For Beginner Silversmiths
If you have not tried silver smithing before, Welcome to Silver smithing. Before you start out, please take the time to read the safety sheet.
You don't need many tools to begin with. If you have done beading, the round nosed pliers and chain nosed pliers you may have will suffice. You can make some of your own tools. For example a 38 x 2 mm nail pushed through a piece of cork makes a great soldering pick if the edges on of the pointy end are filed smooth.
Read Info Sheet - Tools and Getting Started for more information, including how to make Borax flux and Salt and vinegar pickle. While commercial fluxes and pickles work better, these home made supplies utilise household supplies and cleaning products so if you decide silver smithing is not for you, you can use the supplies elsewhere in your home.
The next step is to read the Soldering Handout for information on soldering. I have included instructions for making a simple clasp as an exercise to teach you about the flame used for soldering. Your local Jewellery tool supplier should assist you with the choice of solder and sterling silver supplies.
Once you have learnt about the flame and made a clasp, move on to Three Bracelet Variations for instructions and designs for a relatively easy bracelet that looks great.
I have included the worksheets I created for a basic stone setting class. They are Beginner Stone Setting Class and Bails for Beginners. Most people find setting their first stone quite daunting, so I recommend you practice your soldering on a few chains before graduating to stone setting. When soldering the loop to attach the bail to your setting follow the sweat soldering instructions.