Begin soldering! How To Solder a Sterling Silver Bangle.

Begin soldering! How To Solder a Sterling Silver Bangle.

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So let me first show you how to measure out
your bangle. So take, like, a paper ruler or a string will
work and wrap it around the widest part of your hand to get your measurement. So mine will be 8 inches which is pretty common. So lay down your ruler and take your piece
of metal, right now I’m using 16 gauge wire – sterling silver wire. And mark it with
your sharpie. And you don’t have to worry about the black
mark on the sharpie because it will disappear in the pickle and soldering it. Let me measure this. Now if you want to texture your bangle, you’re
going to want to do that, you’re going to want to cut it down by about a quarter of
an inch smaller than what you need. Because as you texture it, it’ll expand the metal,
so you won’t want to expand – you want it to expand to the size that you need. So just keep that in mind, go a quarter
of an inch shorter if you want to texture it. Now go ahead and take your wire cutters, I
have wire cutters right here and I’m going to cut at the mark I just made. And a cool trick I learned in one of my classes
is to use a ring clamp to hold on to your metal, because you have to have your join
completely flush. Your two ends of your metal have got to meet
perfectly, because solder won’t fill in any spaces. So it’s not a filler just remember. So what I did, was I took a ring clamp – and
I hope you can see I marked it. I marked a line down through it. And that just keeps my metal straight. And all you do is unscrew one of the sides
and then you can just slip the side that you want to mark out of it and just mark one side of
it, and that’s a really good tip. Let me see if I can get it so you can see
that I put that line in there, hopefully you can see that. It’s a line straight down the middle. So take the wire that you just cut, and the
reason I’m doing this is because a ring clamp has a part in the middle of it, like
a hinge, that allows it to bend and you can’t put wire down through all the way. So this just allows you to have the wire half
way down through it and we don’t care that it’s not in the shape of a bangle right
now – we’re only shaping it to get ready to solder it. So leave a little tiny bit sticking out of
the top because when you cut wire, it will not come out easily so I just left a tiny
little bit at the top of it. Just like a millimeter. Just enough to file it evenly across. So I’ll take a file and what I’ll do,
is I’ll hold my hand down at the bottom of this to make it straight and to hold onto
it really well. And I’ll simply go straight across until
I hit the wood, and now I know it’s even across. So, unhook that, bend the other half of your
wire and do the same thing and just repeat what you just did. So now I’m done with that. So if you feel along the edges, you’ll see
there are little tiny burrs on there from filing it. So take a needle file, and you can use that
as the previous file too I just used a bigger one, and you want to go straight across. You want to just file it straight across and
take those little burrs off. You do not want to dig down onto your wire
at all, you want it to be flush straight across when you solder it. So just take, just knock the teeny tiny little
burrs off there very lightly. Okay, now you’re going to shape your wire. And this will take the longest part, but you
want – every time you bend your wire, it work hardens and you don’t have to care
about what shape it’s in right now, don’t even worry about that. But you want to get it so that it’s,
it holds closed. So what I do is, I go back and forth like
this to make it springy. And now I’ll connect the two ends and make
sure it holds straight in place. Now this will take a while to get used to
it. And just spring as much as you need, but you want to
get it so that it doesn’t come loose. You want it to be even. And look through a light source and make sure
that there’s no gaps – that you’re not seeing any light through your join and that
it’s absolutely straight across before you solder it. So now we’re ready to solder, so let me
adjust the camera and it’ll be just a sec. So now you’re almost ready to solder, but
there’s one other step you need to take before you’ll be fully ready. And that is you need to clean the oil
and grime off your wire piece. So take an 800, 6 or 8 hundred grit sand paper
and just lightly sand each of your wire ends where you’ll add the solder. And you don’t want to do this much, you
don’t want to take off any metal. You just basically want to clean off the oil
and grime that can be on there. Now go ahead and set this up to get ready
to solder. Now what I want to do – and this is a heat
reflective board, and this is a magnesia soldering board; this is really good if you you’re using it to
attach an earring post or something that needs to get soldering done, you can actually stick
it in here. This is really hard, so you can’t put anything in here, but you
can pin things to this one. But this creates a little safe zone to solder
on, because you don’t want to solder onto the table, you don’t want the heat on the
tile or anything like that. So just focus your aim on here. So let’s go ahead and setup the solder. So I’m going to use some flux, and if your
flux is dry that’s fine, you could just add water. You can add water to it and that works
just fine if it dries up, it’s common. So I’m going to put a dab right here on
it. And this just helps the solder flow. And I cleaned that brush off because the brush
does stay, it will get hard unless you wash it right off. So anyway, I have some medium solder, and
I’m going to take a piece of it. And I’m going to place it on the board. It’s right there if you can see it – it
is right here. And now this metal has got to touch it, so
I’m going to bring the metal to it and flip it so it sits better on it. And you want it to land right on that join
– you want the solder to be right underneath that join. So I’m going to lay it right down. And if your wire splits when you lay it down,
don’t worry about it just put it right back together. And I’ll zoom in so hopefully you can see
the solder joined, the solder right below that. Now the solder, the join between the wires
is right here and the solder bit is directly underneath that, so they line up perfectly. And what I want to do is, I want to heat from
above. I want to heat from up here and draw the solder
up through the wire by heating on the top, because solder will flow wherever the heat
source is, wherever the hottest point is, it’s going to flow towards it. So now you’re ready to start soldering,
so if you have long hair tie it back. And go ahead and light up your torch. And lock it in, I don’t know if you can
see this torch, but there’s the torch. And now when you solder, you always solder
– when you’re using a torch, you always keep that in your non-dominant hand and you
keep your soldering pick in your dominant hand. And that way if anything shifts or adjusts, you reach for it with your pick and not your fingers. So now I’m going to heat the entire piece. And I’m going to heat it kind of slowly
because flux, when it dries out and bubbles, it will knock your chips off and it’ll move
them away so I don’t want that to happen, so I’m going to go in slowly. And remember, solder doesn’t flow from the
flame, it actually is the heat of the metal that causes the solder to flow. So now that I’ve heated up the entire bangle,
I’m going to go right in on the top. And never ever keep your torch, don’t ever
keep your torch still. You want to keep it moving, because it’ll
burn through the metal. So always make sure your torch is moving at
all times. And it already flowed. So now I can turn this off, and I’ll place
it back on its holder. And let me zoom out, so you can see what the
rest of it is. Okay, so I’m going to let that air cool
for just a couple of minutes. If I put it right straight into the pickle
pot, it would, it might cause it to break. And so I just want it to air cool first, so
it’s cooled down when I place it in there, so that’ll just take a couple of minutes. And you only, whenever you add anything or
remove anything from your pickle pot, you only want to use copper tongs because if you
put steel in with the pickle acid, it actually will plate everything in copper. And it takes a while to get it off of your
sterling silver pieces or silver pieces. So just always remember to use copper tongs
whenever you add or remove jewelry from your pickle pot. And remember to always quench it, because
it’s an acid so you want it removed from the piece as soon as possible. So I’ll go ahead and pick this up now with
the copper tongs. And I’ll place it in the pickle pot, and
this is a warm pickle pot. It’s plugged in, it only has one setting. It’s the one we sell here at work and it
only has one setting. And just read the back of your pickle to find
out, because all pickles are different, so just to find out what mixture, how much of each you should put of each thing in there. Usually it’s just a little bit, you don’t
have to be too careful with it. But I usually pour a little bit in and see
how it cleans and I might add a little bit more if it’s not cleaning very quickly. It should just take a few minutes to clean. And when it’s white is when you know that you
should remove it from the pickle pot. So I’ll check on it right now. It’s almost ready. Every time I check on anything in the pickle
pot, also I quench the tongs as well in the water bowl I have right here. And that can be plastic or glass, we just
use plastic old Tupperware type containers here. And they work just fine, we’ve used the
same ones for years. So I went and quenched it and now you want
to dry it. It
could use a little bit more cleaning, I could have kept it in for a couple more minutes. But you can pull on it, tug on it a little
bit to make sure that it’s sealed. And hopefully you can see that. That’s where the solder seam is right there. So now that it’s soldered, I’m going to
take it over here and I’m going to show you how to straighten it up. So I’ll use the bangle mandrel. Let me move this out of the way a little bit. I’ll use the bangle mandrel and this will
tell you also if you need to re-solder it in case the seam breaks right here. I’ll slide it down on there. You only want to use a rawhide hammer because
anything else, like a metal hammer, is going to change – it’s going to mar the metal
or dent it. Unless you want to texture it, you just want
to use this so it stays in the same round wire shape. And I’m just going to gently go around it. I’m hammering on the seam right now and
it looks pretty good so far. I’m just letting it kind of fall down the
mandrel as it shapes. And just keep going around it. Now you can buy, you don’t have to buy a
metal mandrel, you can always purchase a wooden one and it works just as well, so don’t…these
aren’t things that you have to purchase right away. And even you can use things around your house
to just get it in a circular shape. Now if it sticks on that, if it would have
stuck on that, I would have just tapped upwards on the rawhide hammer. See, it’s in a nice round shape now. Now if I wanted to texture it, I would place
it on here and after shaping it with a rawhide gently, now I could go in with a hammer. Now you could use a ball peen hammer or a
riveting hammer that has a straight end on the back. This is a texturing hammer we have, I
think it’s got nine different textures on it, so it’s really fast and easy. So I’ll just show you with this one. Now you can go around and hit it. And now this will stretch it out even further,
so you want to make sure you’re checking it constantly to your wrist, because you don’t
want to blow past the point where it’s too big for you. Now what I like to do is, I like to keep one
mandrel that’s only for finishing work because this one’s dinged up from hammering it and
all the students hammering on it. So I always like to keep one that’s just
strictly for finishing use on it. Because all these dings can get on the back
of your piece. So you don’t really want a dinged up mandrel,
unless you have a way to re-shape it. But you can always just keep one as a strictly
finishing where you don’t hammer on it except for with a rawhide or nylon
that won’t hurt it. But this one is just shaping it. So you can see it has a texture on it now
or I could have just kept it with that finish and used sandpaper and stuff to finish it
up to a mirror shine. And what you can do is, you can buy a variety
of sandpaper and that will give you all the finishing you need. Just work from the one with the heaviest grit
down to the finest, finest one you have. And that’s it. It’s really quick and really fast and easy.


  1. You kindly replied on another video, giving me the link to your video. Apologies for the delay in watching it. This is THE BEST demonstration/tutorial I have ever seen!!!! Seriously, you broke down the steps, explained what all the different items are and how/why to use them. You have actually given me a much needed assertion that I CAN do this! It means such a lot. I shall keep this video, ready for when I want to do my first soldering. Would you mind if I also share this? I think it offers people the confidence that, for me, has been essential to moving forward. THANK YOU so much!! Caroline👏👌🌼

  2. I'm having difficulty to find the materials to solder in my country. All I find soft solder and that is no working for the tensor rings. Would you please share the specific names of the solder and type of fire /gas you are using? Ty

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