I’ve had good success with sweat soldering gold (14K or higher)
components (everything from stampings to wire) onto silver. My
success with 10K gold has not been so good - the 10K I used seemed to
have a melting point nearly the same as the silver solder. Yep, the
gold sort of melted onto the silver substrate. Not unattractive, but
not exactly what I wanted. The melting problem has not been a
problem with 14 K.
To make balls melt gold scrap on a charcoal block. File a flat place
on the gold ball and flux just the flat place. I cut a tiny bit of
Easy Silver solder and place it on the soldering block. Melt the
silver solder, and touch the fluxed part of the gold ball to the
melted solder to pick up solder onto the ball. Pickle, etc. You
will likely need to file that blob of solder flat again to keep it
from rolling when you place it on the silver substrate. Same process
with wire; CAREFULLY pick up the solder onto each end of the wire and
maybe a bit in the middle. That wire wants to melt or sag!
Make sure your silver substrate is clean before sweat soldering the
pieces of gold. Place the gold pieces where you want them. To help
assure a good flow, I touch the melted solder (on the bottom of the
gold) to a drop of Battern’s flux to carry the flux onto the silver
at final placement, then gently heat to dry it to a crust. Then do
the ol’ Prip’s flux all over (… Battern’s would probably work too)
to prevent firescale. Solder as you would with sweating silver to
silver, applying heat from below to bring the substrate up to melting
temperature. When the solder flows, you’ll notice the gold piece sort
of “settling” down onto the silver. Quench in pickle and polish.
Easy solder takes oxidation well and I really do like the black
background to the gold application. You might want to oxidize the
piece before polishing.
This sweat soldering technique becomes more tricky if the silver
surface is curved - like a half round band or bracelet. In that
case, fitting the gold to very closely match the curve upon which you
want to solder becomes sooooo important. You really want all the
little gold edges well soldered or you’ll lose them in polishing.
Hope this helps & good luck! Orchid is such a great resource - Kop
kuhn ma ka, Hanuman.
Judy in Kansas where we got rain over the weekend!
Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681