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Gold bezel seams


another question regarding gold bezels please: sometimes when I am
doing a gold bezel the solder goes to one side of the joint or the
other (it sort of jumps over to one side) It doesn’t stick to and
flow directly down the seam as does a silver bezel seam. The piece
to be soldered is clean and properly fluxed. I’m fairly new to gold
and am wondering why this happens more so with gold than silver. Thanks all!


Dianne, It may be that your metals were not “really” clean. Often
you’ll need to use 600 grit sandpaper before fluxing. The other thing
you might need to remember is that solder will follow the heat of the
torch, so if it’s being concentrated away from the join you want to
make, that’s where the solder will go. Hope this helps.
Gary Strickland, GJG


Hi: some of what your experiancing is called a eutectic
point…happens more when you solder white to yellow, but the alloys
in the solder react with the gold alloy cause a current flow…this
results in a pulling affect…there is also a chance you are not
heating properly and one side gets hotter… air spaces act as
insulation from heat transfer…try making a tighter joint…thanks…John Henry aka"ringman"


Diane - One side of your bezel is getting hotter than the other and
the solder melts to that side. Heat travels through silver much
faster than gold and will equalize on both sides of the bezel seam
more often at the same time. You need to take particular care to heat
the gold bezel very evenly. Quick circular strokes of the torch flame
around the circumference, constantly reversing direction, should
help. Steve.
Steven Brixner - Jewelry Designer - San Diego CA USA


Diane, In the case of the gold bezel, if it is possible to do the
following you might find it helpful; Take a piece of the appropriate
solder for your bezel seam, mill it or pound it very thin. Flux the
joint and insert the solder so that it is suspended in the joint in
the correct position and held there by tension. If your joint is well
made and the solder is thin enough there won’t be any misalignment of
the ends, and the seam will solder beautifully together. It is worth
the few moments it takes sometimes to set up the joint for soldering,
often it is advantageous to have the solder placed exactly where it
needs to be so that you can concentrate fully on the heating of the
item and not have to be distracted by attempting to position the
solder and control the heat at the same time. If the heating is done
expediently and more confidently, there is less chance of the flux
burning off and this also assists the seam in soldering well.

No one likes it when we melt something or overheat it, and to what
extent we can set things up for soldering has a great influence on
how well the procedure goes, and overall, how much we learn from it.
When we can remove more and more of the thought of ‘what happens if I
melt this?’ from our internal dialogue as we work, we can focus more
on the creative aspect of our work and less on the mechanical
applications of it. One way to approach this is to invest the extra
time and thought in setting up for the process to go as smoothly as
possible, and then it becomes slightly less stressful and our
confidence and skill increase accordingly.