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Argentium & Keumboo Experience


#1

Hello,

I had an experience with a piece I put together recently. I used
mostly Medium Argentium Solder and some Easy Arentium Solder. When I
proceeded to heat the piece on my hot plate to apply gold leaf for
Keumboo my solder joints opened up (joints I had soldered with
Medium). I had the hot plate set between low and medium so it
shouldn’t have been hot enough to open solder seams. I went back in
and resoldered the seams with regular Easy SS solder so I didn’t
lose the piece but the Argentium solder did flow into an area that I
was trying to Keum boo and it caused an awful cleanup problem. Has
anyone else experienced this? In subsequent pieces I returned to
using regular sterling solder - I’m just not liking this argentium
solder yet.


#2

Hi, I have done 3 pairs of earrings, which I soldered the posts onto
with either Argentium medium or easy solder, and then did the
keumboo. I had no trouble with the solder, nor the keumboo.

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#3

I am about ready to begin experimenting with the Argentium Sterling.
The packet of metal is whining loudly now, use me…use me…I am
lonely in this cabinet…

In relation to Keum-Boo, how does the oxide layer affect the raising
of a fine silver surface? I would think that this in would interfere
with the bonding of the gold and silver. I have been over all of the
blogs and sites that I can find looking for an answer or at least a
clue to how this works. No satisfactory answer yet. Reticulation fits
in here too.

Comments? At this point I really don’t know what questions to ask.

Bill Churlik
@Bill_Churlik
www.earthspeakarts.com


#4

Hi, I have found that Keum-Boo works best if there is not a
germanium oxide layer—that is, it works best if the surface is
freshly abraded.

I was not able to successfully reticulate.

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#5

Cynthia,

Did you do the normal process of heating and pickling to raise the
fine silver before doing the Keum-Boo? This is what I am trying to
figure out. Can the Argentium Sterling be depletion gilded? My
impression has been that the oxide layer would prevent the depletion
of the copper.

I am a bit confused at this point.

Bill Churlik
@Bill_Churlik
www.earthspeakarts.com


#6

Hi Bill,

Did you do the normal process of heating and pickling to raise the
fine silver before doing the Keum-Boo? This is what I am trying to
figure out. Can the Argentium Sterling be depletion gilded? My
impression has been that the oxide layer would prevent the
depletion of the copper. I am a bit confused at this point. 

I tried keum-boo experiments and found that the bonding works best
on freshly abraded Argentium Sterling. The gold does not bond as well
to a heated and pickled surface. It seems to work fine, though, if I
heated to anneal or solder, pickle, and then I sand or otherwise use
an abrasive to clean off the germanium oxide coating.

So, the answers aRe: No – do not do the “normal” process of heating
and pickling to raise the fine silver. And no—though Argentium
Sterling turns whitish-looking after heating and pickling, it’s not
the same fine silver coating as with traditional sterling, since
there is germanium oxide on the exterior (it’s pretty much
transparent).

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#7

Cynthia,

Just want to make sure I am following your method for Keumboo on
Argentium. You would completely construct the piece, get it all
cleaned up, heat it to bring the Argentium back to the surface and
to harden the metal, then abrade the surface you want to apply the
gold to as the last step?

Quite honestly, when I did my Keum boo on an Argentium piece I simply
sweat soldered a piece of fine silver to the argentium because I did
not realize the Argentium would accept the gold, but as I said in a
previous post, I did have some problems with the sweat soldering when
I used Argentium Solder, both in getting the Argentium solder to flow
well and then subsequently having it flow too well on the hot plate -
go figure??


#8

Cynthia,

Thank you. I thinks I understand finally. Now for the bench tests.
This is going to be fun!

I did a simple fabricated ring the other day after a few experiments
with the solders. I was pleased with the results. I found the metal
to be a bit “gummy” like copper" while engraving the side leaves.The
Argentium silver solder definitely flows differently (hard & medium).
I also have done a little Fold Forming. It hammers much better but I
did manage to fuse the first two pieces together on the ends. The
color for annealing is so much harder to see, even in a darkened
area. I will try the marker trick next time.

Thank you for your help. I am looking forward to geting a handle on
this material.

Bill Churlik
@Bill_Churlik
www.earthspeakarts.com


#9

Hi Grace,

Just want to make sure I am following your method for Keumboo on
Argentium. You would completely construct the piece, get it all
cleaned up, heat it to bring the Argentium back to the surface and
to harden the metal, then abrade the surface you want to apply the
gold to as the last step?

I don’t always bother to harden everything, if it does not seem to
need it, so I did not harden the earrings I did. And, I would not
worry about bringing the germanium to the surface----for one thing,
Stern Leach has adjusted the manufacturing process, so that the metal
should be arriving with a nice germanium oxide surface; also, the
heat of the kumboo process would take care of that anyways.

If, however, I wanted to harden the piece, I’m not sure it would
matter whether the hardening was before or after the kumboo. In any
case, though, I have found that a freshly abraded surface worked
best.

Guess we’ll have to experiment to see whether hardening affects
things…

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com