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JBerry

Solid 18K Gold Lug Repair Advice

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Hey guys,

I picked up an old boxed Seiko Cronos in 18K solid gold from Japan,
I am absolutely delighted with it, however I noticed one of the lugs has a little bit of sideways play.
The bond between the lug and the case appears to be cracked, as I hope I've shown in the photos.
I'm wondering what the best way to go about this repair is, is there some kind of epoxy I could use to secure this? or is soldering/resetting the bond possible with a conventional soldering iron?

Thanks so much for the advice in advance, I know there is a lot of information available on soldering lugs online, but given that my lug is still in place, and is partially secured I hope there is a simpler solution.

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Thanks for the reply guys! Now I just need to find a jeweller I can trust with it. Anyone have any recommendations for someone in the UK or Ireland I can send it to?

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I went to a well recommended local jeweller...

He advised me in order to solder the lugs he would have to bring the case up to such a high temperature that it would likely warp the case.

Is there any truth in this? Before I went in he was confident he could fix it, but made this claim based on the shape of the case.

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He doesn’t want the job.

Technoflux cool paste is a heat insulation paste used to protect areas not requiring heat when soldering e.g. stones, areas of metal or solder joins. The paste is applied liberally to the area, heat is then applied (during soldering),

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13 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

He doesn’t want the job.

 

Technoflux cool paste is a heat insulation paste used to protect areas not requiring heat when soldering e.g. stones, areas of metal or solder joins. The paste is applied liberally to the area, heat is then applied (during soldering),

 

Thanks again OH, that's a relief. Now to find someone that does want it... is there anyone in the UK you would personally recommend?, I would be content to post this off. Otherwise I can try a few more relatively local places and the NAJ list Mark sent.

Edited by JBerry
punctuation

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It could warp the case, though someone competent with a torch would have a low risk. Perhaps they've already gotten bit by picky watch folks in the past and just don't want the potential headache as OH said.

Many jewelers now can do laser welding but that won't be as strong as soldering on this job.

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Ok, as a jeweler I can tell you that if this came in my store, I wouldn't secure this lug with anything other than my laser welder. Can it be soldered, probably, but no jeweler is going to want to use hard solder, so it will be done with easy solder. I can almost guarantee that the solder will flow around the crack as well as in it. This means more cleanup and being such a tight space, well, thats another reason I wouldn't use solder. Not all 18k are the same, there are different shades in color.

Lasers definitely have limitations, but in the years I have had mine, I have never had an issue with yellow gold or platinum, especially high karat gold. In the laser its like butter and produces an very secure joint. Remember that solder is a special alloy formulated for heat, while lasers use actually gold wire and basically work like a tig welder. 

Lastly, if you seek out a jeweler with a welder, make sure its a laser welder and not a puck welder. These are not as precise nor as clean in their function. Here in the states anything done on the laser starts at $30.00 and goes up from there, so it shouldn't be crazy expensive.

Good luck

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On 10/30/2018 at 1:45 PM, oldhippy said:

He doesn’t want the job.

 

Technoflux cool paste is a heat insulation paste used to protect areas not requiring heat when soldering e.g. stones, areas of metal or solder joins. The paste is applied liberally to the area, heat is then applied (during soldering),

 

You are absolutely correct on this and heat shield would be a good idea if soldering is the preferred method of repair. However, remember that when any type of heat shield is used, it essentially works as a heat sink which means the torch has to be cranked up to compensate. Being that this is an 18k lug, only an experienced jeweler should attempt this. I say experienced because here in the states, there are too many "jewelers" that are amateur at best. They think they can handle something like this and what you can be left with is a melted lug. 

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Thanks for all the answers guys! I'm going to take the safer option of having it laser welded, a jeweller got back to me with a thorough description of how he would tackle the issue based on the pictures and a fairly reasonable quote, plus I've heard good things about him. Which is probably the biggest factor for me. Will revert back to the thread when I get it back. Fingers crossed!

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