Problem with soldering sna-ptite 925 claws onto silver wire
Hello Fellow smithies!
Both my tutor and myself have had great difficulty in getting the 925 sterling silver Snap-tite claws to solder onto the 925 wire. I've been using 1.5mm round 925 wire soldered into a circle. No problems there. I used Hard paste. Again, no problem there. However, when coming to getting the claws to attach, neither myself nor my tutor have had any success. I am trying to attach it to the side of the circle, as it is to sit on the inside of the wire with the circle hanging as a pendant. We've tried paste and pallions of all strengths, but no joy. The wire heats up, but the claw heats up way too quickly and either melts, or, if I keep moving the torch away to prevent melting, then the wire doesn't heat up enough.
I've attached a picture of a mock-up (the central claw is missing).
Any ideas, please?
I too have had days like that and I wonder .............. if there is something atmospheric, laugh if you will, that sometimes affects soldering. I have soldered things such as you have shown umpteen times with never a problem but some days the buggers just will not solder. I have found leaving the project a day or so and returning to it afresh, all goes well and as expected.
This is a particular problem with large constructions using thin wires. The wire dissipates the heat, so the solder won't flow. Make the flame roar more and you melt something.
The answer is in using a much larger torch, keeping it further away and keeping it moving so that the whole piece heats evenly. If you work in very subdued light you can see more easily whether you are unfairly overheating some area.
Another common problem is that the parts don't stay in good contact when heated. You can stabilise them by laying them out on your block and with pliers, pushing in ordinary pins (from Rymans) in selected places away from the joints. It should be possible to solder the whole assembly in one go, provided you dry out your flux with a mini-torch, or hairdryer, or even a big torch far away, very slowly, so it no longer bubbles.
It is also better to use pallions, because overheating paste before it can flow will turn it to ash.
I hope this will work for you and that you can teach your tutor to suck eggs. Dennis.
I agree with Dennis, a large soft, moving,flame that heats everything gently and evenly. I would solder this piece on a flat charcoal block and place tiny solder pallions across the clean and fluxed solder joint area. If using a charcoal block you can use steel pins, pushed into the charcoal to hold the settings in place and stop them moving away from the wires when heated.
I have never used solder paste so cannot advise on it's quality.
Oh and as you are a beginner, when you have made the rings, why not do the final assembly (rings and mounts) using easy solder. It will need less heating and boost you confidence.
James is our respected master goldsmith. To some of us a charcoal block is a luxury item and to prove a point to your tutor a common grey block will do just fine for silver. That said, Bellore sell a variety of blocks and sheets that you can stick pins in even by hand. Dennis.
Last edited by Dennis; 02-07-2012 at 08:02 PM.
Thank you ever so much, Kwant, James and Dennis.
I shall go away and tinker with a different torch using the easy paste. The rings have come out fine, just those pesky mounts to overcome!
I'll let you know the results next week (curse small people and their myriad of illnesses!)
lol yes indeed James is our master goldsmith, it is a shame some folk do not take the time to check out previous posts before giving of their own wisdom :0)
Not you Dennis, we all know you too are a marvel and a sweetie, in fact I was thinking of you just yesterday when doing my crossword, Guardian Everyman "I'm tense, and hence upset cartoon character (6,3,6)"
Just a thought, but as a design alternative, have you considered using tube settings rather than snaptites (which are rarely very tite at all, especially if you're effectively annealing them by soldering in place). They might be more in keeping with the circular rings of the main construction.
On the main part, next time, you might want to clean up your joints before combining the pieces - they're going to be hard to polish out once attached to eachother. It would also make a difference to file a very small flat area where each is to join to the next to help avoid too much excess solder and help the rings flow together visually.
Apologies if I'm in a grandma/egg situation.
I'm afraid the best I can do is the polygon, Cornelius. I think to be good at anagrams you need leisurely breakfasts, or years of commuting. Is the middle word 'the'?
George, we all agree you're a good egg. Dennis.
Excellent Dennis yes the middle word is the
the first word is Dennis and the last is menace :0)
Last edited by Kwant; 02-07-2012 at 10:34 PM.
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