This is my first time to the forum and the reason I joined was to get help with Mokume Gane. I wanted to make a Mokume Gane ring for someone and need some help. Firstly, I am a beginner to jewlery making but have experience with metal work (ie. I have access to mill, lathe and welding equipment). I also have access to high temp furnaces (w/ temp controls). I have sorted my questions by the fabrication steps:
1) In regards to the billet, what combinations of metal are no-no's, and where is a good source for the raw material? Since the furnace temperature for fusing depends on the metal compositions I wanted help with different metal combinations. I was leaning towards a combination of red gold and white gold, anyone have experience with this? As for what I want it to look like, please refer to Fig.7 here (http://www.mokume-gane.com/Pages/What_is_Mokume.html). I like more of the earthy look as opposed to the shiny look that silver and platinum brings.
2) I was planning to fabricate torque plates for compressing the billet while it fuses, will stainless steel do the job? How much torque should be applied to the plates?
3) In regards to the fusing, the furnace I was planning to use has a max. temp of 1550 F. Given the combination of metals suggested what temperature and how long would I need to heat treat the metals? I have a preference for diffusion fusing since liquid fusing sounds like it requires more experience. Also, where is a good source for the steel bags?
4) The major question mark in my mind for doing this is how to flatten the billet after its been fused. It seems to me that the billet should be less than 1cm before I can begin 'patterning'. Should I plan for the initial billet to be less than 1cm before I fuse (what is the normal dimensions for the billet before and after fusing)? Also what should the dimensions be before patterning? Furthermore, after patterning, how do I continue to flatten the billet to the thickness of the ring?
5) I saw another topic on this forum in regards to soldering the finished ring strip. There didn't seem to be a concensus on the type of solder to use. Obviously it will depend on the metal composition chosen, but what is the best way to do it so that the pattern looks continuous?
Sorry for all the questions, but the information online seems to be alittle thin in regards to the specifics. Please reply with as much information as possible, even if you feel it is unimportant. Thanks!!