Soldering Saturday: Expert Soldering Tips and the Seven Rules of Soldering
The ability to join two or more pieces of metal through soldering is a fun and rewarding skill to have! Merle White, longtime Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Director of Interweave Jewelry, described soldering as the “gateway jewelry making technique.” It elevates your designs to a new level. “Soldering lets you do the seemingly impossible: take two pieces of metal and create one single piece of metal with them,” Merle says. It sounds a little like magic, doesn’t it? It really is!
Soldering Tips: Troubleshooting with Lexi’s Five Rules
Even after a jewelry maker learns all the soldering steps, there are still tricks and nuances that must be respected. For successful soldering, check what jewelry expert Lexi Erickson calls the five soldering rules: fit, clean, flux, solder placement, heat. If your piece won’t solder or solder won’t flow, you can solve your soldering dilemmas with these soldering tips. Simply ask yourself these questions:
- Do your ends fit perfectly flush? They must. Solder doesn’t fill gaps.
- Is your metal as clean as possible and then some? Clean a little more.
- Have you used flux, and enough of it?
- Is your solder placed where it should be, under or on the seam?
- And finally, are you soldering with enough heat?
Chances are near 100% that if you’re having trouble soldering a seam or sweat soldering two pieces of metal, one of these five things is amiss.
Soldering Tips: Two More Rules of Soldering
Lexi shares her five soldering rules often, but she really has two more: Solder flows toward heat, and keep the flame moving. Sometimes soldering feels like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. But if you keep these soldering tips in mind, you’ll master soldering jewelry.
Our Soldering Saturday posts are friendly reminders of all of the soldering tips and information above, and more. They’re soldering tips and techniques that we’ve gathered from jewelry artists and soldering experts. Any of these soldering tips can be essential to soldering successfully; check here often so you don’t miss any!
Whether you’ve never touched a torch, have some soldering experience, have soldered for years, these soldering tips will help. And remember, keep that flame moving!
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