A soldering iron will work only for certain types of jewelry making. There are a wide variety of soldering irons, soldering iron tips, and supplies available for making stained glass jewelry, tin jewelry, and other kinds of jewelry out of metals and glass that do not require such extreme heat temperatures as silver or gold jewelry do.
The type of jewelry being made is important to consider when determining the kind of soldering iron to purchase. Soldering irons and soldering iron kits for jewelry making are available through various jewelry supply stores. Whether or not jewelry making is a profession or simply a hobby is another thing to consider.
Soldering irons vary according to heat output and electrical charge. Types include cordless soldering irons and soldering irons with a variety of tips, holders, and safety features. Some soldering irons are sold in kits for jewelry making and come with special solders and jewelry supplies. For about $50, as of 2011, a good soldering iron to make low-heat jewelry and craft items can be purchased.
Soldering irons are used to fuse metal to metal, and sometimes to fuse glass. Soldering irons are functional for use only with metals that require very low-temperature soldering. Some types of metal foils, tin, and aluminum can be soldered with soldering irons. Making sterling silver, gold, copper, brass, and mixed metals jewelry requires the use of torches, not soldering irons.
Read and research jewelry-making techniques before purchasing any kind of jewelry equipment or tools. Jewelry making can involve huge investments in a variety of tools, equipment, and supplies. Soldering can be dangerous and requires a variety of skills. There are different kinds of solder welds that each piece of jewelry may require. Basic soldering iron jewelry kits are often inexpensive, and have instructions and starter projects included with them.
Use safety precautions when making jewelry with soldering irons. Soldering irons generate high heat temperatures without a visible flame. Don’t forget to unplug and turn off soldering irons after each use.
- “The Encyclopedia of Jewelry Making Techniques: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Techniques,” Jinks McGrath, 1995