I guess this is the only way I can find any info about
how to work with white gold... Is it possible to work with white
goldwith the fabrication method or is it too pretentious. will it
always crack or is there a correct way to do it I will be grateful
for any help you coud give me JUlieta Odio designer/metalsmith
If you use palladium based white golds, you’ll find it fabricates
with the same ease as yellow golds. Nickel white golds, though, are
indeed nasty to work with. But you should be aware that there are
different alloys, some better for fabrication than others. In
particular, many casting alloys employ deoxidizers which can make the
metal harder to roll and draw. When you buy the metal, specify a
"rolling" alloy, rather than just using the same alloy you cast with.
of course, you CAN fabricate with the casting alloys too, but they
can be harder to work with.
A couple pointers: When rolling or drawing white golds, usually
they need to be annealed after only a 40 to 50 percent reduction.
Yellow golds can usually withstand a 90% reduction between anneals,
so if you’re using white gold, you’ll have to anneal much more often
than you may be used to.
When annealing, don’t overheat the metal. just a low red glow is
enough. Then, as soon as the red glow is gone (the metal around 900F
or so), quench in ALCOHOL, rather than water, especially cold water.
If you don’t have alcohol, then quench in boiling or near boiling
water. The idea is to cool the metal reasonably quickly, but without
quite the shock of a cold water quench, which can crack the metal.
But before following this advice, check with your metal supplier for
their annealing recommendations. As I said there are many white gold
variations, and while many will anneal well with this technique,
some will do better with a slow cooling in air, with no quench.
Others, when slow cooled, age harden. So you may have to experiment
to see how best to anneal your alloy.
When you melt white gold for ingots, (or casting), a natural gas or
propane fuel with oxygen is usually the best for torch metling.
Avoid hydrogen/oxygen for meling white golds, since this can give
hydrogen embrittlement. Your flame should be slightly reducing, but
not extremely so. Too reducing a flame, with a yellowish flame, for
example, can give carbide formation from the excess carbon, which
results in hard spots in your metal, and cracking.
Nickel white gold is never going to be all that easy to fabricate,
but it can be worked if you need to. Switching to palladium white
gold will make it easy to work. Learning to work in platinum
instead, will make you wonder why you ever bothered with white gold in
the first place… (grin).