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Soldering Made Simple

Updated on April 4, 2013

Soldering silver and copper, to create your own jewellery is quite a straight forward process, using a minimum of affordable tools and needing a very tiny space! Like any process, once you've got a couple of techniques, tips and tricks under your belt there will be no stopping you.

Perhaps you've thought of going on a course to learn how to solder silver, but found that the course has started, or the times don't suit your lifestyle - well, the good news is you can teach yourself how to solder and there are a number of great, easy to follow books, to help you with this.

As a rule of thumb, instead of going on a one day workshop to learn to solder, you could use that cash to kit yourself out with all the tools you need and get a couple of great books and teach yourself. The clear advantage of this method is you can then practice a much as you like, at hours to suit yourself, rather than attending a workshop, having a go, then returning home and not having the soldering kit you need.

Soldering is easy with just a few tools and some practice - and there's no need to pay for expensive, time-consuming, courses and workshops to perfect the skill!

Soldering Is Simple

The process of soldering silver or copper to make your own jewellery is a straight forward process, but you do need a little help to choose the right tools and to perfect your technique. Without help a beginner is likely to melt the metal, or simply not manage to get the two parts to be joined to stick together.

At its simplest, the process is just:

  • Make sure your join areas are clean and have a good joining surface
  • Place the solder where you want it
  • Heat up the metal and surrounding solder board, don't heat up the solder directly
  • Wait 2-3 minutes until the metal's hot enough to melt the solder
  • Clean up the join and polish your piece of jewellery

One of the best books to learn this technique from is Soldering Made Simple by Joe Silvera.

Soldering Made Simple, Joe Silvera
Soldering Made Simple, Joe Silvera

Soldering Made Simple teaches you to make professional quality jewellery in your own home. What you will learn is what professional jewellers know. The jewellery you can make with the soldering skills you are shown will be high quality and of a saleable quality.

Book: Soldering Made Simple, Joe Silvera

One of the market-leading books is Soldering Made Simple, by Joe Silvera. Published in January 2011, this easy to follow book all about soldering is stuffed full of easy to follow techniques. Soldering Made Simple is the top selling book at Amazon on the subject of soldering, with 112 pages of instructions and great colour photos to follow.

Easy Techniques for the Kitchen Table Jeweler

Soldering Made Simple describes itself as "Easy Techniques for the Kitchen Table Jeweler" - meaning everything you're shown is ideal to do at home, without huge/professional or expensive tools.

11 Jewelry Projects to Make

Soldering Made Simple first takes you through every aspect of soldering, as if the author were standing right beside you. From turning on your torch and getting the flame right through to lots of torch practice work.

One of the reasons Soldering Made Easy is such a thorough book is that you're not then left on your own, but are given 11 soldering projects for jewellery items to make yourself - building up your skill and repertoire.

Having attended several jewellery making courses and having done some soldering, I've always come away wishing we could have spent the day actually learning how to solder a variety of different items, but courses do tend to skimp and you don't get much chance to do much beyond soldering a ring or a simple bezel mount in most of them.

Soldering Made Easy is great if you've been on a jewellery course where you felt you didn't get enough tuition and time with a torch and learning to solder.

Soldering is one of those techniques that really lifts your skill and enjoyment to a whole new level and this simple, and inexpensive, book is a "must have" in your library of jewellery making books.

Soldering Ear Wires and Earrings

You'll get to learn and practice how to solder custom made ear wires, lily pad post earrings, and jump ring flower earrings.

The skills you learn will enable you to work with small detailed items and learn to position your work so it solders straight.

Soldering Charms, Pendants and Clasps

The soldering projects will teach you how to solder charms and pendants - enabling you to create popular jewellery yourself at home, as gifts or for resale.

Learn to make a butterfly pendant and how to solder a box clasp.

Pins and Bezels

The projects also include essential skils such as creating your own balled headpins and making bezel mounts for pendants and rings. You'll learn how to create stone rings set in soldered bezels.

Once you know how to solder one bezel, you can adapt that technique for any shape, size or style of bezel you want to make your own pendants or to mount stones onto rings.

Soldering Made Simple DVD

Also Available on DVD

If you're the type of person who likes to watch demonstrations, rather than read, you'll be pleased to know that Soldering Made Easy is also available on DVD. The 92 minute video shows you the techniques he describes in his book.

The DVD displays and discusses all the equipment you'll need, then demonstrates essential techniques such as:

  • Soldering jump rings closed + soldering them into a pattern
  • Soldering necklace connections
  • Melting sterling silver into a ball, great for making head pins
  • Sweat-soldering, to join two large pieces of copper or silver together
  • Forging wire to make twisted wire petals
  • Soldering near to beads - without melting them
  • Using a "third hand" to position and hold your work steady

With the DVD it's not an "either/or" choice as the two present the same subject in different ways, so they compliment each other. The DVD also contains a PDF for the Necklace Project.

DVD Format: The Soldering Made Simple DVD is "Region free"

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