Balling the second end

Hi all, I feel pretty silly posting this, but I could use some help.
I want to ball both ends of fine silver with a bead or piece of
chain in the middle. I have no problem balling the first end but
once I put the bead or piece of chain/metal or both on the wire I
cannot get the other end to ball. I do not have a propane torch,
I’ve been using a butane torch. Is that the problem?

Thanks in advance for any pointers.



What you’re trying to do can be tricky and butane may simply not be
hot enough to get it to work. Keep in mind that once you add a piece
of chain or metal to the piece, you’ve added a relatively huge heat
sink - the way that silver works, you have to overcome that in order
to get the second end to ball up.

By using oxy/propane or oxy/acet, I’ve accomplished this by simply
getting that end of the silver REALLY hot, really fast… let it ball
and get the heat off of it.

If you’re using any type of stone bead, or a bead that’s not metal
with a melting point higher than silver, you’ll also need to use a
heat sink to protect the bead (such as keeping it under water or
wrapping in wet tissue paper) while you’re balling up the wire, which
adds to the heat sink problem.

I assume that threading the ball onto the other end of the silver,
or some other type of cold connection to it isn’t an option?

Hope this helps!
Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry

I agree with all that Karen said on this…just a couple of
additional points… I often put a washer (thin) with a Very small
hole over the end of the wire to provide the heat shield that Karen
mentions. Also, the only way I’ve been able to consistently get this
to work (and I’ve exploded a LOT of amethysts… have thought about
calling my rock band “Exploding Amethysts”) was to use a very tiny
VERY HOT oxy-acetylene flame. Takes a little practice, but it’s very

Barbara Louise Bowling