I have been waiting for quite some time to try this experiment: To try my own formula for tin solder. I own, test, and use a lot of tin solder from various brand, so this is the time to try my own formula.
One of the key material that I will use this time is Fine Gold 999,9. I bought in 1 gram bar size which is good and enough for my experimentation this time. Discovery requires experimentation – at least that’s what I’ve heard 😉
To cut the Gold itself is not a difficult task. Although it requires a strong motivation – hey you are cutting a real Gold into pieces. This is no joke, you are cutting a Fine Gold.
The process itself is quite simple. Standard cutting pliers will do the job perfectly.
Below is the picture of the gold bar, after some of its part cut into several pieces. Up to this point, there is no regret and no way back.
Off course I need to make sure I’m not missing anything. All of those cut pieces must be measured. Voila, they are complete. No missing pieces. Total measured 1 gram as complete original bar.
I also prepare a set or Ceramic and Graphite Crucible, also some Ingot Molds. Below is the photo of Ceramic Crucible, some pieces of Fine Gold and a bar of tin solder. Silver will follow later.
Some simple tools used. MAPP Gas and Butane Gas are ready to do its job – to burn. I plan to try with Butane Gas first. Some say Butane doesn’t have enough temperature to melt Gold (Gold will melt around 1060 degrees Celsius). So I prepare MAPP Gas just in case I don’t have enough temperature. MAPP Gas easily put 3000 degrees Fahrenheit or around 1600 degrees Celsius. This is more than enough to melt Fine Gold.
Aside from the torch, I also prepare Sodium Tetraborate or also know as Borax. This will act like a flux in solder, to improve the melting point and also purify the Gold (if the Gold is not in good purity level). Also I prepare a graphite rod to mix the ingredients well later. Graphite has very high melting point, over 4000 degrees Celsius. So handling 1000+ degrees Celsius is piece of cake! 🙂
Playing with 1000+ degrees Celsius is considered dangerous. Frankly speaking, I was a bit nervous. So no photograph happened during that time.
The 100 grams Ingot Mold. A bit over-pour as I prepare the ingredient more than 100 grams.
The Ceramic Crucible still have some tin solder left behind. But I have to make sure no Gold left here.
The back of the finished ingredients. Soft and perfectly done on the back. But for sure the top is a bit over-poured as you have seen in the previous photo.
The over poured material. Just some random figure as I just pour them on the brick. No special preparation or molds used.
I prepare a 40 Watts Goot solder. This 40 Watts should enough to melt the new ingredients well.
After few rounds of soldering, I can see some Gold marks on the tip of the solder. I have to admit it seems the mixing is not perfect and the Gold material itself not evenly distributed throughout the whole mix. But not really bad result for a first timer playing with this high temperature business.
Lesson learnt today: Discovery requires experimentation, and experimentation requires investment (or we normally call as tuition fee). Should do better next time (there will be second experiment to follow).