Author Topic: How to line a pan with sheet gold  (Read 5567 times)

Offline kutter

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How to line a pan with sheet gold
« on: October 25, 2022, 04:14:35 PM »
This tutorial was made from a post made by Kutter Oct 21, 2022

Simply plating the pan can be done with one of the Brush Plating outfits sold for simple Jewely plating and touchup work. They work quite well actually. Masking off the area you don't want plated with simple shellac works fine.
Copper is first plated, then lightly buffed. Hand polished with semichrome polish works well.
Cleaned again and then the gold plating applied. That gets hand buffed as well. There you have it.
Power for the simple set up, I use/used a small MC battery charger set on 6v.
Texas Platers Supply is the one I have. Don't know if they are even in biz anymore.
Caswell Industries sells similar 21st Century kits.

All that said,,the plating is just that,,plating. It's thin no matter if you brush plate or industrial electroplate.
It won't last too long in a flash pan I wouldn't think.
It'll look OK if looks are all that matter!

To line the pan with thin sheet gold, you can actually soft solder the gold sheet to the pan surface.
24k and 22k sheet gold forms very easily,,especially the 24k.
22k will work harden a little as you form it into the pan or what ever shape you are working it into.
You will feel it as you are punching it into shape.
To anneal it simply heat it red hot and either let it cool off on it's own. Or you can quench it to cool it.
There,,it's now dead soft again.

Any k gold will work. Even lowly 10k. It just work hardens faster when pounding it into the shape you want.
The lower karats like 10,12,14 are alot like working with brass.

The gold sheet will stretch as you punch it into shape, but that will make the layer thinner.
So don't over work the gold, I assume you only want to line the pan itself and not the 'sideboards'.
It will form easily and if needed simply lift it off and anneal if you think it needs to be.
I even anneal 24k when I work with it. Seems to help with both wire and sheet gold.

Now you have a sheet of gold formed into the shape that fits into the pan.

You can simply soft solder it into place.
Gold accepts either evil Lead/Tin or the greeny Tin/Silver soft solders easily.
I use standard paste soft solder flux. Nothing special when soldering gold onto something sweat soldered.
Same standard practices,,clean, very close fit, tinned surfaces, don't over heat!
If you solder into place,,any karet gold can be used as the method of attachmnet is not dependent on the softness of the alloy.
That is something that is important if you choose to attach using the following method..

You can attach the gold form to the steel pan  by using what engravers often use to attach soft precious metal overlays/inlays.
You need to make a small wood chisel like 'punch'.
Very sharp, no more than 1/16" wide blade for working the concave shape of the pan. Shaped just like a flat wood chisel.

With this chisel, you are going to make a series of stab strikes into the metal where the gold must adhere.
Place the chisel upright on the surface on the point, then tip it back a few degrees so when struck, the chisel digs into the surface and kicks up a burr.
You will make these cuts in repetitive strikes across the surface in a row. Then right behind it lay in another row, and another row behind that untill you have gone from one side of the part to the other.
The surface is now row after row of parallel lines/burrs

Now return to the starting point to do the same exercise again.
Following the same direction across the part BUT turn the chisel so it cuts across those rows you just made by about a a 30* angle or so. Nothing too technical about this.
This will shear the first row and create 'teeth'. Very sharp teeth.
Do this all the way across the surface as above.

Lastly,,go back to the FIRST row of lines you did,,this time turn the chisel the 30* the other way from the first row and cut in a third row. This one will shear the first two you just did and create many more sharp tiny teeth.

These teeth is what the soft gold will impale itself on and hold fast.
Keep the surface clean, don't touch it so no oil or contamination gets onto the fresh steel teeth.
If you want to, some clean the surface with laq thinner or acetone just before placing the gold down.
I don't and have never had a problem.
If you do, use a brush to apply. An artists brush so it actually brushes..A toothbrush will melt or soften with acetone and laq thinner. Then you have a real mess!
Try and clean the toothy surface with a cloth or paper towel is a loosing battle as well. Use a clean soft artists brush if you choose to do so.

Check the surface from the side low angle for any teeth that are of extra length. Snip these off as they will pierce through the gold surface and end up discoloring and otherwise perfect gold look.
Probably not as important here if the gun is used. But it's just a standard step when inlaying figures. The extra long teeth end up being blued when the gun is finished and it doesn't look so great.

Gold time..
Place the formed pice down onto the surface. Lightly press it into position. It will already start to grab in position,,especially if made from 24k.
22k will work OK. Anything less is very difficult to overlay with this method as the alloy is too hard and then work hardens even more as application begins.

It won't take much force at all to punch it (24k) into place. For the rounded shape of the pan,,simple  dowel shaped punch to fit the contour is more than enough to 'set' the gold into place. That entire area can be made to look nice and smooth when set. Very little after polishing should be needed.

Don't over work the gold. It's soft. It'll impale itself easily on those teeth and if done right you won't be able to pull it free..
Plus extra pounding will only stretch the gold thinner and the nice pre-shape form you made will start to disappear as the gold extrudes like a piece of soft lead being hammered.
You gain nothing by pounding harder and longer on it.

If some of the gold has extruded outside the pan edges onto the flat area,
Trim that off and polish the area flat.
That'll do it..
« Last Edit: October 25, 2022, 08:19:27 PM by Dennis Glazener »

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: How to line a pan with sheet gold
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2022, 08:16:57 PM »
The post below may be helpful to those that are interested in trying their hand at lining a pan with gold.

Unless you know how to retrieve gold from scrap or know a certain piece of Unknownum is the karat gold you need and want, you are much farther ahead just buying a piece of 'sheet stock' gold in the karat and thickness you need for the job.

When you buy this stuff,  nearly always the thicknesses will be expressed in Brown& Sharpe (B&S) Gauge numbers.
Jewelry and sheet metal work uses this gauge thickness system.

After a while you get used to it and know what your common use gauge B&S matr'l is in .000" thickness. Just like working with Metric/English.

There are other simple conversion charts on the web as well.

When ordering gold and silver wire for engraving inlay I would always order 20, 22, 24, 26 & 28 gauges
That would cover any inlay work as well as figure work as I use the wire to build inlays.

For sheet gold  on a project like this,,just decide what thickness you want to use in .000"
Look up what the B&S gauge of the matrl will be,,or close to it.
Order that thickness or maybe you want one size thicker to be sure of enough matrl.

You order by the karat ( 24k in this instance I would assume)
Then the thickness of the sheet..the B&S gauge
Then how big a piece...
You can usually tell them to cut a piece to your specific demands if they are simple square corners.
1" x 1" for example.,,1/2" x 3/4",,,1/2" x 1/2",,,what ever you need.

They may have a minimum but I've never run into that. At the price of 24k,,it'll be plenty $$ anyway!
Put it on a charge card and wait by the mail box.

Even 24k they may ask if you want it 'annealed'. Sure.
I often anneal it quickly with a propane torch anyway.

I've used T.B Hagstoz for the last 50+ yrs.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for an 800#

Lots of people use RioGrande Jewelry Supply

Most engravers/jewelry makers have a favorite they've stuck with over time. Gold is gold and the market sets the price. It changes every day, sometimes every hour.
So you won't often find posted prices listed for gold wire and sheet stock. You have to call to order.
RioGrande usually has the Market price of (pure) Gold listed but that's not what you pay pay more!
« Last Edit: October 31, 2022, 07:00:40 PM by Dennis Glazener »
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