Soldering is a great way to make complex pieces of jewelry. Here are the basic you'll need to get started today.
Boric Acid/Denatured AlcoholA Boric acid/denatured alcohol mixture protects sterling silver from fire scale during heating and soldering. Boric acid is mixed with denatured alcohol to create a solution called fire coat. Stir the mixture, swirl the item to be soldered in the fire coat mixture, then ignite it with a lighter to burn away the alcohol. Now you can apply your flux and solder without worry of fire scale.
Charcoal BlockA quality Hardwood charcoal soldering block offer 3 times the life of less expensive soft blocks. Charcoal blocks retain heat and absorb oxygen. Hardwood Charcoal Blocks are preferred by jewelers to avoid fire scale during soldering and are rated up to 3000F.
Crosslock TweezersCrosslock Tweezers are used for soldering because they have both heat-resistant fiber-grips and polished steel jaws. Strong cross-locking tweezers hold work securely and offer curved tips which give extra maneuverability.
Fibergrip TweezersFibergrip Tweezers are a great choice for soldering. Fibergrip tweezers have regular spring action and keep fingers cool during soldering. Use Fibergrip tweezers to move pieces about during torch firing.
Honeycomb Soldering BoardA Honeycomb Soldering Board is a hard ceramic board with honeycomb perforations throughout. The perforations make this a favorite board for soldering. Honeycomb helps heat to disperse evenly so parts are less likely to overheat and melt.
Paste SolderSolder Paste is an easy to use type of solder and is excellent for the beginner. Paste solder is especially useful for soldering jump rings. A tiny dab is placed on the joint and heat is applied. Paste solder is offered in syringe form and lasts for years. Cool Tools offers easy, medium and hard silver solder paste.
Scotch-Brite PadsScotch-Brite Pads are used to clean metal before soldering, clean sheet solder before soldering, and give a satin finish on metals. Scotch-Brite pads are available in fine, medium, and coarse grit pads.
Solder PickSolder picks are used while soldering to hold and place solder and to hold and position parts. Most Solder Picks will not stick to solder making them useful when soldering pieces together.
TorchesHand-held butane torches are very popular for small soldering jobs and for firing fine silver clays. Most hand-held Torches use inexpensive butane fuel, have a built in igniter, and are capable of reaching temperatures necessary to complete small soldering operations. Hand-Held Butane Torches are perfect for quick and easy soldering on items such as jump rings and chains, and make balling wire and attaching findings to metal clay a snap. The torch is safe to use and easy to operate. Hand-held Butane Torches are refillable and the fuel is available nation-wide.
Silver PrepSilver Prep is an all-natural non-toxic pickle mix that can be used as a traditional pickle for fine silver, sterling silver, copper and gold. Silver Prep is used to depletion gild sterling silver when fusing or embedding is desired. When sterling silver is depletion gilded it can be applied co-fired or fused with metal clay by torch on in the kiln. Any item made of sterling silver (including Argentium) can be embedded and fired in place by first depletion gilding.