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First time working with gold


#1

Hey…

It’s my first time working with gold… I am very versed in the
soldering of silver-but not gold…and I have a job for two simple
wedding bands in 14k can anybody help me out…

whew!

thanks
vanessa


#2

Hi Vanessa –

I just got through a six month period during which every time
someone asked me to make something out of gold I would bite my nails
and shiver in anticipation of the soldering. Finally through that!
It’s different, but not so terrible and quite fun once you get the
hang of it.

The biggest difference is that gold takes much more heat than
silver, and it at least feels like the melting point of the solder is
much closer to that of the gold than when working with silver. Hence,
the second you see it run – the millisecond you see it run – flame
off! One little cheat is to use solder of a slightly lower carat. I’m
sure this is frowned upon, but it works. On a wedding band, it
probably isn’t advisable though since you could probably see a slight
seam. (I recently used 18k solder for a 22k piece with very fine
wires and honestly I can’t tell, but…)

Another difference is that you need much less solder. make tiny tiny
little pieces and put them on with the ball-soldering method –
picking each one up and placing them with your solder pick onto the
top of the seam. The gold holds heat well enough that you can get it
hot, place the solder, remove the flame if need be, and the piece
may still be hot enough for you to move the solder to the right
place. The last tip that I’ve been given is to use a “fluffy” flame
rather than a very high pressure focused one. That way you’ll heat
the whole ring rather than focusing in and melting any one place.

The good news for you is that 14k is probably more silver like than
gold like in many ways, so the transition won’t be as abrupt as if
you were trying to work with 18 or 22k where the gold properties
fully take over.

Good luck!!