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Weak soldering joints

Hello everyone,

I am trying to make a silver chain that involves bending the links
after soldering, and I’m finding my soldering is not up to the stress
this involves.

I’m using hard solder and a propane oxygen torch. I suspect I’m
overheating the joint – would this cause weakness? The joint is not
obviously pitted after pickling.

Thanks for any words of wisdom you all may have…


Have you checked the joint with magnification? It could be that the
fit is not good and only a corner is getting soldered. You may also be
heating the whole link so much that it semi melts but holds its shape.
This causes the metal to be brittle, similar to a cast metal. It’s
better to have the link break before it’s part of a chain. What gage
are you using?

Marilyn Smith

My standard disclaimer applies…

I’ve been doing solder with easy solder, and I find that to pull it
apart I have to have two pairs of pliers and pull very hard. I’m big,
so that’s a lot of force. Hard solder should hold better.

If your joints are weak, it could be because they have not been
properly cleaned and fluxed, and/or the improper amount of solder. You
could try self-pickling flux, or pickling before you solder to make
sure the silver is clean.

The standard disclaimer: This is from my four weeks of self-taught

  • darcy

Dear Sadie : Check the fit of the join, sometimes I would find a joint
that seemed to fit but there were gaps on the inside of the piece to
be soldered, not obvious and easy to miss but that would produce a
join that looked solid but would break when bent HTH Ron

I’ve seen this happen fairly often w/ hard solders, especially hard
silver solders. It seems that they tend to be brittle, perhaps due to
the low zinc content. If I have a joint that will be forged or
otherwise worked, I’ll often try if first in hard (or even weld it),
if this doesn’t fail then great, but if it doies then I’ll move to
medium, etc. Hope this helps. Andy Cooperman.