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Using 1700 platinum solder


#1

Ok, I tried the 1700 solder today and man did I suck at it.

Any tips at all that you may have for using this devil solder would
be appreciated!!

Hit me :slight_smile:


#2
I tried the 1700 solder today and man did I suck at it. 

Lucy, remember that 1700 solder is almost welding. It’s primary use
is in ring sizing seams so that the joints don’t polish out leaving
visible lines. More complicated or extended solder joints will be
difficult if not impossible to control.

As with any of the traditional platinum solders, be sure the metal
and the solder are scrupulously clean. No flux is used. If you need
something to help hold the solder in place when initially heating, a
little saliva works. Once it gets hotter, it sticks in place. No
carbon or charcoal blocks, nor any iron in the hot zone. (If you need
a solder poker or something to push or prod, use tungsten TIG welding
rod, or carbide, or one of the ceramic tweezers made for the purpose
(though their heat tolerance is less than you’d expect.)

Your torch flame should be slightly oxidizing (sharp, just beginning
to hiss a little. Not much, but enough so there’s no chance of
unburned fuel gas hitting the hot platinum)

When you flow 1700, don’t take your time. get in there, flow the
solder, then back off. If you dwell on the joint, you’ll melt
something you didn’t intend.

With that all said, you should be aware that you also have other
options if you wish to get the type of “line” free solder joints that
1700 can give you. These are actual fusing/welding, (good for
narrower, like ladies, ring shank seams),

Or an especially interesting option are the newer “plumb” platinum
solders developed by Precious Metals West. Traditional platinum
solders are mostly based on palladium, not platinum, which accounts
for their being softer, darker in color, and sometimes a problem for
polishing. 1700 gets around those problems by actually having
significant platinum content. But the plumb solders are 950 to 970
platinum, just as high or higher in platinum content as the metal
you’re working. Based on the unusual alloying agents originally
developed by the late Steven Kretchmer for his heat treatable
platinum, they enable a solder with flow temps of 1300, 1400, and
1500 (called easy, medium, and hard) while giving literally perfect
color and hardness match to the platinum. They don’t flow as well as
traditional platinum solders, and need, rather than the oxidizing
flame, more of a neutral one. They tend to leave more of a solder
"scar" where the solder paillon leaves a remnant of itself after the
solder flows. But you get used to this quickly. And the plumb solders
solve almost all the problems encountered with the traditional
platinum solders. They cost a bit more, but are easily worth it. Try
em. You’ll like them. There are still instances where you’ll want the
easier flowing traditional platinum solders, especially for certain
repair jobs or more complex assembly, but in general, you’ll find the
plumb solders make your work better and easier.

Hope that helps.
Peter Rowe


#3
Any tips at all that you may have for using this devil solder
would be appreciated!! 

yeah, throw it out, get yourself plumb plat solders. Not only are
plumb solders easier to use but they give you a more invisible joint
because they are actually MADE of platinum.


#4

Lucy, 1st are you using # 6 welding glass/glasses? To protect you
eye sight. I use oxygen and propane and have used oxgen and natural
gas too. There are other torches too. No Acetylene this makes a
brittle solder seam. If you are new to platinum soldering (you are of
course) practice with some small scraps of platinum material. Use a
small snipit of solder .5mm square to start, place it on your
seam,saliva works ok for this, use a flame that is hot but not to
fine,as the piece heats up you bring the blue flame tip closer as you
add in more oxygen. (This may take some practice) keep getting closer
and hotter till it flows.This shouldd all take about 10 to 20
seconds. Once it flows remove your flame quickly.

PS No soldering with any stones near by!! Good luck this takes abit
of practice to do well. If it does not flow quickly remove the heat
and try again with a hotter flame.

Sam


#5

Hi Lucy,

You didn’t say what you were working on, but I’m assuming if you are
putting the coals to it enough to use 1700 solder, potential heat
damage isn’t an issue.

My recommendation: skip the 1700 and weld or fuse it with the same
grade of platinum the piece is made of. If it’s not something you can
fuse like that, say a fabrication using wire, then use a lower melt
solder. I use 1600 or 1500 for the first round and drop down
sequentially to 1000 if necessary, with most soldering using 1500 to
1200. The difference in strength and color match between 1700 and
1200 is almost non-existent, so why put yourself through that and
possibly even endanger your piece if you don’t have to.

I hope I’m not going too basic, but don’t use flux or firecoat, just
clean metal to clean metal. Platinum doesn’t oxidize like other
metals so it doesn’t need the protection. Flux and firecoat only
interfere with soldering and they can stain the platinum. Also make
sure you are using only tungsten or ceramic soldering tools. Steel
tweezers can contaminate platinum more deeply and broadly than you
can imagine. Also a safety tip, please use welding goggles when
soldering anything over 1200 platinum solder.

If you desire to use the 1700 solder, check your soldering basics
like cleanliness and fit, and remember the solder will pull towards
the hottest component, not necessarily towards the heat source.
Platinum solder will not fill gaps very well and doesn’t give the
same visual cues as gold and silver about when it’s going to flow.
When it gets hot enough, it goes, right now, no slushy phase. If
everything’s not in exactly the right place when the solder flows,
and if both pieces are not up to the same temperature, you’ve got a
mess to clean up. You can’t push platinum solder around like you can
gold or silver solder. It is also not advisable to unsolder,
reposition and resolder like you can with gold if things are slightly
out of whack. If it’s not right first time, you are better off to
file, sand and polish all the solder off, refinish as necessary and
try again. At least that’s my experience.

You may also have a heatsink kind of thing going on as well, for
instance if you are soldering a 20 gauge wire setting to a heavy
shank, so look for that as well. In that case, flow a small amount of
solder onto the thin piece and also on the heavy piece, preheat the
heavier piece to just below flow point and bring them into contact,
solder to solder. Apply heat to the heavy piece and let conductivity
carry it to the thin piece until the solder flows, remembering
platinum is a horrible heat conductor. Avoid pointing the flame
anywhere near the wire, the solder will flow and climb up the wire
well before the heavy piece is hot enough. If it does that, it most
likely will not flow back to the heavier piece no matter how much
heat you put to it. If you’re soldering a shank or doing something
like a sizing job, skip the solder and fuse it. Even 1700 will leave
a visible seam, and it will not be as strong either.

Hope this helps.

Dave Phelps
precisionplatinumjewelry.com


#6

Hi Lucy,

You didn’t say what you were working on, but I’m assuming if you are
putting the coals to it enough to use 1700 solder, potential heat
damage isn’t an issue.

My recommendation: skip the 1700 and weld or fuse it with the same
grade of platinum the piece is made of. If it’s not something you can
fuse like that, say a fabrication using wire, then use a lower melt
solder. I use 1600 or 1500 for the first round and drop down
sequentially to 1000 if necessary, with most soldering using 1500 to
1200. The difference in strength and color match between 1700 and
1200 is almost non-existent, so why put yourself through that and
possibly even endanger your piece if you don’t have to.

I hope I’m not going too basic, but don’t use flux or firecoat, just
clean metal to clean metal. Platinum doesn’t oxidize like other
metals so it doesn’t need the protection. Flux and firecoat only
interfere with soldering and they can stain the platinum. Also make
sure you are using only tungsten or ceramic soldering tools. Steel
tweezers can contaminate platinum more deeply and broadly than you
can imagine. Also a safety tip, please use welding goggles when
soldering anything over 1200 platinum solder.

If you desire to use the 1700 solder, check your soldering basics
like cleanliness and fit, and remember the solder will pull towards
the hottest component, not necessarily towards the heat source.
Platinum solder will not fill gaps very well and doesn’t give the
same visual cues as gold and silver about when it’s going to flow.
When it gets hot enough, it goes, right now, no slushy phase. If
everything’s not in exactly the right place when the solder flows,
and if both pieces are not up to the same temperature, you’ve got a
mess to clean up. You can’t push platinum solder around like you can
gold or silver solder. It is also not advisable to unsolder,
reposition and resolder like you can with gold if things are slightly
out of whack. If it’s not right first time, you are better off to
file, sand and polish all the solder off, refinish as necessary and
try again. At least that’s my experience.

You may also have a heatsink kind of thing going on as well, for
instance if you are soldering a 20 gauge wire setting to a heavy
shank, so look for that as well. In that case, flow a small amount
of solder onto the thin piece and also on the heavy piece, preheat
the heavier piece to just below flow point and bring them into
contact, solder to solder. Apply heat to the heavy piece and let
conductivity carry it to the thin piece until the solder flows,
remembering platinum is a horrible heat conductor. Avoid pointing the
flame anywhere near the wire, the solder will flow and climb up the
wire well before the heavy piece is hot enough. If it does that, it
most likely will not flow back to the heavier piece no matter how
much heat you put to it. If you’re soldering a shank or doing
something like a sizing job, skip the solder and fuse it. Even 1700
will leave a visible seam, and it will not be as strong either.

Hope this helps.

Dave Phelps
precisionplatinumjewelry.com


#7
My recommendation: skip the 1700 and weld or fuse it with the same
grade of platinum the piece is made of. If it's not something you
can fuse like that, say a fabrication using wire, then use a lower
melt solder. I use 1600 or 1500 for the first round and drop down
sequentially to 1000 if necessary, with most soldering using 1500
to 1200. The difference in strength and color match between 1700
and 1200 is almost non-existent, so why put yourself through that
and possibly even endanger your piece if you don't have to. 

All, Another neat trick I have learned, if your application will
allow it Lucy, is to use pure platinum as a welding/solder material.
Roll it out very thin and place it in the seam you need to close
(ie: between the ends of the seam in a ring sizing)) The pure
platinum will melt at a very slightly lower temperature than the
material (Plat/ir alloys and plat/ruthenium alloys) and it has a
color match better than any of the solders. Because if its thin cross
section it will absorb the heat from the torch quicker than the
surrounding material and thus begin its melt first, as you reach
welding temp it will alloy with your native material and you get a
very unnoticeable seam in all platinum.

Paul D. Reilly


#8
The pure platinum will melt at a very slightly lower temperature
than the material (Plat/ir alloys and plat/ruthenium alloys)

Is this true? The metals that I am familiar with (silver, copper,
gold) all have a higher melting point in their pure state than is
true with their alloys. If so, what makes platinum different?

Noel


#9
Is this true? The metals that I am familiar with (silver, copper,
gold) all have a higher melting point in their pure state than is
true with their alloys. If so, what makes platinum different? 

Yep, It’s true… I got that one from Doc, the metallurgist at United
Refining as a trick for a difficult wide weld laminating and inner
and outer band for my first attempt at it… it worked like a
charm… I have been using the technique ever since… about 6 or 7
years now.

Paul


#10

It all depends on the elements involved. Iridium has a melting point
of 2447C, quite a bit higher than platinum’s 1769C so by adding Ir to
the Pt you raise the melting point. Platinum-Ruthenium is similar.
The problem with the silver-copper system is there is a eutectic
that dominates its melting behavior and creates the v shaped liquidus
profile where any alloy melts at a lower temperature than the
individual elements. Gold copper acts like it wants to have a
eutectic reaction but can’t pull it off so its somewhat similar to
the silver- copper. Some liquidus lines look like roller coasters as
the ratio of one element to the other shifts. It is really totally
dependent on how the two elements interact with each other.

Jim
James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#11

Noel,

Not wanting to leave anyone hanging half informed, I found this chart
of melting points for plat, it’s alloys and, and the alloy metals I
talked about… I am not sure about the Plat/ cobalt, or the SK™
alloys… I don’t work with them and couldn’t find readily their
melting points.

Platinum (Fine)
  3224 (F)
  1773 (C)

15% Iridio Plat
  3310 (F)
  1821 (C)

10% Iridio Plat
  3250 (F)
  1788 (C)

5% Iridio Plat
  3235 (F)
  1779 (C)

Rhodium
  3551 (F)
  1955 (C)

Ruthenium
  4442 (F)
  2450 (C)

Iridium
  4449 (F)
  2454 (C)

Paul