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-   -   Where to get 24K gold wire for inlays? (http://www.knifenetwork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29669)

mgdesigns 07-13-2005 09:12 PM

Where to get 24K gold wire for inlays?
 
Hey Forum:

I am a full time jeweler, and I've recently started to try inlaying gold into some practice plates. I started by using some homemade 14KY (annealed) wires, but the get such a temper to them so quickly, I'd like to try 24K. Now I am having a harder than expected time trying to get 24K gold wires for inlays. I normally use Stuller out of Lafayette, LA for all of my general small quantities of stock, but today they did not have 24K x 24 ga. wire on hand. It's the first time I've ever ordered pure gold wire, so I was amazed that they did not have it in stock. I also checked on-line with Hoover & Strong (hooverandstrong.com), and it seems you have to order a huge amount to get them to ship out.

Who can offer some assistance for this? Should I also get a selection of 18K various colors, and 22KY for variations in colors?

Thanks ahead of time for any suggestions.

Sincerely,

Mark in Nashville, TN

MCirelli 07-13-2005 09:25 PM

If you draw out your 14k why don't you draw out some 24k. If you have a ingot mold you can use 24k casting gain make an ingot and draw it out. 30ga and finer is a little tough because its so fine and soft its hard to grip without crushing. You may want to try United Precious Metals in New York. I can give you the number send me an Email.
Mike Cirelli

Darren 07-13-2005 11:18 PM

Hey Mark.
If what you are wanting to do is practice, I would suggest using copper wire. when annealed it acts just like 24k yellow and is available for nothing. just pull it out of some electrical and speaker wires.

I normally get my 24k wire from Rio Grande, they my not be the cheapest but they will turn it around real quick for you.
Lets see some of your inlay results.

Tim Adlam 07-14-2005 01:17 AM

Mark,

You're handicapping yourself by working with the lower karat gold.
For practice, I'd go with Darren's suggestion on copper wire.
With gold, stay with 24 or 22 k. and order it "dead soft"

I order from Hoover & Strong, and yes they have a 5 foot min. order, but you'd be surprised how fast that gets used up.
From what I know, H&S is the source for all of the other suppliers.
The nice thing is that you can combine different gauges to fit that quota.
For me, ordering different sizes saves time rather than drawing down wire.
Should I need an in-between size, then I go to the drawplate.

I never bother with trying to figure out the cost/calculations.
Tell them what you want, and how you want it annealed.

My last order of 20ga, 22ga, and 24ga 5' gold wire, and 5' of fine silver wire
[which arrived this week] totaled $165., so it's not that expensive.
According to the invoice, 2 feet of 24ga dead soft 24kt gold wire cost $35.91 at present market price.

When you get to the point where you want to incorporate gold in your work,
I'd be happy to include your order with mine if you just need a small quantity of wire.

Tim

rrrf68 07-14-2005 07:06 AM

You will find that Ray Viramontez at 601 Sringfield road Albany, GA 31707 ((229)432-9683) email sgtvira@aol.com has wire from .011 to .0395 and sheet from 30 to 19 gauge. Ray is a real nice guy and one of the worlds finest gun engravers. Fred

ron p. nott 07-14-2005 09:18 AM

i must agree with fred i buy all of my 24k gold from ray i have been dealing with ray for years when i order i usually get 40 thousands round and 5 to 50 feet at a time .. ron

Mike Bissell 07-14-2005 08:58 PM

I also buy from Ray. He's a nice guy to deal with. I usually get 0.025 inch 24K gold wire and it runs somewhere about $100.00 for 3 feet. I draw it down to 0.017. and that will do a lot of inlays. Price varies with the gold market. I to have used cooper to practice with cooper does not anneal like gold thus is some what harder to work with but its cheap to obtain. hope this helps you some

Mike

mgdesigns 07-15-2005 12:22 AM

Well guys, thanks for all of the leads. I'll probably stick with H&S as I use them most often for refining of sweeps and filings, as well as casting drops. I'll just have them put the next refining on account to be used for different wires.

Has anyone ever used some of the peach or rose or green golds for inlays? I think that they would add a lot of zing. They also could be obtained in 18K or 22K, I believe, and should be interesting for a change of color. Just a thought.

As for casting out 24K into ingots; I could do that, but right now I do not have any casting grain on hand in pure gold. I've usually steer away from that type of refining and smelting for my castings because that is pretty critical metallurgical stuff, and wrong mixes can mess up an otherwise great casting. Even full time professional casters occasional have melt problems by using pure, and then adding alloys to cook down to appropriate karatage. I had a 14KW casting done at Christmas by a pro, and he called me 2 days later to inform me that the batch of gold he'd mixed apparently did not blend properly, and hard spots were turning up in other castings from the same batch. But perhaps I'll have H&S send me some 24K casting grain so I can try my hand at it. The last place I worked as a bench jeweler, I had to regularly make ingots and roll them out for sizing stock, or to pull wire. White gold is the worst!! It gets so hard so fast, and requires twice as much annealing to make it a workable commodity. Pulling wire is a hidden talent many bench jewelers do not learn anymore. It's very cost effective when you need a size now.

Thanks for now.

Mark in Nashville, TN

Andy S 07-15-2005 08:12 AM

Can you guys tell me how you usually anneal your gold wire? I usually just hit it with a propane torch and then quench it but I'm not sure its getting a full anneal. Is the quench really neccesary or even recommended? I have a heat treat oven. I've thought about just putting the whole she-bangs in there and heating to a precribed temp. I'm not sure exactly what temp that is. I know it will melt around 1800 degrees. It just seems that some of the wire I have is a little harder than the rest. I may not have requested the full soft when ordering.

Thanks,

Mike Bissell 07-15-2005 10:28 AM

Andy

I anneal the wire just before I place it into the cavity or channel by heating with a butane lighter while holding the wire with tweezers. It doesn't take long for the gold to get hot, then I let it air cool. It seems like the slower the cooling the softer the gold will be. I am usually working with wire about 0.017 and length up to 3 inches. Once you start to set the gold in the cavity by means of a punch or set tool the gold will start to harden back up. My set tool is 1/8" brass rod, long enough so I don't hit my fingers with the hammer. If someone else has a better method I'd be happy to learn about it. Until then I hope this helps you.

Mike

Tim Adlam 07-15-2005 10:58 AM

Andy,
I've had success with using the propane torch for annealing.
After two or three passes through the drawplate, I coil the wire so it takes on a "spring" shape.
I lay this coil sideways on my soldering pad, and under low light, play the torch over the wire using a low flame.
I watch the color change as the wire heats up, and I also try to feather the flame back and forth to thoroughly anneal the wire.
When the wire reaches the annealing temperature, it'll collapse or lose it's spring-like quality.
Stop right there, and remove the flame.
[Try to lay the coiled wire in such a way that it won't collapse and fuse upon itself.]
I let the wire cool naturally, but you can quench it after the wire cools to what is referred to as "black heat",
or when the wire no longer glows red.
It's also good practice to de-grease the wire with solvent before use.

Tim

MCirelli 07-15-2005 08:44 PM

Yellow golds and fine gold can be quenched. Don't over heat more heat is not better. Repeated annealings will make it softer. Silver wire should be quenced to stop crystal growth in the metal. White gold should never be quenched. It will make the metal structure brittle and crack.
If your useing an ingot mold the adjustable type with the C clamp. Wipe it down with oil 3in1 or something like that on the inside before you pour your ingot. Heat the mold, melt and pour.
I know the oil doesn't sound right but it works, you get a perfect ingot every time and clean.
Mike Cirelli

Shakudo 07-15-2005 09:19 PM

don't quench white gold? guess it depends on which type of white gold you are using.i would not quench nickle white gold,but the better white gold alloys have no problems with quenching.

MCirelli 07-15-2005 09:27 PM

I don't quench any white gold, I guess its out of habit. The nickel can make it brittle when quenched. I don't want someone to lose a diamond because I quenched a white gold head and the prong or prongs crack off. The new palladium whites are probably ok to quench but who knows if its nickel or pall. I don't take a chance.
Mike Cirelli

smithy 05-17-2012 02:16 AM

I quench white gold in alcohol to anneal. Works for me...


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