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Advice needed on soldering jump rings

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  • Advice needed on soldering jump rings

    Hi, I make jewellery in semi-precious stones and add a little blossom charm (which I make in silver clay) to each of my designs. I attach the charms using a mini chain made from 3 sterling silver jump rings. I tend to buy heavy duty ones for strength because up until now I haven't been soldering them. This is working okay, as they don't really take any strain and I've not had problems with them dropping off. However, it does bug me a little that they're not finished off properly!

    How hard would it be to solder them?
    Would I need a lot of expensive equipment?
    Would I be better off taking a batch of them into a jeweller and paying them to do the soldering for me? Any, if so has anyone any idea what jewellers might charge for this service?

    Any advice gratefully received
    Last edited by Linden Blossom; 18-02-2009, 02:35 PM. Reason: Spelling mistake - ooops!
    Regards, Carol

    http://www.lindenblossom.com

  • #2
    Hi Linden Blossom
    You can solder with inexpensive torches but when you solder the metal (and what it's attached to) will normally heat up too. Ideally the soldering would be done before the stones go on ~ is this possible with the design you make?

    Nic x
    **FREE to enter monthly draw on my BLOGS**
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    • #3
      Hi, thanks for the reply.

      Yes, the jump rings would be soldered before assembling the finished piece so the stones wouldn't be affected. My main concern is that I make a total hash of it, although I suppose the worst that happens is that I waste a few jump rings trying!
      Regards, Carol

      http://www.lindenblossom.com

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      • #4
        Ive done some soldering in my time.
        I think the thing that would bug me is how to stop the jump ring from moving as I solder it.
        I suppose one hand on the solder(I use the wirey looking stuff do I have to hold it)the other hand on the soldering iron, then maybe a small clamp for the jump ring.
        https://folksy.com/shops/GrimmExhibition


        http://poisonedapplecraftuk.blogspot.co.uk/

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        • #5
          Ok I can see what you're soldering now (I think) lol
          There are two choices - soldering iron soldering and torch soldering.
          I'd recommend torch soldering as the end result blends with the metal better PLUS if you need to, you can still hallmark it.

          You can join them using soft solder using a soldering iron but it isn't as durable (because the metal of the jump rings can't get hot enough to melt and mix with the metal in the solder). You would ideally use a torch to apply enough heat to get a good solid join.

          For jump rings, it's probably easier to use paste solder, since it stays exactly where you put it. Paste solder is a mixture of solder, flux, and a carrier (makes the mixture flow and stay where you put it). You can buy paste solder in a syringe, which makes it easy to apply with precision.

          Paste solders are sold with names such as hard, medium, easy, and extra easy. They indicate the temperature at which the solder melts (not how easy they are to use ).
          Hard solder melts at a high temperature and extra easy solder melts at a low temperature. If the name of the solder is followed by a number, then that is the temperature at which the solder melts. Personally, I would recommend medium solder for jump rings ~ but easy works too.

          Hard, medium & easy are all suitable for pieces to be hallmarked (not sure about extra easy).

          1) Close all of the jump rings to be soldered so that their edges are flush with each other. Solder can't bridge gaps, but it will flow down the joint between jump ring edges (capillary action).

          2) Apply the paste solder to your joint. Apply the solder to the inside of the ring, so it contacts the joint on both sides of the ring. The amount of solder you use should be about the thickness of the wire.

          3) Hold the link you are working on over the edge of the solder block (to help protect the rest of the chain from heat) and heat.
          Apply the flame so that both the right and left sides of the joint are heated evenly until the solder flows, focus the heat on the ring not the solder. You should be able to watch the solder flow through the joint and come out on the front of the ring. When the solder flows remove the heat immediately.

          4) After all of the jump rings have been soldered then pickle the cooled jump rings to remove any oxidation or flux residue. Neutralise the pickle by rinsing the jump rings in a water with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

          This movie might help if you want to pre-solder some of the rings (easier off the chain) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYVl35kvKHs

          Nic x
          **FREE to enter monthly draw on my BLOGS**
          Different prize every month
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          • #6
            Just to put another point of view - your chains are perfectly finished without being soldered! As a mailler, I make lots and lots of chains in all sorts of weaves without ever soldering a link. For strength, you only need to worry about a jump ring opening if you go above an aspect ratio (inner diameter divided by wire gauge) of about six, and then only with a single ring chain.
            george
            www.mizgeorge.co.uk
            www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
            www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

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            • #7
              Also true
              **FREE to enter monthly draw on my BLOGS**
              Different prize every month
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              • #8
                I don't solder my jump rings very often either, but when I do paste is definitely the way to go!!

                Becci
                xx
                PMC Certification Modules in Cheshire - www.firedsilver.co.uk

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                • #9
                  Thanks so much guys - that's really useful - sending rep power to you all

                  Except you, Muranosilver, the computer wouldn't let me - sorry!
                  Last edited by Linden Blossom; 18-02-2009, 11:11 PM. Reason: Computer said no!
                  Regards, Carol

                  http://www.lindenblossom.com

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                  • #10
                    So far i've allways soldered my jump rings, I tend to run the solder through the mill to reduce it. This way I can cut off very small amounts as it's so thin.

                    But have just got a tube of solder paste that i'm going to try out soon.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you

                      Hey guys

                      Even though it was not my question, you have answered one for me too.

                      Off to try out some soldering

                      Thank you

                      Crafty cow

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                      • #12
                        If you're after a small hand-held torch toolsandjewels.com are really good.
                        These small torches are fab for small jobs like jump rings.
                        Carla
                        carla jennings jewellery
                        my blog

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