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Balling up Argentium Sterling


#1

What is the deal with balling up Argentium silver…at least 20
gauge or smaller. The larger size works fine. I’ve tried different
angles, 2 different torches, and 2 different torch heads and nothing
works. I finally switched back to sterling got balling purposes. Any
tips here. All is appreciated!

Aimee Domash:-)


#2

all the argentium I have gotten from rio grande - regardless of
gauge - works great. i’ve had issues w/ others.


#3

Aimee -

Sorry to hear you are having trouble with the Argentium! I’ve gone
away from standard sterling because the Argentium worked so well, &
no firescale! The only thing I can offer is that if you are on a
charcoal block, then get yourself a new NON-charcoal block just for
Argentium. It does need the oxidizing atmosphere, and charcoal is
such a head sink it might be getting in your way.

Kelley


#4

Aimee

I use a lower flame much lower than you would for the larger gauge
wire. For the 20 gauge, I use my acetylene/air smith torch to ball
up the wire. The larger gauges I use the propane/oxy tiny torch.
Argentium needs less heat, or less intensity heat to do the balling
of the wire.

Good luck -
Susan


#5

I had problems when I first tried to ball argentium wire until I
realized that fluxing the wire made all the difference. It then
balled up beautifully.

Grace


#6

Hi Aimee Domash,

I find that the smaller gauges ball up more easily. When I have
trouble balling the ends of wire, I find that the trouble is usually
that the wire still has oil on it from the manufacturing process. In
that case, scotch brite solves the problem, generally. Flux on the
end of the wire also increases the success rate.

I hope this helps!

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#7
I use a lower flame much lower than you would for the larger gauge
wire. For the 20 gauge, I use my acetylene/air smith torch to ball
up the wire. The larger gauges I use the propane/oxy tiny torch.
Argentium needs less heat, or less intensity heat to do the balling
of the wire. 

I forgot to say I hold the wire I am going to ball up in cross lock
tweezers and bring it to the heat from the top of the flame. I judge
the diameter by eye and then I set the wire to cool before I put it
in the pickle to clean.

Susan


#8

Thank you Cynthia, Grace, Kelley, and artsy girl (sorry don’t know
your real name),

I purchased my Argentium from Hoover and Strong, which is the place
were Cynthia gets her silver, I believe, so the composition should
be correct! I don’t normally use flux when balling up sterling so I
didn’t think to use it with Argentium, however it is apparently a
great aid with Argentium. The below process is what I did and it
worked great!!!

I filed the wire a bit and sprayed it with some Prip’s flux. When I
heated it, I held the torch back a little more than normal and it
balled up beautifully. I also tested it with some old Handy flux and
that worked too!!!

Thanks for all the input!!!:slight_smile:
Aimee D.:slight_smile: