Soldering – pronounced with an emphasis on the “d” – is the process that professional jewelry manufacturers use to join two metal pieces together. They do this with the aid of a third metal that has a lower melting point than the others, called a solder. Experts use this technique both to craft new pieces and repair broken items, such as snapped chain links, rivets, and rings. While this is a complicated process that requires professional training and skill, it may be helpful to know a little more about how it works if you’re designing your own pieces and having them crafted. Here’s a basic primer on the process.
A Jewelry Manufacturer Explains the Basics of Soldering
What Types of Soldering Exist?
There are three basic methods of soldering: soft soldering, hard or silver soldering, and brazing.
Soft solders generally require lower temperatures. The connection isn’t as strong as other types, but works well for pieces that incorporate stained glass.
Hard soldering forms a stronger connection by using silver and other metals with a higher melting temperature than tin. This is useful for joining or repairing jewelry made of copper or brass.
Brazing involves the highest temperatures of any type of soldering. The base metals that are united are directly heated, so that when the solder material is placed between them, it instantly melts to form a strong joint.
What Kinds of Solder Are Used?
Solders are often tin alloys, gold, or silver, and can come in pastes, sheets, or wires. They generally fall into one of three categories, ranked from lowest melting point to highest: easy, medium, or hard. Each material has its own flow points, or temperatures at which it’s easy to work with. If the piece has more than one joint, multiple solder varieties may need to be used in progression to prevent damage to the piece. It must be carefully applied to avoid misshapen bumps or globs.
How Do Professionals Perform It?
In addition to the solder and the welding instrument, all soldering styles involve a third substance, called flux. Professionals use flux to clean the metal surfaces, getting rid of the dirt and grease that might interfere with the bond and preventing oxidation from harming the work afterward. Because of the delicacy, high temperatures, fumes, and specialized equipment necessary for soldering, it’s best left to expert jewelry manufacturers.
If you’re seeking jewelry manufacturers to provide soldering services, contact the experts at Frank Billanti Casting Co., Inc. These knowledgeable professionals take pride in creating or repairing jewelry for beautiful, long-lasting results. With over 35 years of experience, their staff offers everything from electroplating to perfect gold casting. Learn more today by visiting them online or calling (212) 221-0440.