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Soldering gold filled


#1

I’ve been doing silversmithing for a little bit now and love it. I
was wondering is it possible to solder gold filled pieces together.
Is the process the same? Are there extra precausion I would nee to
take. Thanks for the info!

Dale Kimmes
www.beadifulbaubles.com


#2

yes, you can…more or less the same process, but you should be
careful not to overheat it too much. You can use yellow silver solder
to solder gold filled together. Rio Grande carries it.

Jeanne


#3

You can do it but must insure that the cut ends are fully sealed
with solder or the alloy (brass) will ruin your silver when pickled.
Then there is the colour of your gold to get a close match,you should
buy the solder from the mill work manufacturer so the work will be
uniform and not look blotchy. Hoover and Strong makes a yellow
solder for silver (other distributors sell the same product). that is
as close a match to most 14/20 and 12/20 14kt yellow i have ever
seen. If you buy double clad products you come out far ahead in terms
of having to insure that the base metal side is always down, doesn’t
enter pickle unsealed on the edges and un clad side, and when using
tubing, insuring that the ends are capped (with s a beeswax plug),
as most distributors only plate the outside of tubing. If you make
your own however, then using the double clad material, you only have
the two ends to contend with provided you have soldered your tube
closed…any questions feel free to contact me…

RER


#4

I’ve done quite a few repairs and rebuilds on antique gold filled
pieces over the years (pocket watch cases, pendants, brooches) and
have always used gold solder. It also works just fine with new GF
sheet or wire. Back when I was learning, the old hands taught me to
treat it as I would gold, and that hasn’t failed me yet.

Stef Shoemaker, Bella Creations


#5
I've done quite a few repairs and rebuilds on antique gold filled
pieces over the years (pocket watch cases, pendants, brooches) and
have always used gold solder. It also works just fine with new GF
sheet or wire. Back when I was learning, the old hands taught me
to treat it as I would gold, and that hasn't failed me yet. 

I feel compelled to jump in here for the sake of inexperienced
metalsmiths.

First, I didn’t understand the post yesterday about sealing the
edges of GF before pickling-- it is brass under the gold, and I’ve
never seen that cause a problem in pickle.

Second, newbies should be aware that if GF is heated too much (as
can easily happen if you are an inexperienced hand with the torch)
the gold can alloy with the brass-- it “sinks in”, so to speak–
leaving you with just overpriced brass. The melting point of 14K is
quite low, so it is easy to overheat.

This is not to say it can’t be done, of course, but forewarned is
forearmed.

Noel


#6

I agree with Steph here, but want to add that since most GF is 14kt,
use 14kt solder even 10kt will do in a pinch or if the color is more
close to that of the lower karat plumb solder Vermeil, being 22-24kt
over 999 silver -though far less actual gold with far less
permanence -actually yields a better end result if one uses yellow
silver solder (Hoover& Strong, Rio Grande, Contenti, etc) as opposed
to 22-24kt, or any gold solder as the micronic coating of gold will
melt into the silver before the melt or flow temperqture of plumb
solder is reached.

rer


#7

Hi Noel and others;

I've done quite a few repairs and rebuilds on antique gold filled
pieces over the years (pocket watch cases, pendants, brooches) and
have always used gold solder. 

I’d like to throw in some advice here on repairing repairing antique
gold filled jewelry. I do a lot of restoration work on this stuff. On
a lot of the old gold filled stuff, assembly is often done with lead
solder, especially on the Victorian stuff. If you take it up to gold
solder temperatures, you’ll have a real mess on your hands.

David L. Huffman


#8

Yep, I was living in the fantasy world of the perfect easy repair.
Also left out that hollow pieces could easily be filled with pitch,
now there’ s another potential nightmare. Of course, one should
always start with a thorough inspection of the piece. Maybe it’s got
stones in it that won’t take the heat.

Stef


#9

I have been given some gold filled wire (20g and 21g) and I’m
wondering if it’s possible to solder it - say for appliqu on sterling
or argentium silver. Is the gold layer likely to burn off, or would
it be ok with care and easy solder?

Janet


#10

Hi Janet

I once tried soldering gold filled (GF) wires on (perhaps argentium)
silver bezel as decorations, using silver solder. The soldering
process was fine initially, but upon repeated pickling, it started
to become a problem. Nasty stains here and there, possibly caused by
ions from the brass part which dissolved into acid, likely from the
bare cut edge of the wire. As I tried to brush away those stains,
the golden color of the GF wires became weaker.

So in the end I felt I would be better off by soldering gold wires
from the beginning, and gave up the idea of making use of GF wires.

Akiko Momiyama


#11

Hello Janet,

You asked about soldering g GF wire on to sterling. Yes you can. It
is really important to firecoat the GF and have it flush to the
surfaces of the silver. I use the lowest temp Argentium solder and
get in & out as fast as possible. You should practice a bit to get a
feel for this. Keep the flame on thesilver rather than the GF wire.

Good luck and let us know how you did.

Judy in Kansas, who has finally seen a Monarch butterfly. The
numbers are really down. Sad.


#12

If color match is not concern easy silver solder will work fine. Use
a barrier flux; Firescoff, paste flux or some kind of high
temperature flux. This will minimize fire scale.

For a better color match 10k yellow easy solder is a good choice.

Sessin


#13

Rio has some videos on soldering with gold filled, and they make it
look easy. I’ve tried it, and almost always wind up with the copper
coming up, and getting a rose finish. While you can get that back
off, it is a bit risky as to whether you will get it off before
cutting through the gold coating over the base metal :wink: I try to
avoid soldering the gold filled unless I’m ok with it going rose
colored.

Would love to hear how others manage this as I would love to do more
soldering with gold filled.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
bethwicker.com


#14
I've tried it, and almost always wind up with the copper coming up,
and getting a rose finish.

I’m wondering if a dip in super pickle would deal with the rose
colour?

Janet


#15

Janet, it’s possible, BUT build up layers of Cupronil firescale
preventative or any Pripp’s type coating that leaves white
(borax)residue (by warming the metal applying the fine mist then
letting it dry, repeat till it’s well coated). If you use easy solder
and then attach anything else your applique will potentially fall
off, particularly if the wire were a thin gauge. You could use a
yellow silver solder too if you want a gold coloured solder and are
used to using paillions instead of pastes as it is availablein 3
grades in sheet form(actually a strip),otherwise silver will do.

“My Unique Solutions” (Not an endorsement for the product or
producer implied or otherwise) is a paste that comes in probably the
widest range of melt/flow points on the market and would allow you to
use something harder than easy which I personally detest for any
application (except costume/non-precious metals repairs). The
manufacturer (Beth Katz) prepares fresh batches constantly so the
flux is in the pastes and once you have built up Cupronil (or
similar) layers are on your workpice, the paste flows neatly and
bonds well in a variety of -at least- one of the medium grades, you
have to be good at hit-and-run soldering to use hard range solder
pastes given the filled metal you want to work with. but since
gravity is on your side, pastes seem most appropriate (or powdered
solder mixed with Cupronil or a good gel flux applied with a
toothpick) paillions require more concentration of heat while with
pastes you can keep the torch moving slowly over the intended flow
area. Build up good layers of cupronil will help “insulate” the
filled material and any that does liquify just adds more flux to the
operation. Since someone gave you the filled material -great, but
think twice before purchasing it: anything less than a "double clad"
filled product is not a good thing to get used to using in high
quality work. not only is the perceived value lessened but
associating your brand/ work with a low quality product isn’t ideal
for growth of your brand! You should perhaps make some test pieces
with scrap sterling of the same gauge as the workpiece building
layers of firecoat and testing the type, grades and colour of solder
you have access to in order to find the optimal combination,
technique and desired result- the filled material isn’t expensive and
you acquired it free. You can always save the test pieces (making
good notes on each procedure you tried as far as temperature, solder
type, grade and colour and relevant other for your
personal development. Knowledge and experience is power ! Remember
you are dealing with 1/10 or 1/20 GF material so the layer of gold
exposed is a small percentage of the compound of metals in the whole
so the alloy under that thin layer can “absorb” the gold fast if the
alloy melts so check out brass melt temperatures too to have an idea
of what kind of degree spread there is between the base (silver) to
which you are applying the GF wire… good luck. rer


#16

RER - thanks for your very helpful and detailed reply to my query
about soldering gold filled. It isn’t something that I’d ordinarily
buy - but never look a gift horse in the mouth, eh? I was looking for
a way of using the wire I was given, and so I will do as you suggest

  • cupronil etc and see what happens.

Janet


#17

If you don’t have any cupronil. I do! the manufacturer sent me a
CASE of the stuff because I said I loved it. well, more than a
lifetime supply takes a lot of studio room, if you want a bottle I
will be more than happy to send you one. I have to find out how much
it will cost to mail a (i believe to be) 16 oz. bottle to -wherever
you are for the postage cost, if you are interested. Otherwise a
simple mixture of denatured alcohol and borax (mix it in until the
liquid can’t dissolve any more- it will be the texture of cream. not
half & half!), then just warm the metal and dip in to coat and repeat
until you can see a white residue evenly coating the piece. Set it
with gravity’s assistance on your charcoal or soldering block of
choice, flux the applique and apply your solder then torch
away!..keep the flame moving slowly over the area until it’s about to
flow and then a quick concentration from all sides, and pickle if
there is no other bit to attach to the workpiece (otherwise no need
to pickle until all the joins are made!). If there are other GF wire
pieces to attach you can arrange them so they all join in one
soldering operation as long as the base is well firecoated. anyway if
you need or want a large sprayer top bottle of cupronil send me the
address its going to and approximate postage (it weighs at least a
pound and 6oz., or the current USPS cost of a flat rate mail box for
a 12" bottle / med. pkg.) and I’ll send you one -unless you want more
than one up to 24!!! I do love the stuff particularly for fine and
sterling silver work or some golds between 12 and 18 karats in
particular and any ‘white’ gold (I detest white gold alloys and ONLY
accept them in my studio for repair work There is such an array of
coloured gold alloys far more interesting than the standard white,
pink/red and green that I prefer and specialise in- white tends to
contaminate studios and is responsible for the majority of those
little mystery problems people experience when they don’t realise the
white gold they were working on has a good bit of ferrous metal in
the alloy!)…however making your own Pripp’s type flux is cheaper,
Cupronil has provided me consistent results for over 35 years…

Best regards and good luck on your GF project. R. E.Rourke


#18

Thanks for the offer of cuprinol, rer - but I have plenty - enough
to last a while, though your supply sounds enough for two lifetimes!

I really have appreciated your suggestions (and everyone else’s) for
soldering gold filled. Once my donated supply has gone, I won’t be
using gold filled any more, but it seemed a shame to waste it!

Janet