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melting with borax

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shadowman52

Post October 25th, 2008, 9:08 am

melting with borax

I did something wrong and need some advice. I use reverse electroplating and sulfuric acid to extract gold from processors. filtered out my black stuff dried it burned off the filter in my crucible covered with borax and heated with mapp torch the borax liquified and turned a deep brown almost like glass the gold is suspened in it what did I do wrong?????
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lazersteve

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Post October 25th, 2008, 9:39 am

Black Powder from cell

First off you did not purify the black powder by dissolving it in HCl-Cl or AR and precipitating a second time.

Secondly, it appears as though your torch is not hot enough. A good hot torch will turn the borax very liquid and allow the gold to agglomerate in the bottom of he dish. The brown color is a good sign you have very impure gold.

Search the forum for 'black and powder and cell' , you will find lots of information on how to proceed with black powder from the cell.

Steve
Last edited by lazersteve on May 2nd, 2009, 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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peaksilver2012

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Post May 2nd, 2009, 2:35 pm

Tried melting powder....

that I bought on ebay. Ended up with tiny bright gold pieces that amalgamated in the borax. Does it need to be refined in AR first?

Still getting my feet wet.... ;)

Preston
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Harold_V

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Post May 3rd, 2009, 2:50 am

Re: Tried melting powder....

peaksilver2012 wrote:that I bought on ebay. Ended up with tiny bright gold pieces that amalgamated in the borax. Does it need to be refined in AR first?Still getting my feet wet.... ;)

Preston

Not sure what you mean by amalgamated-----but if you find that the gold you melted is dispersed in the flux, and you can't get the tiny bits (prills) to agglomerate, forming a button, melt the flux once again, adding some soda ash to the mix.

Stir the flux with a carbon rod as you melt the soda ash to insure that it blends well. You will see the color of the flux change, going lighter in color, and becoming more fluid. That should liberate the values. If not, you may have to use a collector of sorts. Lets talk about that after you've tried the soda ash.

I'm somewhat confused about what you're melting. Can you describe what you are working with?

Harold
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nicknitro

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Post May 3rd, 2009, 3:53 am

ShadowMan,

I recommend you check out LazerSteve's site, he has an excellent video on how to use the borax as a flux when mlting gold. I think you might be mistaking the process. Use the borax sparingly to just precoat the melting dish, then put your gold powder into the melting dish, and begin heating. If you still have issues with the borax adhereing to the gold, a drop in some room temp water while the gold is still hot should shock the silicates off from your nugget.

Steve's Link is right under his name in the top posts.

Good Luck, Hope to see a nugget pic from you soon.

Nick
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leavemealone

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Post May 3rd, 2009, 7:56 am

Hey harold,steve,lou.Been rather busy lately.Ok got a kiln the other day,I was telling harold about it,but Ive run into a little problem that I kinda fixed but would rather fix it completly.I think it pertains to the problem shadowman was having.The borax alone is too dense when melted and if your gold particles are very small it is a little difficult to get them to "gather".When I normally mix my flux with material for the torch,I put a little soda in(for those that don't know soda ash when melted is like water,not like borax which is more like honey consistency),to make it less dense and allow the gold to gather easier.Well when melting with a torch,as I've always done,Ive never had a problem.But now that Im using the kiln Im having a hard time getting the soda to liquify.I have no problems with the borax though,so I ran some batches using only borax.Of course the problem with running 100% borax is the expansion of it as it gets hot.The soda always "caked" and stopped this when mixed.Well the batches that I've ran using just borax are ok I guess,but after using them mixed for a while I won't go back to just borax unless I have to.Any Ideas?

Harold,mary wakes me up this morning before she goes to set up at the flea market and asked if you were taking those hurrcane straps,so I told her I was gonna ask you if you felt like taking the roof back off to use my straps instead........LOL.
Have a good sunday guys,
Johnny
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Harold_V

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Post May 3rd, 2009, 1:49 pm

I think I'm leaving the roof on, Johnny! :lol:

About using soda ash when melting pure gold.

Long ago I advised a method for cleaning badly coated and sticky melting dishes. It involves the use of soda ash, melted, which then alters the state of the coating on a dish, returning the dish to a useful condition, albeit at the price of some thinning of the dish. Soda ash has a strong appetite for dissolving silica.

As everyone knows that reads my ravings, I am not an educated person, and I certainly have no credentials where chemistry is concerned.

Having stated the above, one of my observations when cleaning melting dishes is that the flux coating, which had darkened considerably and is very sticky, slowly forms beads of metal---beads that are never evident prior to treatment. From this I have drawn a conclusion, perhaps wrongly, that soda ash reduces oxides of metals. GSP says that's not true----and I respect his knowledge----but something has to explain where the button of metal comes from-----and the fact that the color of the flux slowly lightens as the bead forms is pretty damning.

For the record, I am well aware of prills, none of which are ever evident prior to the soda ash treatment.

OK, now that I've gone through all that---my point is that pure gold requires no flux. If you need flux, your gold is questionable in quality.

I readily admit that adding a trace of borax is helpful, for pure gold never really is----it's just that the percentage of contamination is so small that it ceases to be troublesome. It is for that reason, along with allowing the molten gold to flow freely, that I advise a thin coating of borax on a melting dish, with none used in addition aside from an occasional light sprinkling when the dish starts getting sticky. I followed that routine for years and had excellent results.

Back to the use of soda ash when melting pure gold. I never used it, and I still speak against the idea.

Here's why.

If my observations of metal forming when soda ash is applied to dirty flux is correct, what soda ash does is reduce oxides, returning them to the values, which is exactly opposite that which is desired. Borax alone will absorb the oxides.

Until I have conclusive evidence that I am wrong, I will maintain that soda ash has no place in melting pure gold, that if it improves the appearance, it's strictly by recombining the oxidized base metals with the gold, lowering it's quality while making it have the appearance of being pure.

Harold

Edit: If you want a thin flux, use some fluorspar. It makes water thin flux, and it takes very little to accomplish the task. Be advised that it is correspondingly hard on crucibles and furnace lining.
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peaksilver2012

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Post May 3rd, 2009, 3:08 pm

Harold,

Thanks for your suggestion. Will try soda ash today, while I have time off. :)

The gold I'm referring to is dust and flake I bought off ebay to experiment with. Not sure if it's even real gold, but am trying to melt it nonetheless. I'm using mapp gas and when I melt with direct heat, I get tiny gold pieces? that remain mixed with the flux.

I bought the Shor system before I found this forum, so now that I have it, I'll use it for some 14k chains/rings I have for refining practice until I get more acquainted with Hokes' book and the "deep well" of data on this forum. I was also wondering if it would make sense to dissolve the flakes/dust first and precipitate then melt? Still learning the lingo and processes. Feels good to be "back in school" after so many years. :)

Preston
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leavemealone

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Post May 3rd, 2009, 3:26 pm

Harold,
I'll try to limit the use of the soda if I can.I am melting very dirty gold so unfortunately I need the added flux.But I'll try to keep it to borax and minimal soda.Im scared to use the fluorspar because I just got the kiln and dont want to chance messing it up.On a side not,I just got 10 pounds of pins for free,all I have to do is split what I get.
Talk to you later,
Johnny
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Harold_V

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Post May 3rd, 2009, 10:51 pm

peaksilver2012 wrote:The gold I'm referring to is dust and flake I bought off ebay to experiment with. Not sure if it's even real gold, but am trying to melt it nonetheless. I'm using mapp gas and when I melt with direct heat, I get tiny gold pieces? that remain mixed with the flux.

Yeah, just as I suspected. The treatment with soda ash will help, although melting with MAPP gas may not provide the needed heat unless you are also using oxygen. You will have to heat for a prolonged period of time. I used to do it by torch myself, but in the fume hood, where I avoided the smoke completely. I also used oxygen/natural gas, with a large Hoke torch.

It is important that you get the entire lot hot and fluid, otherwise you shouldn't expect desired results. I expect part of your problem is the system you're using.

I would have suggested testing a few of the bits with nitric before attempting any kind of operation, then if it was found to be gold, I would have processed with acid before attempting to melt. When gold is finely divided, even if it has a reasonable amount of silver contained within, it lends itself very well to dissolution via AR----much easier than melting to a solid mass, at which time you may be forced to inquart in order to purify the material.

Harold
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Harold_V

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Post May 3rd, 2009, 10:57 pm

Johnny,

Nice score on the pins!

Regards soda ash and fluorspar, each of them are hard on a furnace----and may be even more damaging to one heated by electrical resistance. It might pay to keep a close watch on the condition of the coils and avoid using either of them if you see damage being done. Also, post what you discover, so others can benefit.

Harold
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lazersteve

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Post May 3rd, 2009, 11:22 pm

Melting GOld with MAPP gas

Harold wrote:... although melting with MAPP gas may not provide the needed heat unless you are also using oxygen.


Check out my latest video. I use straight MAPP gas to melt 3.5 grams of gold powder in just under 7 minutes. The video is called 'Using the Mini-Firebrick Furnace' and is in the Melting Videos Section at http://www.goldrecovery.us

Steve
The proof is in the pudding.
Purchase refining supplies and DVDs --> Lazersteve's Store
Click Here for the -->Guided Tour Link
Find anything on the Forum FAST!!!---> Click Here
Click Here for -->Stannous Chloride Recipe and Testing Results
What is in Lazersteves DVD's ?
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leavemealone

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Post May 4th, 2009, 12:01 am

Johnny,

Nice score on the pins!

Thanks,but it gets better.He brought over 2 bags totaling just over 12 pounds.I was thinking about running them in the cell,but I've never rans pins in the cell before and I am a little worried about trying it for the first time with so many pins you know?
Johnny
Everything that is gold,doesn't always glitter.
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nicknitro

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Post May 4th, 2009, 1:44 am

LeavemeAlone,

Nice score,

If you are wary about the sulphuric cell, I suggest you as always read into it more, and start with a small scale operation. Try like 3 - 4 ounces just to get a feel for it. I feel the E-Cell is a fairly efficient refining procedure for pins. Relativey safe as well. At any rate, good luck as always bud.

Nick
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leavemealone

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Post May 4th, 2009, 9:16 am

Thanks nick,
I have used the cell many times over the years,Im just concerned about using it on pins.I have never had a problem using it on regular material,and I have ran pins in it before one at a time.But a few pounds of these pins are hollow in the center,thats where my concern comes in.Im thinking about just doing them one at a time and trying the screen on some other material.
Johnny
P.S. anyone wanna see a pic of them?
Everything that is gold,doesn't always glitter.
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glorycloud

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Post May 4th, 2009, 10:40 am

Steve,

Great video on your melting furnace - THANKS!!!!!!

You're my hero!! :-)

g_c
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nicknitro

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Post May 5th, 2009, 2:12 am

LeaveMeAlone,

I think this would still be a viable refining procedure. I could probably help you out if you wanted either a stainless screen, or copper. Steve uses a copper screen to do mass quantities of pins, it's slower, and you may have to move the pins around, however it is still cheaper than nitric.

I have seen on here to patents for a self agitateing cell, which sounds ideal for mass quantities of pins. I can't seem to find the link right now.

Hell yes we wanna see pics, I was wondering the average lengths of your pins.


OH, found a good link.

http://goldrefiningforum.com/phpBB3/vie ... light=cell

Good Luck,
Nick
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yvonbug

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Post May 19th, 2009, 1:43 am

Boy, that's alot of pins!

I wanna see pics of the pins! Please? PS, you seem to have a very nice friend. :P
" The gleam in MY eye is only the sun shining thru the hole in my head" ("my" used to = "his") I just didn't wanna be sexist.
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manorman

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Post September 20th, 2009, 4:19 pm

Re: melting with borax

I melting gold powder in my Mini-Firebrick Furnace today my borax flux came out an emerald green, does this mean it had a lot of copper in the powder ? that woud be my guess but not positive, thanks in adavance.
Mike
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teabone

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Post September 20th, 2009, 7:40 pm

Re: melting with borax

Could be copper or nickel , depends on what your source material was.
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