Question About Making Soldered Rings

by Andrea
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

What's the difference between fine silver and sterling silver wire? I want to make some soldered silver rings and I'm not sure what to buy. Someone told me that fine silver is better - is it?


Answer:
Submitted by Vanessa

Fine silver wire or sheet is 99.9% pure silver and is soft. Sterling is 92.5% pure silver and the 7.5% is another metal, (most times copper). With the copper in the silver it helps to make the sterling harder and to hold the shape made. Fine silver can't do the same thing.

You can make jump rings from fine silver, nothing says you can't. The lower the gauge of wire the better.

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Easy Soldering
by: Jan

How To Easily Solder .925 Sterling Rings:

This is the easiest method -



Supplies

  • Flux: You must have flux. I like to use a flux called Cupronol in spray bottle since it is easier to cover a large number of rings at a time with a spray.

  • Fire: A small kitchen torch is all you need to finish the job.


  1. Use silver solder in sheet form and cut into tiny squares or pallions.


  2. Place each jump ring on solder surface with a small piece of solder under the opening in the ring.

    Line up several lines of rings since you can methodically heat line by line of rings and mass produce your rings.


  3. Carefully play the heat over a line of rings, the flux will 'brown' becoming glue like and the solder will stick to the flux and rings. Once they are warm and the flux isn't bubbly any longer, concentrate your heat at the seams of each ring, watch carefully since it is a quick step from solder flow to melting the silver. The solder will flow 'suddenly' turning bright silver and the ring will seem to move slightly, move to the next ring and so on.

  4. Once finished, toss them into a bowl of tarnex if you don't have commercial pickle for a few minutes, take out, rinse and go over the rings to see that they are all closed. Some may not be and it's up to you to decide if it's worth the effort to re-heat them since some of them may have a larger gap in them than originally you may want to throw them into your recycle bag.


    TIP: I make several size rings at a time and place like sizes in marked containers - 3mm - 18g - this way I know what I have on hand before beginning a project.

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Sterling vs Fine Silver Jump Rings
by: Alastar Dragonfly

The biggest difference in making a solid connection with these two is the method of connection. Fine silver is practically pure and can be fused together by touching the ends together and heating it with a torch until the metals begin to melt together and pulling away before it gets too hot and puddles on you. There is an art to it and once you get the feel of it, you'll be able to do it perfectly every time.

With Sterling silver, you have to have a solder that will stick to both silver and the copper alloys in order to close them. Just that few percentages of copper will not allow the metal to bond to insef without some outside help. You can get jewelry solder that is made mostly of silver, a little tin, and tiny bit of lead. This has a lower melting point than the sterling alloy but it will stick to the alloy just fine if it is hot enough.

I have a soldering station and a Port-o-Sol butane soldering iron that will get hot enough to solder Sterling, but it won't get hot enough to fuse the Fine silver. You have to have a torch for that. They do make hand torches for just that job, but I don't have one as of yet. I have a full sized acetelyne/oxygen torch, but not a small one.

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Soldered Rings
by: Vanessa

Fine silver wire or sheet is 99.9% ... (comment moved to soldered rings answer)

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