Excuse the video quality 👉but this is a really important tip if you solder🔥
When soldering silver and using hard or soft solder, often times I find the solder balling up - it just refuses to jump no matter how long it is under the flame. This is because the flux has burnt out and there is no medium through which the solder will jump (or some would say, run). The ball of solder is hardened and I used to be tempted to leave it, hoping that it can be sanded smooth. However, when the piece goes into the pickling solution, the ball of solder often falls off and leaves the joint unstable, or the pieces completely separated. Recently I found out that the best way is to add more liquid flux and then bring it back under the flame for another five to seven seconds. If the solder does not jump by then, I would add more flux and flame again; this usually works. I used to think that it was just that the silver pieces were not clean and would try to sand and clean the pieces feverishly, and I experimented with different sizes of solder. However, once I figured out it was the flux, my anxiety level with flame soldering calmed immediately.
Another tip 👉
I took my silversmithing course with an old school purist and she used paste flux, like liquid paper and must be applied with a brush. However, someone has since introduced me to liquid flux with needle squirt bottle and it has made my life so much easier. Liquid flux is less messy and easier to apply and to reapply.