Friday, June 19, 2009

Finally, some success with soldering today!

My class today went so much better than yesterday, thank goodness! I struggled again early this morning with soldering a ring shank, but after 3 tries, my instructor showed me a different way to place the solder on my projects (place it before heating the flux rather than after) and it's been pretty smooth sailing with 4 easily successful solders after that! My main struggle previously was picking up a hot solder piece and placing it correctly, then getting it to come off the titanium pick. Placing it at the start works much better for me, even though I know I may have to quickly adjust the solder if it moves while the flux is heating. A simple change in my procedure and now my soldering is going so much easier.

The day was soooo enjoyable. Our "only" project today (8 hours) was to make a bezel set ring. The photo above shows what I have completed today. I'm not done yet, though. It needs to be polished with several grades of polishing compounds and disks and then finally, the stone needs to be set. I picked a simple jasper stone, fully expecting it to be ruined by the end of the project, but now I have hope that all will turn out well and I'll have a wearable ring. It's by no means perfect, but I think it will turn out to be quite good, for a first try piece.

I also fell in love today with the Foredom Flex-Shaft and all of the brushes, sanding, polishing, drilling it can do - all with a foot pedal speed control! It's next on my list of tools I just have to own. We all looked simply lovely in our dust masks and goggles!

This last picture is the unfinished ring with the stone just laying in it. Just imagine the stone set tightly and the sterling polished to a brilliant shine! That's what the finished ring will look like by late tomorrow. The class schedule tomorrow includes making hollow metal beads, riveting and soldering earwires to earring backs.
In case you're wondering, the 4 soldered areas in this ring are:
1) the ring shank
2) the bezel frame (portion that wraps around the stone)
3) the base of the bezel to the bezel frame
4) soldering the bezel frame and base onto the ring shank.
I hope you all have a great weekend. Wish me luck and fun as I spend the next two days in class!


  1. It looks really good Sandy. Have fun learning more. Have a great week-end.


  2. Excellent Sandy. You've got the hang of it. Now practice practice practice...that's my plan!

    Yes the Foredom Flex-Shaft is a dream tool, isn't it? For now I'm going to get by with my dremel, but the Foredom is on my list of items to purchase.

    You are doing so well. I love this ring, it's a beautiful addition to your jewelry collection.

    Happy Creating! :D