Author Topic: Material for gold bands  (Read 965 times)

Offline Roger B

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Material for gold bands
« on: November 05, 2018, 10:24:49 PM »
I'm thinking about putting three gold bands on a fancy Hawken barrel; 2 at the breech and 1 at the muzzle. What karat and gauge strip do I need? I assume it needs to be dead soft. I assume it will work harden with hammering into the barrel slot I create. Putting some sterling silver 5 pt. Stars into the cheek & around the patch box. My retirement gift.....4yrs early😊
Roger B.
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Offline G_T

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 02:39:31 AM »
I have not done what you are intending, but I do work with gold on occasion. I would not use less than 18kt and would tend to favor higher carat. I do my own alloying, and I'd likely use 22kt or go straight to 24kt. This may help: http://www.igraver.com/insufficient_gold.shtml

The bands you contemplate are much wider than the example on that site. I figure the depth of the channel and the undercut are both likely larger than the example. That's why I mentioned 22kt. But 24kt is a safe choice.

Gerald

PS - The higher carat weight has a richer color. That's another reason to go high carat - you can see the gold is gold better that way.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 02:41:08 AM by G_T »

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 04:15:00 AM »
My friend Peter found a wedding ring on a beach in Antigua and had me use it to make a name plate and band at the breech for his rifle.  It is likely only 10 karat but the effect is most pleasing.  Here's a pic of the band.


« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 05:47:49 PM by Tim Crosby »
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Offline Goo

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 05:21:50 AM »
I work with gold every day cast it, cArve it, bend it, repair it, solder it , roll it, etc. its not so much the karat of gold alloy that determines hardness as it is what you alloy it with.  If you want soft gold you must reduce the copper in the alloy and increase the silver.    The FTC reccomends American 14k should be .583 % gold ( European standards demand .585% ) So for .583 you need  .417 % alloy.  To make  10 penny wieght, or DWT, of 14k yellow gold youll need 5.83 DWT of 24k and 1 DWT of copper and 3.17 DWT of pure silver.   I use penny weight or English troy ounces because business with refineries is done in penny wieght , 20  penny weight = 1 troy ounce.  Hope this helps
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Offline davec2

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 06:55:07 AM »
I also do a considerable amount of work in gold.  For the amount you will need, just use 24K....it will be MUCH easier for you to use...especially if you have not done much of this type of inlay before.  You should use round wire but will need to balance the groove with, the amount of undercut, and the size of the gold wire to make sure you don't have too much or too little.  Too much is a bit of a waste of gold and too little is...well...a waste of your time as the job will not come out well.  I would suggest you practice on a piece of steel cutting grooves and inlaying with pure copper wire.  It will give you a good feel for what your doing without risking the gold wire before your confident.
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Offline jerrywh

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 06:32:04 AM »
  I am a professional engraver and do a lot of gold work in different colors. For gold bands 24K is far better than anything else and isn't expensive for the small amount you will need.  Any other lower gold content is a pain in the rear compared to 24K.   DaveC2 knows exactly what he is talking about and grew up in the jewelry trade so to speak.
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Offline Roger B

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2018, 05:13:16 PM »
Thanks, guys.  I appreciate the advice!  So I need to use round wire as opposed to strips?
Roger B
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Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2018, 05:44:27 PM »
I learned from Jerry Huddleston. He knows all about gold inlay.

Yup, 24 K round wire is the way to go. It taps into place like putty. Any other alloy workhardens quickly and gets springy, and pops out of the groove.

Undercut the edges of the grooves, and cover the floor of the groove with little barbs (use a graver to raise the barbs). De-grease the groove before laying down the gold.

Punch the the wire down with brass flat nosed punches. Roughen the face of the punch so the gold won't squirt out from under the punch.

Start punching down at an end, and get that to stick, then carefully get the other end to stick. Then punch the wire down between your two stuck ends. Work it all over, gradually filling the groove and undercuts.

Why start at the ends? Because gold flows like putty, and if you start punching in the middle of the wire, the ends grow in length, past your intended stopping point, and you lose the volume of gold to push into the grooves.
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Offline Flint62Smoothie

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2018, 12:53:42 AM »
How deep & wide a groove is typical?
All of my muzzleloaders will shoot into a ragged ~1/2" hole ALL DAY LONG ... it's just the 2nd or 3rd or other shots that tend to open up my groups ... !

Offline clockman

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2018, 05:52:39 AM »





Roger, here are a couple of pics of gold bands I put on a rifle for my dad.    They’re simply 14k gold wedding rings.  A larger mans ring near the touch hole and smaller ladies rings on the muzzle.  I’m sure these were much harder than using 18K or 24k.  If you aren’t familiar with the different karats of gold you need to check them out, anything above 18k has a slight green cast to it.  That may not make sense until you lay them next to each other.   I knew the 14k would pop next to the hot blue finish I used on the barrel for this rifle.   I anealed them before setting them with a punch then filed off the excess.   ...Sometime you do need a bigger hammer!

Offline G_T

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2018, 06:14:07 AM »
You can swing the color of a gold/silver/copper alloy depending on the ratio of silver to copper. More silver and less copper -> greenish direction. More copper and less silver -> reddish direction.

Quick reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colored_gold

Other additives such as Palladium and Nickel are used to make white gold alloys.

Gerald

Offline kutter

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2018, 06:49:47 AM »
24k is going to be the easiest for someone not familiar with the process. It works very easily.
If you have a very wide band,,you can use two or more gold wires layed side by side in the groove to make fill width and make what appears to be a solid band.
This works best and easiest with 24k, but you can get away with it with lower k gold too if you're patient.

The groove is cut to width and depth (you don't need to go subway bed depth).
Dovetail punch the sides. Some engraves cut the 'undercut' w/a very narrow onglet point.
Then burr up the bottom of the cut. I use the same punch as I use for the undercut/dovetail punch if it's narrow enough. Sometimes I just handle it sideways in the bottom of the cut so it fits.
The idea is to just throw burr teeth upward for the gold to impale itself on as it's set into the groove.
Same idea in putting an inlay of a figure/animal ect in or on the gun.
..Don't stab in the burrs and throw them up so high that they exceed the height of the groove. If they do they will show as tiny steel specs in your gold inlay/line when polished out.
If you blue or brown the steel part,,those specs will color as well. If you do get one or two poking thru, they can be punched back down thru the finished surface and the tiny spot burnished over. I've even inlayed a speck of gold into the gold as a repair for my mis-deed.

On the wide band inlay where I'm using more than 1 strand of wire, I run the burrs in opposite directions so they hold better.
It doesn't take long and there's no set pattern of BPI (burrs/per/inch!) Just tiny teeth to snag that gold.

When setting the gold in place, start the multiple wires carefully in the groove and punch them inplace in one spot,,and not at the very tip of the bunch. Come onto the strands a fraction to better get a solid strike.
Any ragged end can be snipped clean with a flat graver or better,, carefully bunched up in the groove back toward the punched strike with a punch,,the gold is soft. Leave it there so you can line it up squarely with the other end if doing a cylinder coming around the other end. Or simply now punch it down and end it there if it's below the wood line far enough for you.

Continue to punch in the multiple wire band carefully. It's feed itself sort of, into the groove as you punch it down.
I sometimes punch just ahead of the last swage , something like Acer mentioned above.
That keeps the gold from getting out in front of you too far if you're punching too hard (but the teeth usually hold it back for you).
It's also a little trick if you have cut  a portion of the groove a bit too wide for the amt of gold you have to fill it.
Punching ahead of the wide point will capture the gold at that point and then any gold wire inbetween the two swages can't extrude like it wants to do. It'll inchworn in shape as you swage it in place between the two punch swage  marks, But that extra room you provided in the spacious groove will take that gold and look just fine for it.
Otherwise you may have a portion of the groove,,that wide portion, shy on gold filler and that leaves a depression in the gold surface there and often an open line on either side of the gold and the edge of the groove. Not a good look.

The swaging of the multiple wires of 24k gold together must be done so they sit side by side. You don't want one to be an excess and extruding to a thin flap over the top of another. That flap or flake will do just that and peel off when polished.
Done right, the multiple gold wires will cold swage together and not be seen as separate pieces. Instead they will appear as a single piece of gold.
I've done hundreds and hundreds of gold figures, animals and birds ect with this process as well as line inlay and never had a problem with inlays coming out.
It's nothing I came up with,,it's one of many methods of used by engravers since forever.

Lower k alloys can be inlayed just as well. But not easily with the above method.
The single piece of wire or sheet first annealed then punched/swaged down into the cut or groove is the usual method.

Don't expect lower k gold the work easily like 24k. Fit the piece  or wire carefully to the groove or cut you are inlaying.
It'll work harden quite fast, but realize that even steel is routinely inlayed into steel with common engravers tools. So it's technique that gets you results, not brute strength, or some sort of magic.

If any one thing for inlaying 10, 14 and even 18k gold sheet and strips I've found helpful,,is to clamp one side or edge of the inlay in place . Then punch down/swage the opposite end into place.
Then clamp the punched in place side  and swage the previously clamped edge down.
That holds the piece from springing upwards on you. Sometimes just a small clamp right in the center and work the edges down is all thats needed.
Wire for line inlay goes right into the groove w/o any helper clamps of any sort as long as the groove is the correct size,,is undercut right and the wire isn't too big in dia.

 

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2018, 04:20:20 PM »
Kutter, thanks so much for the detailed description and all the pointers.  Used to help out a buddy in his goldsmith shop - started on silver, as I was afraid of gold with the high price.
When I finally started working with the gold, was surprised how much easier it was to work than the silver.  Silver takes a LOT more heat to solder.
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Offline Flint62Smoothie

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2018, 05:27:48 AM »
Yes, thank you!

One question, I would have thought the groove would have been undercut by a file. Where it was said the ‘straight edge’ of the groove could be slightly peened to achieve an ’overhang’ if you will, I can envision this edge becoming wavy?
All of my muzzleloaders will shoot into a ragged ~1/2" hole ALL DAY LONG ... it's just the 2nd or 3rd or other shots that tend to open up my groups ... !

Offline Rolf

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2018, 09:05:32 AM »
Yes, thank you!

One question, I would have thought the groove would have been undercut by a file. Where it was said the ‘straight edge’ of the groove could be slightly peened to achieve an ’overhang’ if you will, I can envision this edge becoming wavy?

The easiest way is to use a small chisel for the under cut. Here is a tutorial I wrote on weddingbands.
http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=9090.0

Best regards
Rolf

Offline Roger B

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2018, 04:11:11 PM »
This is pretty incredible!  There just seems to be no end of the talent & knowledge here.
Roger B.
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Offline kutter

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2018, 05:38:37 PM »
If you want a cheap inlay matl just to practice the process with, common copper electrical  wire works nicely.
It's soft though as-is generally though you can run it over a torch flame or the kitchen stove gas flame again to anneal it.
It works easily, about like 18 or 20k gold and does not work harden quickly like the lower alloy k gold does and fight you by springing back quite so much.
Most brass alloy wire can be used too but you have the quick work hardening problem again to fight you. Not good when you are just trying to learn the process.


Silver can be a pain to inlay at times as it work hardens so quickly. That shows up in using it to make fittings for the rifle and the constant need to anneal the piece while forming/hammering it.
Inlaying the silver you don't have that luxury of annealing it again and again once you start working with it.  It turns hard and springy quickly and refuses to swage into the undercuts or impale on those barb/teeth easily if you don't get it right the first try.
Coin, then Sterling are worse than Fine Silver, but they all can be more difficult to work with compared to gold, at least in my experience.

Offline jerrywh

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2018, 08:03:26 PM »
 You can inlay a piece of case hardened steel if you know how. I put in iron inlays often but 24K is much easier. 
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Offline jerrywh

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2018, 10:48:08 PM »
 Pure silver is almost as easy as inlaying 24K gold and pure silver as well as gold anneal at 500° F.  Kutter was probably working with sterling. The way to tell the difference between pure silver and sterling is to heat it to a red heat. If it is sterling it will turn gray or black. Pure silver will remain white.
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Offline G_T

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Re: Material for gold bands
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2018, 08:06:07 AM »
http://www.nancylthamilton.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Annealing-Temperatures-of-Common-Jewelry-Metals-Annealing-Temperatures-for-Metals.pdf

Perhaps this will be a useful quick reference for annealing - gold, silver, copper, and their alloys.

Gerald