Could someone please educate me on the subject of alloying ? Or
rather alloying, ingot pouring, annealing and wire or sheet
forming ? Silver is easy. My problems begin with gold. Let me
start by what I have already done.
I heat a crucible and then place my alloy( 750with 50/50 Ag
and Cu) inside.
I use a reducing flame from an oxy/hydrogen rosebud tip to
melt the mix until it’s nice and shiny and then pour it into the
pre-heated ingot mold (450 F ). Out comes A shiny ingot .
I then tap the ingot all around to align the molecules with my
I heat the ingot just a little beyond the point of turning
red. I think to about 1200 F and wait untill the red leaves and
quench in de-natured alcohol.
I start reducing in the mill about 50 % and then anneal as in
I repeat step 5 and 4 and then the cracks start to appear.
When I start to pull it through the drawplate the skin of the
ingot starts to shed . I can only get 2 or 3 holes between
My drawtongs break off the end of the wire, I go flying
across the room and my knee hits the wall and now, 3 and a half
hours later I have an 8 ft. length of wire, a badly wounded knee,
a hole in the corner post of the dry-wall and a cold beer to
nurse my wounds.
All of this to make a chain for a necklace because I have not
found any machine made chains that are worth more than their
weight in gold. And also because I am a Jeweler and not a chain
retailer- am I nuts or what?
Also, if anyone is still reading this longwinded letter, when I
am pouring alloys from the crucible into the water to make
casting grains ( shot) is their any “story” from the grains on
why they turn out other than the pretty pictures you see from
precious metals dealers. For example, the above alloy(750 Au,
50/50 Ag, Cu) when poured into the water came out long like earth
worms chopped in
three’s with the colors of copper and silver and gold all
swirling across the surfaces. Hence, do the grains tell if the
metal was too hot or not mixed properly.
Thankyou all at orchid for being so generous in any reply you
may offer to help a chained man free himself .