First time soldering!

I had never soldered before, so I became slightly nervous when over half a dozen hands out of a class of 13, shot up when the teacher asked if anyone had soldered before. Would I suck compared to everyone else?

Luckily, these feelings dissipated pretty quickly and feelings of excitement took over when our teacher began showing us demonstrations of how to prepare and solder the pieces of metal together. Our current rings project revolves around soldering and naturally it involves fire. FIREEEEE!! Who doesn’t like to play around with fire? EEEEEEE!!

Each term we complete a series of samples in our practical class, which gives us the opportunity to learn and practice new skills that we’ll use, when we make the item of jewellery we’ve designed. To kick off, our teacher showed us how to do butt joins, sweat solder, t-joins and double band rings. As he was doing the demonstrations he ran through some pointers:
1. Be careful not to overheat the metal and in turn overheating the solder. This may cause the solder to bubble, leaving gaps in your work. Filing may help to get rid of the bubble if it’s shallow, but it also may not, as you begin to realise, the deeper you file, the deeper the bubble is.
2. Spend the time to prepare your metal pieces properly. File the edges as straight as possible – if you do this properly, you’re 3/4 of the way there. If the edges aren’t flush, this may cause gaps if there’s not enough solder to fill up the space. This may mean you need to resolder the join, which could make the gap worse, or cause new gaps to form. Eeek.

Not too shabby for my first attempt at soldering eh?

It’s annoying the pickle makes the metal turn that pinkish colour. It makes for more emerying… eurghhhh. By the end of the course, I’m going to have a maxi gun of pure muscle on my right arm, but a scrawny left arm. Yay!

From that pink coloured ring, in the bottom left picture above, here’s the same ring, that’s been soldered to an outer ring and polished. Ta-daaaaaa!! Not too shabby for brass eh? #oneringtorulethemall

One ring to rule them all...


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