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Thread: Soldering surgical steel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Posts
    2

    Default Soldering surgical steel

    Hello! Questions from a beginner

    Does anyone have any experience making jewellery from surgical implant metal? I have 2 chunky pins (~2mm) which were used to stabilise a fracture, and for sentimental reasons I was thinking of making a bangle or something out of them. I believe they are stainless steel not titanium, though I don't know how you tell! No idea what grade. They aren't metallic.

    I am very much a novice maker and have only really worked with silver before. I have basic equipment for silver soldering and I usually use the standard little "kitchen" blow torch and silver pallions with the yellow ready-made liquid flux. I'm happy to buy a different solder, flux etc if required, but I have no idea whether it is actually possible to stick silver to steel, especially at the low(ish) temperatures of the torch. Any technique would need to be appropriate for doing at home!

    I was envisaging joining the two ends of the pins to some silver sheet or similar in the middle, and shaping into a bangle. Therfore any advise on shaping steel would also be welcome, as I'm also not sure how easy that is (the pins are extremely stiff!)

    All advice or suggestions gratefully received! Equally, if none of this is possible, please let me know and I will ditch the idea

    Many thanks, Marion

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,764

    Default

    You will not have any success attempting to solder Titanium, the best method will be to weld e.g. LASER welding maybe you could incorporate them into the piece by making the bangle and attaching via another method like riveting, when you can post pictures that would help, to shape Titanium you will need to heat it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    8,672

    Default

    Hello Marion, and welcome to the forum.

    You've had answer no 1: If its titanium, then cold connect only. Perhaps, just anneal some and turn it into an open cuff, by bending around a rolling pin.

    If it is stainless steel, then solder it using extra easy silver solder, and your yellow solution (probably Auflux)
    A pinch of Tenacity no 5 flux, (available in small quantities online) added to your flux solution, helps with stainless steel.

    The big question mark surrounds your mini torch. It could just not be hot enough for his amount of metal. Try building a cave with bricks to contain and reflect the heat. or get bigger torch. Dennis
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails s Improvised chamber for conserving heat.sh.jpg  

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks both!

    Sadly my pieces are too short to make a bangle from just one - I need to join the two together. I will try your method Dennis and see how I get on. Would the join be strong enough to shape into the bangle afterwards, or I assume I would be better off bending the two halves first and then joining them (so that the join doesn't experience any strain) ?

    Also, if I was to put a piece of silver between the two steel pieces (some sort of decorative shape) would your same method be appropriate to solder the steel to the silver as the steel to the steel? I don't know whether it makes any difference having different metals.

    Appreciate your help

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