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Palladium Repair


#1

How do I repair a pit in a palladium casting? We sent a wax to be
cast in palladium to Casting House. They did a good job, but the ring
has two small pits in the surface. We don’t know how to successfully
fill them. The caster told us they would have to use metal from the
actual button in order for it to work. This doesn’t make sense to me,
but they may be correct. Anyone have a suggestion?

David Gardner
DavidGardnersJewelers.com


#2
How do I repair a pit in a palladium casting? We sent a wax to be
cast in palladium to Casting House. They did a good job, but the
ring has two small pits in the surface. We don't know how to
successfully fill them. The caster told us they would have to use
metal from the actual button in order for it to work. This doesn't
make sense to me, but they may be correct. Anyone have a
suggestion? 

You need a bit of the same alloy, whether from the same button or not
doesn’t matter. Fine wire is best. then you need a laser welder or
PUK welder or the like, or someone with one. With that, the repair is
easy.

Peter


#3

David,

I recently started having some waxes cast in palladium by Quality
Casting in New York. One of the first ones came back and apparently
there were a couple of pits but Quality Casting had filled them. It
appeared that they had used a laser. I was pleasantly surprised as
previous casters would just send the piece with the pitting.

Joel Schwalb
@Joel_Schwalb
www.schwalbstudio.com


#4

David,

The laser welder would work with palladium that matches in color.

regards
Lisa McConnell


#5

David,

We’ve been having this problem as well. The casters don’t fully
understand how to work with palladium yet. The first thing I would do
is ask them to recast the piece. Your product SHOULD come to you pit
free. This should be at their expense, unless there was a problem
with your wax as they should be giving you pit free castings. The
palladium solders on the market don’t match the color of the
palladium out there (at least not that I’ve seen–maybe someone else
on the list has more current and if you are dealing with
a pit in the center of a fairly smooth surface a repair using solder
is going to show. The other solution, which may or may not work
depending on the design, would be to burnish the pits out. Palladium
is like other metals in this respect and the usual burnishing
methods will work on it. The other thing that can be done is to get
someone with a laser welder to fill the holes using palladium to do
it. You don’t need to use the button from the original casting–any
new palladium will work just as well.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#6

Hi David

Someone with a laser welder could easily fill the pits for you. If
they have a laser, they would likely have palladium wire to fill, and
it is just a matter of zap, zap!

Dave Mereski


#7

Hi, Joel,

I recently started having some waxes cast in palladium by Quality
Casting in New York. One of the first ones came back and
apparently there were a couple of pits but Quality Casting had
filled them. 

Is this a case of “you get what you pay for”, or do they charge the
same as the places that don’t do this?

Noel


#8

Noel,

Their charges seem to be in line with other casters. I think that it
is more a matter of their not wanting to send out an inferior
product. They are concerned about their reputation.

Joel
Joel Schwalb
www.schwalbstudio.com


#9

Hi David;

How do I repair a pit in a palladium casting? 

I see no reason why you’d need to use the original casting button to
fill a pit. There are two good ways to do this. The best would be to
use a laser welder and palladium wire (very thin guage for use in
laser welding). You could also fill it with the old platinum solders
(as opposed to the platinum “plumb” solders). These are mostly
palladium and provide a good color match. If you don’t have a lot of
future solder work to do on it, get the 1000 solder (melts at 1000
degrees Celcius). Don’t use any flux or fire coat, and expect a bit
of discoloration which is easily removed by polishing.

David L. Huffman


#10

David,

The responses have been correct–laser is definitely your best bet.
We do it all the time. You can get 950 Pd wire from Hoover or other
metal suppliers that will work well. You do not need to use the
button from the casting.

Anyone casting the more difficult high temperature metals for the
trade should have a laser in-house and should inspect and repair any
surface pitting before shipping your casting. They should not charge
any extra for this. If you find any sub-surface pitting, don’t
hesitate to return it to your casting supplier for repair or
replacement. They should pay the shipping as well as long as it is a
casting related defect.

Having said that, there are times when casting defects fall into a
gray area where one cannot be sure whether it was the design or the
casting process that was at fault. In these cases the burden for
repair or replacement should be shared. In cases where the design is
very questionable, the caster should give you a heads-up upon
receiving the wax so that everyone knows the risks ahead of time.
This kind of communication is important to protect both customer
schedules and the reputation of the caster.

Teresa Frye
TechForm Advanced Casting Technology.


#11

Thanks for the suggestions. We ordered some palladium wire to use
with our laser welder. Sounds like it should work.

David Gardner
David@DavidGardnersJewelers.com