30 Watt soldering iron
Alloy soldering wire
Crystal Clear Polishing cream
Watch maker's pliers
2 dishes (as a substitute for a heat-resistant working surface)
small plastic vice
I had previously made good experience with using normal soldering Alloy and a normal 30 Watt soldering iron to connect Sterling Silver parts. I had connected the broken parts of a silver money clip and I have been using this money clip since eight years now. Thus I hoped this bracelet would be no exception.
3. Connecting the loose bracelet ends with clasp-side end-links
I carefully removed loose ends of the meshed bracelet and checked that the ends of the bracelet would fit into the recessed parts of the buckle.
I then applied a layer of soldering alloy on both bracelet ends. Then I filled both buckle holes with soldering alloy. Not as easy as it might sound, with this kind of jobs, you always seem to miss one arm. And of course, the parts also get very hot, thus holding them with pliers is a must. That is why I was happy to have a pair of watch maker's pliers with smooth jaws. Remember, all material was Sterling silver 925 and Leatherman-style pliers would have definitely left ugly marks.
Now I expected the difficult part to come... and I should be right. Holding the watch and bracelet, holding the buckle part, holding the soldering iron... the maths always show one missing hand/arm.
I finally decided to fix the watch into the small plastic vice. The flexible bracelet would nicely hang down and I was planning to use gravity to sink the bracelet end into the liquid soldering alloy in the buckle's recessed area. I held the buckle part with the watch maker's pliers and heated the soldering alloy in it until it was liquid. Then I moved the buckle from underneath upward towards the cut end of the bracelet.
It took a lot longer for the connection to cool, since the parts had really become hot. I had to try several times to find that out. Normal soldering connections are stable pretty soon, but in this case, I need to hold the hot buckle part against the bracelet end for at least 3 minutes until the soldered connection was stable.
Of course with the experience from the first end, the second end was no different, it actually started to become fun.
I had expected that the soldering would turn the Silver black again, but this time, no discoloration at all. So no need to use any polishing agent again. The bracelet and the buckle remained shiny and clean during the soldering.
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Again, this is the already shortened bracelet in the picture.