After my first attempt at soldering a couple of weeks ago, I was itching to try again. Last week when littlest was at pre-school I grabbed my chance, the plan was to attempt a reef knot bangle I'd seen in my library book.
You have to use hard solder in this design at first, and I just could NOT get the solder to flow. I tried everything! Gave up and watched the brilliant lesson in soldering on YouTube by Andrew Berry (part 1,2,3 and 4) which is really worth a look if you're interested. Cleaned my joins scrupulously as suggested, tried again.... nothing.
At the weekend, got a chance to try again.
This time I tried using easy solder..... nothing. Grrrr.
Noticed in the process that the flame was possibly a little smaller than it had been the first time around - so refilled the torch and..... it worked. Damnit I had been low on fuel all along but a bit too stupid to notice. I think I need a lot more practice at this soldering lark.
Anyway, I had a practice using copper wire:
First step is to solder together two loops of heavy gauge wire.
Knot them together and solder the knot in place so it doesn't come loose.
Then it's just a case of cleaning it all up. (ha "just" - look at that all that mess) and shaping, forming, and polishing - which I'll get on to soon.
I know it's not perfect, but it's a work in progress.....and you get the general idea.
Anyway, here's the sterling silver one I've started on.
One tip I got from the youtube lessons is to buy an old silver chain, and spend an afternoon or two going through and linking it all bit by bit. Yes, it would take an age, but at least by the time I get to the end of it I'd probably notice when my torch was running on empty.