Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Platinum Sterling Binary Alloy?

Update! I have constructed a couple bands using sheet continuum and really enjoyed working with it. I was amazed at how hard the 2mm sheet was when it arrived and bending it without annealing resulted in some cracking. The sawing was nice… felt more like I was using gold. I bought med and hard Continuum solders and both worked well when joining pieces. Added 10K red gold border bands and easy 10K solder made a better (smoother) job however when joining the metals. I need practice, no doubt.
This evening I attempted my first centrifugal casting (as per your directions, got a brand new crucible and used a new quartz stir rod with standard borax flux. I was impressed with how silky the melt was, using my old acetylene torch… That went nicely. The casting was quenched when close to 800 but not sure but I do have an accurate kiln to re-temper if needed. Pieces are pickling currently, so will post a followup after working on those items.
Thanks again for all the info and help. I will definitely be using more of this alloy , despite the rather high cost. Cheers TerryV

Jo,
Thanks for the bench jewelers perspective on Continuum. You are a trouper!
Just wanted to share with you that I retired from Stuller at the end of July 2020.
I hope to share with the readers of Ganoksin any grey cells left in my head!
John Butler (inventor of Continuum) still works at Stuller.
Best Regards,
Shan


Followup
This is my 1st casting of Continuum / So far I love the stuff and am amazed at how much like gold it feels and works. The melt with my acetylene torch was slick and fast considering I tossed my entire 90 grams into the new crucible. Filing and finishing has been excellent and less signs of porosity on the castings than most other metals I use.
Currently trying out my paragon enamelling kiln which has been sitting around here for several years unused … Finally figured out how to heat the thing to 800F and the 5 rings I semi finished are now 15 minutes into it. I re-read Stuller’s method of heat treating and they actually suggest a 2 stage system where the pieces are basically first annealed then a repeated 800F bath for 1/2 hour and quenching is their take?
Its all new to me so hopefully the success will continuue! Thank you again!!!
Cheer’s from Vancouver Island

Terry

Congratulations! I’m mostly retired too but still hope to continue going to symposiums, tracing and mentoring. The best part of retirement is that we get to spout off and tell folks what’s what without worrying about a paycheck. After all is old farts know shit. We’re whatcha call experts🤣
I hope you keep active in the metals community. You have so much knowledge to share.
As my father once said, “Honey that retirement has killed more old men than heart attacks.”
XO Jo

I don’t bother with the annealing process. I just heat to 800F for about 40 mins and then quench immediately. I did an experiment and found that though it can get harder without the quench it gets noticeably harder after the quick quench. I’ve also found that even after the hardening it still sets beautifully. My husband is a great bead setter and prefers to bead set continuum over platinum because it doesn’t have the stickiness and drag that plat does. He once said ,“I can raise beads like a fence post with this stuff.”

1 Like

Another question

What is your fav pickle for this metal??? I am experiencing some light spots of oxide residue that are faint but stubborn
I tried adding a touch of hydrogen peroxide to my standard pickle (swimming pool PH reducer) and it ripped the surface off the metal but 15 min was too long a dip! Got a nasty grey residue that took even more time to remove, but the firescale was gone… :slight_smile:
I don’t electroplate as I am a fan of seeing the actual metal (Though in hindsight I wish I had a few gallons of Rhodium solution kicking around :slight_smile: But a good coat of fine silver , yes would save lots of grief…
Just heard back from Stuller and they said Griffiths pickle … hmmm???
Thank you for all you have done to help… so appreciated!!!
Time to buy more Continuum… Happy Easter

TerryV

1 Like

I just use good old fashioned Sparex for pickle. Generally any oxidation should come off with polishing.

1 Like

For some reason I am really getting thick oxides on the cast pieces of Continuum… Really love the metal but massive finishing is needed to clean the surfaces
Just finished this ring with rose cut diamonds. It went really well up until the finishing

What sort of thick oxides? More details please on the finishing issues. How did you cast it? Did you use borax when casting? Did you use a carbon stir rod? Did you quench while hot? Did you pickle it afterwards?
Jo

Standard casting method (cast using acetylene) … Small piece cast in a steel adjustable ingot mold… Yes I used borax flux … stirred using a quartz rod . I rolled out the ingot and hammered it into the design , so was annealed and quenched several times . The oxides are very similar to the stubborn ster alloy oxides that have tormented me for years. Perhaps its just a special talent of mine … :slight_smile: Creating surface oxides! My next theory is to use Hydrogen Peroxide in the pickle like I use on white gold (might work)

What kind of crucible are you using?

Standard Crucibles The only new one I have here sitting in a box (as far as knowing brand) is a procraft by Grobet … High temp porcelain type crucible… Not sure what material these are? Not much help… sorry