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Torch Question for numerous joint solders next to each other

Basic question, if one is making multiple silver solder joints next to each other involving silver wire, should one use a really small micro torch tip to quickly solder each joint, or use a broad flame torch and attempt to solder all joints at once. To speed things, I’m using super easy paste solder so I do not have to hand flux each joint.

I tried a broad flame and found it joined most of the solder points, but missed others. When I went back to catch the joints I missed, I remelted the joints I had successfully soldered, not good!!!

My goal is to mass produce the jewelry pieces. I was thinking about purchasing an argon pulse welder, but have my doubts the welds would be strong enough.

A laser is simply way too expensive. Any other quick solder/welding ideas?

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For your information, laser welding & .925 silver are not good friends. You might be wasting your time. My jeweller has a few thick pieces to laser-solder for me, he’s going to use his torch instead…;(

gerrysdiamondsettingessays.blogspot.com

Gerry, on my iPhone

Thanks Gerry for your quick response. Good to know about laser and 925 not working very well.

Bob

For 925 the entire piece must be at solder flow temperature anyway so you should do all joints that you can at the same time. You should coat all sides, the entire piece, with a barrier flux such as Prips, Batterns, etc.

I make some bracelets with as many as 35 solder points. I would move up to a higher melting point solder, coat all the pieces with boric acid and alcohol first. Burn off the alcohol. Flux the solder point and then start soldering. If you have a lot of solder points near each other, presolder each point with the pieces disassembled. Go through all the flux prep as described above and then assemble your pieces. Jig them in any way that works: gravity, locking tweezers, binding wire or just tweezers. Use a softer larger flame and start to heat the entire piece until the flux starts to turn glassy, then concentrate on each solder point in order making sure that everything stays in place. You can always go back and touch up solder points that aren’t just right. Keep in mind that you will quickly burn off the flux. Your solder will tell you when this happens by not flowing or going where you don’t want it to go. Stop, quench, pickle reflux and start again. This all takes practice and patience. If you mess up, stop, walk away, think, relax and try again. Once in a while I feel like I have forgotten how to solder. When this happens, I stop, clean my bench, clean my solder, make new flux, clean my torch tips, maybe make new pickle, change the rinse water and get back to work. I usually remember how to solder again. Good luck…Rob

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It can be done, but it is not as simple, quick nor as easy as one might have expected. It requires a LOT of practice, whether soldering or welding. You can do it eventually, but not today, nor tomorrow, not as soon as next week and probably not even next month.

Heat control is the key to soldering. Keep everything moving. Not only do you keep the torch moving, but also keep moving what you have already soldered to prevent re-melting the solder. While you are working, you will be pulling back on the torch, shifting the piece and flipping the piece over to help keep it cool. It’s a multi-tasking soldering operation requiring a lot of focus while both hands are moving.

The reflective quality of silver is the problem with using the argon pulse welder. You can weld silver if you reduce it’s reflection.

The reflective quality of silver is a problem with laser welding not pulse arch.

True. But the high conductivity of silver makes it a bit difficult with pulse arc welding.

What is really good about a pulse arc welder is that you can tack all the pieces together and then solder every thing sst one time. Nothing moves and no binding etc. A huge time saver. Vince Larochelle

Thanks everyone for replies. They are extremely helpful and I appreciate the time some of you invested in responding!!!

Best Regards,

Bob

Pulse arc welders have been a subject of discussion many times in the past. I have wanted one for as long as we have been discussing them but financing it has been a challenge, especially for what is basically a hobby shop. My other concern is that I hear concerns for their effectiveness on silver, which is what I mainly work in. Has anything changed in the last year (new models, software updates, etc.) and does putting a sharpie mark where you intend to weld overcome the reflective loss of silver? What is the minimum size welder that I need to tack silver so that I can later solder the joint? Thanks for any help…Rob

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I use the orion mPulse welder on silver with very good results. I have had it for about a year. There is a learning curve and it would be useful to have hands on instruction.

There is an old trick I learned long ago from someone on Ganoksin. When soldering numerous joints close togrther I solder the easieest points first with my hardest solder then pickle and clean the whole piece , then use type correcting paint (white out) on the joins already soldered and go after the hard to get ones next. the white paint makes the finished soldered points dirty and this prevents them from melting. Sounds like cheating but try it, it works very well. You may have to repeat the process several times. Use a large soft flame and keep everything clean except the joins you have painted. heat slowly and keep a sharp eye, be ready to pull back at the first glossy sign of reaching the melting point. Good luck, as others have said, it takes practice.
Smoke a joint between soldering!

There is no cheating. It’s all about the finished piece,

So true, we do whatever works, my remark about cheating was young and cheek! Thanks for your reply. Happy soldering. Ganoksin is a real blessing. I am grateful.

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You can use hard solder first on lets say a bezel joint, then medium to solder the bezel to the backing. This is good practice. The melting point of solder increases when you burn off the tin. This would happen to your first joints even if you kept using the same grade solder. I don’t use soft or easy very much, once in a while on filigree and keep a bottle of whiteout right above my bench for several reasons including keeping a joint from running…Rob