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Tix soft solder


#1

Jim Spiri here. Thanks for all the kind comments, i didn’t even know
that’s what i needed (i expected to be lambasted for my foolish lack
of ventilation, and real critique of my work. But you folks i guess
sensed that i’m doing both to myself (i really am just beginning).

OK, so today’s question (i did look in the archive already) is about
soft solder (i mean soft, low-temp like Tix). The books in the
bookstore all indicate it’s not for jewelry at all, gotta use real
silver solder. But an older book in the college library suggests it
is appropriate for clunky base metal stuff (except aluminum) like
i’m making. And Gesswein sells tix (i ordered some, i’ve been using
repair solder from the hardware store, seems to work fine except
it’s too big…) so it must be valid sometimes. I know i will need
to do real brazing for sterling (when i feel ready to use it) and
small delicate joinery, but the solder alone would cost more than
all the rest of the materials in the pieces i’m making now. There’s
a lot of surface area and my joints seem quite strong. Am i OK with
tix? thanks


#2

tix is fine for base metal. not for fine jewelry. then you need
silver or the correct karatage gold, etc.

also for base metal, you can use plumbers flux.

john


#3

I have some Tix, and I consider it my emergency solder, for use when
everything else has failed. It’s saved my bacon a time or two, even
though I always feel very guilty for using it.

Janet Kofoed
janetkofoedjewelry.com


#4

Hi Jim,

your post shows your thinking, and thats good.

Dont use trade names for soft solders, use the technical name, for
example lead/tin 60 /40.

Next, google for soft solder specifications, theres many different
sorts and specifications. The more you read up the better you can
be.

For base as in brass copper tin plated steel etc these soft solders
are just fine, tho joint construction is different to silver brazing.

Also you need to make sure you use the correct fluxes for the metals
you plan to join. Always experiment on scrap to get the technique
right before you put your production pieces together. Saves you a lot
of wasted time and effort.

As to where to buy soft solders, the thin types are used in
electronic component assembly. down to 1mm or less. Do you have a
Tandy store near still? They stock electronic soft solders. Check them
out. Or find some one who does pcb repairs.

To give you an example, I minted a single sided 1in dia coin in 1/32
brass of a character like one of Snow whites dwarfs.

I wanted to make it double sided. so I used some 1mm electronic
solder flux cored around 1.5 in long coiled in a spiral.

placed it between the 2 coins, held it with tweezers in a soft
propane flame and the 2 fused together without any excess.

This was an order for a show where the organisers wanted 500 to give
to all the children. It was called “Sweinegeld”.

One parent said you will always have this money in your purse! I made
most of them on site.

Ted.


#5

I only use Tix for dodgy repair jobs on costume jewelry. It is a
lead free soft solder. I think it’s mostly tin. It works great on low
temp plated costume jewelry.

However, it is not suitable for jewelry making. If heated beyond
it’s low melting and flowing point to hard solder temps it will eat a
hole in your metal. It also is not nearly as strong as silver solder.

Learn to solder with silver or gold solder. It’s not that hard. It
just takes practice.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#6

I use it on costume pieces but I roll it thin with the rolling mill,
you could hammer it thin. keeps it small no globs

Don


#7

Ted,

Dont use trade names for soft solders, use the technical name, for
example lead/tin 60 /40. 

Tix brand solder is kind of a special case. The name is really the
only way to refer to it, as it’s fairly unique. It’s a proprietary
alloy, not tin/lead, and they don’t tell you what the alloy is. I’d
assume bismuth has something to do with it but don’t actually know.
Made specifically for jewelry repair tasks, it melts much lower than
ordinary tin/lead solders do (if memory serves, something like
275F), and unlike them, stays bright white instead of tarnishing to
a dull grey. It is specifically useful when working with plated
costume jewelry, or things that absolutely will not tolerate any
additional heating, but can take this much, so you don’t need to
resort to the next step down, usually glue…

Peter


#8

Thanks for all the responses! the TIX came today (the hardware store
stuff i mentioned is lead-free, too- seems to be 3 basic types
available locally, all low-temp, electrical, plumbing and repair),
and i’ll get some plumber flux (glad i don’t have to buy the tix
flux $).