In particular, I'm wondering about heat-hardening of the alloy, and
any tips people have for trying to solder it for the first time.
Thank you for your interest in the blog. As the Orchid guys mentioned
its called "Working With Argentium Silver" and is at
Regarding the heat hardening you might want to look at the following
entries in the blog:
- "Precipitation Hardening, Part One" at
- "Precipitation Hardening, Part Two" at
- "Precipitation Hardening, Part Three + Conclusions" at
The bottom line with the heat hardening is that it's easy and very
effective. I've made it standard procedure for most of my designs.
As to soldering I think you'll find it fairly straightforward. As you
know Hard grade solder is not recommended because it takes you
dangerously close to Argentium's slump temperature. Medium grade is
fine for most fabrication work. Standard silver solder is what most
of us are using on it though specific Argentium solders should be
One soldering trick I've taken to using lately is to roll my sheet
solder through my rolling mill in order to thin it out. I take it
down to about .005 inch and then cut it into chips just like normal.
The advantage of having the thin chips is that they melt faster and
don't "ghost", both of which help when you're trying to be careful
how much heat you're pumping into the metal during soldering.
As mentioned here and elsewhere you need to readjust your visual cues
a little when it comes to heating and soldering Argentium. Argentium
doesn't show it's heat colour as readily as standard sterling so
you'll want to be a bit cautious with it at first. I just dim the
lights in my studio in order to see the heat coloring better. It helps
if you have a dimmer control right at your bench which is what I've
Last but not least you need to be aware that Argentium will "slump"
sooner than standard sterling would when you're heating it. It's not
a big deal but you'll want to provide a little more support for larger
and/or flat pieces than you'd need to with regular sterling.
If I can be of any further assistance please don't hesitate to ask.
in The City of Light