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Thread: removing lead solder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2021

    Default removing lead solder

    Hi all :-)

    a friend has asked me if I could repair a silver ring - it was cut off by doctors after he was in an accident - he would just like me to solder together

    however someone else has already had a go at soldering it (unsuccessfully) and my friend is pretty sure they used lead solder

    I have no experience dealing with lead solder having only used gold and silver, and a bit nervous about the fact its lead - does it require special ppe or is there any info anyone can give about how would it be best to remove it? I am attaching a couple of photos, it is a huge great clump! :-) Click image for larger version. 

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    thanks in advance :-)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    South Australia


    Carefully scrape it off wit a knife or chisel or some other suitable item, then file back to Silver, file the join to square it up, re solder with correct Solder, clean up as usual, you may have to stretch on a mandrel so it will fit again
    Scraping the the lead will stop it getting into the air wash you hands after handling if you are concerned ( I would not be too worried about a tiny amount ).
    maybe some others will chime in with other methods.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2021


    Hi China - thank you so much for your reply - do you think it would be worth sawing it off maybe? I guess lead is quite soft though so knife / chisel otherwise (I just don't have one for jewellery but will sacrifice a Stanley) thanks again :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    I'd use brick acid from B&Q. But looking at the state of that, I'd be inclined to suggest offering to make a new one instead.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Central London


    Peter is quite right. It just isn't worth reviving and all the trouble that might cause. You could make a new one in an hour or so. Dennis.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2019


    China is totally correct with the post.
    lead solder should not be used anywhere near silver, however it is a common problem and one should learn how to deal with it.
    As an old silversmith I remember the first time of being confronted with this problem it was way back 1964 (see said I was old) then an apprentice, the master showed me the way to deal with it and showed what happens when a you take a torch to the silver. ( not pretty).
    If you do not have a scraper put it on the wish list soonest you will wonder how you managed without. ( triangular tapering to dull point is a good start)
    Of course the lead may be sawed off the silver or filed but if a file is used make sure it is old and worn because it cannot ever be returned to general use ( lead only), it might not be possible to use a saw next time you come across lead and unfortunately you will.
    It is as well to remember that if a new one is made, it can never be the original which may have sentimental value to its owner way beyond monetry value.
    As to safety an amount such as shown in the photo is unlikely to be a problem but dispose of it seperately from silver scrap.

    just a tip, if an item is so bad you cannot repair, the client will often accept all or part of original being included in the new, thereby transferring the the spirit of the original.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Manchester UK

    Default|pcrid|224654335881|kword||match| |plid||slid||product|SD00331|pgrid|50784539401|pta id|pla-371097197505|&CMP=KNC-GUK-CPC-SHOPPING&s_kwcid=AL!5616!3!224654335881!!!network} !371097197505!&gclid=CjwKCAjwpMOIBhBAEiwAy5M6YHsjf mHlghl6Nkrr2kpiHAul-9BF6hzln7CDLGnW91jPo8k63ciiAhoC2TUQAvD_BwE

    you could use something like this and a decent soldering iron to 'mop up' the solder

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