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How to Make Soldered Jewelry, Episode #1 - Intro to Tools and Materials

Welcome to Episode #1 of our How to Make Soldered Jewelry video series. This episode is strictly informational, we don't do any demos. We just list out the tools and materials needed and talk through the nuances of each. We also chat through some common "concerns" people have before venturing into soldering. Grab a cup of tea and a notebook and let's get started!  >> Scroll down for the list of tools.


hey I'm Lisa Niven Kelly and the owner

of and I am a shipper

Manske of ever nine jewelry and we have

come together here to teach a beginning

soldering series and this is going to be

a series of classes to help you the

beginning solder er that is holding a

torch at home but too scared to use it

doesn't know where to start

we're here for you and we're excited to

dive in so let's get started


okay there's something I need to say

before we get her something I need to

say before we get started I don't you

know what you're gonna say you know what

I'm gonna say this episode is going to

be really long and really boring because

we're going to give you so much

information so in this episode it's just

tools and materials and talking about

that we don't slaughter anything we

don't turn anything on but we're gonna

start by talking about the core tools

you'll need and that's really it if you

don't want to be overwhelmed just stop

there and start moving through the

episodes but after that we're gonna go

into depth about other options and

things like that so if you hang with us


lots of cool information here like Lisa

was saying this section of the series is

a little long but I want you to bear

with us this it's like jam-packed full

of information that's really gonna help

you be successful in your soldering yes

so don't skip it especially we made this

series for beginners it's for our

customers have said I want to learn

soldering but I'm scared so actually

that's where we want to start we want to

start with tackling your fears

let's identify specifically what your

fears are yeah and I've talked to some

customers and let's start with burning

themselves yeah this is a big one this

is a big one I think people are solid

and definitely about I think people are

scared that the torch is the flame is

going to be a lot longer and larger than

it actually is yeah it's pretty small

it's pretty small and I think they're

afraid they're gonna just like drop the

torch sure so think that through I mean

all that seems like so obvious and all

that but you don't really drop stuff

okay so remember that your hands are

working well and I think that if you

turn your torch on and off a bunch of

times just to get used to how to use a

torch that might help like maybe hold it

not even on and hold like a soldering

pick of one or your torturer one hand

started picking the other and just kind

of practice with no flame on so you get

used to doing two hands together will

you think yeah turn the gas up turn the

gas down turn the gas up and the guns

down turn it off yes and we'll say it

later but I just want to mention cuz

right when you did that remind me never

put the torch down while it's on that

habit to get into even some of them come

with a great stand just turn it off

especially as a beginner so I was

thinking that maybe you could take your

torch outside if you're nervous and

literally turn it on and off and hold it

in your hand do a little small hand

dance and do that like 20 times do it

over your kitchen sink if you're nervous

or do it on your driveway just to get

used to handling the torch that will

make you so much more comfortable one of

the fears that my students voice to me

is the cost right yeah they're free

they're just gonna burn everything

everything and so part of me wants to

say just get over it yeah but that I'm

so simple and right it's easier said

than done remember that there is a

learning curve to learning to solder

yeah just like anything and you need to

honor that learning curve because we

talked about you want to run a marathon

you're gonna get up tomorrow and do it

you're gonna prepare and you're gonna

screw up and you're gonna get some


that sort of thing you want to learn to

play the piano saying it's gonna take

some time and probably a little

frustration totally yeah so I want you

now to accept that you're going to flub

up at least one of your projects at

least what I'm gonna say at least five

yeah let it go yeah be like okay there's

four I get one more you know and also

along those lines like when you're

starting out and you're making some of

the pieces in the series do two out of

copper like do it something inexpensive

along those lines with practicing what I

like to tell people is your first couple

pieces don't think it's something you're

going to wear proudly and put in the

Smithsonian like just just make it and

put it aside because you're just doing

the work like you're just learning the

technique and if you spend so long I'm

trying to get it perfect you're gonna

miss that practice part you know like

when what I teach stamping and like grab

two letters and stamp them over and over

again don't spell just get the technique

down now that we've discussed tackling

your fears what are we doing saying Lisa

well in the soldering series we're

covering a lot of stuff but let's just

first start with like a simple

description of what soldering is it is

connecting two pieces of metal using

heat and solder that's the simplified

version right mm-hmm but first things we

want to talk about though are some

golden rules yes the little bangles are

very very important so the first is

clean metal metal that is touching so

flatten flush together mm-hmm and

patience patience is key we're gonna pop

that one to number one yeah it's really

important and last and definitely not

least safety

guess what we're doing cover first we're

gonna cover safety because it's very

important you want to make sure to have

a first English your nearby and even

more important than not know how to use

it and have it serviced mm-hmm very

important you're also if you have long

hair like we do you want to tie it back

tie it back get it out of there and work

in a really well-ventilated area like a

room with windows have the window open

even better is to then have a fan that

sucks the air out of the room and

outside so turn it the other way maybe a

door open get the air flow you don't

want a big old breeze but get the air

flowing in there yeah and that work

surface that you're working on near that

open window hopefully yes is covered in

metal in some way you can use a cookie

sheet or have your work table card in a

sheet of Steel make sure there's nothing

nearby that it could accidentally light

on fire like steel wool

yeah our paper towels or notes things

like that you're also going to want to

wear a natural fiber yes wear natural

fibers and let's lock the kids and the

cats up and the dogs and the ferrets

just Richard that everyone has settled

someplace else when you go to use the

torch also when I start out I just

practice turning my torch on and off a

couple of times just three or four times

to get used to it get back in the groove

and all this safety stuff is so

important as that we've built a safety

checklist and I want you to print out

and keep nearby but not nearby where you

can light it on fire you can find that

in the tools and materials if you're

watching this video on our site or

they'll be linked down in the

description if you're watching on


our core setup I should take it away the

first thing we're going to start with is

the kiln the brick kiln brick simple

inexpensive does the job handles the

heat that's a that should be maybe your

first purchase yeah second torch and

this is a max flame torch

it's very bushy it's a great torch and

it's great for beginners wonderful for

beginners wonderful lux this is Cooper


it's a spray-on flux we're gonna use it

throughout the series so you'll really

get a feel for how it works use it in

every project and that keeps your solder

it makes sure helps your solder flow

mm-hmm okay I'm just gonna grab these

items all at once here because they go

together whoops a solder pick and then

through our three favorites otters easy

aka soft medium and hard and in there

we've got little pal Ian's that we've

cut from solder sheet you can use a

solder we're gonna talk about that you

can use wire solder but that's just our

little solder sheet you need a quench

cup we sell them like this but you can

use a glass or Pyrex cut anything you

don't have to buy a fancy thing and to

get the fire scale off of your pieces

you're gonna need some sort of pickle

and we have spirits which is an acid

based pickle or citric acid which is

natural environmental version

another option is penny Braden which is

pretty cool we've sold this for a while

now this you don't need a pickle pot for

because it's just a paste look at this

and you just take your metal and put a

little bit on the sponge with some water

and dirt in your kit and this is

completely safe it's food grade you can

get it all over your hands sometimes I

wear gloves just because I like to keep

my hands from getting super dirty but it

works really really well now it says on

here that it doesn't work on sterling

but we've called the manufacturer and

they're like yeah actually it does it's

great it's fine

you'll also need yes safety glasses

glasses if you are totally a beginner

you're like ah there's so much just stop

here and start watching the projects yes

it's like you just need torch soldering

surface flux solder a cool cup a way to

clean your metal and with these the

pickle you need to pick a pot we use a

very small crock pot and with just that

including like the sterling and all that

you can make almost every project that

we're about to teach you but now we're

gonna get heavy-duty into stuff so this

is where it gets long but we are gonna

talk you through torches other torches

other pickles soldering surfaces all

kinds of stuff the deep dive let's get

into it

one of the golden rules is keeping your

metal clean while soldering and the best

way to do that after making sure it

doesn't have oil on it for some reason

or something like that a shin or

something like lotion that's good one is

to use flux flux is a key part of

soldering and in this series we're gonna

use cooper nail throughout this is one

of our favorites it's a spray flux it's

very very handy but we also talked a

little bit about handy flux which is

also handy dandy flux is what a lot of

us learn to use in school it's been

around forever yeah it is old school in

me I like it because it's kind of sticky

you know so you can put it on and put

your POW in there and we'll hold it

there but we should point out that it

gets kind of dried out sometimes just

pull the water in there and mix it up it

still works that's great let's talk

about our options for different

slaughters we carry sheet solder wire

solder and paste solder now wire solder

and sheet solder

are basically the same thing they're

just in a different shape they both

require flux to get them to flow in most

of the projects of this these the series

we use the sheet solder cut it into

little pal Ian's keep them in their

little jars you can also use paste

solder and we show that in one of our

classes and we've got a whole bunch of

classes on our website that Kate

Richburg teaches and she uses paste

solder in those as well the solder that

you carry here at beach occation is soft

medium and hard soft aka easy kind of

interchangeable and you might say what

are the differences between those three

right so easy solder is going to flow at

the lowest temperature heart is going to

flow at the highest temperature and

medium of course right in the middle

right meet right in between they're

great because they have different

characters to them right so hard is

going to be the strongest bond with the

closest color match to sterling silver

because it has the high

research percentage of silver in it cool

and easy has the lowest so it's gonna be

the most yellow out of the three okay

but for example if you are soldering you

know a jump ring on the end of a clasp

and you need to just get in and get out

fast using easy is wonderful perforate

ya hard would be perfect for something

like making a ring with like a big seam

you want to get super super strong yeah

so you probably want to have a variety

of the solder of the different temps on

hand because when you do a multi-step

solder job that's when you would use a

different ones so let's say I was

soldering a bezel to a blank like we do

in one class and then some solder bowls

to it and then a jump ring on the back

and if that's three different steps

first step will be done with hard the

next step will be done with medium and

the last step will be done with easy the

point is that when you do that last step

that the easy solder is gonna flow

pretty quick and you're not gonna rip up

the other two steps

you're gonna sense yeah so I should of

all of those if you're only gonna use

one solder do you have like a go to my

go to is medium yeah it's always good to

choose kind of the middle-of-the-road if

you're just going for one solder joint

let's talk about our torch options so

there are definitely more professional

torches out there but the ones we're

gonna talk about today and the ones that

we use in this series are simple butane

torches that are great for the beginner

the max flame is a torch that we use

most often in this series it offers a

very large bushy flame yeah

oh she like it cover lots of areas which

kind of causes problems sometimes if you

want to be more pointy in which case we

switched over in a couple of the

episodes to the Blazer and the micro

flame which we still have in the package

there is also kind of pointy this is our

least expensive torch but a really big

seller and it lasts really well and you

can make creme brulee with these right I

have I have both do yeah I have those

well I have three they were great they

weren't great the cast you want to use

with all of these torches is butane and


let's go ahead and put these on we fill

to fill them they'll fill the same they

each have a little hole in the back and

you turn it upside down you want to do

this outside and take your gas and put

it right over there and just press down

here it go and when you'll know it's

filled because it'll like start

spreading a little bit could you guess

down I blow it and then don't use this

for like a minute or so just to make

sure all the fumes of the gas in the air

are way and then you're good to go

if you are working on a big project just

get in the habit of filling it because

I've had it happen so many times where

the gas runs out and you're it's about

to flow and you're like please play this

and then you have to start all over so

it's good happy soldering surfaces are a

really important part to this whole

thing Lisa you can't just solder on a

brick you find in your backyard or a

pizza stone or pizzas down or your

kitchen tables not gonna work very well

not so good so let's review three great

soldering service choices okay we did

mention in the core tools and materials

of the kiln brick this kiln brick is

like the all-in-one yeah all-in-one tool

it's great for almost everything then

there is the charcoal block yes yeah but

yeah charcoal block is great if you are

using a small torch and you're making a

project that's maybe a little big for

the size torch you're using it reflects

the heat and hey don't open them so what

that means is well your piece is laying

on the charcoal block and you're heating

it with the torch the charcoal reflects

the heat back into the piece so for

example if you were soldering a bangle

bracelet oh yeah like a big one with the

max flame and you had it on the kiln

brick and it the solder just wasn't

going you know it just wasn't flowing

you might want to switch up your service

and use the triple block I like the

charcoal block so the kiln brick is kind

of beginner and the second next step up

yep and then one

yup and then one more step up let's see

if we came to fit this in the frame whoa

this is a soldering tripod mm mm screen

mm-hmm with a screen this is really nice

when you want to heat your piece from

below in the stone pendant section of

this series we'd use this tripod so you

can really see how it works I really

like boys I like it so beginners start

with kiln brick and the tripod and the

charcoal block is possible upgrades

mm-hmm maybe intermediate advanced level

some of you may be wondering why we keep

talking about pickles I love pickles and

we're not talking about dill pickles

kosher pickles we're talking about the

pickle that you'll need to clean your

metal when you get the oxides pulled to

the top which is also known as fire

scale or fire steam that's why fine

silver doesn't get this because it has

no copper in it but to get that off is

quite difficult and a pickle does the

job for you it's great so you tell us

about that one sure this is sparox

sparox is a late acid the way that you

use it is you dilute it in water in a

pickle pot which is a way of saying a

crock pot yeah like a little small crock

pot and you just follow the instructions

on the back of the package to mix this

sparox is the most harsh of the pickles

that we're gonna talk about today I use

this in my studio because I'm a

production jeweler and I need things to

turn around really fast quick quick

because it is a late acid and because

your pickle pot will eventually be full

of copper oxides because as this is

cleaning the metal it's actually

cleaning the copper oxides after the

surface of the metal and now they're

floating around inside that bath so that

bath needs to be neutralized and the way

that you do that is you add baking soda

to the bath until it no longer bubbles

this may take quite a while okay so once

it stops bubbling you can pour that

liquid into a container like a plastic

Rubbermaid kind of container yeah well

cheap and just put it away somewhere and

allow the liquid to evaporate

once it's evaporated you're then going

to want to dispose at the remaining

material as you're at your hazardous

waste disposal

yeah let's do it the right way yeah but

for that I mean it lasts a long time and

as the water evaporates you just add

more water and more pickle I mean how

often do you change your pickle pot I

didn't change me I'm hot for three years

I only changed it because I moved yep so

it lasts a long time and the same goes

for the citric acid this one is a more

environmentally friendly one it does the

same thing as farik's except slower but

you would dispose of it in the same way

that you would spare it's because of the

copper oxides in there I'm a little bit

of a safety nerd I like it

I know so say it so when I take my

pieces out of my spare ex pickle pot I

actually neutralize the piece in a

baking soda bath yeah that's important

and it's just to make sure that all the

acid is neutralized right so I just take

some just baking soda that you use for


I don't bake you know that some people

use for baking and dilute it in water

and my educated guess is that it's about

one tablespoon to about three cups of

water and you'll notice when you place

the piece into the bit into this bath

that it kind of bubbles in me and you

know it's yeah so out of the pickle

rinse rinse in there give it a little

rinse and some fresh water and you're

good to go you got it

when soldering brass it may be a little

surprising when you take your piece out

of the pickle pot that is now copper

yeah it comes out copper color it's

either magic or a total disaster and can

be quite upsetting so what that is is

the copper in the brass comes to serve

the surface of the metal when you heat

it with the torch mm-hmm and now you

have a thin layer of copper on the

surface of your brass at least I know

that you have a handy recipe yes and we

have it on the soldering page on our

website under the frequently asked

questions but I'll read it to you here

you want to soak the piece in two parts

hydrogen peroxide just the kind you get

at the drugstore and three parts white

wine white wine

and three parts white vinegar and that

will remove the copper from the top and

be patient it takes 30 to 60 minutes for

the metal to come back to a nice yellow

brass color and I do use this pickle so

so you know what you're looking for

they'll like little air bubbles will

attach to the surface of the metal

mm-hmm and you want to make sure that

the like the whole surface of the metal

is exposed to the liquid so if your

blank is down at the flat it like at the

bottom of the bowl it won't clean the

bottom oh god I feel like maybe I drop

it up against the side and it comes out

a little bit hazy you just polish off

ring and then you're back you're back

glass you're good to go

we do get the question can you solder

silver filled and gold filled and the

answer is I don't recommend it you can

do go fill if you're very careful and

use a very low flame silver filled seems

to just kind of bubble so what happens

is although that's a really thick tight

bond of gold or silver on the core

you're heating it a little much and it

starts to kind of release it from the

core and then if you have to do any

finishing work you could further remove

the clad yeah bad news


there you go okay

and I Lou it over one oh you're looking

this is really intimate okay

Tools & Materials

Soldering Starter Kit
Soldering Starter Kit
Jewelry Making Tools Max Flame Jeweler's Butane Torch
Max Flame Jeweler's Butane Torch
Sold Out
Blazer Stingray Butane Torch
Blazer Stingray Butane Torch
Jewelry Making Tools Micro Torch
Micro Torch
Jewelry Making Tools Safety Glasses
Safety Glasses
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Jewelry Making Tools Annealing and Soldering Pan with Pumice Stone
Jewelry Making Tools Kiln Brick
Kiln Brick
Jewelry Making Tools Charcoal Block
Charcoal Block
Penny Brite Gel
Penny Brite Gel
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Jewelry Making Tools Tripod with Mesh Screen
Tripod with Mesh Screen
Pickle Pot
Pickle Pot
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Jewelry Making Tools Copper Tongs
Copper Tongs
Sold Out