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Argentium in at Rio Grande!


#1

I called today and was told that they do have Argentium and Argentium
solder in stock. I was told that they are carrying round wire,
half-round wire, square wire, and sheet stock. They are carrying the
solder in both wire and sheet.

Sojourner


#2

I had RG fax me the two pages pertaining to available Argentium
stock.

They are carrying:

Round wire in even guages 8 through 26, and 19 guage (but not 21g,
which seems weird to me, I’ve never used 19g wire but I have used
21g wire for earring wires).

Sheet in even guages 14 through 30.

1/2 round wire even guages 6 through 16

Square wire even guages 10 through 18.

I was hoping for 1/2 round and square wire down to 22g or 24g, but I
can get a drawplate and draw it down if I have to. As long as I
have the half-round or square to start with it becomes a trivial
problem to draw it down (as opposed to trying to turn round wire into
something other than round wire with only a drawplate).

Argentium solder in 20g round wire and 30g sheet.

They’re also carrying reticulation silver now.

Sojourner


#3
Argentium solder in 20g round wire and 30g sheet. 

But notice they only have EASY solder - no hard or medium.

SilverSorceress Designs
Unique, handcrafted Silver and Gemstone Jewelry
http://www.silversorceress.com


#4
Argentium solder in 20g round wire and 30g sheet. But notice they
only have EASY solder - no hard or medium. 

Remember that Argentium melts at a lower temperature than traditional
sterling. AFIK, you can only use easy solder with it anyway.

Sojourner


#5
Remember that Argentium melts at a lower temperature than
traditional sterling. AFIK, you can only use easy solder with it
anyway. 

Stuller’s “Metals” book, for example, lists the following:

Traditional sterling:
- melt 1640 F / 893 C
- flow 1750 F / 954 F

Argentium Sterling:
- melt 1410 F / 766 C
- flow 1610 F / 877 C

Stuller offers Argentium Sterling (AS) solder in three grades: Hard,
Medium, Easy. Each has melt and flow temps slightly less than the
corresponding grade of regular sterling silver solder.

All three grades of AS solder are perfectly usable. There is no known
or reported reason why “you can only use easy solder”.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
www.touchmetal.com


#6
Remember that Argentium melts at a lower temperature than
traditional sterling. AFIK, you can only use easy solder with it
anyway. 

Just because argentium sterling melts at a lower temp than regular
sterling doesn’t mean that you still don’t need hard, medium and
easy. Other suppliers provides all three grades of argentium solder.

SilverSorceress Designs
Unique, handcrafted Silver and Gemstone Jewelry
http://www.silversorceress.com/


#7

Has anyone found argentium round wire in 28 ga? I weave a bit and
like 28 ga for my weft. so far all I can find is 26 guage. I tried it
and it too large.

Betty Belmonte


#8
Remember that Argentium melts at a lower temperature than
traditional sterling. AFIK, you can only use easy solder with it
anyway. 
    Just because argentium sterling melts at a lower temp than
regular sterling doesn't mean that you still don't need hard,
medium and easy. Other suppliers provides all three grades of
argentium solder.

Actually I corrected myself in another posting. Regular sterling
solders in extra easy, easy, and medium grades were recommended for
use with Argentium.

The new Argentium solders in “easy”, “medium”, and “hard” do not
correspond to the same named grades in traditional sterling solders -
the melt/flow temps are lower for the Argentium, so that each grade
of Argentium solder is approximately equivalent to the next grade up
in traditional sterling solder (eg AS easy approx. Sterling
extra-easy).

Sojourner


#9
    Has anyone found argentium round wire in 28 ga? I weave a bit
and like 28 ga for my weft. so far all I can find is 26 guage. I
tried it and it too large. 

Hi, Betty, I bought a drawplate from Otto Frei
(http://www.ottofrei.com, Part # Part No.: 019.135A) that will take
you down to .26 mm, or about 30g. It cost me $60. It will last
forever and it’s easy to draw wired down. You may have to anneal
though as drawing the wire will work harden it. To my knowledge, 26g
is as small as Argentium comes in round wire right now. On the other
hand, Argentium doesn’t work harden as much/as fast as regular
sterling, so just drawing it down once from dead soft 26g to 28g may
still leave it soft enough for your purposes. I can’t say for sure,
but it certainly seems worth a try.

Sojourner


#10

Hello Betty,

I understand that Hoover & Strong (www.hooverandstrong.com/) have
it. Don’t know pricing, etc, so you’re probably best off contacting
them directly.

Someone else was speculating on the degree to which Argentium
Sterling (AS) would harden in a step down from 26 to 28 g. That’s
about a 26% reduction which would, in my experience, increase the
hardness a bit but not a lot.

Assuming you started with dead soft 26 g you’d end up with 28 g that
would be noticeably less than “half hard” and, given the nature of AS
to be more ductile, you would find it would still be fairly pliant.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
www.touchmetal.com


#11
    I understand that Hoover & Strong (www.hooverandstrong.com/)
have it. Don't know pricing, etc, so you're probably best off
contacting them directly. 

Don’t get it from them, they practice line item pricing (eg you
can’t add up all the silver you buy to get the quantity discount by
weight).

Go with Rio Grande, they have the most variety as well as giving you
the quantity discount for ALL your silver, argentium, sterling, and
fine, all added together.

    Someone else was speculating on the degree to which Argentium
Sterling (AS) would harden in a step down from 26 to 28 g. That's
about a 26% reduction which would, in my experience, increase the
hardness a bit but not a lot. 

That was me, and that was my guess. Starting from dead soft. Or
extra-dead-soft, which apparently you can get by asking for it when
you order. Don’t know if they’ll charge you extra for that, but it’d
be worth it to get it super-annealed to start with if you need to
draw it down and don’t have a torch so you can anneal it yourself.
Then it’ll be even softer after you do the one draw-down.

Sojourner

Who forgot once again to twist the wire for my studs so I ended up
trying to burnish them hard after tumbling didn’t work-harden them
enough. Yes, Argentium really DOES work harden much more slowly
than sterling - those were Argentium studs!

Maybe I should just throw it all in the oven and precip-harden it.
(Pattern wire is not available in Argentium, and I don’t have a
rolling mill, so I made a bunch of earrings using sterling pattern
wire and argentium round wire for studs last week - nearly all of my
round wire stock is Argentium…)