Soldering Questions

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popnicute wrote
on Aug 25, 2008 6:29 AM

1. What material can be used as soldering pad?

2. How long does it take to make a sterling silver balled pin? i tried to burn one today (18ga) and after a minute or two i didn't see any progress :O

3. How to make a ball at the end of a design like in Iza Malczyk designs? example: http://www.izamalczyk.com/en/gallery-1-267-1780.html (the balls at the end of the coils)

 

I'm sorry for so many questions.. i'm really new at this ^^;

Note: i only have sterling silver wires.

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SCB1 wrote
on Aug 25, 2008 7:20 PM

When I solder which isn't often I use a brick. Just a plan old clay brick. I can't give you any idea how long is should take to make a bead on the end of your wire. I am however sure it depends on the gauge of your wire. The larger the wire the longer it will take to get to  the melting point.

I almost forgot to ask if you are using the hotest part of the flame? The blue flame is the hotest so be sure you have you wire in that part of the flame.

Happy Beading!!

Sue,

Small-town USA. 

Michigan.

 

 

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popnicute wrote
on Aug 25, 2008 8:40 PM

ah.. thanks, sue!

i just grabbed the first wire i saw in the box and tried it XD i'm so impatient ^^;

 

what about the third question? anyone know? i'm so inexperienced in soldering.. never held one in my life before Embarrassed should i ball the wire before i coil it into the design? or there is a way to add a ball after the design's done?

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on Aug 26, 2008 9:18 AM

Sue B:

When I solder which isn't often I use a brick. Just a plan old clay brick.  <SNIP>

 

Fire brick would last longer than an ordinary clay brick, and fire brick doesn't have those holes through them.

Stan B.

Stan B.

Lakeland, MN

USA

Ignorance is curable; Stupidity has neither cure nor excuse.

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Bren@15 wrote
on Aug 26, 2008 12:23 PM

Definitely use firebrick or check out Rio Grande supplies for a pad to put under the torch as you are working. You could also go to the hardware store or gas supply shop and see what they recommend for you.  Balling wire takes only seconds, not minutes. Use clean wire, flux ends if you have it---better shapes, and hold the wire above the hottest point of the flame. Shape wire after you ball the end to work hardend the wire. Balling afterwards might anneal (soften) the wire.  Good luck!

 

 

 

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popnicute wrote
on Aug 26, 2008 5:47 PM

woah.. only seconds? D: with sterling silver? cos in the instruction i found they said it did faster with fine silver but the store here doesn't sell fine silver :/

then i must have done something wrong D; i tried yesterday with the 20 gauge sterling wire and it didn't ball at all [:'(] i set my microtorch at continuous flame and most gas flow and let it fire my wire for around 2 minutes.. i put the wire almost touching the torch tip (in the heaviest fire flow). it gets matte looking and definitely soft but i didn't see any sign of it getting balled :(

what did i do wrong?

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on Aug 26, 2008 6:43 PM

Stay in the BLUE flame -- it is the hottest.  The core of the flame is colder.

Stan B.

Stan B.

Lakeland, MN

USA

Ignorance is curable; Stupidity has neither cure nor excuse.

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on Aug 26, 2008 6:43 PM

Stay in the BLUE flame -- it is the hottest.  The core of the flame is colder.  [See Sue's message from Mon.]

Stan B.

Stan B.

Lakeland, MN

USA

Ignorance is curable; Stupidity has neither cure nor excuse.

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Billy Z wrote
on Aug 26, 2008 8:58 PM

 And always remember. Flux is your friend. Don't worry about wasting it, just gob it on. *laughz* Well, maybe not gob, but get it coated good, ya know. I have never tried to 'ball' silver, but I have soldered a  lot of pieces back together. I use a 62/34/4 tin/lead/silver alloy rosin core solder for most things. They say that it doesn't need flux, but you can never have too much flux. I got it from Radio Shack vbut I had to order it as we have a franchise store and not a company owned one. They keep 62/36/2 on the shelf, but it doesn't hold as well or look as nice as the 62/34/4 does. At least not in my limited experiences.

 Billy ;o)

 I yam wut I yam and dats all wut I yam. ~Popeye~

Dragonfly Jewelry Designs - ArtFire Artisan Studio

 

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popnicute wrote
on Aug 27, 2008 7:52 AM

what is flux? where to apply the flux?

can i get it in any hardware store? ^^; sorry, i'm not that familiar with soldering terms. ^^; thanks for your help guys.. i hope i can get it right. i feel so stupid @_@;;

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Billy Z wrote
on Aug 27, 2008 7:29 PM

 Flux is a chemical compoud that you put on your metal, your wire, or both depending upon circumstances. You can get it in a paste or a kind of a thick liquid depending on your prefrences are. I prefer the more liquid stuff as it has a bit more control because you apply it with a small paint brush commonly called "acid brushes" . The paste you can just stick the end of your wire directly into it, it's pretty much coated, but you can also brush it into tight spots. You may be able to find it at ACE, but you will have better odds at a Radio Shack or other electronics store. You need Rosin flux, NOT acid flux, unless you are doing a lot of copper. But that's a whole 'nother story. *laughz*

 Acid flux is mainly used the plumbing and heavy equipment radiator manufacturing/repairing applications, where a lot of copper and brass are used.  And Your local ACE will definitely have that, but you don't want that with jewelry because of the acid, and the lead contents and all of that chemistry type crap.

 Okay, the purpose of fluxing is to clean and "prime" the metal for soldering. You can make two identical solder joints on the same type of material with one fluxed and one not, and the fluxed one will be many many times stronger and more importantly cleaner. By cleaner, I mean a much smoother looking joint and the metal to metal connection has a much better bite to each other. 

 You can buy fluxless solders as well, but I would just stay away from them as the flux is actually inside of the solder itself and it tends to spew when heated and that's no good for anyone involved.

 Um, anything else? Should I get ino the gas v/s iron controversy? Nah, not tonight. I'm too tired to think much more tongiht anyway. You wore me slam out girl! But I liked it! *grinz*  Nite...

 Billy ;o)

 I yam wut I yam and dats all wut I yam. ~Popeye~

Dragonfly Jewelry Designs - ArtFire Artisan Studio

 

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Billy Z wrote
on Aug 27, 2008 7:44 PM

 I also use a clay brick in my limited experiences. It's a plain brick but has no holes. Like 2"x4"x8" or so.

 Then again with repairs, I normally use a soldering iron anyway. The torch is a major pain and my Port-a-Sol butane iron gets almost as hot as the torch and only takes a second to turn on on and light for a simple fix. I've only honestly used a torch for fusing a hand full of jump rings a few times, so my jewelry experience with a torch is very limited. However I have soldered a LOT of pipe back in the day(my Dad did some plumbing and electrical work when I was young and I helped him out a lot) and a lot of copper, silver, and gold wire and connectors for the past 25 years prodominately as a bench tech.

 Nite again. For real this time. *laughz* 

 Billy ;o)

 I yam wut I yam and dats all wut I yam. ~Popeye~

Dragonfly Jewelry Designs - ArtFire Artisan Studio

 

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