I’m using a PUK 4.1 to retip claws. I’ve done it successfully lots of times with Pt, 9ct, and 18ct gold, but this problem is with a 14ct ring.14ct is not popular here in UK. The claw appears to weld OK, but tends to break when setting the stones. Any suggestions?
You haven’t mentioned the colour of the metal. Most times there isn’t a problem with the white gold TIG weld joints. RIO’s TIG solders are dead soft but from Cooksons, it is spring hard, that is their yellow, that has been supplied to me. PUK’s technical people say “don’t know why but the solder must be dead soft”. If I get a chance over the next few days I will try using a copper heat sink (poker), when soldering a few claws so that the heating up and slowing down of 9 ct. metal is changed. With 14 K. you have no idea of where the item has really come from. Whereas 18 ct. is very stable and the (few) countries working with 9 ct. seem to stick to the alloy rules.
I’ve been successfully retipping prongs, among other things, with a PUK 3 for about 4 years now. I don’t use solder. On all white gold I use Stuller’s 19KWG laser wire. I find that, at least with the PUK 3, anything with zinc simply produces too much porosity. On yellow gold, I use Stuller’s zinc-free alloys.
Just last week I ran low on the 19KWG and thought I assumed I could just use 14KWG because my ninja skills with the PUK are superior to what they were when I started…nope, wrong answer. Prongs look like my face in high school. It’s a bit pricier, but it’ll save you in faster clean-up and better results.