Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Gold filled wire problems


#1

HI, I am using gold filled wire, and I am balling up the end of the
wire and when I do this, the wire that is balled up becomes very
wrinkly and not smooth like sterling does when I ball that up. Can
anyone help me with this???

Happy Holidays from VERY cold MN
Bari


#2

You will always have that problem. You can use a cup bur to round
the end smoother, but it will always be wrinkled and porous. You
are not balling an alloyed meta, but you are melting gold
mechanically welded to a base metal…it’s the nature of the beast.

Mary


#3

Bari,

I’m going to take a stab at it, in spite of never having worked with
gold-filled wire. What seems to be happening is that you’re getting
both the gold and the filler, some base metal, mixed up at the end of
the wire. Instead of gold, or the base metal, you’re getting an alloy
of the two, and it has different properties than either one would
have, separately. It melts differently, solidifies differently, and
is probably a different color as well.

That’s just what it’s doing, not how to fix it. To get a nice
smooth ball on the end of the wire, I think you’re going to have to
add some solder to cover up the base metal. Melt it onto the end
after you’ve balled it, I guess, or at the same time… I have no
idea which would be better, so you’ll have to experiment a bit, but
I’m sure that if you pick some solder that’s the right color it will
turn out great.

Heck, try contrasting colors and pretend you meant to do it that way
from the outset – I bet it would look great, and that way there’s no
subtle change in color that people can point to and question.

The ultimate fix, though, is to use solid wire instead of
gold-filled wire, and charge enough to make it worth it.

Loren
http://www.golden-knots.com


#4

Bari, To finish off the ball on your piece of wire, use a cup bur…

Jerry in Kodiak


#5

Hello Bari, Loren is right on Re: your problem.

    What seems to be happening is that you're getting both the
gold and the filler, some base metal, mixed up at the end of the
wire. Instead of gold, or the base metal, you're getting an alloy
of the two, and it has different properties than either one would
have, separately. It melts differently, solidifies differently,
and is probably a different color as well." 

I’ve used solder to cover the balled up end of GF wire and also just
stuck the end of the wire into the molten solder ball. Be aware
that the cut end of the wire exposes the base metal (usually brass)
and that end will be green in time. By far, though the easiest and
least problematic is to use solid gold wire. Judy in Kansas

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
B.A.E. 237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhatttan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936 FAX (785) 532-6944


#6

Bari, are you balling the ends via a torch flame? If so, the fact
that the brass in goldfilled wires does not ball up under melting
heats is the culprit here. Only karat golds and silver alloys ball up
when sufficiently heated. To get a ball-end on some goldfilled wire,
you may need to make some actual gold balls, partially drill and
solder them.

Dan - I.J.S.


#7

I suggest filing, sanding and polishing. Gold Filled is usually
filled with non precious metal, and it will not have the same
properties as the real stuff will. And, of course, the layer of gold
is really, really thin.


#8
   are you balling the ends via a torch flame? If so, the fact that
the brass in goldfilled wires does not ball up under melting heats
is the culprit here. Only karat golds and silver alloys ball up
when sufficiently heated. ... 

I regularly melt brass wire to get balled ends, without much
difficulty. I think the problem with gold-filled wire is that the
gold melts a few hundred degrees earlier than the brass melts. But
if you keep heating, they’ll both be molten. Then, of course, the
gold will no longer cover the surface evenly, as it did before,
and the little ball will be an unknown (and probably uneven) alloy
of mainly copper, zinc, and gold. Judy Bjorkman