This cultured pearl and diamond ring is in for sizing. When the take-in person inspected the ring, they noticed that the top portion of the ring shank had worn thin. The ring is 14-karat yellow gold.
The shank has become thin and sharp at the top portion (indicated by arrows). It will be rounded out and built up using an ABI Pulse-Arc-Welder and 14-karat yellow gold 30 gauge round wire.
It is not necessary to remove the pearl to do the build up.
The pulse-arc-welding pencil contains an electrode (arrow). The electrode is covered by a ceramic collar. Occasionally, the ceramic collar will need cleaning and reshaping. Shown in this image, the inside portion of the ceramic collar for the No. 1 size tip is being cleaned by a diamond tipped bur. (There are 5 different sized tips provided with the ABI Pulse-Arc-Welder.)
The outside portion of the tip of the ceramic collar is flattened using a diamond wheel. The welding pencil tip is reassembled and placed back in the holding device. The welding pencil is attached to the positive terminal and the alligator clip is attached to the negative terminal.
To begin building up the shank, the ABI pulse-arc-welder is set for 35 volts on the high energy setting. 14-karat yellow gold 30 gauge round wire is used as a filler material for building up the shank. The round wire is positioned on the edge requiring build up and the ceramic collar on the weld pencil is placed directly over the top. The electrode is recessed about 0.5 millimeters. The energy for welding is discharged by depressing the footpedal. The ABI pulse-arc-welder instantly recharges and the procedure continues until sufficient new metal has been melted to the weak area of the shank.
The alligator clip is connected to the negative terminal of the welding unit. It is attached to a third hand holding device that’s holding the ring for welding. The 30 gauge wire is held directly in the operator’s hand. It does not get hot or conduct electricity.
Through the welding process, excess soot will build up at and near the area being worked. It is easily removed by ultrasonic cleaning. For the best welding adhesion, this soot should be removed as it builds up.
Once the welding is completed, the ring is again cleaned in the ultrasonic. A rubberized abrasive was used to remove the excess material. All that’s left is polishing and cleaning.
Tack-, fusion- and pulse-arc equipment settings will differ and are based upon the volume, amount of contact and alloy of the material you are working with. Practicing using like materials will give you a parameter for the settings required for your application. Keep a record of settings and tasks for future reference.
This content is published in a handbook along with other welding applications. To get a copy of the ABI Handbook of Welding Applications for Jewelry Design and Repair, contact Janet Kirk at 401-461-4140