I have a lot of cut-off stuff left over. I've heard that I
can melt this down.
G’day, R - I work almost entirely with sterling and fine silver,
and carefully save all my scrap pieces - I use a piece of soft
leather beneath the cutaway in my bench and sweep the scraps and
filings into an old slide box which has the bottom cut out and
replaced with metal gauze from an old kitchen flour-sieve. This
separates the filings from the larger pieces.
I use a flat crucible (available from any of the jeweller’s
suppliers) to melt the silver with a small oxy-propane flame.
You’ll need a rod mould if you intend to make wire, and/or a
mould to make bar-strip. These are also available from the
suppliers. I simply place my little flat crucible on a piece of
pumice (NZ is volcanic!) or a firebrick then heat it from above
with the scrap in place - using a flame that has a tinge of
yellow (which helps avoid oxygen dissolving in the molten silver,
which it likes to do) I have already heated the iron mould and
clamped the two halves together with a small C clamp, and
arranged things so the mould tilts at about 45 degrees.
When the silver is really molten, I sprinkle a little flux (I
use Easy-flo, but borax is quite good) on the liquid silver, and
keeping the flame playing on it, carefully pick the crucible up
with a pair of strong pliers and gently pour it into the DRY!!
mould. (Practice this!) If the mould is wet you’ll get the silver
shoot out again over your workshop, so never have the mould
opening pointed towards you! If all has gone well you will have
silver rods or thin bar. Now you need to ‘get round’ a jeweller
who has a rolling mill to enable you to reduce the bar and rod to
a thickness able to be drawn into wire or sheet. I’ve got a good
mate who lets me use his.
I use a home-made rod and bar mould, a home-made drawbench, and
even home made wire dies (6mm for tube-making down to 2.5mm, for
my commercially made dies take over from that size)
One more point: try and keep scrap which has been silver
soldered, separate . Silver solder contains zinc, and this can
cause minute bubbles in recycled silver, which in turn produce
tiny Vee shaped ‘jags’ in the wire. I save that up and when
there’s enough I cast it together with filings into a bar then
refine it electrolytically to get pure silver - which I make
into thin strip for bezels. But then; being retired, I have
spare time to recycle silver rather than buy it! No professional
jeweller could afford to waste time recycling - other than gold.
If you want to know more, just give me a shout, eh? Cheers
/ /__| \ @John_Burgess2
At sunny Nelson NZ in late winter/early spring with lambs, daffs, tree
blossoms etc. Cold starry nights, cold sunny days