Hi, I am working to anneal a bezel after being soldered to a back-plate of sterling silver. I have annealed it until it turns glowing red and then let is cool. I have tried many times with the same silver and it is still so hard that I can’t bend with my finger. What can you suggest? Thanks
Quench it once it cools below glowing. Around 900F. Colling sterling silver slowely, hardens it. If you’ve done this many times, you will have increased the grain size quite a lot, so you may not get quite as soft, but it should be settable. Note too, that simply bending Sterling with a finger isnt the same as bending fine silver. Even fully annealed sterling bezel can be surprisingly hard, especially if its a little thicker than usual. The real test isnt whether you can bend it with fingers. Can you bend it with tools? Thats what they are for after all. Your enemy isnt so much harder metal, its whether that metal is too springy to stay tight, or do you move it to set the stone, only to have it spring back so you cannot get the stone tight without putting too much pressure on the stone during setting? When that happens (wait till you have to set 18k nickle white gold bezels. You’ll miss your hard sterling)
Hi dsidweel, take a look at Rio’s vidio’s on working with Argentium.
It may or not be Ronda Coroyal but another lady, who has just the most beautiful torch flame. She works the torch from a corner of the bench and produces this beautiful Aura which she moves over the bench and covers the piece with this beautiful flame.
If you go to George Jensen’s, gallery there is probably a black and white photo of the silversmiths silver soldering up tea pots. These blokes have their spools of solder behind them and are feeding it into the tea pot with their other hand and there is only a (one) single touch point. Rio’s vidio and combined with the beautiful photo is a real inspiration to the work of a silversmith, that many jeweller’s no longer see, as we have moved away from town gas and a air torch with foot bellows.
Are you air cooling it? Try waiting until the red heat is gone and quench in water while still hot.