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Annealing gold filled wire


#1

Howdy Folks, can 12-14kt gold filled wire be annealed? How would I
accomplish this in a kiln(preferred)? Is it neccessary to know the
base metal or do all foundries use the same? Will a coating be
required to prevent oxidation or other problems? tia Carl
1 Lucky Texan


#2

Hello everyone,

I have sent this query in a couple of days ago, but maybe no one saw
it. I have searched through the Ganoksin site and couldn’t find
anything. I have never been taught anything about this subject either,
at least I don’t remember anything.

I know this group to be a very helpful one and hope someone will give
me some ideas.

Does anyone know what types of problems one might encounter when
annealing gold filled wire (1/20 14KT)? Do you think I could just put
boric acid/denatured alcohol flux on the piece and torch it like gold?
Any ideas would be very, very appreciated!

Thanks,
Laura

Laura H. Hastings
Eclectica Jewelry
Tucson, Arizona
USA
http://www.rubylane.com/shops/eclectica


#3

Laura’

Gold filled wire is a base metal usually a copper and zinc mix or
brass that has a thin layer of gold either heat bonded or plaited on
the surface that will burn off in the torch aneling process. Your
best bet is to purchase your wire pre aneled if you are planning to
do a lot of bending or twisting, it is available dead soft, half
hard, and full hard. The harder wire is more suited for larger bends
like neck wires or bracelets.

Good luck!
Christopher Arnett
www.christopherarnettjewelers.com


#4

Laura,

Well, if you are annealing gold filled wire, you are actually
annealing the base metal core. Depending on what metal that is, as
long as it’s annealing temperature is lower than the melting
temperature of the gold covering you should be okay. I wouldn’t try
it on gold electroplate wire though.

Jerry in Kodiak


#5

Hello Laura,

Does anyone know what types of problems one might encounter when
annealing gold filled wire (1/20 14KT)? 

I think this is difficult to answer without knowing what the core
metal is. The other problem is the potential of damaging the gold
layer. I’ve never annealed GF wire - never needed to.

Sorry not to be of more help,
Judy in Kansas


#6

Hi, Laura,

Does anyone know what types of problems one might encounter when
annealing gold filled wire (1/20 14KT)? 

When you heat gold filled material, you have to be very careful not
to overheat. You run the risk of the gold alloying into the brass,
never to be seen again. Years ago, I tried to use GF, and found it
nearly impossible to solder to without just ending up with expensive
brass. But you should be able to anneal it if you’re very careful
with your heat. I would think borax flux should be OK. Paste flux
might be better. But remember, GF wire tends to be quite stiff at
best, since it is brass, so don’t expect it to get all that soft–
and don’t anneal it if you don’t absolutely have to.

Good luck!
Noel


#7

I don’t usually reply to questions on this forum when I don’t have
experience using the material, but could gold fill be annealed in a
kiln??

Alana Clearlake


#8

Laura, I think the reason no one has answered is this: It simply
doesn’t work. Annealing gold filled wire, when the wire is base
metal will result in the gold disappearing when the wire is heated
enough to anneal it.

IMHO - gold fill with base metal is suitable only for cold working.

My experience is admittedly old, but when I tried soldering this
miserable stuff 10 years ago, the gold simply disappeared. The base
metal looks like the gold, but tarnishes. If you need softer wire,
use a thinner gauge.

Judy Hoch


#9

Thanks to all of you who answered my query.

After taking a great class on crocheting wire with Michael David
Sturlin, I made several fine silver chains, then an 18kt gold chain,
and thought I had come up with a great solution to the current high
price of gold, by getting gold filled wire instead of gold alloy
wire.

You must anneal the chain after you finish the crocheting so that you
can untwist it and draw it.

I guess I will just experiment and see what happens. I don’t use a
very hot torch, so maybe it will work out. Stuller’s states that the
core metal is “base metal” so I don’t know exactly what it is.
However, since gold has such a high melting point, I would imagine
the core is a lower temp melting point, so it may work out fine. It is
really beautiful, and is dead soft. However after working it, it
needs to be annealed.

I will let you know how it turns out. I may be using the wire for
something other than crocheted chains after this!!

Thanks very much again, for your help!

Laura

Laura H. Hastings
Eclectica Jewelry
Tucson, Arizona
USA
http://www.rubylane.com/shops/eclectica


#10
After taking a great class on crocheting wire with Michael David
Sturlin, I made several fine silver chains, then an 18kt gold
chain, and thought I had come up with a great solution to the
current high price of gold, by getting gold filled wire instead of
gold alloy wire. 

I learned to make chains from Michael as well (though from an on
line tutorial, not in person) and I cannot imagine putting that kind
of work into something that might turn into, as I said before,
expensive brass if the gold “sinks in” when annealed.

First, if it is 14K filled-- 14K has a very low melting point.
Second, and more to the point, two dissimilar metals in close
contact will tend to alloy together, when heated, into their
eutectic alloy-- meaning the combination with the lowest possible
melting point. Believe me, this is no abstract notion. A little too
much heat-- and a lot less than the melting point of either metal
alone-- will trigger this effect.

If you are still not convinced, at least try annealing the GF wire
while it is still just a coil, to see whether you can do it without
ruining it. If you are going to waste the wire, better not to waste
your time as well. Those chains take an hour per inch, at least when
I do it!

Good luck!
Noel


#11

Goldfilled wires, especially the smaller gauges, are available in
varying degrees of temper. Specs are listed as “dead soft” and
"half-hard".

I’m just assuming here that annealing is discouraged by makers of
precious metal laminates like GF and silverfilled.

Dan Woodard


#12

Judy Hoch is right. The gold will disappear when the wire is heated.

I got some gold filled sheet to work on, and had a miserable time
soldering it. I used extra-easy solder, and some solder supposedly
for gold fill, and even though I used extreme care, the gold burned
off leaving the base metal exposed. I now only use it with cold
connections and thus avoid problems. As far as gold filled
wire—even the stuff I got which was supposed to be soft, is hard
and stiff.

On the plus side, I find that I can easily texture it using my
rolling mill, and as it is gold coated on both sides, I can make
some nice pieces using cold connections without fear of any
tarnishing. I just don’t do any soldering on it.

Alma


#13
You must anneal the chain after you finish the crocheting so that
you can untwist it and draw it. 

I Have woven a number of chains using gold-filled wire and then
refined the weave using a draw plate and never had to anneal it
either before or after. The chain has come out quite nicely. So, I
wouldn’t worry about not annealing.

Paula Wright
The Wright Things


#14
I Have woven a number of chains using gold-filled wire and then
refined the weave using a draw plate and never had to anneal it
either before or after. The chain has come out quite nicely. So, I
wouldn't worry about not annealing. 

Thanks, Paula! The material is really nice. I think I will do as you
suggest. I will let everyone know how it turns out.

Laura


#15

I can’t remember who was asking about soldering on goldfill wire, but
as I was cleaning, I came across a post from Thu, 19 Jan
2006…Subject: “Uses for Goldfill Wire”

https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/uses-for-goldfill-wire

you might find usefull as it addresses your question. You could find
this in the Orchid archives.

Donna in VA


#16

Dear Orchid friends,

I thought I would finally follow up on the outcome of annealing my
gold filled wire chain (crocheted). I appreciate all the help given
to me when I asked.

I was actually quite happy with the results.

The chain is 20 inches long, FYI. I treated it just like gold. I
fluxed it with a boric acid and denatured alcohol flux, then torched
it in a darkened room. Once it reached a dull red I immediately
removed the heat! I pickled the chain, and then straightened it. It
was not as pliable as a gold alloy, but it was not bad. Then I put it
through the drawplate.

It turned out quite well, actually. It looks pretty, there are no
faults in the metal at all. No melting or unremovable fire scale
(actually there was NO fire scale). And considering the extraordinary
price of gold wire, I think it is a viable alternative for jewelry
that is attractive, durable, and that doesn’t cost thousands of
dollars.

I prefer using gold, but as I said, GF is an OK alternative.

Just thought I would share the outcome with you! And thank you for
all your friendly help!

Laura
Laura H. Hastings
Eclectica Jewelry
Tucson, Arizona
USA

http://www.rubylane.com/shops/eclectica