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Balling fine silver


#1

Hello everyone, I make my own head pins from fine silver using a
small butane torch. I’d like to put my head pins through some of my
woven chain with a bead on one side of the chain and then ball the
other end that comes out the other side of the chain.

The problem is, the heat is being transferred to the chain,
oxidizing it and the fine silver isn’t balling.

What do I need to do?

Thanks!
Leanne Elliott Soden


#2

Leanne, what kind of torch are you using? I do ball ends with
a propane/oxygen Little Torch, and go in very hot.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA


#3

Hi M’lou,

I’m using a small butane torch. It works really great to do one end
of the fine silver, but once the gemstone is on and it’s put through
a sterling link bracelet it doesn’t ball up on the other end. I just
ended up oxidizing the bracelet. I’ve heard of a gel that Rio has
that you apply that blocks the heat from transferring, I’m wondering
if I need that? I have a larger propane tank, but I’m afraid I’m
going to blow myself up!!! LOL

Thanks so much for responding!

Leanne
Leanne Elliott Soden


#4
I'm using a small butane torch. It works really great to do one end
of the fine silver, but once the gemstone is on and it's put
through a sterling link bracelet it doesn't ball up on the other
end. 

That’s because the heat is being drawn away by all that mass. The
only way I’ve found to make this work (with silver) is to do the
second ball with a tiny, super-hot flame such as you get from a
Little torch or a Meco Midget, which both use fuel/oxy. You still
need to protect your stone by wrapping in wet paper, submerging, or
using a product like Kool Jewel.

One other type of approach that has been mentioned on this forum is
to drill a tiny hole, just big enough for your wire, through mica
and string that on to protect the stone and metal, or try the same
with wet cardboard. I haven’t tried these. But I suspect that
without the really hot, small flame, nothing will work.

Noel