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Experience with TiGold


#1

Hoover and Strong make an alloy of copper and zinc called TiGold. As
prices of materials continue to rise, my community college students
are having trouble with the expense of SS for casting.

Has anyone had any experience with this material? I am concerned
about the zinc causing allergic reactions when worn.

Any other ideas for casting?
Thanks for your help
Joan


#2

I use TiiGold in many casting demo’s, for group instruction and for
non-precious metal production pieces- it does what it says- the look
and workability of gold without the gold. As for the zinc, it
shouldn’t be inhaled -some students in particular tend to solder
directly over a piece and consequently feel like their throat(s) are
burned. simple studio safety instruction is always as important a
first lesson as tool usage and maintenance. My students don’t touch
metal until a third or fourth meeting. (1- safety in the shop, 2-
tool use and familiarity and shop policies regarding their usage, 3-
metaals and their properties, the market and related topics, and 4-
sketching/ rendering the first piece…then onto techniques.).

Tigold is great as far as comparative materials go - there is no
better product by any other vendor for the price or the quality
taking into account the colour and the malleability and whether the
group or individual is going to work in gold or silver. That is
where the divide is-

if silver is going to be the primary material used then I would begin
with Hoover’s sterling alloy (forget argentium for now until they
understand the properties of fine silver and then, fine silver
alloyed with copper) is as good as any sterling grain available. I
beegin silversmiths with .999 though. If you are teaching dierect
casting solely (cuttlefishbone, plaster shell moulding, or delft
clay) TiGold is eassier to work with in refining the cast piece than
phosphor bronze alloys or any other base metal containing alloy you
can find. One thing I am strict about personally and in the studio
and classroom is cross contamination from grinding brass, steel,
etc. in the same areas as precious metals - don’t allow it. Have
sepreate files, handpieces, buffs, etc.

and an arbor motor for non-precious metals in its own area if
remotely possible.The time and return on your scrap. polishings,
mats, etc. will be easier to assess if you get in this habit and
teach it as well. I don’t even use the same file cards (or soft
copper pieces) for cleaning files But most importantly - use a
dedicated crucible for TiGold. Mark it on the bottom particularly
with students sharing a few. I even have rolls of craft or other
paper that students lay under their work areas and at the end of the
day or piece they either toss it wrapped into a wad into a seperate
recycling bin, or throw it away It helps conntain the particles to a
great extent- and if reusing the grindings, filings, etc it’s all in
the same place - lidded and away from precious metal scrap. As for
health concerns- don’t worry about it unless you have discerned that
there are students allergic to solder- if that amount of zinc affects
them then this is not the profession, classs or craft for
that person!..rer


#3

Dear Joan,

We have used Hoover’s TiGold alloy for our traveling salesman’s line.
It casts and works similar to gold, so in that respect it would make
a good material to learn on. It will not maintain a shiny finish for
any length of time- our samples tarnish quickly when handled. Gold
plating helps, but like all platings it is not a permanent fix.

We have never worn this material, so I’m not sure what type of
reactions you would encounter. To sum it up, your students will get a
good learning experience from working with this material, but I’m not
at all sure they will end up with wearable projects. In fact, I doubt
that will be the case.

It is affordable though, which is a big help in a school setting. Let
us know if you have any other questions.

Take care.
Brenda
david lee jeweler
http://www.davidleejeweler.com


#4
We have used Hoover's TiGold alloy for our traveling salesman's
line. It casts and works similar to gold, so in that respect it
would make a good material to learn on. It will not maintain a
shiny finish for any length of time- our samples tarnish quickly
when handled. Gold plating helps, but like all platings it is not a
permanent fix. 

Ours doesn’t readily tarnish- make sure you don’t have it in a tray
with a cardboard and velvet pad- they emit a lot of sulfuric gasses
and that may be the culprit. Plating it seems like an unnecessary
expense unless a production line of costume jewelry or to teach
plating principles which in its own right seems fair enough a reason
to go for it! but for learning casting i wouldn’t bother- better cut
a few pieces out of a semi-abrasive polishing cloth (Rio’s sunshine
for instance) will keep it looking good for a long while. As for
allergies, if the person wearing is allergic to copper or nickel-
forget this alloy too! Also if one’s body has an acidic pH it will
turn them green. A quick dip in marine varnish- (after thinning it
somewhat and ensuring there are no air bubbles from mixing, plunging
then moving it around, etc. ) will preserve the colour and prevent it
from touching the skin entirely. lasts far longer than nail enamel or
other enamels (even baked on non-vitreous coatings or RTC enamels)
and is inexpensive for the quantity you get compared to the products
sold for that purpose and will repel water better than a duck!


#5
Ours doesn't readily tarnish- make sure you don't have it in a
tray with a cardboard and velvet pad- they emit a lot of sulfuric
gasses and that may be the culprit. 

Rourke, where can we see some of your jewelry online?