How To Solder Using a Small Butane Torch

The use of heat, fire and smelting implements is prevalent in the jewelry business. You will need to learn about soldering if you want to get ahead in the jewelry trade. For jobs that require small-scale soldering like flattening wax for casting and attaching accessories, a small butane torch is the best tool for the job. Read these techniques on how to use butane torch in soldering.

Gather the materials. Before starting the soldering job, you must first prepare the things you will need. These include small torch, butane, annealing pan, solderite pad, pickle, pickle pot and copper tong, pumice, flux, soldering pick and hard medium and easy solder.
Set it up. There are certain devices necessary in soldering process. Because this is a strict procedure, it is important for you to set all the things needed within arm’s reach. Fill the annealing pan with pumice and set it near the torch. In the annealing pan, place the solderite pad on top of the pumice. These objects will hold the objects to be soldered. Set the soldering picks near the annealing pan. Blend the flux with clean water until it thickens.   

Check the seam. Before soldering, check if the piece’s seams fit tightly together. The seams should fit exactly, because solder will not seal a gap. If the seams do not fit, file or work the seams of the piece until it firmly fis. Once you have checked the seams, rinse the piece thoroughly using a detergent or an acetone wash and a scrubbing sponge. This will take away the smear and dust from filing.    

Apply flux and solder
. Set the piece onto the solderite pad then coat the seam with flux. Put a little amount of solder directly below the seam so the piece would cling to the solder in place. Some people start soldering with hard solder then medium and easy for the succeeding seams. On the other hand, you can use hard, medium or easy solder in the procedure.

Heat the piece. Set up your torch and heat up the whole piece equally. Once the piece starts to glow, the solder will pour and seal up the seam. Keep in mind that the solder tracks the heat of the torch so you can move the torch towards the area you want to solder. If you did not put the solder under the seam, you can use the solder pick to move the solder in position once you have heated your piece.  

Let it set
. When the solder has already flowed, let the piece cool down then put it in a warm acid pickle bath to eliminate oxidation. It is essential to use copper tongs, and not steel tongs, in placing the piece in the pickle. The steel tongs generate chemical reaction that might plate your piece with copper. Wash the piece in a mixture of water and baking soda once removed from the pickle.

Soldering with a small butane torch is a staple in the jewelry industry, especially for small jewelry and other small implements. Learning how to solder using a small butane torch will be helpful when you are interested in a business or career in jewelry making.


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