Molten Silver Solder Ring

Putting “soldering iron” on my yuletide list was one of the better ideas I’ve had in a while. Since I’ve been putting in more practice time, I decided to give another jewelry project a shot, inspired by the molten rings and pendants I’d found online. 

70 watt soldering station
Silicon baking mat
Lead-Free silver solder
18 gauge copper wire
Tinning flux
Steel ring mandrel
Rubber jewelry hammer
Hemostat clamp
Wire cutters
Cotton swabs

Silver solder adheres to silver and copper materials, so for the base of the ring, I cut a 12″ piece of 18-gauge wire and coiled it around my steel ring mandrel, gauging half a size larger to account for the layers of solder.

I’m using the helping hands tool to pose the piece here, but it ended up not being needed at all for this project. The hemostat clamp I use for securing jump rings was enough to hold the coiled wire while I applied flux with the cotton swab and guided the tip of the soldering iron. Downside: the ring ended up having a substantial bump on one side, where the solder pooled against the edge of the clamp. Fortunately, for molten jewelry projects, asymmetry is your friend!

Once the wire was covered and the layers of solder had cooled, I slid the ring back over the mandrel and used the jewelry hammer to create a few more facets and flatten out some of the thicker layers.

And there we have it! Not bad for a first try.

~ by blackmoodcraft on February 26, 2016.

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