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Soldering and finishing platinum


#1

Hi All, Can anyone help me with a small problem. Although ive been
repairing jewellery for many years now I have only just started
working with platinum.

I am pleased with the soldering of the metal using platinum easy
solder, I don’t know if this is my problem! I’m finishing with Hyfin
and the dialux green, the problem I encounter in getting a good high
finish to the produ ct is polishing the solder out of the joint and
leaving an unsightly line! can anyone tell me where I am going wrong?
should i be using a hard solde r or different finishing compounds? I
know the person who used to do some repair work for me said he could
d o it but would use 18ct white solder, this doesn’t sound correct to
me or ethical! hoping someone can help :wink:

kindets regards John John Cadby FGA DGA Director John Cadby Jewellers
Ltd @John_Cadby_FGA_DGA www.Cadby.co.uk


#2

Hi John, I have also heard that non platinum solders can be used in
the construction of platinum articles. I believe that the source was
the assay office. Check with their technical department for
clarification.

I have also had problems with solder being removed from joins. I
believe that using a harder platinum solder will help but i have not
tried this. I have changed to using “micro-mesh” finishing cloths
which you can buy in handy packs from Suttons, Birmingham for about
=A312 After working through the grades, 3600,6000,8000,12000, the piec=
e
can be lightly touched with the buff for a absolute mirror shine, I
don’t as I prefer the softer luster the12000 leaves. This is hand
finishing but if your ring is properly prepared for normal polishing
it only takes fractionally longer and I think platinum deserves this
treatment. There is also no chance of you piece being snatched from
your hands and thrown to far end of the room. “which is nice.”

regards, glenn campbell


#3

John, forget using solder to size platinum. Roll a piece of
platinum as thin as you can get it, wedge it into your sizing joint,
and fuse the pieces together.

Mike Rogers
Precious Metal Arts
finecustomjewelry.com


#4

Most platinum solders will polish out of the joint (and they don’t
have a good color match either)and it does not really matter if they
are easy, medium or hard. The new Plumb Platinum solders from PM
West greatly reduce this problem but the best way to deal with it is
to weld the platinum rather than soldering it.

Jim


#5

John, I admire your desire to do the job right. If you are using a
regular platinum easy solder, in other words not a plumb platinum
product, then you will get a line. Regular platinum solder, the
type that has been around for ages and ages, has less platinum in it
the easier the solder gets. By the time you get to an easy solder,
around 1000C there is no platinum in the solder at all; It is mostly
gold and palladium. So yes, you do need to use a hard(er) solder.

I prefer to fuse the joint with either pure platinum or the same
alloy of platinum when possible. Often if I am cutting out a piece
of the shank to size the ring down, I just roll out or hammer the
piece I cut out very thin (.1 to .2mm) place it in the seam, having
made an adjustment to the amount removed from the shank, and fuse
it. Pure platinum has a slightly lower temp. than traditional
jeweler’s platinum, but with the ever abundance of cobalt platinum
and other alloys you are no longer guaranteed that this method will
work or that you can even fuse the metal at all. If there is a
precious metal supplier who carries the latest plumb platinum
solders, I recommend getting some. They are well worth the money!

If you can’t get the plumb platinum, the best way to get rid of the
seam is to burnish it with a high polished carbide burnisher. The
steps I would use are as follows. Use ever finer sandpaper until
you reach 4/0 or 1200 grit sandpaper. Go over the seam and
adjoining area with a polishing point in your flex machine. Polish
the ring very carefully and conservatively around the solder joint
on the lathe. The loose cotton/muslin buffs are the worst for
causing the seam to polish out. Lastly, use the burnisher to go
over the seam if it has become visible. A good burnisher and
careful burnishing can actually replace the need to use a lathe
altogether, if you have been careful about not over-filing or
over-sanding.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have questions

Larry


#6
  Hi All, Can anyone help me with a small problem. Although ive
been repairing jewellery for many years now I have only just
started working with platinum. 

Hi John The problem you encounter is a common one. You are using a
regular easy platinum solder, which contains no platinum at all. It
is usually a mixture of palladium and silver. The solder is much
softer than the platinum and thus will polish out of the seam. It
will also, over time, tarnish and leave a dark line.

The best way to solve this problem is to use the new Platinum Plumb
solder. There are two versions on the market, one from Precious Metal
West in Los Angeles and another from Hoover & Strong. These solders
have a high content of platinum polish flat and do not tarnish.

Another way is to weld. This is the preferred method, whenever it is
possible. Welding will leave no seam if it is done right and will
not discolor or polish out. To weld, insert a thin peace of the same
alloy into the seam and melt it until it connects and closes the gap.
Even though the inserted piece has the same melting point as the rest
of the piece, the fact that is it thinner will heat it sooner and
makes welding possible.

Hope that helps
For additional technical questions, feel free to contact me at
Jmaerz@pgiglobal.com

PLATINUM GUILD INTERNATIONAL USA
Jurgen J. Maerz
Director of Technical Education
949 760 8279


#7

Hello John and All:

Another thing to consider about using 1700 plat. or a rolled out
piece of platinum to weld a ring is whether there are any stones set
in the ring or any gold accents or any lower melting point solder
joints on the ring. Years ago I tried to weld a plat band with gold
accents. After I welded I realized that I had flowed the gold all
over and it was a mess. No stone to my knowledge will take the heat
of a platinum weld. I use 1700 or weld on all platinum items by
placing the heat sensitive parts under water.

I have been doing this for many years with great results. The
following is a link to a web page I made to demonstrate the
technique. http://www.geocities.com/waxcarver/watersizing.html Michael
R. Mathews SR. Victoria,Texas USA