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Thread: Solder line - can I fix it?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    187

    Default Solder line - can I fix it?

    Hi,

    In need of a bit of guidance please. I am in the process of making this piece and it is a memento/keepsake piece (I will start again if needs be) it's 4 layers sweat soldered - have made these little robins before usually just 2 layers but same principal, and always struggled with getting the breast to fit perfectly but always managed to get a neat seam though a couple of times as needed a little wiggling. Managed to find a better way to get a neat fit and this one seem to fit together very neatly but I ended up with a gap right at the bottom of the breast. It was about 1/6th of a mm wide by 1 or maybe 1.5mm long, managed to scrape a bit of silver off with my saw blade and fit it in and solder and fill the gap but it then opened up a bit of the seam further up as in the picture, I guess because it was a tiny wedge it put pressure on. The little gap is less than a hairline, I need my magnifiers to see it so no chance of fitting anything in there - is there anyway to fix this please? Thank you.

    Karen
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails PICT0639.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Can you remelt the solder and apply pressure with some pliers on similar while it solidifies

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    187

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    Thank you - will have a think. Not ideal for someone making jewellery I know but have terribly shaky hands, will have a think to see if I might be able to fashion something to apply a little pressure.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2009
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    If the gap is really very small it could be closed using the tip of a burnisher,
    If I need to press, I usually have a piece if soldering block handy, because it is less likely to leave a mark, or take up heat.
    Mostly though I use a tiny cutting of swarf, made by drilling silver, which can be cut up with small scissors and placed with a brush.
    Dennis.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2011
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    If it’s the bottom edge I’d probably try bringing it back up to temp and taking the strip solder along the edge then if necessary you can clean off any excess. I don’t often sweat solder but had done a couple of big pieces recently and have to admit they weren’t achieving perfect results and it all got a bit tense. If I wasn’t shaking before I definitely was during and I had to pickle it and go back and put pressure on different areas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    187

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    If the gap is really very small it could be closed using the tip of a burnisher,
    If I need to press, I usually have a piece if soldering block handy, because it is less likely to leave a mark, or take up heat.
    Mostly though I use a tiny cutting of swarf, made by drilling silver, which can be cut up with small scissors and placed with a brush.
    Dennis.
    Thank you Dennis, have never used a burnisher that way before, it is a very small gap, it's on the left hand side between the copper and the silver in the picture - not sure if that is small enough to close that way. Only trouble is, it has a little hollow in the middle of the piece so worry that applying pressure to burnish might dent, though there is a fair thickness over the hollow.

    Quote Originally Posted by CJ57 View Post
    If it’s the bottom edge I’d probably try bringing it back up to temp and taking the strip solder along the edge then if necessary you can clean off any excess. I don’t often sweat solder but had done a couple of big pieces recently and have to admit they weren’t achieving perfect results and it all got a bit tense. If I wasn’t shaking before I definitely was during and I had to pickle it and go back and put pressure on different areas
    Thank you. I did wonder if I could flood it with a little solder and then clean up. Unfortunately not on the bottom though - all the edges have joined quite neatly - would probably have been easier around the edge. It's on the left hand side, where the copper breast joins the silver, not sure if that is a viable option or not with the position and though very tiny still a little gap, if I run my nail over it I can barely feel it but it's there?

    Thanks,

    Karen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Oxfordshire
    Posts
    95

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    I have a few suggestions for you to consider:

    1. clean out the blemish with a spitstick or similar and fill with lower melting point solder. Downside is that solder is a slightly different colour to the silver but you may get away with it as it is a junction between the 2 different coloured metals.

    2. use a fine saw and cut through the joint past the point where the blemish is, then fill this with a sliver of silver the same size as the saw blade and solder use a lower melting point solder. Downside is the same as 1.

    3. if the blemish is not too deep you could punch from the back and file off the area which has been raised. This method is often used on salvers and trays to remove the centre mark(used for marking out for the sinking and setting of the salver/tray) on the front of the tray/salver and then stoned flat. The downside of this is that there will be a mark on the reverse of the piece, how bad this is will depend on how deep the blemish is but you may be able to blend it in.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    187

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    Quote Originally Posted by alastairduncan View Post
    I have a few suggestions for you to consider:

    1. clean out the blemish with a spitstick or similar and fill with lower melting point solder. Downside is that solder is a slightly different colour to the silver but you may get away with it as it is a junction between the 2 different coloured metals.

    2. use a fine saw and cut through the joint past the point where the blemish is, then fill this with a sliver of silver the same size as the saw blade and solder use a lower melting point solder. Downside is the same as 1.

    3. if the blemish is not too deep you could punch from the back and file off the area which has been raised. This method is often used on salvers and trays to remove the centre mark(used for marking out for the sinking and setting of the salver/tray) on the front of the tray/salver and then stoned flat. The downside of this is that there will be a mark on the reverse of the piece, how bad this is will depend on how deep the blemish is but you may be able to blend it in.
    Thank you Alastair, I have managed to fix it already, but really appreciate the helpful tips. I did opt for the first option as wasn't sure how I would managed the other helpful suggestions already given. The piece has a hollow so was worried about using a burnisher, I'm sure someone experienced at doing things this way would have managed it but was a little nervous about it. Was also worried about popping the whole breast out if I tried to nudge it at all what with my shaky hands, though did have a little piece of binding wire upright touching the edges on soldering block so maybe that helped a little.

    I wouldn't have been able to do your other suggestions with this piece as it is a keepsake piece with contents in the middle but really useful tips thank you and will keep them in mind.

    I had to add the jump ring on anyway and was doing that at lower temperature and added a little solder to the mark and it has worked. On Macro it's not the most flawless join ever but it's pretty clean and the piece looks nice.

    Thanks ever so much for the tips everyone, always learning something from people on here

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