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Trying to solder jump rings onto tube

I need some suggestions - I’m trying to do something that, I thought,
was simple - make a 3 part pendant - the first part is a length of
heavy walled tubing (for the bail), then two separate bezels. Each
component would be attached to the other by a set of jump rings, so
that the entire piece dangles/can move/bend a bit. I managed to
solder on two jump rings (I tried to make them more D shaped, with
the seam against metal) onto the first bezel and have been struggling
and failing with the next step! I’m trying to solder another set of
jump rings onto the tube (but fed thru the first set of jump rings).
I tried setting up my third hand, holding the bezel and dangling the
jump rings over the tube.

I can’t seem to get sufficient finesse in placing the jump rings just
so on the tube and as soon as I hit it with a flame, the jump rings
move about (and forget the solder pick and solder). I tried filing a
groove into the tube, for the jump ring to rest in, and managed to
solder the jump ring on crooked THEN fuse it to the other ring. Any
tips would be greatly appreciated. Not sure if my description is good
enough to envision - maybe I’ll try posting a pic somehow’

thanks so much

If I am correct with your concept you are making a piece with the
tube having a chain or cord with the bezels dangling freely on the
tube. It is frustrating when the part that are being soldered jump
about. Your best bet is to get your jump rings shaped first by
solder the seam first, shape, add a touch more solder on J ring, have
the tube anchored well by good tweezers. Having added extra solder or
jump ring have it secured on a pair of tweezers that you can hold
with one hand and take to the spot you want to solder, (tip) have
your torch ready with adjusted flame so all you have to do is move
it to point of solder and make sure you have refluxed both before
soldering. One thing I have done and many metal smiths before me is
make a pair or two of locking tweezers by taking a large heavy duty
paper clip and open it up bend around the back part of tweezers and
with pliers twist around two times and leave enough of the clip to
make a instant stand. When you move the clip up on the tweezers it
will lock the tip with jump ring at tip. Make two pair and you could
hold bezel in one, jump ring in other. The home made tweezers hold a
bit snugger then commercial made ones. Last you can go to Harbor
Freight or find store that sells hemostats or locking scissor type
holder and file off the groves at tip to not mar you work. I hope
this might help. Do not fret even season jewelers have to deal with
the moving jump ring when applying heat.

Ros -

If you are not married to the design of a pair of jumprings on the
bail and a matching pair on the bezel, then maybe a design change
would help; you would still get the free motion you seek.

First, solder the jumprings to the bail. Without the mass of the
pendant interfering with your setup, it will be a lot easier to get
those on right.

Then, solder an upsidedown U to the back of the pendant, but now it
has to be threaded through the bail’s jumprings. (Ah, I have not
seen your design, so I don’t know if you have metal on the back of
the pendant that can support the legs of the U.) But if your design
gives the legs support, then you can set up your solder so the bail
puts no pressure on the U, and the legs of the U are flat while you
solder. This will make things a lot simpler, not having pressure
introduced from nearby parts.

I realize a written description can be confusing. If you would like,
contact me offline and I’ll send a drawing of what I mean. Sometimes
there’s nothing better than a picture!

Hold on, I just had another thought… get the jumprings soldered on
to both the bail and bezel. However, on one set of JR they are not
attached at the seam line. Let’s say it’s the bezel JR - holding the
bezel upright, facing to the left, and you looking from the side,
you will see the JR soldered at the 6 oclock position and the JR
seams at the 3 oclock position. Once all four JR are attached evenly,
gently open the bezel JR and thread the bail JR into place, and close
the bezel JR.

Now set up your soldering support and 3rd hand so the closed seams
are pointed up and the bail is rotated out of the way. Pick solder
the JR closed.

I remember when I used to think I had to kill three or four birds
with one stone (four jumprings interlinked and in place on bezel and
bail and soldered in place in one operation). Now I break things down
to take more steps, but it makes each step simpler and more likely to
be successful.

Kelley Dragon

The first rule of goldsmithing is that nothing is simple. Every step
must be thought through before the work begins. As to your particular
problem - instead of rings make “c” element with enough clearance,
drill 2 holes in tube corresponding “c” arms, place “c” into prepared
holes, and solder.

Leonid Surpin

Oh you dear person, Leonid! After struggling through the half jump
rings coming off, and I have done a lot of soldering, never gave a
thought to drilling the little holes! Sweet heart! And Valentine’s
Day is Monday!

Rose Marie Christison

After struggling through the half jump rings coming off, and I have
done a lot of soldering, never gave a thought to drilling the
little holes! 

It worth repeating the advice that was giving to me early on.

When considering how to join to parts, if it possible, always opt for
mechanical connection. Parts should interlock in one way or another.
One should never rely on strength of solder alone.

If it is not possible to design mechanical connection, one must find
the way to increase surface area of a joint beyond smaller part
cross-section. That would ensure that joint is not a weak link. That
means filing grooves, drilling holes, and etc…

If neither is possible, than design must be changed.

Leonid Surpin

Thanks for helping!

Carls - thanks for reminding me to close the jumpring first - that
helped in subsequent attempts. Love the suggestion of homemade
tweezers!!! Will look for a suitable paper clips.

Kelley - I’ll email you off line re the second scenario, wanting to
make sure that I understand what you are saying - love the suggestion
for U’s in the first - the U’s might also be used ON the bezeled
portion (not just behind, I think), and wouldn’t roll around

Leonid - are you describing an eye hook type of scenario (shaped like
a closed question mark) - I love the idea of placing the rings with
such precision, as this would afford. Thank you!! While I was still
trying to digest the shared, I tried another ring on the
tube, by first, as it was suggested, closing the ring (fusing). Then
I took some doubled over/twisted binding wire and made a figure eight
pattern on either side of the ring to be fuse, essentially to hold
the ring straight. Then I dangled the bezel (rings soldered on first)
sharpie and soldered on the ring somewhat straight. Will review the
suggestions above before trying again -

thanks so much everyone!

if the jump ring onto tube thread is still viable and since i found
neither the original post nor the tube’s diameter, here’s a
suggestion (no gun pointed at you to try it): if you have some large
gauge wire that is the roughly the same size as the i.d. of the tube:

  1. flux and solder medium solder on the wire end -

  2. flux 1/4" of wire end, cut 5 mm (3/16") off end of wire -

  3. flux interior of tube end - . insert wire so it’s barely, we’re
    talking a really slight distance, inside the end of tube -

  4. solder wire piece in tube -

  5. flux end of wire in tube and drop in a snip of easy* solder -

  6. hold jump ring with fluxed joint section so it touches the snip
    of easy solder -

  7. move the torch along the tube and ring until the easy solder
    melts and grabs the jump ring.

  • easy solder will melt before the wire and still be strong enough.

if you want, you could use your flex shaft disc bur to cut a shallow
slot at 3 o’clock and one at 9 o’clock to hold jump ring while you
solder - snug ring into slots and finish from step 6. this could be
helpful if the wire is too close to tube end - cut slot in wire and
tube sides.

good luck -
people, think before you speak - you’ll swallow less shoe polish.

I’d love to see the final piece - would you be kind enough to share
a photo? I’ve had a difficult time trying to envision what issues
you were having as the thread continued along.