I had such great plans for yesterday! And then we had an ice storm, and were without power for the whole day, so none of that got done.
I did go some way to making it up today, though. I have 2 Xmas-or-sooner deadlines, and I made progress on both, including a lot of progress on the more elaborate one.
It's a somewhat complicated pin that will have 7 stones set on it. 6 of the stones will be set into tubes, which I have, so that's not my main concern; the central stone, however, needs to have a setting built- plus the pin itself needed to be "poofed" because having it perfectly flat would have looked dumb.
I'd planned to poof it in the hydraulic press... but as soon as I got the gold sheet, I knew that that simply wasn't going to happen; it was way to stiff, even at dead soft. So I rolled it out a few times, annealing it periodically. Today I rolled it again against a manila folder; I really love that texture. Then another annealing, then I tried it in the press.
Well- it did poof. A wee tiny bit. I debated, then taped it to the form and manually poofed it a bit more, and now it looks nice.
Also: thus far, I am not impressed with any of the firecoats I've tried with kiln annealing. I may have the Pripp's working again; I added a fine nylon mesh to the end of the tubing in the bottle, and hopefully it'll filter out the crystals that plug it. The cuprinol just did not seem to want to lay down a decent coat on my sheet. And the Firescoff laid down a decent coat, sort of, but I wasn't thrilled by its protective capacity.
So far, I think the Pripp's is the best- IF one can get it to spray consistently.
Anyway. I now have textured and poofed sheet for the pin. However: due to the annealing, the color is closer to green gold than the 18k "royal" yellow I'd bought. Sigh.
I am thinking that once all the constructions done, I'll give it some time- brief- in a dilute nitric acid solution, which will dissolve the silver as well as the copper, and bring up a high-karat color over the whole thing. I think if I do not expose it long, this will not impact the solder joints.
One of the stones is a warm golden-yellow zircon, so green gold is NOT the look that sets it off. Besides the fact that I loathe green gold's color. :)