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Problems sizing 18Kwhite gold


#1

thorrko,

While this method will relieve stresses in the white gold, and reduce
it’s hardness over a work hardened piece, you should remember that
white golds age harden to a significant degree, and do so relatively
quickly. If you are annealing the work in hopes of gaining maximum
softness, then a slow air cool like this is not appropriate as it will
allow most nickel based white golds to regain a quite significant
portion of their hardness due to age or precipitation hardening. The
problem is that if you quench the gold from it’s annealing temp, you
have to avoid shocking it so much as to cause cracking. Let it cool
to the point where, even in darkened shadow, no more red glow is
visible. This will mean it’s below about 900F or so. Now quench the
piece, but not in water. Use alcohol. I use the same alcohol/boric
acid slurry I coated the thing with before heating to anneal. The
boric acid doesn’t hurt the quenching process, and this way I don’t
need a seperate container. Obviously, you cannot do this if the ring
has stones set in it (though you could quench just a shank portion).
But for gold-only pieces, you’ll find this quenching will give you a
quite noticably softer and more workable metal. On the other hand, if
all you’ve done is to solder a sizing seam in a ring and you don’t
actually need much softness, then perhaps it’s better NOT to quench,
since in this case, you only need enough softness to be able to finish
rounding up the ring after cleaning up the solder joint. In this
instance, the increase in hardness resulting from a slow air cool
might mean the ring will be more durable…

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe