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.
- Read our General Safety Precautions 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.
- Thoroughly 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.
- Clip 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.
- Set 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.
- Light 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.
- Turn off the torch. Cool the jewelry by dipping it in cold water.
- Use 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.