Hard Solder Challenge:
I was asked to try to make these earrings by using just hard solder by someone on a newsgroup. Even though I had no problems using all hard solder for all joints, I was impressed that these earrings were difficult to make. Very small pieces in small areas made it difficult. I also did not have the luxury of enough time to measure or plan any one part. I went by the photo supplied by the person, made the earrings in about four hours, while teaching other classes and taking photos. I did not measure anything and just cut out all pieces free hand with tin snips. I was more interested in the soldering process.
The earrings in question are show here in this photograph that was supplied to me.
Step 1 Made two round discs of 26 gauge sheet sterling about 1/2 in diameter.
Step 2 I divided the disc and began to cut out the "Star".
Step 3: I just cut them with sheet metal shears.
Step 4: I then just broke off the pieces with my chain nose pliers.
Step 5. I made large disc from 20 gauge sheet and pre polished all four.
Step 6. I flux the back of the "stars".
Step 7 I place snippets of hard solder on the back of the "stars".
Step 8 I melt these snippets.
Step 9 I fluxed the top side of the larger 20 gauge discs.
Step 10 I placed the "stars" solder side down on to the larger discs and just centered them by eye.
Step 11 I heated the pieces until the solder flowed.
Step 12 I made four bezels for the the four stones. .
Step 13 I placed the larger bezels on to the larger discs, flux all, and placed two to four pieces of hard solder inside the bezel. Then solder it.
Step 14 I turned over the discs and place the smaller bezels on to the "stars". Then placed several pieces of hard solder in side the bezels.
Step 15 Then soldered on the bezels. Notice no special attention was given to the larger bezels on the opposite side of the discs.
Step 16 Notches were filed in to two pieces of 19 guage square wire that was furnished by the person asking for the challenge. These notches permit the wire to be bent into sharp corners and then soldered.
Step 17 I place the two pieces on top the photo to ensure the correct angle.
Step 19 I made the small loops that the earrings would hang from.
Step 18 I placed the square wires on the charcoal block, fluxed them and placed a small piece of hardd solder on each bend.
Step 20 I solder these two loops shut.
Step 21 I filed another notch in one side of the square wire bail so that a sharpe bend could be made. I marked the location of the first notch on the bench. Turned the piece over and marked the other side to ensure the same  location.
Step 22 After filing all the notches and making the sharpe bends, I fluxed the pieces, placed small pieces of hard solder on the joints.
Step 23 I made four "U" shaped pieces of the 19 guage round wire suppied by the person, placed them on a charcoal block, fluxed them and on of the earings, and then placed very small pieces of  hard solder on the ends of each.
Step 24 I soldered on the first loop on the first disc by just holding it above the disc in the tweezers. As the piece heated up and the flux began to melt, I place the loop on to the disc and solder flowed down from the loops on to the sheet.
Step 25 I turned the disk around and soldered on the second loop.
Step 26 I made four more loops, place them on the loops that were solder on to the sheets.
Step 27 To make this solder joint easier to do, I simply set the piece between two charcoal blocks in  a way that would permit the bail to rest on one of them.
Step 28 This made it easy to flux the joints and place very small piecses of hard solder on to the two joints to attach the bail on to the bottom piece.
Step 29 After soldering the joints on the first loop, I turned the piece over and solder on the second loop!
Step 30 I soldered together the second earring.
Step 31 After polishing I set the stones.
Step 32 After setting the stones and put on a final polish. Total time: about 3 hours as I was teaching a beginning class.
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(Classes)  (Silversmithing)  (Video Classes)   (Turquoise)  (Pewter)  (Sculptures)  (Stones)  (My Bio)  (My Other Sites) (Private Classes) (Rock Wraps)  (E-Mail Me)  (Spot Price)  (Contact Us)  (Tool Kit)  (Links)  (Student's Comments)
(World"s Largest Art Show) (Home)  (Small Castings For Silversmithing and  Metal Clay)