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Rhodium plating two tone jewellery


#1

Hi all,

I wonder if anybody else has has worked out a better way of stopping
off (covering) the gold portion of a two tone ring. Currently I am
using nail polish (yes I know there is purpose built stuff I can use,
but I am happy with nail polish for now). I have a fine brush and I
meticulously cover all the gold - no problem…

The thing is, it takes quite a while.

I know a few jewellers who use a red permanent marker. That seems to
work and there are expensive pens I can buy which do the same job.
That may be quick, but less reliable.

Is there a better way to define an edge then painting with a brush?
I have experimented with ways to remove enamel, but the cleaned up
area is too dirty and it affects the plating. It is better to start
again.

I dont use a rhodium pen because I don’t do repairs and I need a
good coating.

You see, I have to stop off the piece, and in doing so I have to
keep exact edges and get into hard to reach places without touching
the white metal. It is not essentially hard, but tricky if your work
is going to be inspected under a loupe. Sometimes I need to isolate a
few areas inbetween gold etc and in these cases I may have to let it
dry, move to another part, do a bit, and so fourth. I am able to
charge for it, but I can’t help wondering/hoping somebody knows a
better way.

Thanks,
Phillip


#2

Hi Phillip,

Is there a better way to define an edge then painting with a brush?
I have experimented with ways to remove enamel, but the cleaned up
area is too dirty and it affects the plating. It is better to start
again. I dont use a rhodium pen because I don't do repairs and I
need a good coating. You see, I have to stop off the piece, and in
doing so I have to keep exact edges and get into hard to reach
places without touching the white metal. It is not essentially
hard, but tricky if your work is going to be inspected under a
loupe. Sometimes I need to isolate a few areas inbetween gold etc
and in these cases I may have to let it dry, move to another part,
do a bit, and so fourth. I am able to charge for it, but I can't
help wondering/hoping somebody knows a better way. 

We mask for rhodium plating white gold portions of two tone pieces a
couple of ways. Usually we use a ‘UNI’ paint pen, they come in a
couple of different sizes. They have felt-like tips that you pump to
charge them up with paint. We use a surgical knife to cut the tips
to a 45 degree angle to help us get into tight spots. When you pump
the tip up it can get pretty juicy, so you can cover a large area
pretty quickly. The advantage of this particular pen is that it
dries immediately, you can rhodium the moment you finish applying
it. In our area we purchase these in an art supply store, they keep
them under the counter because they are favorites of graffiti
’artists’ so you may need to ask for it.

We also use a ‘Stop-off’ pen from Gesswien. It operates the same
way, by pumping the felt tip, and we trim this to a sharp edge as
well. One difference is that it has a much smaller tip (helpful). We
will pool this up on a little baggie and use a saw blade to get in
hard to reach areas (can’t do that with the other one because it
dries too darn fast). Another difference is that it takes longer to
dry, so we only use it when the other one won’t work.

We remove both with liquid paint stripper, sometimes putting the
bottle in the ultrasonic to speed the process up. Usually comes off
instantly.

We always electro-clean the item before masking and plating. The hot
electro-cleaning solution can remove masking materials.

Hope that helps a little.
Mark