Overheating the solder.
Excessive heat can cause porosity. Solder will not flow onto a piece until the temperature of the piece reaches its flow point. Use direct heat on the solder joint not the solder.
Using a word, not a flow point.
Soft, medium, and hard are ambigious terms and may vary greatly from solder to solder, karat to karat, color to color, or even supplier to supplier. Make sure you are comparing defined temperatures, not terms.
Using the wrong solder on dissimilar metals.
When soldering two dissimilar metals together, use the lower temperature metal for soldering. For example, when soldering silver to gold, use silver solder.
Using paste solder for sizing.
Paste solders are best for soldering small pinpoint joints and seams, but will not fill a gap. Perform all your sizing with sheet solder for better results.
Using soft or repair solder when sizing.
Use a hard (higher flow point) solder when sizing to prevent porosity and avoid seams.
Buying only based on price.
Quality is a lot like karma. Poor quality will come back to you. When choosing a solder provider, look for one with a wide selection, product knowledge, published temperatures and gold content.
Thinking lower karat = lower flow temperature.
Lower karat does not equate to lower temperature. If a lower temperature solder is needed, compare the flow points. Flow points are listed with our solders on our website.
Let us know about your experiences and any tips you might like to share.