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seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,677 Member Since: 26/01/2011

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Feb 2 17 12:41 PM

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My daughter asked me to fix a silver ring of hers with silver solder. Is electronic silver solder the same as used in jewelry making? Does anybody know? If I do use electronic silver solder is it safe for her to wear against her skin?

Thanks!
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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,504 Member Since:04/02/2011

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Feb 2 17 12:56 PM

electronic silver solder is most typically lead free. Look for a RoHS seal on the bobbin, if you still have the bobbin or other packaging.

I can't imagine a reason why it wouldn't work; I'd be most worried about potentially discoloring the jewelry from heat if the metal requires a lot of heat.

brad allen williams

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Mike Rivers

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,540 Member Since:13/10/2012

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Feb 2 17 2:45 PM

Electronic solder is "soft" solder. Jewelry solder is "hard" solder, which is tougher. With something like a ring, soft solder will fail pretty quickly. And you'll probalby need a torch (a small one) to get up to silver soldering temperature.

You want real jeweler's silver solder, not the silver brazing solder that you can get at Home Depot. That's used for soldering copper pipes and has a lot of copper in it. My father was a jeweler, watchmaker, and tinkerer, so I learned all about soldering jewelry and electronic components around the same time in my life.



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

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John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,311 Member Since:31/05/2015

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Feb 2 17 4:00 PM

seth wrote:
My daughter asked me to fix a silver ring of hers with silver solder. Is electronic silver solder the same as used in jewelry making? Does anybody know? If I do use electronic silver solder is it safe for her to wear against her skin?

Thanks!

NO!

Electronics silver solder is definitely NOT the same as jewler's silver sol;der and is not suitable for jewelry work. (Jewelry work was one of my hobbies for years).

Electronic silver soldfer (and the "silver solder" they sell at Home Depot for plumbing) are correctly known as silver bearing solder, as silver only comprises around 2%-4% of the total weight. Real silver solder is nearly as pure as Sterling (which is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper), with just enough additional metals to lower the melting point the required amount.

Jeweler's silver solder (aka "hard solder')  is not actually a solder at all it's a braze, requires a torch (or a special hard solder machine, which is much like a miniature arc welder), and comes in several different temperature ranges, all of which have a much higher melting point than electronic silver solder. It is usually found in sheet form, although it is also available as wire, and is sold by the gram. It uses a special flux (the same as used for gold solder (also a braze). The flux comes in powdered form and is prepared by the job by mixing with water to form a paste.

After the piece has been soldered it is necessary to "pickle" it in an acid solution to remove the heat scale and flux, then polish it on a buffing wheel with jeweler's rouge.

I don't know if electronic silver solder is safe against the skin, but it will discolor with exposure to skin secretions and is not sufficiently durable mechanically.

My advice is that if you don't already have experience with precision brazing that you take the ring to a jeweler, it'll end up being cheaper unless you already have a precision jewler's torch and experience. If the ring has components built by fabrication (soldering parts together, as opposed to casting) you need to be VERY careful with temperature and use the lowest temperature grade of silver solder lest it come apart.

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Feb 2 17 4:13 PM. Edited 3 times.

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John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,311 Member Since:31/05/2015

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Feb 2 17 4:01 PM

soapfoot wrote:
electronic silver solder is most typically lead free. Look for a RoHS seal on the bobbin, if you still have the bobbin or other packaging.

I can't imagine a reason why it wouldn't work; I'd be most worried about potentially discoloring the jewelry from heat if the metal requires a lot of heat.

It won't work because it's the wrong material and the wrong process.

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