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[Digest post] Wavy metal

Hi Marggi; Inlay is generally done by inlaying a softer metal into a
harder metal. White gold, if it’s a nickle alloy, is going to be a
lot tougher than the rose gold you’re trying to hammer it into. The
inlay wire flattens against the floor of the channel and spreads out,
locking itself in the undercuts on the sides of the channel. If the
wire is too hard, it going to dig into the channel rather than
flatten out. It’s going to spread the channel out rather than spread
under the lip of the undercut, etc. It can be done, but the
mechanics are different and difficult. You have to, in effect, set
the inlay excessively deep and move the sides of the channel in to
lock the wire in place. It’s then more like the physices of flush
setting stones in metal. I suggest you look into using a palladium
white gold alloy, since this can be quite soft when annealled. I
also just read an article in professional jeweler today that said
that P.M. West has a new alloy called #00, which contains neither the
stubborn nickle alloy nor the expensive palladium alloy. Here’s
their web site, for those interested.

David L. Huffman