Noel, Recently, I had to train a woman to do gold soldering, ring
sizing, general repair and finishing work. She had never done
anything like this and was quite timid if not petrified of melting
gold. Despite having her practice on damaged out gold pieces
destined for the refiners, she couldn’t seem to loosen up. To get
her over the fear factor, I had her fabricate in nickel silver using
gold solders. Granted, it’s not exactly the same, but if you can get
to the point of feeling comfortable fabricating in nickel silver,
switching to gold will be pretty effortless. The nickel silver is
cheaper, but if works pretty much like 14k in terms of sawing,
filing, sanding and soldering. It doesn’t heat sink like silver.
Order some nickel silver and give it a whirl. Try practicing with
hard solder as much as possible. Be brave! You can always back off
later and use medium or soft.