How to Repair Silver Jewelry with a Torch

Repair Jewelry

ST500-Cordless Soldering Iron for Hobby and Household Use

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You can make many minor repairs to silver jewelry yourself using a Bernzomatic torch and the right tools.

  • Before you begin, practice using your torch on an old piece of jewelry or scraps of metal.
  • When joining two items of different sizes, direct the heat at the larger of the two items to avoid overheating the smaller item.
  • If you are working on a ring with stones, remove the stones to protect them from discoloration or cracking from the heat.

TIPS

  • Read our General Safety Precautions in the Information Center before starting your project.
  • Read the instructions that come with your torch and solder before beginning your project.
  • Always store fuel in an upright position after completing your project.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

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Tools

  • ST500-Cordless Soldering Iron for Hobby and Household Use
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby in case of emergency.
  • Paintbrush
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety mask or respirator
  • Toothpick
  • Tweezers
  • Vise grips
  • Wire cutters
  • Work gloves
  • Workbench with flameproof surface

Materials

  • Bernzomatic 5.5 oz. Butane Cylinder
  • Bernzomatic SSWS100 Specialty Solder Kit (containing 1 oz. lead-free silver bearing solid wire and .5 oz. lead-free water soluble flux
  • Fine and very fine sandpaper
  • Fine metal file
  • Jewelry plus any replacement parts as needed
  • Pickle – a mild acid for removing flux (optional)
  • Plastic container for pickle (optional)
  • Silver tarnish remover
  • Small bowl of cold water
  1. Step 1Thoroughly clean any oil, grease, oxidation or tarnish from the jewelry surface. Use sandpaper or a file to smooth old solder or rough surfaces. When clean, apply flux to the surfaces using the paintbrush.
  2. Step 2Clip off a small piece of silver solder . Press the end of the wire against your thumb to keep the piece from flying off. If the wire is thick and tough to cut, flatten the end with a small hammer.
  3. Step 3Set the pieces to be soldered on the flame resistant surface or put on a work glove and hold the piece in vise grips. Use tweezers or a wet paintbrush to place the piece of silver solder on the seam where the metal pieces will be joined together.
  4. Step 4Light the torch. Move the flame around to heat the surface evenly then apply slightly more heat directly under the joint to draw the melted solder down into the joint. Be careful not to overheat the surrounding metal; if it turns red, turn the heat down. Heat until the solder flows and closes the gap.
  5. Step 5Turn off the torch. Cool the jewelry by dipping it in cold water.
  6. Step 6Use sandpaper or a fine metal file to smooth out any rough edges of the joint. Clean and polish the area you’ve worked on until smooth. For stubborn oxidation or hard-to-remove flux areas, place the jewelry in a pickle solution, a mild acid that removes flux and oxidation from metal.