Thursday, February 13, 2014

Last Night's Soldering

In the few hours before the big snowstorm moved into the region last night, I worked on some soldering projects in the great, new jewelry studio at Main Line Art Center.
Strips of brass that I had cut from a thrift store platter were paired up with strips of copper.
The metal guillotine made the cutting of these strips an easy task.
I don't have a photo, but after soldering, these pieces were blackened and  kind of dreadful looking as is often the case post soldering.
But...that's what the pickle pot is for.
Unless your pickle pot is not doing it's job....probably because of too much suspended copper in the solution.
I had checked my pieces after being in the pickle for around 20 minutes and saw that they looked no different.
I wasn't going to get some of my projects clean enough for a second stage of soldering.
When I got home, I made my own pickling mix with vinegar and salt...a good pickle for when you're in a pickle.
A 10 minute soak later, the pieces came out relatively clean (top photo).
A little more cleaning with a sanding block, and the great, Egyptian patterning on the brass pieces can be seen.
More cleaning is needed to eliminate the pinkish haze.
I was also working on more rings, but couldn't solder bezels in place.
The concave contour that I had made with the etched silver nickel made it difficult to properly clean it without a good pickle soak.
Next time.
And....maybe next time I'll do a better job with my soldering.
This is what happened with one of my other ring attempts.
I paused a moment too long in one spot and.....arrrrghhh!
Melting your metal is rarely a good thing.

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