texture the area or silver plate.

Warren Townsend


Trenton, MI 48183


#3

Now I have a coil of this stuff & a bottle of flux and no idea if I
can use it in emergencies for my sterling pieces.

Oh, trouble!!! That kind of soft solder turns corrosive to Sterling
at higher temperatures! It has been discussed on Orchid before. Some
people will use tin solder for quick repairs, but it is generally
discouraged.

Hi Friends!

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)