Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Woodwind.OrgThe Clarinet BBoardThe C4 standard

  BBoard Equipment Study Resources Music General    
 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 
 silver soldering question
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2018-08-27 04:40

Years ago I bought a job lot of workshop materials from a guy who was retiring from the instrument repair business. This stuff has served me well and continues to do so. The silver solder material I bought (in sheet form) has now run out, and when I set about replacing it I found that my local welding/soldering supply place offers silver solder in rod form in several concentrations of silver content. These are, from memory, 3%, 10% and 15%. There are probably others. Can anybody advise as to which would be most suitable for key repair work?

Tony F.

Reply To Message
 Re: silver soldering question
Author: BobW 
Date:   2018-08-27 06:07

Silver solder for key work is between 35% to 40% silver
I would purchase it from one of the instrument repair supply companies
hope this helps

Reply To Message
 Re: silver soldering question
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2018-08-27 10:58

There are (very generally) two types of silver solder and their names vary and can be confusing.

When instrument repairers say silver solder they usually refer to 'silver brazing' material, which is usually around 25% to 45% silver and very important - the rest of it is mostly copper. In other industries (machining, welding, etc.) this is usually called 'silver braze'.

A different material, usually called 'silver solder' in other industries, but often called 'soft silver solder' by instrument repairers, or 'silver bearing solder', is a silver solder with mostly tin in it.

The former is what is used for instruments to solder/braze key parts to hinges, etc. This is the main type jewelers use, often a few different types with varying melting temps, to do several joints close to each other without any falling apart (starting with the highest melting point solder).

The latter type is a stronger and somewhat "healthier" alternative to lead solder, with some disadvantages (requiring higher temp, but nowhere near silver braze). This is used pretty much only where soft solder is used, so many places on saxophones and flutes but very rarely on clarinets.

Unless the store or manufacturer can tell you the alloy of the solder, check the melting and floating temperatures. Silver solder/braze that is used for key parts is much higher than soft silver solder.

Very rough guide: Soft solder is around 180C. Soft silver solder around 220C. Both types can have a significantly higher floating temp compared with melting temp. Silver braze around 650C.

Post Edited (2018-08-28 09:12)

Reply To Message
 Re: silver soldering question
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2018-08-27 18:12

Thanks, Gentlemen. tells me what I needed to know.

Tony F.

Reply To Message
 Re: silver soldering question
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-08-28 07:43

Never knew that! So interesting! I have a question if anyone happens to know, if not I'll ask Yamaha USA, but they may not know either. Here is what I do know. Yamaha says they use a new special patented silver and the keys on the CSVR's ( probably the other pro horns SEVR, CSG111) are also double plated.

So would you still use the same silver solder? I think the keys are a shade harder compared to Buffet. But not with Selmer. Does this regarding the percentage of silver? Would any of the layers of the silver plating on the keys bubble from heat?


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

Reply To Message
 Re: silver soldering question
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2018-08-28 10:25

I looked at my silver solder/braze materials and need to correct something. They can get to as much as close to 80% silver and some people might even be using almost pure silver as solder/braze. 650 was the lower temp of silver braze. Some types get as high as 750 or even more.

Re the Yamaha, whether there will be a problem with the plating from silver brazing, that really depends and I wouldn't worry about it. Regardless of model, you can always use the lowest temp silver solder (around 650C) which is more than strong enough anyway.

Double plating is often standard on many instruments (not necessarily double of the same plating). It doesn't matter to soldering if they put an extra layer of the same material.

What does "special patented silver" even mean? Is that their words (in an advertisement I assume)? I imagine it's probably a slightly different alloy.

Silver brazing is almost always done to repair a broken part. Whether a random place, or a brazed joint that got detached, the areas being brazed aren't plated (since the plating is done after brazing at the factories), so no worries about the solder/braze sticking to plating (which isn't really a problem either).

Selmer having harder keys than Buffet is not true IME in general.

By the way AFAIK some years ago Yamaha switched to using silver/tin soft solder instead of lead solder for all their soft soldering. I don't know about other companies.

Reply To Message
 Avail. Forums  |  Threaded View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 

 Avail. Forums  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Remember my login:
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
is sponsored by:

For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

Great reeds available from around the world

Instrument repairs, restorations, adjustments, and overhauls.

Accessories that every clarinetist needs - reed makers and shapers, ligatures, greases, oils, and preservatives ... and more!

Major events especially for clarinetists

Mouthpieces & Barrels
Fine makers of mouthpieces and barrels, from wood to crystal to hard rubber and plastic

Retailers and manufacturers of clarinets, both modern and early replica

Music & Books
CDs, Sheet Music, and some of the greatest reference books ever written!

Services and products too varied to categorize! Repair, recording, news

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact