There have been many side trips along the way -
- Ordering the correct gauge for the wire rim
- Finishing the display case for the Palomar Gem & Mineral show next weekend
- Printing the display card for my entry in the San Diego County Fair which must be delivered next weekend as well
- Meeting friends for lunch and catching up having not seen each other for 6+ months
- An earrings with micro hinge 1-day workshop (Thanks, Deb!!) which actually renewed my confidence in soldering
- Avoiding wild fires in San Diego on my way home from work
- Life, the universe and everything else that goes along with it.
The deco dish is 18 gauge copper so I went with gauge 10 round wire. The rim of the dish is about 11.625" diameter and I cut the wire to just under 12" in length. I did a quick solder to get the ends joined and to see how much of the ring to remove. I removed less than a quarter of an inch and it was still to big. I removed a tad more and won't you know it, it was a tad too small. I then soldered the ends to make the ring again and then with a rawhide and lead filled mallet, I gently stretched the ring so would rest on the edge of the rim.
With some sand paper I put a small flat on the bottom of the ring and tested the rim. It had to be tweaked in a few places but it looked good.
I set up my soldering station - I put a second small fire brick on top of another to bring the dish up a bit so it would be easier to solder and put the rim on the brick first and put the dish, upside down on the rim. I good slathering of flux and I then positioned three more fire bricks around the setup to help hold the heat in.
And I lit the torch to start......
With medium solder I slowly applied small amounts of solder and using the heat of the torch, pulled the flowing solder around as I pushed down on the dish to remove any gap between the edge of the dish and the rim. I stopped half way through and threw it all in the pickle pot for 15 minutes and a quick clean after which I slathered the remaining area with more flux and finished the job.
The whole thing took less than 45 minutes and I only have a little bit of solder to clean up (yeah me!)
Unlike other times I have had BIG soldering jobs, I was calm and collected; I knew I could do this and do it well. My hands did not even shake (yeah me, again).
Sorry but no process pictures 'cause I forgot to take them but I do have a picture of how I set up the fire bricks and a few of the dish with the rim before I cleaned up the solder.
(Play music here)
I have just finished cleaning up the solder.. I think the rim should have been a bit bigger as on the outside, the copper edge comes right up to the silver but the silver does not hang over it as it does in other places. Too late now but a mental note made for the future.
Tomorrow I attempt the patina!