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Soldering gold onto silver

Hi All,

First I want to thank everyone who put the Orchid Dinner together in
Tucson. What a wonderful night!!!It was so good to see people that I
hadn’t seen in months and sharing with everyone. Thank you for a
GREAT party!

Now, I am making wedding rings for a friend. ( I normally don’t
do rings, so it is a real challenge!!!) Anyway, I am cuttlefish
bone casting silver for the texture and then putting gold wire on
the edges for contrast. I soldered gold on the back of the smoothed
out casting and then tried to form it and the gold popped off. What
a disaster. Is it possible to form silver and gold when they are
soldered together or do I have to form the ring and then somehow line
it with the gold. I used 24g 18k, and I thought that it had all
soldered. I used silver solder. I tinned the back of the silver
ring and laid it on the gold and directed the heat to the silver.
It looked like it all had flowed but the gold popped in the middle
and tore off the silver. It lays down quite nicely when I flatten
the ring.

What am I doing wrong?
Thanks in advance for all your help.


Hi Joan, When I solder gold rings on the edge of silver rings I use
flat wire and put it on after I have formed the ring. I make the
gold rings to fit very tightly to the silver, leaving the silver
ring wider than the finished ring will be, and push the gold rings a
bit away from the outer edges if the silver. Then I put very small
silver solder pieces around the outside edges of the gold and then
flow the solder with the torch. It usually takes more than one
application to get all the way around the ring. When everything is
down tight, I grind off the outer silver edges to the edge of the
gold bands and smooth it all down with a fine cratex wheel on the
foredom. Hope this makes sense.


Perhaps there is to much porosity in the cuttlebone cast result,
that would serve to make a difficult bond as then it is only as
strong as the porosity in the cast.


PS. Working round is always harder than flat stock as a circle is
inherently stronger than a bar!

I am a Silversmith, using Gold for occasional embellishments. A
Master Goldsmith friend of mine suggested the following technique
when I was having a similar problem.

Solder Gold to Silver using Gold solder & a borax flux, do not quench
after soldering, let it cool off, then pickle. Quenching Gold will
make it brittle

Hope this helps.