You will find that there are some real benefits with working with
platinum, but only if you are prepared to work with under it’s
terms. You may need solder. Platinum that is alloyed with non
platinum based metal will have a lower melt temp than platinum group
metals and will not fuse well. You will need a special high heat
crucible and some welders goggles.
To your questions:
ill the basic white powder flux [don't know the name but it is from
the west...] would do ? Can't get anything else just now.
Don’t use flux. Make sure your metal is clean. The high melting
temperature of platinum will contaminate the metal causing it to
become brittle. You don’t need it anyway as platinum group metals
don’t oxidize. If you have metal that is alloyed with cobalt you
won’t be able to fuse weld in the manner you are thinking. You can
tell because it will oxidize and is slightly magnetic at room
temperature. If you are able to get some platinum solder and wish
to proceed then after you finish your soldering you can coat the
metal with boric acid powder, anneal it and pickle it. The
oxidation will come off in the pickle.
I heard something about Iron contamination? I do need to roll the
Pt and form it, probably melt it, and roll, hammer, and anneal
... how do I clean the Pt from the Iron traces?
Soaking the metal in pickle will remove any traces of iron. If your
pickle is old and you have a great deal of contamination you can get
some copper plated onto the metal, so use new pickle to remove the
iron. Lots of things can contaminate platinum, not just metals.
Acetylene will contaminate platinum as it contains so much carbon
that it actually fuses to the metal at the solder joint making it
brittle. Butane should be OK as it is relatively lower in carbon
is the normal Sodium-bisulphate pickle ok for Pt?
Is the regular ceramic crucible ok for Pt?
No. You will need a high temperature crucible. The regular gold
crucibles will break down at the temperatures needed for melting
platinum and contaminate the metal.
anything else I need to know....?
One thing you don’t mention is the need for eye protection. You
absolutely must wear welders goggles when you weld platinum. The
metal emits a great deal of ultraviolet light that will cause damage
to your vision. Don’t use sunglasses, only goggles meant for
welding. By the way, if you ever do a great deal of platinum work
you may also be interested in creating a shield that will cover your
entire face. The ultraviolet will actually give you a burn if you
are torch melting a lot of platinum or even a little if kept at a
melting temperature for a sustained period of time. This actually
happened to me years ago when I was making my own platinum wire for
a series of wedding and engagement rings (platinum was a lot cheaper