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Solder, exotic alloys, and Mokume


#1

Hi Guys,

The recent post about paste solders got me to think about a couple
of questions that have been bothering me.

Having only recently started soldering, I’ve noticed that if you use
a hard solder you can sometimes see a fine line at the join. If you
put a high polish on this you can make that line less distinguished.

My questions :-

Do you make you own solder?

Taking into consideration of specialty allows like purple gold
(aluminium and gold), shakudo etc. Do you make a specific solder to
match the job, or do you take something commercially available?

Making a ring from Mokume Gane, could be made from a washer, but if
you want to solder a mokume gane ring, do you just have to live with
"the line", or obscure the join with a clever detail?

Regards Charles


#2
Do you make a specific solder to match the job, or do you take
something commercially available? 

When was just starting as a goldsmith, people who worked with
platinum were like super-goldsmiths. There was no platinum solders,
so we were using fine silver. To work with platinum, one had to
learn how to hide joints. Specific solders are not going to solve the
problem of visibility, if joints are not made well. If joints are
made well, specific solders are not required.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#3

A solder is really just a metal alloy with a slightly lower melting
point than the metal you are joining. You can make solder,
certainly, and if you are working with exotic alloys, that might be
your only option. Ancient goldsmiths used various mixtures - there’s
a very technical article here:

http://tinyurl.com/2bk8dh9

Having only recently started soldering, I've noticed that if you
use> a hard solder you can sometimes see a fine line at the join. 

If you put a high polish on this you can make that line less
distinguished. There are usually minor variations between the metal
and the solder. The narrower the join, the less obvious it will be,
but the only way to be really sure is to buy the metal and the
solder from the same supplier, and check that they are designed to
look the same.Are you sure you are using a hard solder? When you
say “hard”, if you mean “not-soft” as is “not lead solder”, then you
should experiment with solder alloys that are close to the melting
point of the gold or silver. In the UK, the solders are called Easy,
Medium and Hard, which get more difficult to use, but have a better
result, the harder they are.If you are soldering one itemin several
phases, using hard, then medium, then easy, prevents the problem of
"re-cooking" the solder each time.

Jamie
http://primitive.ganoksin.com


#4
When was just starting as a goldsmith, people who worked with
platinum were like super-goldsmiths. There was no platinum
solders, so we were using fine silver. To work with platinum, one
had to learn how to hide joints. Specific solders are not going to
solve the problem of visibility, if joints are not made well. If
joints are made well, specific solders are not required. 

Thanks Leonid,

I sort of had this answered today.

The substitute teacher was able to give me an answer of sorts.

Due to Australian standards, certain carat solders have to be used
to maintain that carat value or the piece of jewellery. By doing this
the solder will be a different colour to the metal being soldered,
and a line may be visible. It’s just the way it is.

Regards Charles


#5
http://tinyurl.com/2bk8dh9 

Ta :slight_smile: I’ve been trawling through many sites like this, but it helps
if people have been there before.

Are you sure you are using a *hard* solder? 

Hard solder, as opposed to easy solder (get this, there’s even “easy
easy solder” :open_mouth: )

Regards Charles