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Annealing of .999 silver


#1

Seeking about annealing of fine silver (999/1000).
Tim McCraig has nothing about it, while Untracht mentions a temp.
of 300 degr. C, but nothing about quenching. Any good
suggestions? I have to use a torch for the annealing. How do I
see, when the silver has reached 300 degr. C? Anybody got some
experience here? Any suggestions welcomed. Regards from Niels in
(today) rainy Denmark.


#2
  Seeking about annealing of fine silver
(999/1000). Tim McCraig has nothing about it, while Untracht
mentions a temp. of 300 degr. C, but nothing about quenching.
Any good suggestions? I have to use a torch for the annealing.
How do I see, when the silver has reached 300 degr. C? 

With pure silver, quenching or not quenching will make no
difference, as there’s no possiblity of age hardening, etc. So
the main thing is just getting it hot enough. A kiln or furnace
set to 300 C will do it, needs a bit of time at that temp. Or
heat it till, in a dark room, it just begins to glow, which is
about 900 F (a little hotter, but doens’t hurt the metal.) At
that temp, once you see the glow, the metal is annealed. Quench
(or not, as you choose), and be on your way.

Peter Rowe


#3

Niels, I use a simple method of marking the metal I want to
anneal with a black permanent marker . It is annealed when the
line I’ve marked disappears. Let the metal cool slightly, then
quench. I’m not sure how exact this method is but it works for
me! Susan


#4

Niels, You might try an old trick a silversmith friend of mine
says he used in his chalice making days. F. Jules Reed was (is)
an old world silversmith (the thicken edge style). He says for
visual annealing, coat you item with white past flux. Now heat
with an reducing flame until the flux turns clear. The clearness
of the flux is the key. This is the proper temperature to stop
and quench. Cold water will work followed by a good pickle to
remove the flux. You may also quench directly in pickle but be
very careful not to splash the stuff. You might try it on a
practice piece to get the feel of it. Best Regards TR the Teacher
& student


#5

Hi Susan, thanks for your comment about the permanent marker.
However I think it really depends on what marker you use. Could
you please quote the brand name?

Kind regards
Niels L=F8vschal, Jyllinge, Denmark
@L_F8vschal
phone (+45) 46 78 89 94


#6

i have been using fine silver for fold forming, and has to be
annealed several times, it takes less time to annneal than
sterling. i put flux on it and wait for the flux to puddle and
turn a light white, which takes just seconds, and then quench it
in cold water. it is very flexable and easy to work with. hope
that helps. regards from sunny california.

Andrew and Jill Morrison
2197 N. Allen Avenue
Altadena, California 91001

ph (626)798-6588
FAX (626)791-0263
e’mail @A_J_Morrison


#7

Hi Niels,

Are you going to be annealing these rings for fusing purposes? If
so, turn out the lights and you will see a red uniform glow.
Zap the spot which you want to fuse and you can see the molecules
rushing to bind together.

Also, Allcraft Tool in New York sells a small jewelry kiln.
Costs about $125.00 US. Don’t know what the mailing costs would
be, but it is perfect for annealing rings. I can get further
for you, including shipping charges, if you would
like.

Ray W.


#8

Ahhh silver, the beast! Annealing is fairly easy. first you must
have a surface that does not absorb to mush heat. Coast the metal
with a boric and alcohol mix, evaporate or burn off. Lite the
torch and turn down the lights. Then heat slowly (a rosebud works
good) till you achieve a cherry red color. Let the red dull and
quench quickly, that should do the job. Do not go to shine on the
metal when red, you are getting it to hot. that should do ya work
for me!
Ringman John Henry


#9

Ray, Does this kiln come with presets (ie off, low, high) or a
dial (can set anywhere between low and high)? Basically need to
know if it can be hand adjusted as to heat into a specific
annealing range. Also, are the elements on the top or the sides
(top elements are better). I’m using my big investment burn out
oven to anneal glass beads and have about a 5% loss rate due to
difficulty in adjusting it exactly. A smaller, easier to adjust
oven would be a really nice thing to have but in the beadmaking
catalogs annealing ovens start at about $450. Geo.


#10

JEC Products, Inc. P.O. Box 111, Port Byron, Illinois 61275
makes the kiln. You can contact John Chabrian. His fax number is
11-309 523 2600. He quoted me a price a couple of years ago of
$105.00 each with $325.00 charge for replacement part, $49.00
temp control, $5.00 flat cover plus shipping charges. I don’t
have their telephone number. Hope this is helpful.


#11

Niels, The type marker I use is the Sanford “Sharpie” fine point
permanent marker. It is the only one I’ve used as far as I can
recall, but it would seem that most any would work. Sorry but
I don’t have the technicals on why it works. Good Luck! Susan.


#12

Hi Ray and all and thanks for your comments. However it is not
rings but a huge viking age beaker or bowl which I am trying to
make a replica of in the same way the vikings did it, I think
you call it stretching (according to Tim McCraig). I started
with a disc of fine silver, 2,5 mm thick and about 200 mm diam.
and should en up with something like 300 mm diam and 350 mm
high. Quite a hammering job and it would not fit into just a
little jewelers kiln. I’m used to annealing ordinary sterling
and 14K and 18K with the torch, but the low annealing temp for
fine silver was a new thing to me. However I think that all
those good ideas from this list will help me out, so thank you
all of you for your usual kindness and help. It fells great to
have such a backup-

Kind regards
Niels L=F8vschal, Jyllinge, Denmark
@L_F8vschal
phone (+45) 46 78 89 94


#13

Niels, The type of annealing torch you should use is a compressed
air and natural gas torch (propane should work also). These
produce a large but gentle reducing flame. Visually you can see
the colors clearly. You should have little trouble heating up the
entire beaker with it. The torches are not that expensive and if
you do much of this larger silver work it would be worth your
while to set one up. Regards, TR the Teacher & student


#14

Niels…I’ll verify Reeds technique. I too am a silversmith
whose output is primarily holloware rather than jewelry. I coat
my work with Handy Flux and proceed to heat it. When the Handy
Flux turns " water white " stop applying heat. Your work is
annealed. Of course this works for jewelry as well.

Sol K.


#15
    Visually you can see the colors clearly. You should have
little trouble heating up the entire beaker with it. The
torches are not that expensive and if you do much of this
larger silver work it would be worth your while to set one up.

Dear TR

Thanks for your comments. However, the problem was not at all
the type of annealing torch, but the main problem was how to
judge when you have reached the 300 degr. C. At this temperature
you will not see any colour at all from the metal, be it in
sunshine or in a completely dark room.

I have been doing some experiments on the subject. Somebody
mentioned writing on the metal with a ink marker and turned out
to function very well.

I went through the various chemicals in my shop to try to find a
medium with a melting point near the 300 degr. C. and found that
sodium hydroxide melts at 318 degr. C.

I then tried to put a little pellet of sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
in the beaker and stop the annealing when the pellet melted.
That functioned very well. The only thing is you have to be a
little carefull about the water you use for quenching as it
might have bedome a little etching.

I would like to thank everybody who contributed to solving this
little question, and in the end, I think I will stick to the ink
marker.

Kind regards
Niels L=F8vschal, Jyllinge, Denmark
@L_F8vschal
phone (+45) 46 78 89 94