5

I want to use hollow-backed stampings (about 2" x 3/4") on a necklace but they are too lightweight. Are there any ideas, besides resin and polymer clay, for filling in the backs to make them more substantial? Thank you very much.

Here are images -- the depth is less than 1/4" -- thank you.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

1
  • 1
    Thank you. I added a few to original post. Thanks again.
    – ceeps
    Mar 19, 2023 at 20:36

2 Answers 2

4

Brass accepts "ordinary" solder with minimal difficulty. One could apply heat to the stamping and use electrical soldering wire to increase the weight. Electrical solder is preferred as it contains a non-acidic flux which can be washed away with alcohol, while plumbing solder may have acid or none at all for flux.

Using an electrical soldering iron will minimize the cosmetic effect of the heat on the front surface as well as allow for more precise control of the application of solder. With the right technique, you can layer the solder in a gradual manner rather than load it heavily in any specific area.

The solder will also increase the durability and reduce the flexibility of the brass material, if that is a consideration of value.

3
  • Thank you very much. I have a temp control Hakko and unleaded silver gleem solder, and stained glass liquid flux and also Nokorode paste. Do you think those would work and I wouldn't need to apply copper tape? I can experiment, of course. This would be a great option. Thank you so much for your reply!
    – ceeps
    Mar 19, 2023 at 20:35
  • 1
    If the darkness visible in the images is patina, also known as oxidation, it may be necessary to carefully chemically clean the surfaces (flux!) but I see no requirement for copper tape. The solder alone will be heavier than any combination of copper and solder.
    – fred_dot_u
    Mar 20, 2023 at 0:36
  • Thank you so much!!!
    – ceeps
    Mar 20, 2023 at 14:39
2

I like fred_dot_u's solution. An additional thought. The pictures look like the front might have a lacquer finish. If so, the heat from soldering might affect it. In that case, you could need to strip the front, polish, and recoat it. It isn't a big deal on something that size, but it would probably remove the patina and leave a polished brass look (although you could restore the patina). Just something to be prepared for if that would make a difference. You could solder the smaller piece first to see how it goes, and have a smaller job if it does create remedial work.

If the front does have a lacquer coating, and you don't want to risk changing the appearance, there's another way to fill the back and add some weight. Get or make fine powder of a heavyish metal (you can use a Dremel tool to grind a scrap piece of steel, copper, or brass), or very fine sand, and build up layers of the powder that you saturate with superglue. If you premix a small amount of baking soda with the powder, the layers will harden quicker. Do it in a well-ventilated place because it produces a lot of fumes.

If you don't want to deal with the fumes or don't have a lot of superglue on-hand, mix the powder with a little glue that will stick to metal to create a clay, and press it into the back to fill it. There's a lot of surface to bind to. Something that thick will take a long time to dry, though.

1
  • Thank you so much, Dolly! They don't have a lacquer finish -- though it kind of looks that way in photos -- but this is a really good idea for other projects and I appreciate you sharing it! Thanks again!
    – ceeps
    Mar 21, 2023 at 1:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .