Soldering Irons and Soft Solder Tools from Rings & Things - Great for all your low-temperature jewelry-making needs!
- Use soldering irons with soft solder, such as StayBrite, Choice, or SILVERGLEEM, and use a flux designed for soft soldering (such as LACO BRITE).
- Soldering irons do not get hot enough for hard solders such as copper and the hard/medium/easy grades of silver solder. (Use a torch for soldering sterling silver or fusing fine silver.)
Soft solder is a low-temperature tin-based solder, perfect for making glass frame pendants, repairing costume jewelry, and soldering pin backs or barrette backs onto metal jewelry when you want a connection more permanent than glue. Soft solder is normally used with a soldering iron - and it's easy to learn! If you're careful, you can also use a torch with soft solder. (Just be careful not to overheat your components.) Note: If you use soft solder on sterling silver jewelry, you lose the ability to silver solder the item in the future. (It forms a new alloy, and lowers the melting point of your sterling silver.) More information about the difference between hard solder and soft solder.
Copper foil tape is perfect for wrapping glass pieces together before soldering with soft solder.
Tinned Copper wire is commonly used by stained glass workers, because soft solder flows nicely onto it. Use thinner gauges to (30ga to 24ga) to add tinned-copper embellishments like spirals, swirls and cat whiskers. Use thicker gauges to create wire loops for hanging, at the tops of suncatchers, stained glass pieces, and soldered-glass pendants. 24- and 22-gauge are fine for earrings and smaller pendants; use 20- and 18-gauge for heavier jewelry and suncatchers. Tinned copper is a good color match for soft solder and white-plated jewelry findings.
Microscope slides work great as the protective glass covering on custom-soldered frame pendants, perfect for collage pendants. Not sure how? See our blog article: How to Solder Glass Pendants. Feel free to post questions or comments at the end of the article!