Wow, a post from 2005 was bumped back up to the top!
And, it's still a very relevant question. As Kurt pointed out, the first choice to make is hard solder vs. soft solder
If sandwiching paper between layers of microscope glass -- then soft solder is definitely the answer!!Soft solder
is a tin-based solder, and melts at a low temperature. You normally use it with a soldering iron
. Some ways to avoid the burnt/blackened spots:* Make sure the items to be soldered are clean.
If the foil tape is old and gunky, you may need to clean it with a little alcohol before you apply the flux.* Clean the tip of your soldering iron
-- you might even need to replace the tip (not all are replaceable; sometimes the entire soldering iron must be replaced). To clean the tip of your soldering iron, turn it on, wait until it is hot, wipe it a few times on a damp sponge, and then lightly but thoroughly coat the tip with fresh clean solder. Usually you do this at the beginning and end of each soldering session, perhaps using a small scrap of metal with a blob of solder on it.
* Use plenty of flux (but not so much that it is bubbling and spattering)
* Use good solder. We like all our brands of soft solder
, but some are more silvery than others and some are more gray, depending on what they are alloyed with.
For more information on soldering jewelry, check out Cindy's article on our blog, for great tips on soft soldering glass / memory jewelry
, and our updated soldering information guide