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Fusing 22k gold wire


#1

Good morning! This is my first posting, please bear with me.

I have recently begun to incorporate gold in my work, and am making a small loop in loop chain. The 22k, 22g gold wire is not fusing properly.
I found a short blurb stating the 22k gold should be the same alloy the ancients used because present day 22k does not fuse properly. There was no more information.
Any tips for fusing (commercial) 22k gold, info regarding the “ancient alloy”, or sources for it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Terri


#2

Ancient goldwork was not fused, it was colloidally soldered. If you’re not using some sort of reducing/alloying agent then you’re going to have problems. But there are lots of granulation tutorials, and that’s the soldering technique you should use for closing your links.


#3

Terri- I learned to make chains from an amazing craftsman who learned how
to make chains in a south East Asian refugee camp back in the 70s. Seng Au
could make a stunning 22 KT chain from start to finish in one day using
only a very few simple tools.
To solder the links he would take hard 18 KT yellow solder file it into
dust and then add an equal amount of 22 KT filed into dust. Mixing the two
together he would then further rub it in between two flat files to further
reduce the size of the metal particles. He would then run a strong magnet
through it to remove any traces of the freous files he’s used. He’d then
mix the filings with flux thus making his own high karat paste solder. He
had a home made tiny little metal scoop that he would use to apply the
paste solder.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#4

Thank you for your response. Back to the books and tutorials!


#5

What an amazing experience you must have had!
Thank you for sharing that information. I will definitely try that technique.


#6

Fusing can be done by using cupric oxide,
Batterns flux and hide glue.
I know it as eutectic bonding.
Where the metals touch are alloyed by the cupric oxide and hide glue.


#7

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.


#8

Hi, Terri -

I am far from an expert, but I’ve had no trouble fusing 22k yellow gold links for use in loop-in-loop chains. No solder, no flux, very little clean-up. I used Jean Star’s book Classical Loop-in-Loop and then took a seminar at Metalwerx in Waltham, MA. I’ve bought wire from both David Fell as well as Hoover & Strong; no issues with modern gold. I’m pretty low tech: my tools are a charcoal block and a creme brule tourch.

If you’d like to reply off-line about specific problems you’re having, I’ll give you whatever knowledge my little brain has.

Kind regards,

Mary Stachura


#9

Hello Mary, thank you for responding to my post.
I am just beginning to feel confident enough to incorporate gold into my pieces, Having read and heard that it is a dream to work with.
Bit of a learning curve there.
I decided to begin with a small loop in loop chain using 22k, 22g gold. I, too use a charcoal block and creme brûlée torch, but as yet have been unsuccessful. I purchased gold from Rio, perhaps that is part of the problem? Resulting from responses on Orchid, I have ordered Batterns, but have not yet received it.
Any tips, hints or tricks you can share would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again,
Terri


#10

Hi, Terri -

Let me say that I am an amateur. What helped me was making sure the round jumprings were joined properly and had some tension so their ends wanted to meet and stay together on the block. The jumprings’ ends must be flush - either by using a jeweler’s saw or something else which did not leave a nib when cutting the wire.

Lighting was the other critical factor for me. It worked in low light so I could see the fusing as it happened.

I started fusing copper, 'cause I didn’t know copper doesn’t fuse. Then played with fine silver and 22k. I don’t believe where you buy your wire is an issue; Rio is an excellent source for many things. While I blew through many jumprings initially, with some patience and practice, I did acquire the skill. My non-success rate was easily 40%. Even now that I am proficient, I “recycle” 10% of the 22k rings.

As I said, no flux, as the 22k (or fine silver, etc.,) wants to fuse with itself. It was my job to get my torch outta the way before I evaporated the metal. I’m right-handed and use the torch with my right hand as well. It seems I have more control with my dominant hand.

Scream at me with specifics, I can help further. I am more than confident you’ll master this. We can celebrate over a cuppa tea.

Mary


#11

I am pretty proficient with fine silver loop in loop, so it was quite a surprise the gold didn’t work for me. I will keep working at it.
I did not mean to “did” Rio at all. Just thought maybe the alloy was different.
Thanks again, looking forward to that cuppa!
Terri


#12

Hello all
I believe all alloys vary from supplier to supplier and all are proven as good working compositions for what they are designed to achieve. In regard’s to fusing 22kt an alloy with no copper will work best. Not sure about other suppliers but DHF carries a 22kt std yellow with zero copper which has proven to work well over the years for fusing.

Thank You
Ken Babayan
David H. Fell & Co. Inc.