I have a chunk on 22K gold, and I want to try and fashion it into a (probably crude) ring. Do I just start pounding on it? Does gold work harden? Do I need to anneal occasionally? Any basic caveats? How did people do it 3,000 years ago?
try a search on the lost wax method....
you make the wax into the ring you want....
cast plaster like material around the wax....
then pour molten gold into the mold displacing the wax...
makes nice rings...
not too hard to learn to do....
Ask Alastair Hosie
This was bread and butter to him.
My wife made a nice gold and platinum medallion
out of fillings- with the lost wax method.
You will find 22 kt. very nice to work with.
You can beat on it a long time before it needs annealing.
I am just finishing a large mans ring in it now.
The only trouble you might find is soldering it.
I use 18kt. yellow gold solder,bought from Hoover and Strong.
The color is a little off,but it may not matter.
Make the ring thick enough as 22 kt. is not very strong.
It is easy to turn a ring freehand (try it with aluminum). After buffing it will look like it came out of a jewelry shop.
Don't lose any of the chips.
Gold is always soft, but will work harden if it is alloyed. One maker anneals it at 1750 F for 20 minutes (see below). If you are using an alloy you will have oxidation problems unless you have a furnace with atmospheric control. Good arguments for not using an alloy.
You can also forge rings. When rings are made commercially they are made from forged shanks. Here is a link:
Instead of making a ring from a shank you can forge the gold directly into a ring on a tapered steel boss. You can cold forge it if you have a lot of patience or hot forge it (if it is pure) just like Sauron !!! You are LORD OF THE RINGS!
You may want to use pure gold. It will give better results on several different levels and be noticeably more workable.
Haven't done any jewelry investment casting in a while, but have everything necessary somewhere in the shop. The centrifugal casting machine, the investment material and flasks, the burnout oven, and the wax to make the models from. Also have gold solders, flux, and the like. Would be happy to show you the stuff, or possibly lend it to you. Be glad to have you stop by on one of your trips to or through Charlotte if you are interested.