Using Paste Solder

Paste Solder is designed to be an easier way of placing solder onto a piece of metal that will then be soldered utilizing a torch. It is used for soldering findings to the main piece or in the fabrication process of making a piece of jewelry or metal work.

Paste solder, like regular sheet solder or wire solder, comes in special formulas so that there can be several melting solder points. Sheet and wire generally come in easy, medium and hard. Paste solder, available from Unique Solutions, Inc., adds a whole new dimension to the soldering process. There are many temperature variations available for the silver soldering plus the added feature of flux being incorporated in the paste formula: a sort of a "ready to go" situation. For gold, there are formulas that will match the karat gold you are working. It is not necessary to add paste flux or liquid flux to the paste solder formulas, thus saving time. The organic binder is designed to burn off cleanly and allow the self contained flux to make the solder flow smoothly, making it an easier job for the metalsmith.

Jewelers over time have come to use the pallion or small chip method as one of the ways of getting solder placed when they want it on the piece. Much time is spent by the craftsman cutting these pieces to the exact size needed, then fluxing the area, fluxing the chips, placing the chips, letting area dry, all before even starting the soldering process. There are of course many applications for which this method will be utilized, but the idea is to introduce the metalsmith to a new process that saves time and energy and places the tools right at their fingertips.

Using paste solder is a new experience for many metalsmiths. Be positive as you approach this new tool. Look forward to saving time. Be able to expand your horizons in metalsmithing.

Did you know that you can pick solder with paste solder? Simply extrude (from a syringe) and place a small amount on the tip of a soldering pick. After the solder is on the pick, just apply a small amount of heat to the pick up from the tip so the solder does not roll off, but forms a small ball at the tip of the pick.  Works every time once you get the hang of it.  If you are using some paste solder from a jar, you can heat the pick in advance, dip  into the paste solder in the jar and pick up a very small amount of the tip. You may have to heat a little more to get the solder to ball. If the solder ball is not exactly at the end, you can use the side of the torch tip to  move the solder to the end of the pick.  Tricky but once you master it, you will like the new technique.