Hi I'm a New jewellry maker fro m Birmingham wanting advice on soldering....
I recently started beading using flexible wire and plated metal wire. I'm now also interested in making my own findings using silver plated wire, but i'm not sure where to start when it comes to soldering...
My knowledge base comes from books and the internet (youtube), but I can't find all the answers.
Firstly for plated wire what type of solder do i use? I'm allergic to most metals so can only wear gold, silver and plated metals.
Also can I use Citric acid for pickling?
All advice welcome.
Hi rrb, and welcome to the forum.
You can't solder plated wire - the plating burns away during the process. I'm told it is possible with silver/gold filled, but have yet to see any good results.
If you want to practice before trying silver, you could try using copper wire to start with.
As for pickling, yes, you can use citric acid, but it works best with a fresh solution every time. Alum is a good, cheap (and safe) alternative to traditional pickle and lasts a lot better. Pickle always works best if it's warm - you'll find a number of threads on the forum about ways to achieve this without spending a lot.
Thanks for clearing that up for me. When I asked at a shop in B'ham about soldering they never told me that plated silver can't be soldered and even suggested easy solder!! No wonder I've been having problems.
You've answered all my questions and then some!
Had a quick look at your site and I can see you know what your talking about!
Welcome from a relative newbie too! For pickling, I use jeweller's safety pickle, which I buy in little bags on eBay - I know it's cheaper to buy in bulk, but I'm limited on space and money, and don't need ten year's worth sitting in my shed... To keep it warm, I bought a little slow cooker in Amazon, it's a Hinari 1.5 litre one that only cost about eight or nine quid. At only 8" or so across, it doesn't take up much room either. Just don't ever use it for food ;-)
Also, what sort of blow torch are you using? For findings and tiny small stuff, I use a micro one that runs on lighter fluid - it still goes up to 1200 degrees, but gives a small pointy flame. My big one is just like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut and is liable to melt little things
If you want to make multiple joints on one piece of work, do the first with hard, then medium, easy and extra easy - they melt at progressively lower temperatures so you don't melt what you've already done each time you add a new bit. Again, you can buy small quantities on that well known internet auction site to get you going...
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