Solder inlay

I’ve been experimenting with solder inlays in rings, and cuffs. So
far I’ve only done silver into brass, and yellow gold into silver.
Reading the Tim McCreight book, it advises not to use coloured gold
solder, why is this ? Does it not flow the same as yellow gold ?
( I use silver only - the yellow gold inlay was my first time
dealing with gold )

I’m looking to do some random inlay’s into silver, and wanted to use
yellow and rose gold solder.

Any advise is appreciated.


Hello All, I am Will Denayer. My computer broke down and I cannot
access my email anymore using my old address. The new address is:
@Christine_Denayer. Lee Einer: I lost your email address. Could
you please drop me a note? I have been trying to do solder inlay on
Sterling with gold solder, but I am not pleased with my results.
Basically - and I guess this is elementary - I would like to make
nice little squares in the silver of appr. 3 mm. I have tried burs
for it as well as gravers, but it is difficult to get the squares
exactly right. Also, it is correct that the depth only has to be
something like 0.20 mm ? Could someone please tell me how to do this
in a professional way? Thank you and best, Will Denayer

Why not do kum boo instead of solder inlay? Another possibility
would be to solder on thin layers of the gold and then run it through
a rolling mill. That should sink the gold into the silver so that it
will look inlaid. 18 k will show up better than 14 k.

Marilyn Smith

    Basically - and I guess this is elementary - I would like to
make nice little squares in the silver of appr. 3 mm. I have tried
burs for it as well as gravers, but it is difficult to get the
squares exactly right. 

Will, why not use etching with ferric nitrate? You can draw the
outline around the squares with a paint pen, or apply a vinyl tape
resist and cut out the squares, or use PnP. Have done it, simple, and
works extremely well.

Marilyn, Thank you. Because I wanted to make a chess board. It was an
insane idea … 32 squares measuring exactly 3 mm, nicely engraved.
Such a project is absolutely not feasible by me. Not good enough by
far. Best, Will

   Will, why not use etching with ferric nitrate? 

Hello Katherine, Thank you for your suggestion, but I don’t etch. I
think I’m going to use a rolling mill for it. I’m sure that etching
makes complete sense, but I am a foreigner with an accent over here
and, given the climate of paranoia, I feel that people are reluctant
to sell acids to me. Maybe they think I’m going to blow up a plane,
I’ve no idea. I think it’s all very silly, because if I really
wanted to poison the entire population of Pittsburgh, they would all
be death by now. A while ago, I saw something that was 98 % ferric
nitrate at Radio Shack. I think it is used by people who work with
computers to destroy copper components in chips or electronic boards.
I didn’t buy it because I wasn’t sure it would work on silver. If it
would work, I would try it. Btw, they sell a set of needle files at
Radio Shack (5 files for $ 6.99), which are excellent to use on wax.
With best regards, Will

Have you considered buying, rolling, drawing or casting 3x3 square
rod and sawing off the squares? Or maybe there is a way to do this
with a mokume gane technique? I think Reactive Metals or others sell
a bi-metal sheet. Etching through that could be an option. Or
plating. just some ideas

1 Lucky Texan

This thread finally caught my attention. To make square holes. First
drill a round hole the diameter of the width of the square. next
with a saw cut out the corners just inside the line of the square.
Now to bring it to exact square use a file and then a broaching
tool. This is a square tapered needle like tool used by machinist to
square out holes. Last use a draw plate to pull square wire that is
the size of the hole. If the hole has a slight taper it usually
helps for a really tight fit. After fitting the square wire to the
hole cut it off and hammer it like a rivet to tighten it into the
hole. Next solder it and clean it back. The inlay will come out
very square and the edges very defined and sharp. It is labor
intensive but that is the nature such inlay work. After the
soldering and the sanding you can then roll the sheet for some very
interesting distortions to the pattern. Hope this helps with what
you want ot do. Frank Goss