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Soldering Basics for Jewelry Making

Learn the basics of soldering from jewelry designer Courtney Gray in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Courtney Gray: Welcome to Creative Side Jewelry Academy of Austin, online at creativeside.org. I'm Courtney Gray. I started my school here, Creative Side Jewelry Academy, four years ago. I'm here in Austin, and I'm going to tell you about jewelry making today.

So today I'm going to talk to you about soldering jewelry. Soldering is a very important technique in jewelry making. We have a number of classes here just on soldering. And if you're going to be fabricating pieces (and fabrication simply means creating jewelry from the metal), putting on jump rings (which is a good way to attach into a chain), or putting ear backs on, any finding or hardware that you might need on jewelry—a lot of them are going to be attached using this technique of soldering.

So the basic thing of course for soldering and doing hot work is going to be your torch. A lot of folks use matte gas then acetylene, there's propane, there's natural gas. Here in the studio at Creative Side, we used propane and oxygen mixed to create our frame. We also teach for those who do not want to solder using tanks in their home studio with creme brulée torch. You can actually do a lot of silver soldering with just a simple creme brulée torch.

Other things you're going to need—a lot of folks use slurry. And this is boric acid and denatured alcohol mixed together create a protective shield for your metal. Keep in mind that's denatured alcohol, it's flammable. But coat your metal with it, then burn it off before you go to solder.

Then you're going to need a flux, and the flux comes in a liquid, or it comes in a paste. I've used both. Paste can be used for silver. A lot of folks that use more gold work will use the liquid flux. You will need to apply that to your joint before you go to solder.

You are also going to need the actual solder, which comes in a sheet, or it comes in a wire form. And so you can cut little pieces—a lot of professionals actually will go in and solder using just holding that wire as a welder wood and introduce the solder by just using it by hand like that.

There's a ton of different soldering techniques. There's a lot of ways to approach it. Try out a few, work with a professional if you can, or it will be great if you just give it a go.|

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