First of all, many thanks to all of you out there for all the
great you’ve given me over the past year or so. This
really is an incredible resource!
Next, the first of two questions. (I’ll send the other in
another message so we can keep the threads seperate.): I’m a
dedicated hobbiest, and so far I’ve worked in 22K gold and fine
silver (Greek/Roman/Etruscan-style chains and granulation) and
I’d like to try experimenting with platinum. So far, I’ve always
used a Smith acetylene/air torch, which has been fine for silver
and gold work. I’ve always heard that, in order to work in
platinum, you have to use some sort of fuel/oxygen mix for a
torch. Looking in various resouces, I see that the highest
temperature that you can get with acetylene/air mixture is 4217
degF, and the melting point of pure platinum is 3224 degF and
platinum/iridium 990 alloy melts at about 3250 degF.
My question is: why do you need to use an oxygen/fuel mixture if
you can get almost 1000 degrees above the melting point with
acetylene/air? Can you only get that hot of a flame by mixing
COMPRESSED air with the acetylene? If I DO need to go to a
fuel/oxygen mix, I’ve read that oxy-acetylene produces too dirty
of a flame for platinum work, so what fuel do you platinum
people out there use?
Also, I’ve read that platinum is easily contaminated. Do I
simply need a seperate soldering pad, or do I really need to get
serious about keeping platinum away from other materials?
Thanks in advance,
P.S. I think part of the reason that I’m drawn to platinum is
from watching “Lost in Space” as a kid. It seemed like every
other week, Dr. Smith would find some huge amuont of
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