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Thread: joining gold and silver wire

  1. #1
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    Default joining gold and silver wire

    is it possible to connect 1mm gold wire end to end with 1mm silver wire? I want to make a length of wire with gold in the middle and silver at the ends but I'm not quite sure if it's possible or how to go about it.

  2. #2
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    I've never done exactly what you're trying to do but I solder gold onto sterling/fine silver quite often . The difficulty lies with the fact that silver and gold melt at slightly different temperatures (depending on the quantity of gold in the alloy) but they can definitely be joined together and each gold alloy has it's own tendencies. I sometimes find 14K gold difficult to deal with, probably something to do with the copper content, but 18k seems much easier to use. I just use a minimal amount of medium silver solder and Auflux (don't use borax) but I only apply the flux sparingly where I want the solder to flow. I don't want silver solder covering all of my nice buttery yellow gold. As with any soldering jobs, make sure your metal is totally flush with the adjoining piece and that all surfaces are clean and grease free before applying your flux.

    If I were you, I would cut my wires to the desired length and file the ends so that they fit perfectly against the next piece of wire. I'd carve a shallow straight line 'groove' into a charcoal block to support the wire whilst soldering and lay one of the silver wires and the gold wire end to end within this groove and ensure that the ends are flush. I'd then apply a small amount of Auflux to the joint and place my tiny pallion of solder onto the wire. I would begin to heat the piece (if the solder pallion jumps off when the flux starts to bubble, just use your solder pick to replace it) and wait for piece to reach temperature (don't overheat!), allowing the solder to flow. I would pickle, clean, then repeat the process to solder on the final silver wire and do the usual tidy up & polish

    I don't often use gold and when I do it is usually just an accent or bezel. Maybe one of the expert goldsmiths on here can give you some better advice.

  3. #3
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    There is no problem joining gold to silver wires using silver solder and Auflux/Auroflux Liz. The only problem is keeping the ends in contact to do it. I would suggest you use one of James Millers clips, or my hinged modification made for multiple thin bangle wires below. Dennis.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ms. Crossed Clips In Use.jpg  

  4. #4
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    neat mod there, Dennis. Once I'm back in the workshop (gawd knows when that might be) it will be one of the first things on my to do list. We should have a thread for this type of thing don't you think?
    Di x

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Di Sandland View Post
    We should have a thread for this type of thing don't you think?
    Well most newcomers don't even try the search box Di, they just want a quick answer. I must say I don't blame them because digging up past wisdom here is quite tedious and often the thread has been hijacked by other business. Dennis.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, you could be right old bean - I'm one of the worst thread hijackers it has to be said. I sort of write as if I'm in an ongoing conversation, which means I go off at all sorts of tangents :-/
    Di x

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Di Sandland View Post
    Yeah, you could be right old bean - I'm one of the worst thread hijackers it has to be said. I sort of write as if I'm in an ongoing conversation, which means I go off at all sorts of tangents :-/
    There you go again!

    I'm just as guilty. Sometimes though it's the tangents that are more interesting than the original post!

  8. #8
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    Thanks Silken and Dennis,

    looks like I'll have to get some clips made before I attempt this.

    And I did do a search! it's just that I couldn't see anything about joining such fine wire of two different metals!

    Also I give permission for you to hijack all you like

  9. #9
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    You can do this without clips. Use binding wire or t pins to hold your wire firmly on either a honeycomb soldering board or charcoal block. I join or fuse (in the case of fine or argentium) wire of both the same and different types all the time when I need longer continuous lengths than I can work with at a time for viking weave.

  10. #10
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    OK, well I have binding wire. My charcoal blocks are now too rubbish for anything other than support but I do have a brand new magnesium block and more charcoal ones to come. Once I'm through probation at uni I'm going to spend some time in the workshop

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