Soldering is a method in which metal items are joined together by melting a filler metal into the gap between the pieces to be soldered. The filler metal is known as solder. Soldering gold will reattach any pieces that might have broken off, or have split. It is important to solder gold correctly since it's such a valuable metal. Soldering gold is not overly difficult, providing you carefully follow a few procedures.
Things You'll Need
- Gold solder
- Soldering block
- Small file
- Solder pick
- Liquid flux
- Acetylene torch
- Pickle solution or alum
- Polishing cloth
Put the two items to be soldered together on a soldering block. File the area to be soldered gently with a small file or fine-grade sandpaper. Place the items as closely as possible to where they will be soldered. Secure one of the items with a small, portable vice, if possible.
Heat up the area to be soldered with an acetylene (or propane) torch.
Brush a dab or two of liquid flux into the gap between the two pieces of metal. Flux is a chemical compound that prevents oxidation. Oxides interfere with the bonding action of the metals.
Place the tip of gold solder on top of the flux, and into the joint where the items come together. Push the solder into the gap with a solder pick. Heat the tip of the solder with the torch until the solder flows into the gap. Be careful not to overheat. Remove any excess solder immediately with a sponge.
Dip the area that has been soldered into a pickle solution. A pickle solution is an acid that removes oxide from gold and cleans up any residue left after soldering.
Allow the area to cool completely. Use a file or fine sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges.
Shine the area with a buffing wheel, if possible, or with a polishing cloth.
Tips & Warnings
- Use the smallest amount of solder possible. Don't use solder that's the same karat as the gold--always use a lower karat. Keep your flame far away at the start. Don't point the flame directly at the joint or the solder. You can create your own alternative to a pickle solution by dissolving one tablespoon of alum with one-fourth of a cup of water.
- A soldering iron won't work on gold, so use a torch. Don't let the solder touch any part of the gold other than the joint. You should solder the joint as quickly as possible after applying the flux. Always wash hands after soldering.
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