I am brand new to working with metal based art, and am hoping to
pick the brains of those who have been doing this for awhile for help
with a project I am working on.
I am working on an engagement ring and while I have tried to read up
on the subject, I've run into a stumbling point out of the gate. As a
quick background the desired design is to have an inlay of mokume
gane in the middle of the band, surrounded by sterling silver. On the
top would go silver wiring molded into a solitaire setting.
As for my materials and setup I purchased a "jewelry grade" billet
of mokume gane to work with, and managed to pick up an old jewelry
mill on a really good sale in my local area. I already have a number
of other tools on hand as well to help cut and handle the metal.
My plan was to cut out a small strip of the mokume gane and roll it
out to the specified dimensions. The videos I have seen of this
process show people cold rolling the metal to the desired shape, but
when I try to do this I make no progress or the metal snaps. When I
try to heat it up with my mapp torch, it causes the metal to become
too brittle and it will snap during rolling as well. The only other
option that comes to mind is to somehow slowly heat a portion of the
billet up to a suitable temperature in a kiln of some sort. But I
wanted to check with others before making any big step in buying
equipment to do such a thing.
The rest of my plan was to buy a small gauge sheet of sterling
silver and heat that up and solder the rolled mokume inlay on top of
it then fold the silver up along the sides. At this point I
envisioned bending the metal into the ring shape and soldering it
closed. But given the trouble I've been having with heating this
metal and not ruining it, I wanted to see what people thought about
this step as well.
I realize everyone here is quite advanced, so I apologize about just
picking your brains with basic questions, but any help with this
project would be incredibly appreciated.
What are the metals in the billet?
Not everyone, but that's kind of a difficult project for a begin.
need a little more info what metals are in the billet? you say when
you try to heat the MG that it gets more brittle ? that's really not
supposed to happen. this is over my talent level but there is one
man who could tell you what you need to know James Binson, Email joy
@mokume-gane.com PH # 817 408 7287. If he can't help you maybe no
one can. Good Luck its important to get this right. wish I could be
of more assistance.
When people are "cold rolling" the mokume, it has been annealed
first so that it is soft and not already hardened. Annealing will
depend on the composition of your "jewelry grade" billet. is it
copper/sterling, nickle alloy/copper. what?
A second problem, discussed at length in the archives, is the
problem of using any copper alloys in a mokume destined for a ring.
Copper alloys produce a galvanic reaction when in contact with skin
and that can often result in the mokume becoming pitted and cracked
even with a silver liner.
Hi - I am by no means an expert in this field, but I have been
reading about Galvanic Corrosion that happens to mokume gane made of
copper and silver when exposed to water.
If you are in fact using copper and silver together, I would caution
you and refer you to the article on Ganoksin regarding this issue.
Engagement rings often don't come off when washing one's hands or
when washing dishes. A ruined engagement ring due to this process
would be devastating.
Just wanted to give you a heads up.
All the best,