Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Silver and gold soldering


#1

I keep running into this problem and maybe someone could explain
it to me whats happening exactly. I’m working in low karat gold
12-14kt and continually fight the fact that the gold melts into
the silver. Is it because the gold has a lower melting point and
is burning itself into the silver? Is it better to heat the
silver rather than the gold first in soldering? Dave

Kickass Websites for the Corporate World http://www.kickassdesign.com
Crystalguy Jewelry http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Recumbent Cyclist’s Advocacy Group
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/bent/rcag.html


#2

You’re problem is multiple. while the silver conducts heat
easily, the gold doesn’t so much, so the silver needs more heat
to get to temp, increasing the chance of overheating the gold.
And, like as not, your gold alloy would be a lower melting point
if additional silver were added, so the contact between the two
metals when you heat it then melts at the eutectice temp for
that combination. This can sometimes be below the melting point
of your solder. Especially with lower carats of gold, things can
get tricky. Remember what happens when you add brass to silver?
You get silver solder. So soldering brass to silver is very
tricky if you’re not careful. some gold alloys will do just
about the same thing. In soldering, you DO want both metals to
reach the soldering temp at the same time, but the silver will
usually take more heat to do it, so heat it first or more than
the gold. Use the easiest grade of solder you can for these
joints as well.

Peter Rowe


#3

Because of the different metals present in the three different
alloys (14k, sterling and the solder), when the metals reach a
certain temperature a eutectic reaction occurs between them and
the metals start to alloy with each other. This temperature is
lower than the individual melting points of the individual
metals. I only use medium solder from Rio Grande to solder 14k
yellow gold to sterling. You may have to use easy solder to
solder 12k gold to sterling

Steven Brixner - Jewelry Designer - San Diego CA USA
mailto:@Steven_Brixner3
http://home.att.net/~brixner


#4

Hi Dave, Sounds like you need to keep your flame moving across
both items concentrating more heat to the silver portion. It
seems to me silver does need more heat than gold and take into
concideration how heavy each piece is. Larger pieces require more
heat.

                         Michael B

#5

Dave,

I’ve not used 12K gold, but I solder 14K onto silver often. Yes
I heat from the bottom, that is the silver. Heating from the
top, that is the gold, first will certainly melt the gold if you
are not careful, actually you have to be careful no matter what,
taking the flame away as soon as the solder starts to flow. Even
if I am soldering gold onto gold, ie., the shot onto the top of
the leaves, I heat from the bottom and then bring the flame to
the top at the very last second so that I don’t over heat the
gold leaf laying on the silver to the “puddling” stage. Believe
me I’ve made lots of puddles of the gold into the silver.

you can see an example of what I am talking about on my page:
http://www.designjewel.com/gsrg.htm

Jan McClellan - just over the mountain from you in Oregon.


#6

Dave,

I ran into the same problem and found out that silver solder
works best when soldering silver to gold. Of course, after
melting my precious gold into my silver I later read in one of
my technical books it is better to use silver solder. I have
since soldered silver to gold with no problems. (even with hard
solder) Good Luck!

Linda Crawford, Willits, CA, USA (finally getting cooler weather)
Linda Crawford Designs
http://www.jps.net/lcrawford