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Fuse thick gauge 24k gold


#1

Hello everyone! I would like to make my husband a new wedding ring
for his birthday and would like it to be 24k and am planning on a
heavy gauge - maybe 12 B&S.

My question is: can I fuse the band closed? I have successfully
fused fine silver and 22k gold wire for chains, but have never fused
24k or anything so thick. I know the pure-ness of the 24k should make
it doable, but I’m worried about the thickness. Any thoughts (on any
of this) would be greatly appreciated!

Susan


#2

Hello everyone! I would like to make my husband a new wedding ring
for his birthday and would like it to be 24k and am planning on a
heavy gauge - maybe 12 B&S.

My question is: can I fuse the band closed? I have successfully
fused fine silver and 22k gold wire for chains, but have never fused
24k or anything so thick. I know the pure-ness of the 24k should make
it doable, but I’m worried about the thickness. Any thoughts (on any
of this) would be greatly appreciated!

Susan


#3

I have fused 24k with no problem. I don’t think you should have too
much of a problem with such a thick piece but you will probably get a
fair amount of surface flow in the process. This means either you
need to have a design that accommodates a fused look or that you will
end up with a somewhat thinner band than you want, especially where
the join is.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-491-6000
@spirersomes
www.spirersomes.com


#4

Hello Daniel Spirer and others:

Concerning fusing a 24K strip into a band. Daniel brings up a good
point the you might, after fusing, end up with a thinner section where
the fusing takes place. Why not this approach?

  1. Calculate the length you’ll need to accomplish the band and cut
    it. (I believe Tim McCreight has some info on how to do this, if you
    haven’t before).

  2. Consider using a “butt” joint, that is, the ends come around to
    meet endmost tip to endmost tip. Before you bend it around, "upset"
    the ends slightly, that is, forge each end of the strip back upon
    itself, which will thicken the end slightly.

  3. Bend it around so the ends meet. Since 24K is pretty much dead
    soft, you won’t get much tension on the joint, so at some point in the
    fusing process, you may want to use a large pair of tweezers adapted
    so that you can lightly squeeze the seam closed as it is fusing. Then
    fuse away!

  4. You’ll now probably have a slightly thicker section at the joint,
    and a ring that is slightly smaller than you had planned. Now you can
    forge the thicker section down to achieve both a uniform thickness and
    the desired diameter for the proper size.

David L. Huffman


#5

While I haven’t done it myself, one of my instructors said that when
she fuses heavy gauges, she inserts a very thin piece of the metal
between the edges- I think it was a piece rolled out as thin as
possible on a rolling mill. This was cut barely larger than the join,
and inserted into the tight join. She said that this melts just
slightly before the heavier material, is easier to see when the
fusing happens, and prevents there from being a thinner place at the
fuse.

Hope this helps- if you try it, I’d love to hear how it went!

-Amanda Fisher


#6

On a thick band , I would start w/ a seam that meets in the cross
sectional center but not at the edges, sort of like this: )(. This
allows you to fuse(weld) the interior on out w/ out frying the
exterior. It also gives you a through and through weld. To fill in
the outside, either place the ring in large tweezers and squeeze as
you melt, or simply add some of the same metal as a filler as you go.
Either wedge a small thin sheet into the seam, or add material as you
go as small chips. Remember that since you are fusing, you can add
extra material, as long as it’s identical to the original. Also, if
you can, it’s a good idea to forge the welded area to reduce the grain
size and “densify” the weld.

Good luck, Andy Cooperman


#7

I think that you’re trying to bake a cake in a frying pan!

If you need a “true ring” with no joints then cast the ring,
otherwise the best way to join the ends is with a good hard solder
joint. Fusing will not produce a clean joint. On the other hand you
can gat interesting effects with fusing.

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone
www.goldandstone.com
tony@goldandstone.com


#8

Tony, I disagree… I often fuse seams in 18y,14k rose, palladium
white, etc. Platinum smiths have welded seams for years. I suppose
that it depends on your alloys.

I also weld different gold alloys to each other to provide a
feathered transition from one color to the next, or one saturation of
yellow to the next. Silicon Bronze welds wonderfully to 18ky as does
sterling.

It works for me. I also have found that cast objects just aren’t as
dense or malleable as fabricated items, even welded seams.

Andy Cooperman


#9

There is an incredible example of this from Neissing Co. They have a
plain round band that does not completely connect but has a small gap.
One side of the gap is golden 18K and the other side is either white
gold or Platinum. If you look at the entire ring it gradually goes
from yellow to white. I finally found out how they do it. They fuse 42
different pieces together, each piece being a slightly different
shade. Like Andy says the union is feathery so the band simply
blends from yellow to white.


#10
I also weld different gold alloys to each other to provide a
feathered transition from one color to the next, or one saturation
of yellow to the next.  Silicon Bronze welds wonderfully to 18ky as
does sterling. 

Andy, your contribution sounds very interesting. Are your seams
between Silver and Gold so strong, that you could pass the piece
through the rolling mill? What kind of torch do you use to do this
welding work and how do you proceed?

Greetings from sunny Germany (accidentally…)
Michael


#11

I think that is a great idea. It works well with gold, but I’ve never
tries it with silver, the time just isn’t worth it in a repair
setting. Platinum is done well that way. I once had a chance to
learn from Jurgen Maertz, now technical director of the Platinum
Guild, and that is the only way that he recommends platinum to be
joined, as in ring sizing.