Before we share our top 5 jewellery soldering tools with you it’s worth familiarising yourself with the process of soldering itself. So what is soldering? Soldering is the process of permanently joining two metal components together. It’s a popular jewellery making technique used by jewellers of all skill levels.
Wondering how to solder? Soldering involves the application of heat, normally with a blow torch which produces a controllable flame. Jewellery soldering can require a variety of jewellery making tools and it can be hard to select the right ones for the job – so below we have selected our top five jewellery soldering supplies to give you a helping hand…
What do I need to solder?
1. Hand Torch
The size of torch you will need depends on the scale of your work, but it is advisable to start off with a small scale bench torch. However, if a larger flame is required then an ‘all in one’ torch system which connects to a propane bottle is ideal.
A bench torch is a free standing torch with a push button ignition that uses butane fuel (lighter fuel), and is easily refillable as well as portable. The air flow can be controlled using a ring at the top of the torch, meaning the flame can be adjusted to your requirements depending on if your jewellery project requires a gentle yellow flame or intense blue flame.
2. Soldering Blocks
No matter what your jewellery making project, for safety reasons all soldering jobs need to be performed on heat resistant blocks. These can be made from a variety of minerals, including pumice, charcoal or ceramic.
Soldering blocks are available in a number of sizes – from square flat sheets to chunkier blocks – meaning they can be arranged to suit the space that you have available for jewellery soldering.
What is a solder flux used for? A flux is applied to a joint before soldering to help the solder flow. It keeps the join clean by preventing oxides from building up when heat is applied to the metal, which allows free movement of the solder.
You can purchase flux in both liquid or in borax form, where a borax dish and cone are ground together with water to form a paste. It is then normally applied to the area to be soldered with a small brush.
4. Safety Pickle
Otherwise known as pickling solution, this is used to clean the metal post soldering so it is ready for the next step. Your work will need to be immersed into a warm acid solution. This is then followed by a light brushing with a soft bristle brush to remove debris. This process, which removes any oxide build up, is known as ‘pickling’.
When handling any form of acid, it is important to bear safety in mind – although there are now many non-toxic safety pickles available which can be used in all environments.
5. Reverse Action Tweezers
Also known as soldering tweezers, these are perfect for gripping items securely, as they are closed ‘at rest’ and open once pressure is applied. Reverse action tweezers are therefore ideal for holding work when jewellery soldering due to the insulated hand grips, and are available with straight and curved tips.
For tricky soldering jobs where you may require both hands free, reverse action tweezers can be mounted on a free standing base (above right) meaning your soldering project can be held securely.
Want to learn more about the key jewellery soldering tools? Download our Beginners Guide to Jewellery Making Tools to discover more and learn some jewellery making techniques, or you can install Cooksongold app.
Are you starting a jewellery making project of your own? Find all of your jewellery soldering supplies at Cooksongold today, available to purchase online.