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Torching enamel with stones in place


#1

I was just asked to make a logo pendant with gemstones in place of
the epoxy fill like on the sample presented. With the recent postings
about torch firing enamels I’m wondering if this could work for me.
Using 4 princess cut diamonds in white gold bezels (equivalent to
cloissones?) and hard enameling the background. I thought maybe
carving a lapis background but this seems too excruciating, given
the geometric pattern involved. My questions are these

Any problem enameling white gold? I could probably make it from
palladium white gold or platinum if that works better.

I’ve read there is concern about soldered components shifting while
firing. If I used 20K white welding solder can I expect a problem? At
what temp does the enamel work?

Any pros/cons to setting the diamonds before firing? My thought is
that setting after firing would run the risk of chipping the enamel.

How slowly must it be heated and cooled?

Thank you very much


#2
Any pros/cons to setting the diamonds before firing? 

Neil, I’m sure you’ll get replies from some who know much more about
enameling than I. It’s pretty damn hot for diamonds, though,
especially princess cuts. You’ll have to use boric acid, as usual,
but it will have to kept away from the enamel 100%. The enameling
I’ve
done was right on the edge of diamond-burning temps.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#3

Hey Neil:)

Thi i problem I’ve been trying to find a solution to as well, but
unfortunately I can’t help yiu much since I only enamel copper and
silver. BUT- as far as soldered pieces moving, just make sure
everything is anchored just like when you hyave to do multiple
soldering jobs on the same piece and clean up the excess solder when
youre done so the enamel will flow over it, but the solder has to be
pretty close to pure metal as possible (for silver it’s eutectic
solder-mostly silver but with a little copper I think to make it
flow but I don’t know the equivalent for anything else) I fire enamel
at about 1450 F.

There is an article on the forum about enameling stones onto
titanium without using a stone setting, but I think he was using
diamonds or CZ or something. It may be worth a read. If I can find
again, I’ll post it to you.

Rio Grande used to sell a gel to put on stones to keep them cool
while doing repairs and stuff, so you wouldn’t have to remove them. I
don’t know how effective it is at high temperatures, but that also
may be worth a look.

Be careful with torch firing though. Studio buddies of mine have had
problems with the enamel popping of after a few weeks. Something
about the metal not heating evenly or something. I haven’t tried it.
I’m a kiln type of girl. Hopefully this at least made sense. It would
be even better if it helped. :slight_smile:

Ash


#4
The enameling I've done was right on the edge of diamond-burning
temps. 

I wonder if the burning of diamonds has a fixed temperature or does
it vary with conditions. I’ve retipped diamonds with 20K white
welding, my preferred solder for this, without problem(usually! but
I’ve also burned diamonds with 14 medium). Its the hottest white
solder I can find. Hoover & strong list the flow point at over 1600F.
What I’m gathering is the working temp of enamel is in the 1450-1500F
range. Not a lot of leeway there. I would guess that if the heat is
induced from the backside, the diamonds would be the last to feel the
heat and so would be somewhat cooler than the enamel, assuming
really careful torch work. But still closer to solder flowpoint than
I might like, especially first time at bat.

This doesn’t sound like something I want to risk with a Christmas
deadline.

So, I’ll revisit the idea of carving lapis and maybe some mother of
pearl inlay. Pretty workable materials there. My concern would be
getting sharp square cutouts(4 of them) without crumbling the
visible edge or weakening the area between the cutouts. These cutouts
need to be about 4mm. If anyone has experience with an arrangement
like this I’d greatly appreciate your thoughts on it. Theoretical or
practical.


#5

Neil,

I've retipped diamonds with 20K white welding, my preferred solder
for this, without problem 

I haven’t done this (enameling with diamonds), so I’m just trying to
put 2+2. When you retip, you are only heating the tip, really - the
diamond gets “warm”, sure. If you try this enameling, the diamonds
will be immersed in full heat for a period of time…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com