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Attaching side-drilled briolettes with gold wire


#1

I am trying to make small hoops or jump rings out of 18 karat gold
wire to attach side-drilled briolettes. Often, the wire has to be 28
or even 30 gauge to pass through the briolettes.When I try to
solder, the wire is so small, it often just dissolves. In addition,
there’s the problem of the heat transferring to the briolette (I
sometime submerge in water as a heat sink). Without using the very
expensive laser welders, can anyone suggest a way to join the 18
karat gold wire passing through the briolette into a loop? Someone
suggested the PUK welder. Does anyone have experience in this?


#2

Hi Mia

When I try to solder, the wire is so small, it often just
dissolves. In addition, there's the problem of the heat
transferring to the briolette (I sometime submerge in water as a
heat sink). Without using the very expensive laser welders, can
anyone suggest a way to join the 18 karat gold wire passing through
the briolette into a loop? Someone suggested the PUK welder. Does
anyone have experience in this? 

I’ll risk a lot of jabs here and show my inexperience. From what I
have learned so far, soldering requires more heat than fusing. I am
wondering if you might try flattening the portion of the wire you
would like to join and then fusing the ends together. I have fused
and know that it can make a seamless join (when it’s done right) and
I am thinking your briolettes would look really pretty if it can be
done this way.

Good Luck
Kim Starbard


#3

Hi Mia,

Without using the very expensive laser welders, can anyone suggest
a way to join the 18 karat gold wire passing through the briolette
into a loop? Someone suggested the PUK welder. Does anyone have
experience in this? 

I’ve never used the PUK welder, but I’ve used the ABI Pulse Arc
welder many times.

All can say is that it’s a joy to use & should do your job with out
a problem.

The made in the US ABI welders are effective for many different
jobs. Look in the 2006-2007 Rio Grande tool catalog on pages 403 &
404 for a description.

Dave


#4

Hello Mia;

I am trying to make small hoops or jump rings out of 18 karat gold
wire to attach side-drilled briolettes. 

I’ve done this. It wasn’t my idea because, frankly, it’s not a good
one. I’ll get to that. Here’s how I did it. Forget heat sinking the
briolette. The wire will have to be fine enough to go through the
hole, which was drilled to accommodate a fine bead cord. What’s more,
the diameter will have to be quite large, proportionately, to get
through the hold without binding up. You won’t get enough conduction
to be a problem, and if you can’t keep from hitting the briolette
with the torch, you don’t have the skill level to pull this off
anyway. See, you’ve got two problems here. First, any pull on the
soft, fine, jump ring will distort it, probably breaking off the top
of the briolette in the process. Second, it’s proportionately awkward
at best. It’s going to look spindly and cheap. But if you really want
to do this, here’s how.

Get a piece of wire about twice the gauge of the jump ring. Coat the
end of the wire with the lowest melting temperature solder that still
matches karat and color. In this case, probably 18 karat yellow easy.
You could probably get away with 14K ultra easy, really. Now get your
tweezers with the mounted base and sharpen up the tips to fairly fine
points. Grab the jump ring, after putting it through the briolette
and closing it. It should be held so that the briolette hangs down at
the bottom and the tweezers hold it as close to the briolette as
possible. Heat the wire you’ve coated with solder and just as the
solder melts, bring it, torch and all, down till you just barely
touch the jump ring. Just as the solder jumps on to the ring, pull
the wire away as you quickly back off the torch. I’ve used this
technique to solder the finest cable link chains, soldering a single
link closed without freezing anything up. I can get away with this
because I’ve had lots of practice. So, you may not even be able to
use my technique with success. My point is, this is not the way to
use these briolette. It’s a perfect example of uninformed design
requiring the craftsman to dig him/herself in deeper, trying to find
an exotic technical solution or thinking there exists some special
trick other than years of practice. Sorry to have to be so blunt
about it, but if you are butting your head against this kind of
problem instead of thinking around it, you are on the road to a lot
more of this kind of frustration. I wouldn’t be doing you any favors
if I didn’t point this out.

David L. Huffman