As you probably already know, jewellery is often made up of several different components brought together by a variety of different skills and materials to make one unique piece. But as you progress to more complex soldering processes and begin making more complicated precious metal pieces, you may be thinking about making your own soldering pallions.
Here, we show you how to make silver solder paste of your own so that your silver jewellery designs have a professional finish.
What is silver solder made out of?
When getting started, it’s important to note which elements soldering comprises of. So, what is silver solder made out of? Generally, silver solder contains:
- 65% fine silver
- 20% copper
- 15% zinc
You might be wondering, “what is the melting point of silver solder?”. The answer depends on the hardness.
Solders range from hard right through to medium and easy. A hard solder has a high melting temperature as it contains the largest amount of raw precious metal. It therefore closely matches the precious metal you may be working with. An easy silver solder contains less of the raw precious metal and despite being quicker and easier to work with, will not be as close of a colour match. Choose your silver solder depending on your requirements. This may be the melting temperature you need to avoid melting the piece you’re working on, or it may be that you want a really close colour match with a seamless finish.
How to make silver solder paste in 8 simple steps
Before learning how to make silver solder, you’ll need to pick up a few key pieces of equipment and materials. This silver solder recipe will give you the steps and quantities you need to make an easy silver solder, or a silver solder with a low melting point.
Metals you’ll need:
Not sure where to buy silver solder equipment? Just use our links to find the exact products you’ll need, in a matter of seconds.
(It is up to the maker to determine the quantities depending on how much solder they need)
Tools you’ll need:
How to make silver solder paste: formula
Step one in how to make silver solder paste is to use a small set of scales to measure out the correct amounts of fine silver, copper, and zinc to make your own silver solder.
Take your hand torch and heat the ingot mould you’re using. This will get rid of any water left in the mould, stopping any popping that occurs as you pour in the metal.
Now melt the silver using your hand torch. Once melted you’ll be able to add the copper. This will lower the melting temperature of your silver. Heat through until the two metals melt and come together.
Allow the mixture to cool as you stir. You’ll need to allow it to cool so that the zinc can be added to it at a lower temperature.
When the mixture cools to the point that it is almost solid again, you can add the zinc. Zinc has a very low melting point so should always be added at this point, otherwise it can burn away. Add the pieces of zinc gradually. You will get closer and closer to the final melting point of your silver solder each time you add another piece of zinc.
once you’ve added the last piece of zinc, stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure all of the elements are mixed.
Now slowly pour the mixture into your ingot mould.
The final step in how to make silver solder paste is leaving the ingot to cool. Once cool, the ingot can be removed and rolled into silver wire or plate, depending on what you’re soldering and the way you like to work.
Making silver solder is straightforward when you have the correct materials and tools to hand. Remember if you are still learning how to make silver solder paste, you can always pick up some ready-made silver solder to use until you get your silver solder mix just right. Still wondering, how do you solder silver? Find out in our blog on what solder paste is and how to use it.