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Thread: Silver, Nickel & Stainless steel..

  1. #1
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    Default Silver, Nickel & Stainless steel..

    I've been tasked to try to make these hair pins (with as low a price point as possible), and I'm struggling.
    I'm using Sterling Silver for the bezel, Nickel Silver for the base, and Stainless Steel rod for the pins.

    I can get the bezel onto the base without issue, but soldering the pins on is a nightmare.
    I either need so much heat the Silver bezel warps and melts, or the pins just don't solder.

    I even tried JB weld steel resin to attach the pins, but it A: looked horrible & B: Broke.

    I'm pretty sure this wouldn't be a hard ask if I was working with Silver, but it would make the pieces beyond a workable cost.

    So Silver, to Nickel Silver, to Stainless steel. Am I dreaming in thinking this will ever work?
    Can anyone else see some alternatives that I'm not seeing?

    Any and all suggestions or guidance appreciated.. If I had hair I'd be pulling it out.

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  2. #2
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    Where are you based ? nickel silver isn't allowed in the UK. A puck welder or a laser welder may be your best bet or try to invent a mechanical way to hold the stainless pin. I have never had much luck. I tried to solder a stainless inner to a silver ring once even with special flux I couldn't do it properly. I ended up getting a friend to tig it together than pressed it into the ring and flared the ends.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Josef, I'm in Australia. Is there any specific reason that Nickel Silver isn't allowed, as that sounds a little worrying!
    I've been thinking about mechanical ways to hold it together but nothing workable so far.. I think welding is a bit beyond me unfortunately.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    There is some debate as to wether or not Nickel Silver is banned in Australia, Nickle itself is controlled under the dangerous goods act as a poison, therefore you need permits to deal with it, however Nickel Silver is available in many places as sheet and wire.
    There are more and more incidents each year of people succumbing to a Nickel Allergy I would not use use nickel Silver in Jewellery or any item that may contact the skin, if you decide to go with the Nickel Silver I would use the the 'Tinning" method i.e. apply solder the back of the bezel, then apply Solder to the pins, place the pins in position and reheat until the solder flows, effectively you are just reheating the solder.
    Last edited by china; 17-10-2022 at 10:34 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotsco View Post
    Thanks Josef, I'm in Australia. Is there any specific reason that Nickel Silver isn't allowed, as that sounds a little worrying!
    I've been thinking about mechanical ways to hold it together but nothing workable so far.. I think welding is a bit beyond me unfortunately.
    Nickel is what causes the itching in alloys. The EU has pretty much banned it from anything which comes into contact with skin. Without getting over political it may be one of the laws which the brexiters will try to dump in the near future (new nickel itchy opportunities!) but it is banned in the EU. And rightly so.
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by china View Post
    There is some debate as to wether or not Nickel Silver is banned in Australia, Nickle itself is controlled under the dangerous goods act as a poison, therefore you need permits to deal with it, however Nickel Silver is available in many places as sheet and wire.
    There are more and more incidents each year of people succumbing to a Nickel Allergy I would not use use nickel Silver in Jewellery or any item that may contact the skin, if you decide to go with the Nickel Silver I would use the the 'Tinning" method i.e. apply solder the back of the bezel, then apply Solder to the pins, place the pins in position and reheat until the solder flows, effectively you are jus reheating the solder.
    Most Chinese findings etc manufacturers now make most of their findings without nickel. Complying generally with the EU rule is easier than having two standards. America doesn't worry about nickel legally but a lot of findings suppliers carry EU compliant alloys anyway.
    It really is that the high consumer standards of the EU spread around the world.
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  8. #8
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    When soldering stainless steel, consider using hallmarking extra easy solder, with Easyflux (preferred), or borax as flux.
    The much lower flow temperature avoids the chance of warping. and the joint is strong.

    Apart from jewellery repairs, I have even re-attached a rung of a domestic oven shelf doing this, and repaired a hole appearing in the corner of an enamelled grill pan. Five years on they are still holding.

    That said what you are doing might be better welded, or lasered. Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 17-10-2022 at 09:18 AM.

  9. #9
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    Well if this hasn't been an eye opener I don't know what would be.
    After reading through the information and listening to the knowledge here I'm ditching this plan, and the Nickel.
    I don't want anything to do with irritations or poisoning.

    My next plan of attack is to use Sterling for the bezel and base, Stainless Steel pins, the tinning method China described and the extra easy solder Dennis mentioned.
    Plus having my fingers, toes and eyeballs crossed

    From the bottom of my sanity, my genuine thanks.

  10. #10
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    Good to hear that we have been of some assistance, please let us know how it all ends up.

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