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Thread: Soldering gold to silver

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Soldering gold to silver

    Hello lovelies, I've had an enquiry for a commission, which I'm very excited about as it's a pair of wedding rings and my first since going "official".

    The lady wants a molten look ring in silver, which is no problem, but mentioned the possibility of having a gold heart on it. I've never worked with gold before, can I solder it to the silver using a silver solder? Or do I need gold solder?

    Here's hoping silver will do the job...


    Melanie

    http://www.spinysharklythings.com

  2. #2
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    Aug 2009
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    Staffordshire
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    Silver solder should be fine Mel, but be careful not to let it overrun the heart and I'd be inclined to use easy solder, if you overheat the gold, especially if it's 9ct, it has a tendency to sink into the silver (bearing in mind there's not a huge amount of gold in it ;D), 18ct gives a good contrast with silver.
    Good luck!!

  3. #3
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    Dec 2009
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    Yes as Tabby says, silver solder is OK. If I were doing it I would sweat solder it on, by melting sufficient solder onto the back of the heart, then keep it in position and re-heat the ring until the solder flows. The solder can be kept from flowing out by making a small bevel on the under edge of the heart and I should probably use easy solder too.
    I have emphasised 'keep it in position', because the heart will tend to float around once the solder is liquid. Sorry if you know all this, Dennis.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Brittany
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    I did not know about the gold sinking thing, I found out the hard way :0)

  6. #6
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    Aug 2010
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    Default

    Just the type of job for using one of the stainless steel clamps I have suggested in earlier posts. I would do as Dennis suggests but you could also just seat the heart on a small square pallion of easy silver solder and then hold it in place with a clamp like this one. A strip of 1mm thick stainless steel bent with pliers into a clamp.
    James

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	64 a collection of my soldering clamps.jpg 
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Name:	63a soldering clamp and bits.jpg 
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Name:	63 soldering clamp on ring.jpg 
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  7. #7
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    Those clamps look ingenious! Soooo much better than binding wire.


    Melanie

    http://www.spinysharklythings.com

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=Melanie De Castro Pugh;47663]Those clamps look ingenious! Soooo much better than binding wire.

    Once you make a few Mel, you will find them very useful for many soldering jobs, you can get a small sheet of stainless steel from here; http://metaloffcuts.co.uk/shop/316-stainless-sheet.html a 10" x5" sheet will only cost about 12 inc postage and you can make about 50 clamps with it, by piercing off strips as you need them. Here is another group of photos showing my use of them when soldering parts of a ring.
    James

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	11 Pallions in place for soldering.jpg 
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Name:	12 Bezel soldered to backplate.jpg 
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Name:	17 Shanked clamped in place ready for soldering.jpg 
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Name:	19 Shank soldered onto the stone bezel+plate.jpg 
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Name:	23 Finished ring.jpg 
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  9. #9
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    Aug 2010
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    Default

    I meant to add that some goldsmiths I have worked with made their clamps out of steel cotter pins like these ones available on eBay; http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mixed-Stai...-/360258953349. I have used these in the past but I still prefer my clamps made of flat 0.90mm. thick stainless sheet.

    James

  10. #10
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    I used cotter pins as I was first taught James, but they don't have any spring once the zinc plating has been burned off and they mark the metal when tightened. So yes, I much prefer yours. Thank you for sharing a trade secret. Dennis.

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