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A Silver drinking horn dilema


#1

Well folks, I guess this is as good a way to de-lurk as any. I am
just a simple hobbyist with a major problem I can’t solve. A friend of
mine has a drinking horn made in a style similar to the ones
associated with Vikings, but has managed to break off part of the rim.
He asked me if I could make a silver band to cover the broken part
(over a year ago) and silly me, I agreed.

Now the problem; every time I try to make the band I have problems
with the joint. The basic design is two pieces of 28 gauge silver,
each one forming a collar (inner and outer), these pieces will be
capped by a length of slotted twist wire, joining the two units
together. The completed piece will then be slid over the end of the
horn and the edge of the outer collar is then formed to rest in a
groove cut round the horn. I hope this is not too obtuse. The major
problem I have is in joining the ends of each piece of 28 gauge silver
to form a circle. No matter how hard I try I cannot get the ends to
stay flush to solder them. I am down to my last 2 pieces of silver
sheet and am in dire need of assistance before I screw it up again.
Perhaps this is something beyond my plebian skills, and should
consider having the soldering done by a pro. I live in the Virginia
Beach, VA area and have no idea of where to turn to for assistance.

Any suggestions?
Thanks
Charlie
(a rank amateur)


#2

Charles,

Wiser heads on this list may have a better idea, but I have had
sucess in getting large flat circles soldered flush with the method
below.

If you lay your piece to be soldered broad side down on a fire brick
or a charcoal block, you can then place steel pins into the brick to
anchor either side until the joint is flush top to bottom. Use
binding wire to hold the circle shut if it won’t stay on its own. You
may need to “flatten” your edge so that the butt joint meets exactally
and then re adjust the shape of the rim after soldering. Another
thought that comes to mind is that you should anneal your sheet before
trying to solder. If you don’t anneal, the metal will shift around as
you are soldering.

Good Luck!

Nikki


#3

There is a technique to make a dove-tailed joint that gives lots of
surface area for your soldier. It is detailed quite nicely in the
book: Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths by Heikki Seppa. It is one of
the toughest joints I know, it will accept further hammering and
stretching.

L.J. Smole
White Fox Workshop


#4

Hello Charles, As with any long piece of flat material, when you wrap
it around in a loop, you work harden it slightly. Trying to solder it
just makes the ends wave around. Bend the piece in the circle, wrap a
piece of binding wire around the outside and tie it together. Anneal
the silver. You can then remove the steel wire and then do your silver
soldering. Have fun.
Tom Arnold


#5

It is rather difficult to describe the technique of making and
soldering a lap joint without drawings, but this procedure used in
silversmithing should be helpful. The technique is clearly outlined in
Heikki Seppa book, “Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths” on pg.13. The
lap joint is also descibed in other silversmithing books. I hope this will be helpful. JZD