and thanks a million for the contributions! You know this stuff, no doubt about it
Wadedesigns is right, I am trying to reinvent the wheel. I the beginning of this project, I actually ordered ready made prong heads from Cookson Gold (UK-based), but I just was not pleased with the designs at all and sort of disappointed when they arrived. So, I decided to do it on my own. However, now that I googled Stuller I found out that they have way more designs than can be used as such or altered. Thanks a lot for that tip!
I guess die-struck is what I should aim for, right? Metal mold is cast, so it might present same issues I have had so far. How about the prong heads that don’t say they are die-struck or metal mold? How are they fabricated?
I already found a few options, for example, this one is quite close to what I had designed:
Any other good US based webstores with wide variety of prong heads you could recoomend to check out? I live in Finland so the only requirement is that they ship here
The casting is unfortunately not a good option. Even though I live in Finlands capital, there’s not really casting houses that cast one-off items for customers, I have been trying to find one, but no luck so far.
Also, one more question about soldering: I have a feeling that the 14k white gold I have been using seems to catch a slight dark grey hue during soldering. I was able to see it clearly when I compared the Shapeways casted prong part (which was shiny and nice) to the shank I had already soldered once to join it to a ring. When I soldered the prong and the shank together, the shiny prong also seemed to catch the same grey hue.
I clean the parts thoroughly before soldering and applied a generous coating of borax as well. The borax, however, seemed to sort of burn off during soldering, but shouldn’t that be normal? Any ideas why the alloy darkens a bit? Is it something to do with my torch or the heat of the flame? Do I torch the piece too long/too short time? Anything I can do better? Or I bet a lot, but the most obvious things… Or should I just settle with having it rhodium-plated after the whole ring is finished?
Thanks a million again for your help!