Just some more observations on Argentium Sterling.
My friend and I spent some time working with fusing/granulation with
Fine Silver after watch Ronda Coryell’s CD. I decided to move on to
all Argentium components after completing a few fine silver samples.
I found that Argentium does not like the kiln approach. The kiln
gets the metal too hot. It will break when lifted off the plate. The
yellow ocher coating on the back of the piece made no difference. I
thought this would happen because of the much lower melting point of
Argentium and the hot short characteristic. I went to working with a
compressed charcoal block and torch. No problems once you remove the
torch and give the metal a moment to cool.
Tried putting the granules and wires down with the
glue-flux-water mix. I found the carbon build up tended to make
seeing the flash at the contact point difficult. By the time the
carbon burns off, you are too close to the melting point. Tried
using just flux…Batterns. Better. I finally tried saliva. (Don’t
drink coffee at the same time or you will have the carbon problem
from the sugar residue) It did the best and cleaned up the easiest.
There seems to be a wider temperature window at the point of fusion
with Argentium. This was not eutectic soldering. I was able to keep
the Argentium wires and granules much crisper than with the fine
Had to try 18K yellow gold and Argentium. Nice! Very nice.
Again,spit did the best job. I find watching that fillet form really
exciting. I had no trouble with the gold melting into the Argentium.
I’ll try 14k in a day or two. I am curious how the lower melting
point of the 14k will affect the fusion. The temperature windows
should be narrower.
The torch was air/acetelyne, #3 tip (Goss).
We need more holidays. Can’t seem to find time to play otherwise.