I am stuck. I am trying to solder some cut brass tubes on top of a
brass disk and the flux keeps bubbling up and moving my solder balls
and moving my pieces. Most of them are on, but I am at the edge of
the disk now and have to add a few more but they can not move a mm.
What kind of wire could I wrap them with to hold them in place, so I
could solder them on, and the wire wouldnt melt and could be removed
I tried some silver coloured wire I had around the house under the
torch and it melted. What should I buy?
Catherine - new jewelry making student
Wire that doesn't melt for soldering brass
Go to a local sporting goods store that sells fishing equipment and
get a spool of stainless steel fishing line, it's usually available
in several sizes. It has a higher melting point and soft enough to
bend easily. I also found it helpful to train my Bonsai trees.
United Technical Dept.
I use stainless steel wire to hold pieces in place while soldering.
I have two different gauges that I use. I can not tell you what the
gauges are, but they are in the 22 ga range or smaller. Good luck
Stainless steel binding wire. Get the heavy stuff. (Rio, Otto Frei,
pretty much any supplier will have it)
If you get the thinner wire (26 ga (ish)) twist it into a double
strand. It'll work better, and won't burn thru as easily.
Alternately, you could try tinning the solder onto the ends of the
tubes, so the solder's already melted onto the tube ends when you go
to solder. Neater that way.
The biggest issue is learning to heat gently until the water in the
flux has boiled away. If you heat until you *just* see the flux
start to bubble, then take the torch away for a second, and keep
repeating that cycle until it doesn't boil any more, you'll have
much less trouble with the Mexican Jumping Solder. It's actually
quicker, once you count the time and effort of re-positioning solder
that's jumped into the wrong spot, or parts that have shifted.
You need stainless steel binding wire. Available at many places -
As to the movement of the solder balls and tubes, try sweat
soldering. Heat the solder just until it begins to flow onto the
bottom of the tube, then place the tube(s) where you want them. After
you have the placement finalized and bound into place, THEN use the
torch to heat everything until the solder flows.
Always good to have jewelry students on the forum. I hope this
helps, Judy in Kansas, where the blueberries are nearly done.
A quick note about binding wire. Be sure to remove it before you put
it in the pickle.