Monday, July 13, 2015

Gwen Youngblood's $30 Soldering Basics and Beyond Online Workshop Class Giveaway

By on Monday, July 13, 2015 57 Comments

Torch work is probably one of the biggest stumbling blocks for a lot of jewelry makers.  Perhaps it is because our mothers ingrained in us early on about not playing with fire?  But as grownups, this tool provides so much potential to jewelry making.  One online class that really takes the fear out of torch work is Gwen Youngblood's Soldering: Basics & Beyond over on Craftsy.


This seasoned instructor teaches in an easy to follow manner how to solder over a series of 7 lessons. The total run time is about 2.75 hours. The Craftsy online workshop class means students can watch at their own pace or repeat sections as many times as they please, whenever they want.  A boon for those who cannot get to a proper class.

The lessons were well structured, building up on knowledge and skills as they go along. Gwen teaches how to solder using a handheld butane torch. Unlike soft soldering (with a soldering iron), the higher temperatures of the torch will allow the soldering of precious metals.  Gwen uses predominantly fine silver and copper.  Fine silver (99.9% silver) does not oxidize as easily as sterling silver so there is little to no firescale to remove. Sterling silver on the other hand will oxidize during the soldering process due to the 7.5% copper it contains.


Lesson 1 introduces the types of solder, tools and the workstation as well as covers the safety rules. Throughout her class, Gwen showed how being organized about your set up really counts. You could indeed, have such a set up on your kitchen table. If you have the space a dedicated small table will work in your own studio. She doesn't say but it is best to not solder in a confined space and if you have ventilation, even better.

Gwen did not demonstrate how to fill the butane torch which would have been great for this class.  But that is not a big issue as there are instructions with the torch.

I like how she holds the  torch in her non-dominant hand as it is easier to manipulate small pieces of solder with the solder pick on the dominant hand. Good tip.  She also carefully teaches how not to overheat the metal for many good reasons.

She made things easy for beginners in many ways.  She uses pickle (mild acid for cleaning the metal after torching) at room temperature - this avoids having to buy or get a separate heatable pickle pot.  It takes a bit longer to pickle though.

Gwen prefers to use spray on flux (there are also paint on types) with metal solder cut into small pieces.   Some people might prefer using solder paste which contains flux.  There are advantages to to her method. She uses the flux sprayed on the entire project. Not just to make the solder flow more easily (by reducing the surface tension) but to protect the metal, particularly copper, during heating.  That`s probably why it didn`t take that long for her to pickle the pieces as there isn't much firescale on the copper.

Sweat soldering : Drying off the flux 

Her demos in Lesson 2 on the torch controls and how she makes balled head pins, closed jump rings and little decorative balls are just wonderful - she proves there is nothing difficult about them at all.

Lesson 3 deals with the basics of how to quickly cut up pieces of metal and how to sweat solder - connect the pieces together with solder in between. This sets up for Lesson 4's advanced sweat soldering where she teaches how to deal with different thicknesses of metal used for embellishment using the 3 types of solder - hard, medium and easy. The result is this lovely pendant made with some flattened copper wire, discs and a bezel cup.



In Lesson 5, she teaches how to bezel a cabochon and cut out the final shape. She teaches so well that you will not be intimidated with this metal smith technique.  She includes how to solder bails.

Gwen also shares a number of tips throughout the entire class.Who knew a marker pen would be okay as a burnisher to push the bezel edge in?  Her method of making sure the cut edges of the bezel strip are completely flush using a file and spare pliers is clever.


Lesson 6 covers the use of pretty gallery wire to embellish jewelry projects and as a bezel itself. It is tricky because it is delicate and heavily patterned.


Lesson 7 is a must see for anyone wanting to learn to solder wire together. The possibilities are endless once you master how to solder with a torch.


I learned a great deal watching Gwen and I highly recommend the workshop if you wish to learn how to work with a torch. This is  a well taught class using just basic soldering equipment and instills confidence in those who might be hesitant about hot connections.  Learning to solder with a hand held butane torch is far less scary than having to deal with gas tanks!

A couple of things I do like about the Crafty classes is the ability to add your own notes and also ask the instructor questions if you want to know more about what she uses or unclear about a procedure.

Giveaway
If you'd like to win the Soldering: Basics & Beyond online workshop class, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, July 20, 2015 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

Disclosure
I am now a Craftsy affiliate which means I receive a small compensation when classes are purchased through my blog.  The opinions expressed here are entirely mine and mine alone.  These would be the same, whether or not I receive the compensation. 

Before You Go:
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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57 comments:

  1. I would love to win this workshop. I have been wanting to try soldering but was intimidated. I would like this step by step.

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  2. I, too, want to learn to solder. Your creations are lovely.

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  3. Although I went to silversmithing classes at college I like to take lessons from other tutors, just to see how other people work, you can pick up tips and they may even work in a way that is better fitted to you
    I am an avid reader of your blog and follow you on Twitter, linked in and Facebook as well as being a subscriber to your mailing list

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  4. I've just gotten in to soldering and this worksheet would be so helpful.

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  5. Hi Pearl,
    Thanks for the chance to win - the class looks very comprehensive.

    victoria_farrell at hotmail.com

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  6. Wow...this would be the perfect class to win and round out my current skills. I would love to win it !

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  7. I would love to win. I haven't had much luck soldering with my butane torch. I'm also a blog subscriber.

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  8. I would love to win this. I have all the tools, I'm just too scared to use them! I'm a blog subscriber.

    elvetter01 at gmail.com

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. I really want to learn to solder - I even have a Learn to Solder Kit for electronics to just get the basics - even better to learn also from a jewelllery maker

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  11. This looks very interesting. I'd love to try this workshop!

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  12. I would totally love to win this! Love to play with fire & metal!! Used to do stained glass and loved the soldering process.
    I'm a blog subscriber
    Denise

    demontwostep@live.ca

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  13. I would love to win! I want to learn new tips about soldering :)
    I'm a blog subscriber
    Yifat

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  14. Love these n would be very much keen to learn more about how to do it! I'm a subscriber and blog follower too.

    Retro-grrl@hotmail.com

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  15. Oh yes, yes, yes please! I would love to win this awesome lesson on using my torch!
    Ttangles@ yahoo. com

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  16. Oh my goodness! This is such a splendid giveaway! Would I ever love to win. Learning to solder is something I would love to add to my skill base! Thank you so much Pearl for always hosting such exceptional giveaways!!! ~Debra msd.katz@hotmail.com

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  17. Would love.this class, I've been wanting to find a good soldering class and this one looks perfect.... tclah9183@yahoo.com

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  18. Oh yeah! Please, please, me!
    Gloobule@hotmail.fr

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  19. Thanks for this fantastic giveaway, I have tinkered with soldering before but never done a bezel setting. I would love to know how it is done from a master like Gwen

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  20. I follow you on GFC, facebook, twitter and instagram :)

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  21. I love Craftsy classes and have taken a few. I would love to win this one. Soldering is so intimidating.

    Zoraida - http://artzjewelry.wordpress.com

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  22. I have been wanting to lean soldering. This would be a wonderful opportunity. jt1210@hotmail.com

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  23. Looks interesting! Would love to win and give it a go!
    datmine2009@hotmail.com

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  24. Next on my list to learn is soldering. would luv to win. srisen2001@yahoo.co.in

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  25. I am a blog follower too. srisen2001@yahoo.co.in

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  26. Throw my name in there Pearl!

    I love soldering and there is always something to learn!!

    Great Giveaway btw!!

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  27. Pat Buchanan Pbuchannan@aol.comJuly 13, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    Haven't soldered anything in years.....I used to be the Queen of Melting Parts. Maybe it's time to try again.

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  28. I haven't tried soldering yet, but I have all the tools. This tutorial would be very helpful. I follow on bloglovin, tweeted, g+, and pinned.

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  29. I would love to win this class. I have wanted to start soldering but didn't know where to begin. This looks like an awesome way to begin. skarupabarbara7@gmail.ca

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  30. Thanks for sharing about this class. I took a metal smithing class in college and LOVED it. I wish that I would have stuck with it after school. This would be a perfect way to get back into it, I am sure that I have forgotten a lot of things. Thanks for the chance to win!!

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  31. I've never tried soldering, but What a Neat thing to learn!!!
    Who knew!!
    uniquelyphyllis@outlook.com

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  32. Would love to win this class. I've seen some of her work and she is marvellous. This is really really what I want to learn to do. febailes@shaw.ca

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  33. I would love to win this class. I've watched my husband solder thungs in the house and always thought it looked easy, but it is the intricases of the finishing that looks hard.
    shw_samuel@sky.com

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  34. I Tweeted the giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win!!! (Kateyhbf@gmail.com)

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  35. Hi there, I would love to win this class - I have wanted to learn to solder for a while now - would add another dimension onto my repetoire - look forward to hearing from you - jill - down under New Zealand - www.beadbugs.co.nz

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  36. Not sure the first comment came through, but if love to win this.

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  37. Just tweeted about this.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/620593886566572032

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  38. Hi! I am a blog follower. I tweeted and shared on facebook about this. I'd love to win the class giveaway.
    thanks!
    Tania (telejota@gmail.com)

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  39. Give me knowledge! I would love to learn this information she is such a great teacher and thank you Pearl for this chance :) Good Luck to everyone!
    Janice
    artprncss@yahoo.com

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  40. Would love to win this class to aid me in a skill I am just beginning to discover

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  41. Julia Freeman. grinchswoman@hotmail.com. Would love to win this. Not sure why I am so hesitant about soldering, but I want to desperately try!

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  42. would love to win this class as i didn't win the book on soft soldering. I have done some soldering with a torch but am far from comfortable with the whole process. I am a fan of Craftsy classes and have several under my belt already. this would be the icing on the cake to win it.
    deb fortin www.mhotistudio.blogspot.ca
    www.mhotistudio.ca

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  43. Would love to win this as soldering is the one thing I have yet to master. Blog follower: zookeeper10@yahoo.com

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  44. Winning this class would help me make some ideas into realities!

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  45. Always willing to learn more - I would love to win this one! Thank you for the opportunity.

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  46. Would love to win this class. Have thought about making my own jump rings. This would be a good teaching tool.

    Carolyn
    Carolynscreations@live.com

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  47. Great info. Would love to win. Glitzycowgirl @ gmail.com

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  48. Gwen is an excellent teacher. I've taken one of her wire classes before but haven't tried soldering. Hope I win....<3....I'm excited!!!

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  49. Just tweeted again about your post and her great classes.

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  50. I almost purchased this class the other day but funds are short this month so I thought well it will o on sale soon and I will swoop in lol. Maybe I'll win it lol, fingers and toes are crossed!! I want to take this class so bad. It looks amazing (so does their granules class). I will be sharing on my Facebook.

    aj.luvs.art@live.com
    music.maven.aj@mail.com
    https://www.facebook.com/amy.j.turner

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  51. Ohh I would love to win this class! I always have interest in soldering but have no idea how to start or learn by myself. I hope by watching this video tutorial could guide me step by step! Finger crossed that I could win. Thank you so much for the opportunity! :)

    I have shared it in my Pinterest wall as well: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/17944098492937361/

    Cindy Kuo
    treecraftdiary@gmail.com
    www.treecraftdiary.com

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  52. Oh my goodness would I LOVE to win this! I retired recently and have wanted to learn this so very much. I just yesterday got out of the hospital to now taking it easy for 4-6 weeks. Tis would be a wonderful way to help enjoy my time.

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  53. Looking forward to seeing the book and trying some new techniques! Thanks for the giveaway. Deborah.collyar@gmail.com

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  54. I would love to read and learn from this. I've been wire weaving for years and just started using a micro torch. Would like to expand my skills combining soldering and wire weaving.

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  55. Designing and creating have become a passionate therapy for me over the past couple of years. I can't *wait* for the soldering workshop. Thank you, sincerely, for your blog <3

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  56. Not sure if my previous comment went through. I'd love to be entered into your drawing. <3 wishwebber@live.com

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