1. The low temp lead/tin based solder that you are using is not to be used for silver since you will not be able to reheat it easily for repairs. The 1145 temp is appropriate and you may want to use even higher temp solders for ease when making more than one solder joint in a project. You normally start with the highest melting silver solder and them proceed down the scale as you make more joints. Since you are making a chain you can use the same solder throughout. The higher melting solders are a better color match for sterling.
2. The choice to use paste, sheet, or wire is a personal one. I use wire exclusively. I am used to it. Some prjects might be easier with sheet chips or paste.
3. Your chain soldered with the low temp solder is salvageable. Many of these low temp solders will desolve in Muriatic Acid. I have used it to remove lead solder from sterling before I needed to make a repair with the higher temp solder. The chain can be immersed in the Acid and watched carefully. It may take several hours to completely disolve the solder. You should notice a color change at the joints and eventually you will see the sludge at the bottom of the container. Muriatic acid is dangerous if not carefully used. If you have any fears. I would just chaulk up the chain to a learning experience.
Thank you so much for responding to my query. I was in such a state. I continued to research the paste and discovered that it just isn't the correct product for joining elements, just as you confirmed.
Originally, I was so apprehensive about using wire solder but after teaching myself to handle my little torch, I feel confident enough to at least try. Furthermore, the frustration that I feel regarding my already completed chain makes me wonder why I tried the low melting solder in the first place.
I am not sure what to do with my chain. I do love it-perhaps a little decoration for my studio?! Thank you as well for the information on the acid. I think I'll be skipping that though.
Well, I think I shall go place another order.
Thanks again for your insight.