At 10:04 AM 11/21/96 +0000, Dave Stephens wrote:
Hey: someone posted that you could make gold solder by adding some brass to
your gold. (snip). What I need is a simple reliable and cheap
way to make a medium solder that will flow easily.
Dave, I have no experience making solder, nor do I really want any -- the
commercial solders work so well. But I sympathize with your problem:
getting started in this business can be horrendously expensive if you're not
an heir to a jewelry empire. I've researched several old-standby books and
have concluded two things: 1) it's probably better to stay away from cadmium
(fumes are seriously bad for your health), and 2) making gold solder sounds
like a real pain, at least if you follow Oppi Untrach's recipes. I quote:
"When gold solder is prepared, the copper and silver are melted first under
a cover of carbon boride flux, the lower melting metals are melted
separately under a zinc chloride flux, then all are combined with the
molten gold under a carbon boride flux, covered to exclude atmospheric
oxygen, and poured into an ingot mold."
If that seems like something you want to try, let me know and I'll forward
complete But Untrach suggests something else that strikes me
as worth a try in your situation. He says some smiths use a gold alloy two
karats or more lower than the gold they're soldering instead of ready-made
solders. "Thus an object of 18k is soldered with 16 or 15k gold; 14k with
12 or 10k. The lower gold melts at a lower temperature, and its color can
be chosen to match that of the gold being soldered." Since you mentioned
you're working with scrap anyway, do a little experimenting.