Soldering can have many applications, one of them being jewellery making.
Jewellery making is up there as one of the biggest businesses in arts and crafts, and soldering gives you the freedom to create unique pieces, as well as practise your technique.
There are two different methods to soldering jewellery:
- Soldering with a torch (hard soldering or silver soldering) – A torch is used when someone is soldering gold or silver jewellery.
- Soldering with a soldering iron (soft soldering) – It is advised not to use a soldering iron on precious metal jewellery as it can ruin it.
There are a number of soldering irons on the market, however there are not many that are suitable for jewellery making.
Soldering irons with small, pointed tips are perfect for soldering intricate circuit boards, however are not much use when jewellery making. A bigger, chisel-tipped soldering iron is much more appropriate, however remember to always keep it clean.
Try to avoid solder with lead in or with an acid core. Silver solder works well with a soldering iron, however be prepared to pay more for solder with higher silver content.
Any soldering job requires flux to help the solder melt and flow. Some kits will include flux.
It’s important to be precise and accurate when soldering. Careless soldering may lead to unsightly globs of metal on your jewellery piece.
When you have finished soldering, allow your piece of jewellery to cool.
Once the solder has hardened enough, use tweezers to pick it up the piece from your board and place it somewhere safe to finish cooling completely.
If you are looking to save some money, or just practise jewellery making with something less expensive than sterling silver then try soldering with copper or brass wire instead. Just remember that if you are using silver solder, it will be much more noticeable on your piece of jewellery.