All the discussion on how to heat-harden sterling silver reminds me
to ask how best to anneal (soften) sterling? I’m used to annealing
base metal, which is very straightforward, but when I applied the same
style to annealing silver, it didn’t get any softer. Apparently
there’s a certain temperature range, and I’d appreciate advice on how
to “find” it.
I have looked up the subject in some of my books. McCreight (p. 2)
suggests using paste flux, which becomes clear at 1100 degrees, the
proper annealing temperature, and heating to a dull red + quenching
as soon as the redness disappears. Sprintzen (p. 13) suggests a
similar procedure. McGrath (p. 15) says, heat silver to a dull pink
and hold there for a few seconds before quenching, and suggests that
the best flame for annealing “is about 1 inch or so from the end, at
the point at which the orange center meets the blue section.” [ibid.,
How does this work for you? Is quenching really necessary? TIA!