Hot connections. The final frontier. Right? It does seem like using torches is the last thing some jewelry artisans will attempt when they need to connect metal pieces together. Wire wrapping, fibre lashing and riveting are great techniques but soldering makes those connections permanent when the metal components are fused together.
I recently received Joe Silvera's latest book on soldering, Soldering Beyond the Basics for review. It covers ways on how to move on from the basics. This book is thus geared for intermediate to advanced level artisans. His earlier book Soldering Made Simple: Easy techniques for the kitchen-table jeweler is more suitable for beginners.
The Beyond the Basics book is divided into 3 sections. The first deals with materials, tools, studio setup, how to solder and toolkit lists. The second section includes 16 projects which are rated from beginner (novice in soldering) to advanced solderer. The final bit reviews the basics such as annealing, sawing, filing, polishing with power tools, burnishing with a tumbler, adjusting ring size and adding patina.
The first section alone is worth the cost of the book because the author thoroughly explains what is needed to solder. There are, for example, different types of torches available for use so he covers how to fill and ignite them. Especially useful are the pages on adjusting the flame to get oxidizing, neutral or reducing flames, each of which has a different purpose.
Also helpful are his tips on how to set up a studio so you can safely solder even at home by following commonsense safety rules. For example, protect the wooden bench top or table with a ceramic floor tile under the solder board.
There is a lot of information to take in - for example learning about firescale -retardant fluxes and anti-flux. So careful reading is required to understand what is needed for the projects.
One excellent project is the Freeform Prongs pendant shown below. The instructions show how a back wire frame for holding the metal focal is created and soldered.
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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