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Filling cracks in rings


#1

Are there any pointers on filling cracks in rings. Sometimes I am
about to size a ring and notice some hair-line cracks inside the
shank. I try to fill them with solder but the solder sort-of
glosses over the top of the crack without penetrating down inside.
The ring and the solder are very clean and I also heat the metal
and not the solder. Thank you in advance.

Dale Pavatte
Decherd, Tennessee


#2

Have you heated, pickled, and ultrasoniced. There could be a lot of
debris in there.


#3

Dale,

What I have found that works well with hairline cracks is scoring
the crack with a sharp graver so that the solder flows INTO it
instead of laying on the surface .

Hope this little trip helps.
Laurie


#4

Dale, The metal within the cracks is probably not clean and this is
why the solder will not flow into the cracks. One thing that you can
do is to clean out the cracks by pickling the ring and then put it in
an ultrasonic cleaner to make sure that any pickle residue is
removed. Then solder.

Joel Schwalb
@Joel_Schwalb
www.schwalbstudio.com


#5

Dale,

There are several ways to repair cracks in rings. First, if the
cracks are low down in the shank…I would replace the whole shank
as it is not worth trying to repair the cracks and they WILL fail
again anyway.

If the cracks are further up on the shank…say up in the shoulders
area where there is more metal, you will have to drill or file the
cracks away first then insert a piece of clean sheet or wire and
solder that in place. Sculpt the new metal to the shape of the ring
and your done.

The reason you will have to do this is…no matter how clean you
’think’ the metal around the crack is…you can never clean inside
the crack. Also, the crack may be caused by simple metal fatigue
meaning the grain boundries have failed due to wear hardening, or
work harding, (i.e., perhaps the shank has previously been upsized by
hammering), or possibly chemical contamination such as chlorine. Or,
there may be other contaminates from the original casting or
fabrication process that simply cannot be cleaned out other than
complete removal of all metal in the area. These voids cannot be
filled.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2


#6

Dave,

There’s nothing wrong with your solder, it’s just that the solder
gods have decreed that solder will not fill cracks. You have
defects in the metal caused by oxides, impurities, crud, whatever.
The best solution is to cut out the bad portion and solder (braze)
in good metal. Outside of throwing it out and starting all over
that’s the ONLY solution that comes to me, now that I think about
it.

Jerry in Kodiak (where the sockeye salmon have returned and the
island is again incredibly green)


#7

Hi Dale, I always take my jewelers saw and just start to cut into the
crack, this makes the solder flow much neater , of course use
denatured alcohol and flux. If the ring is very porous, there may be
more problems as you go on, but usually that does the trick.

Laura Guptill Jewelry
Mt Washington Valley, NH


#8
    Are there any pointers on filling cracks in rings? 

Here is something no one else has mentioned. If you successfully
fill the crack with solder, there is a potential that work done by
other jewelers months or years from now can cause some of the solder
to flow out creating extra work for the jeweler. I get around this by
pseudo-fusing the crack. I take a tiny amount of the gold used in the
ring and melt it with a tiny amount of hard solder. After opening up
the crack to expose new metal, I then melt the metal-solder alloy
into the crack. This new solder is very hard and you risk melting the
ring, but it can certainly be melted in successfully albeit carefully
and with good heat control. After this repair is made, the metal
cannot come out with further heating. It is a permanent repair.
Another nice point here is that this works with any color of gold. It
is also how I seamlessly solder pink or rose golds.

Jeffrey Everett