Professional Jeweler Archive: How to Prepare a Remount Using Tack-Welding Techniques

June 2003

Professional Bench/Welding Technologies

How to Prepare a Remount Using Tack-Welding Techniques

Knowing how to tack-, fusion- and pulse-arc-weld at the bench saves time, increases quality and drives up profits for your shop and service department

Tack-welding a setting onto a mounting offers the bench jeweler many advantages over traditional assembly methods, including:

1. Tack-welding provides a quick, temporary working weld between the setting and the piece of jewelry, enabling a salesperson to show customers how a piece would look before soldering, final setting and finishing.

2. After tack-welding, settings are easily removed and repositioned (in the case of poor alignment, for example), making it easy to achieve a professional layout and appearance.

3. When settings are tack-welded in location, they don’t shift when using traditional torch soldering techniques for the assembly.

4. Solder can be tack-welded at each joint, decreasing the time required for the overall soldering process.

5. No cumbersome holding devices and heat sinks are required to hold the settings, allowing for less heat from the torch and reducing the potential for overheating and excessive oxidation.

6. Preassembly is accomplished in a fraction of the time it takes with other methods.

Materials for this project include a 14k yellow gold ring mounting and various-sized 14k white gold settings.
Good contact between the setting and ring is essential for tack-welding and soldering. Prepare the prepolished mounting for assembly by notching the area where the head will be located using a ball or bud bur.
For these materials and the amount of contact, the ABI Tack II tack-welder was set to the high energy setting at 40 volts. Secure the ring in the pliers lead or the optional ring clamp lead (not shown). Firmly hold the setting to be tack-welded with the tweezers lead. Depress the foot pedal to complete the process. NOTE: Firm pressure and good metal-to-metal contact free of debris is essential to complete the tack-welding properly .
When new, the brass tweezers lead has sharp inner edges. Sand or file to soften them before using.
Ensure all settings are arranged and aligned to professional specifications. If not, use moderate finger pressure to remove the misaligned setting from the ring. Rebur where the setting is to be replaced and then tack-weld.
After tack-welding the settings in position, tack-weld easy-flowing ball solder at each solder joint. Use the optional vacuum attachment for this procedure. For these materials, the ABI Tack II tack-welder was set on 30 volts on the low-energy setting. The arrow indicates a ball of easy solder that’s being held on the lead by vacuum pressure.
Firecoat the ring and preheat. Flux each solder joint and solder the settings in location. Pickle and rinse.
After the soldering is complete, prefinish using a magnetic finisher to brighten hard-to-reach areas of the assembly.
The ring is ready for setting and final finishing.

IMPORTANT: All tack-, fusion- and pulse-arc equipment settings will differ, based on the volume, amount of contact and alloy of the material you assemble. Working with like materials will give you a parameter for the settings required for your application. Keep a record of settings and tasks for future reference.

For questions related to this process, contact Mark B. Mann at, (406) 961-4426.

This installment on welding technologies is sponsored by ABI, Cranston, RI. For general information on ABI equipment and procedures or a list of distributors, call Janet Kirk at (888).

By Mark B. Mann

Photographs Mark B. Mann
©2003 Visual Communications

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications