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Mokume Gane Soldering


#1

How do you solder mokume gane patterns without disrupting them?
Also, what do you use to solder with if you have fused say gold and
silver layered?

Thanks,
Craig
www.creativecutgems.com


#2

Hi Craig,

You can use standard gold and silver solders. As far as pattern
disruption, you have to plan for this, and around it…

Chris
Chris Ploof Studio
www.chrisploof.com


#3

Hello out there in Orchid Land!

I have a question which is basically aimed at James Binion but
anybody who has some advise is more than welcome to respond!

I am doing some custom Mokume wedding bands for some customers and I
have been working with Mokume in copper, silver, and brass alloys but
have yet to work with gold alloys and the customer wants some gold
layers in the billet. I have a 2 questions so here they aRe:

  1. Can you easily bond fine silver, copper and 14, 18, 22, or 24K
    gold?

and

  1. When I have the billet patterned and ready to fabricate what is
    the best solder to use on such a billet of silver, copper and gold?

Thanks for all the help, I don’t know where I would be without
Orchid!!!

Sean Terry
S. AZ Jewelry Designs
Sedona, AZ


#4

Ok, I’m beginning to feel like a total dork, but for the life of me I
cannot get a clean solder on a ring made with 14k palladium and
silver. I’m using 14kw hard solder from rio and paste flux. The
joint is clean and tight. Either the solder doesn’t flow or it does
and pools in one place. Tried propane torch alone and oxy/propane
torch. Help!

Wendy


#5

try using medium white gold solder, or look at your flow points and
see wich is closer to the melting point of the silver ( are you
using .925 or.999?), you always run the risk of the silver melting
before you hit the flow point of the 14k.so go with a lower temp
flowing solder that wont absorb the silver…

but- palladium being in the platinum group requires high temperatures
to bond, so you may need to invest in a MAPP and O2 bernzomatic
set-up for about 49 bucks at your local lowes or home depot. It’ll
melt anything down readily.

.and if you can’t afford a full tank set up (a regulator, hosing
for MAPP or acetylene and a "y "connection fitting for your O2 tank
and if you like a flashback arrestor, or at lest a check valve, and
safety lenses because of the damage it can do to your eyesight ) for
platinum and melting then the bernzomatic may be your answer…oh,
even if you opt for the bernzomatic (which has a safety orifice in
the attached hose’s tip) you still need some didmyum or shaded lenses
to protect your eyes as far as pooling of solder you must

A) insure all surfaces are clean and grease free

B) apply flux ( for what you are doing Batterns or any hydrochloric
based liquid seems the better choice to me- you can id that type by
the characteristic neon yellowgreen colour they Usually have ) with
a clean applicator to the area

C) if the solder is pooling it is not grease free or the fit is not
tight- solder is not a “filler” or spackle…it will only flow if
the two parts being joined are equally heated, so heat your 14k first
and keep hitting it with the torch while heating the lower temp.
silver which comes into flow range faster than the gold, so you want
to make certain that the heating is synchronized, otherwise you’ll
end up with a ball of silver that has absorbed the solder and not
only becomes useless because the piece is now destroyed, but the gold
is nowhere near the temp. it should be to enable the solder to flow
yet the silver is at or near the melting point of your 14k hard
solder…at least that’s what i gather from a quick read of the
problem…not enough torch heat, unclean joint or applicator, and/or
wrong solder grade for the work…if i’m correctly reading it you are
using 14k gold, palladium and silver of some sort…which all have
differing melt/flow points…


#6

Hi Sean,

A couple of points.

Can you easily bond fine silver, copper and 14, 18, 22, or 24K
gold? 

Yes but, I would use sterling not fine to get more strength.

I would not use copper or any copper alloy ( i.e. more than 50%
copper) in a ring laminate, especially rings that are worn
constantly like wedding rings. Copper and its alloys will corrode
away in an amazingly short period of time due to the galvanic
difference between copper and the precious metals. It will eventually
severely degrade the structural integrity of the ring. You don’t want
the ring that symbolizes the marriage to fall apart in a matter of
years.

When I have the billet patterned and ready to fabricate what is the
best solder to use on such a billet of silver, copper and gold? 

I use medium and easy silver solders along with easy yellow and
white gold solders on mokume projects. The one I chose depends mostly
on color match. Harder solders are risky due to temperature as mokume
laminates with significant amounts of silver and copper in the alloys
tend to form some of the silver copper eutectic at the bonding
surface and this melts at 1435F so you don’t want to get too close to
this temperature or you will run the risk of “flashing” the bond and
it will be impossible to make it look as good as it did before
overheating.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#7

in response to Dorian…best etchant for gold and silver Mokume…

Dear Dorian, I have used this product often, and find it to be
fantastic…I have never had one of these billits delaminate…and
I roll my stuff very thin. that being said, there are very thin
layers of metal. I use my nitric gold testing kit. I fine sand the
piece, apply some of the acid, netralize it, then use a fiberglass
pen used by my enamalist friends to brush the surface removing the
oxide from the etch, and then etch again, I may do this a few times
but it gives me full control not to etch too much. sometimes slow is
goooooooooooood.

wayne werner
baltimojo md.


#8
Ok, I'm beginning to feel like a total dork, but for the life of me
I cannot get a clean solder on a ring made with 14k palladium and
silver. I'm using 14kw hard solder from rio and paste flux. The
joint is clean and tight. Either the solder doesn't flow or it does
and pools in one place. Tried propane torch alone and oxy/propane
torch. 

Why 14k W hard? it is way too hot for this application. A typical
14k W hard doesn’t flow till it is at 1550F (melting range
1430-1550F). Sterling starts to melt at 1435F and is fully fluid at
1640F. So the sterling is right in the middle of its melting range
when the 14k W hard is fully fluid.

Use 14k W easy

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#9

HI Jim,

You know its funny because after posting that question I searched the
entire archive and found the post you wrote in 2004 about the copper
alloys and I immediately called my customer to alert them to this
problem. They were very happy that I had done my research and are now
trying to decide if they want to go with 14K palladium white/sterling
or something with red gold to get the copper color they wanted. As
for the soldering, that is what I had figured but I wanted to get
confirmation from the experts. :slight_smile: Thanks for all the advice.

Sean Terry
S. AZ Jewelry Designs
Sedona, AZ


#10
but- palladium being in the platinum group requires high
temperatures to bond, 

BS, you can solder palladium with any silver or gold solder from x-
easy to hard. At normal soldering temperatures for these solder
alloys with any standard borax or boric acid based flux.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550