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Twisting 14k yellow and pink gold with sterling


#1

I have a customer who wants 14k yellow and 14k pink gold twisted
with sterling silver…then drawn to app, 6gauge round (for a
bracelet.) I am open to suggestions, as I fear the brittleness of
14k pink. I enjoy these challenges if for no other reason than the
learning aspect, and from hearing from the greater community of like
minded folk! I look forward to any thoughts and ideas! Marion


#2

Marion: From your description it sounds like you are trying to
produce a multi strand cable from three colors of metal. If this is
correct here is the way I have done it with just gold and it should
work for gold and silver. I would start with a gauge of metal that
is going to end up being the gauge you are looking for. i.e.: od of
three strands of metal is 6 gauge. If you take a specific gauge of
metal as a center core and the lay six pieces of the same gauge
around the circumference they will be exactly the circumference of
the center core. First coat the center core piece with whiteout or
some other anti flux about 2" on either end of the wire( if you
forget to do this you can slide the core in and out of the bundle a
couple of inches on either end after adding the binding wire and
then add the anti flux). Next cut the six wrapping strands equal
gauge wire to the same approximate length as the center core wire.
Placing the six pieces around the core use binding wire every 1" or
2" down the length of the strand of cable you are making ( this is
where you can anti flux the core if you forgot to do it earlier).
This holds everything in place and keeps it nice and tight down the
length. When the cable is complete you have a center core ( I use
sterling wire for the center) and six strands of wire around it.
Don’t try and twist them or wrap them at this point just lay every
thing out in a nice straight line. Next coat the very end piece of
binding wire with anti flux ( it is easiest to do this before you
wrap it and twist it down tight). Coat a thin line of anti flux
around each end of the wire bundle about an inch from the end. (this
keeps the solder from running up the bundle). Now solder the ends of
the wire bundles so that the six outside wires are all soldered
together at the very ends. The center wire should NOT be soldered to
the others at this point. Now remove the binding wire on the very
ends and pickle the soldered joints . When clean and dry place one
end of the wire bundle in a vice and the other in a set of pliers,
vice grips, or drill . Keeping the wire taunt begin to twist. Try
and keep the twist even and consistent. As you twist the cable the
out side bundle of six will become shorter than the center wire. The
center wire will stick out of either end of the bundle as the outer
bundle shortens. When you have twisted to the number of turns per
inch you desire you can then cut and solder the ends as well as run
a solder seam down the bundles. Use binding wire on either side of
where you intend to cut to hold the bundles together during the
soldering operation. As you run a solder seam down the bundle be
careful not to solder on the binding wire as you go. For heavier
pieces in gold it is not always necessary to run a solder seam the
length of the bundles. It is a good idea if you are using long
sections of the bundle or doing any major forming or shaping as the
wires can tend to separate and the cable loose its tightness and
form. I usually like to pull the center core out after the twisting
and coat it with anti flux, and then reinserting it before running a
solder seam down the bundle. After the seams of the bundle are
soldered I then remove the center core , clean the anti flux off ,
replace the core and then do my forming. I then solder the core at
the ends after forming and cutting to length. This allows the
outside bundle free movement on the core. Many forming techniques
change the length of the outside bundle without changing the length
of the core, because of this if the core and the bundle are solder
together and the bundle length is changed it creates problems. I
hope this answers your questions and is clean enough to follow. I
have tried to make it a step by step explanation. If you have any
questions please feel free to contact me off list and I will be glad
to elaborate on this process. Good luck with your project and I
wouldn’t work about the red or pink gold work hardening. You can always
anneal whenever necessary. Frank Goss