There is a tendency for me to make the kind of jewelry that I wear. I don't wear post earrings so I tend to make dangly earrings that hang from ear wires. There are a lot of people who do wear post earrings, so I've been trying the last few days to create some earrings for them.
Of course, this involves soldering the posts on (unless I use fire-in posts that are expensive and bend easily because they're made of fine silver.) Soldering ear posts is very easy (unlike some of the soldering I had to do in college.) No fancy torch is needed, just a creme brulee' torch.
When soldering on fine silver, the back needs to be very clean and more solder has to be used because of the fired clay's porosity. Silver solder can be used on copper and bronze pieces too. The solder will show as silver, which looks a little messy to me since it doesn't blend in like it would on a silver piece.
Last week I had two pair of bronze earrings that needed to be soldered. It took me three times "each" on these earrings. I cleaned them with the 3M bristle brushes with my flex shaft and that is where I think I made my mistake. The 3M wheels must have a compound in them that kept the solder from working. After I cleaned the backs with a wire brush, things went more smoothly.
Today, I had four pair of earrings to solder. Cleaned them first with the wire brush. The first seven earrings soldered on without a hitch. The eighth earring took two times. Hey, 88% isn't bad considering my batting average last week.
These have not been cleaned up yet.