Fun with Soldering, Plus an Online Gallery

Sep 6, 2007

It's actually not that difficult to work a soldering iron. (But as you can see from my uneven example, it does take practice!) It's also fun! It's almost Harry Potter-esque how the solder seems to leap up magically onto the iron. I used copper tape to wrap the pendant and then soldered over the tape. It looked great—trust me—until I noticed a few microscopic problems and I tried to fix them by going back over those places again. Instead of looking better, it started to look worse! So, lesson one: know when to walk away.

The second lesson: your science teacher was right—glass is an excellent conductor of heat. Use a tool (I used a clothespin, except for one time when I forgot—ouch!) to hold the pendant while you work, not your fingers.

My first soldered pendant

By the way, the embroidered scrap under the glass is a practice piece I made when taking an embroidery class from Melinda Barta (author of Hip to Stitch). I had cut the fabric just a wee bit small for the button cover I was making, but it was the perfect size for a pendant. It's definite proof (lesson three?) that nothing is ever wasted. 

Lisa Hjelme's jewelry

I asked Beading Daily readers to send me examples of their own soldered jewelry. One of the first people I heard from was Lisa Hjelme in Norway, who graciously agreed to translate the Norwegian text on her website for me. I was also amazed by Angie Simonsen's soldered pendant, her very first one. (Some people are just naturals!) I hope you enjoy the gallery as much as I did. There's an incredible amount of talent on Beading Daily.


If you're interested in experimenting with small soldering projects, check out the brief article on mini torches ("Playing with Fire") that comes to us courtesy of Step by Step Wire Jewelry. You might also enjoy the Complete Guide to Jewelry Soldering.  And don't forget to download this week's featured project from Beadwork, the Shining Example Necklace! 


Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She's finishing up the Faerie Queen Cuff (a future Beading Daily project) this weekend and promises to pick up all the seed beads that mysteriously found their way into the sofa during the construction of this bracelet!


 


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Comments

Beadit wrote
on Sep 7, 2007 12:58 PM
Please make sure that you are using lead-free solder on anything you are going to wear! Solder sold for most stained glass work has lead. Unfortunately, I have found that leaded solder is much easier to work with than lead-free....
MaryannP@3 wrote
on Sep 7, 2007 7:52 PM
Wrap the glass with copper tape and then solder over the tape. Sounds easy. But from working with stained glass I know you need flux to make the solder stick to the tape. And solder is one of the messiest substances known to man. Especially when you are trying to wash it off when you've finished soldering. Any hints on how to keep the flux out from between the two pieces of glass? Or how to keep water out when you are trying to wash the solder off?
NinaG@5 wrote
on Sep 17, 2007 5:32 PM
Can anyone tell me if it is possible to run a soldering iron down the join between the wire without using flux? A friend of mine suggested this to me and as I don't have a soldering iron yet was wondering if this would work.
NitzaA wrote
on Oct 18, 2007 10:38 PM
No, No, NO Fire for Me... I prefer wire techniques withouth fire...
Alex21 wrote
on May 6, 2010 1:37 AM

Thanks for the great post. I really like it what i have read so far in your blog

on May 14, 2010 12:30 AM

Thanks for this blog, because people do not believe me when I say that soldering is fun. There are many people who completely disagree with me, which is sometimes hard for me to believe because of the fact that I enjoy it a lot. However, I would like to suggest if you have not tried it before then you should take help from someone, or just avail the services from trained people. I know a website www.s-bond.com/index.htm that has been offering these services for a very long time now and a lot of my friends have been customers; they offer – metal bonding, soldering etc.

on May 14, 2010 12:33 AM

Thanks for this blog, because people do not believe me when I say that soldering is fun. There are many people who completely disagree with me, which is sometimes hard for me to believe because of the fact that I enjoy it a lot. However, I would like to suggest if you have not tried it before then you should take help from someone, or just avail the services from trained people. I know a website http://www.s-bond.com  that has been offering these services for a very long time now and a lot of my friends have been customers; they offer – metal bonding, soldering etc.

on May 14, 2010 12:33 AM

Nice post