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Topics: Wire, Solder

Q.
I would like to do more advanced wire combinations. Is it possible to soft solder plated gold/silver wire with itself or in combinations without color change or depletion of the plating? Thank you,
- Marie
A.
Depending upon the amount of heat generated, applying heat from a conventional torch to plated metals will deplete the plating and discolor the metal. You will not be able to retain the color without replating.

Soft soldering could include the use of a soldering torch or soldering iron, solder and flux, and copper foil with adhesive backing that is just wide enough to cover the areas being soldered together. Foil is applied to the areas to be soldered together, flux applied to the foil, the torch heated and the solder melted and applied to the foiled area. This type of solder is silver, only, but does work with plated wires. Thoroughly clean the wires after soldering then apply a gold color of Gilders Paste if using gold wire.

View the wire and cabochon design project ''Dichroic Solar System Pendant'' to understand the use of lower melting points for metal wires that might be plated.

- Sandra Lupo, Jewelry Designer and Instructor, Swarovski Elements Ambassador

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