Soldering is such an exciting part of jewellery making! Once you've practised and built upon this skill, you'll be able to make truly unique pieces.
At Kernowcraft, we provide a wide range of soldering tools and supplies, as well as some handy books focusing on soldering.
We also have a Soldering Kit, aimed at beginners who would like to have a go at soldering but unsure of where to start. We have listed all of our recommended tools and supplies below, all available online.
A soldering block is one of the most important tools for your soldering kit. It provides a safe surface for you to solder on and keeps the heat exactly where you want it when using a gas torch.
Flux helps to prevent fire stain which can become visible when polishing your piece. It needs to be mixed with water to create a smooth paste and applied to your solder joint with a flux brush before the soldering process.
These reverse action tweezers are made from sprung steel and open when you squeeze the handles. They are so easy to use with minimal effort and will be a great friend while soldering! Use them to support your pieces when soldering but don't forget to always use plastic tweezers when pickling - we will tell you why on this page below.
Solder strip is cut into pallions (small squares) with the use of metal sheet and wire cutters. They are then placed on the pre-fluxed solder joint, before using a gas torch to heat the piece until the solder flows and secures the join. If you find traditional soldering tricky, you may prefer to use solder paste - a formulation of silver particles contained with flux which is really simple to use, no additional flux is needed as it is already incorporated into the paste.
Use these high quality cutters for cutting pallions from solder strip and of course, cutting metal sheet and wire quickly and easily.
Heat is essential in order to allow the solder to melt and join your piece. We love this jewellers gas torch for soldering, especially small items such as jump rings and chains.
A soldering probe, also known as a soldering pick or poker definitely comes in handy for manipulating solder and metals while heating. It has a sharp pointed end which can be used to guide or drag the molten solder along the join and for supporting items during the soldering process.
After heating your piece during the soldering process, a subtle dark shadow can become apparent so safety pickle is used to clean your piece. This shadow is caused by the heated impurities which have risen to the surface. Mix 1 teaspoon with warm water in a plastic container and place your piece in the solution until the oxides and flux residue is gone.
It's important to always use plastic tweezers when you insert and remove your pieces from the pickle bath (containing safety pickle). If you use steel in the solution, this can cause a chemical reaction which can copper plate your silver or gold. Pure brass tweezers are also suitable to use.
This book is a great guide to learn the fundamentals of soldering, sharing the essential tools and materials needed. It contains 15 brilliant projects with step by step instructions.