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Does platinum ball up at the ends


#1

Hi there,

I have a potential client who wants platinum studs that are small
balls with a flattened top. I’ve never worked with platinum wire in
this way so the question is: Does platinum ball up at the ends like
gold and silver?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
Chris


#2
I've never worked with platinum wire in this way so the question
is: Does platinum ball up at the ends like gold and silver? 

Well, yes. And no… First off, it’s required that you have and
use welding glasses or goggles to melt platinum. And if you get a
wire hot enough it will ball up just like any other metal. Problem is
I guess you want to push it on a flat surface while it’s molten, as
people do. That you won’t be able to do, as the metal when freeze
pretty much the moment you remove the heat. You could ball the end
and then file your flat spot. I’d probably melt a ball and then
solder it on the end of a wire. You’re going to need a platinum
crucible - you can’t use a standard soldering pad and absolutely NOT
a charcoal block…


#3

Yes, provided that you can melt it; it melts at 1768.3 C or 3214.9
F. You’ll need oxy/acetylene or oxy/propane to reach that sort of
temperature.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#4

Platinum wire should ball up. Wear dark lenses as plat melts at high
temp. Hold your oxy propane torch flame vertically with a small
powerful flame and bring the wire end down vertically into the flame
till the wire just touches the blue cone, the wire should ball up.
It may take several tries to get them right. Play with different
flame strengths. Sometimes flux helps.

David Cruickshank (Australia)
jewellerydavidcruickshank.com.au


#5

Since platinum does not oxidize there is absolutely no reason to use
a flux…ever. Platinums high melt point also leads to the
problem of the metal absorbing impurities when heated which can lead
to problems such as cracking. Make sure the metal is clean, work
with it using tools designed to withstand the high temps such as
tungsten or platinum tipped tweezers and high heat ceramic soldering
boards. Never solder or heat platinum on a charcoal block. Heated
platinum loves to absorb carbon which will cause the metal to crack.
Platinum will ball up beautifully, it just requires much more heat
than other jewelry metals. NO FLUX!!