How many times have you soldered on a finding you
thought was perfectly lined up with the rest of your piece,
only to find it is several degrees off center? (And why
does this become so easily visible only after you have
soldered it on?!!!) Aligning elements for soldering is one of
the biggest obstacles confronted by students and
professionals alike, and yet the problem has a really easy
solution. In fact, when this idea finally occurred to me about
ten years ago, my first thought was, “what took me so
long?”! When I made a video about it for the Jewelry Arts
Institute’s YouTube channel, I called it The Best Jewelry
Soldering Tip Ever, and I still believe that to be true.
For more helpful tips and information about soldering,
check out my new soldering book, Soldering Demystified available on Amazon.com.
1 Get a new Solderite board and line up the
end of a metal ruler with the edge of your
board. Draw the line using a ballpoint pen
(the X axis).
Note: Ballpoint pens write best on this surface.
2 Line up the edge of your ruler with the
bottom edge of your block, at 90° to the
first line, and draw this line with your pen
(the Y axis).
3 For more complicated setups, use an angle
ruler to draw in 4 more lines at 45 degree
angles to your first lines. (Your lines will fade
with use, so freshen them up occasionally.)
That’s all there is to it and this technique will help
with lots of different kinds of set-ups.