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Casting with old sterling flatware


#1

Members,

I recently bought three old tablespoons on eBay (stop laughing at
me). They were stamped sterling and I think they were. I used them
to cast a bunch of pieces the other day, but when I melted them in
the crucible with an oxy-acetylene torch and a neutral flame, there
was a lot of hissing and some dark smoke given off. After the cast,
the pieces were clipped from the sprues and pickled, and the color
of the parts is a satin white, as you’d expect.

My question is this: is there a plating process that they use in
producing flatware that can explain what I observed? The hissing and
smoking had me thinking that I should abort the mission, but I
continued anyway because of the time spent getting to that point.
Plus I never like to think that things can go wrong.

Thanks for any thoughts,
Dave Stine


#2
I used them to cast a bunch of pieces the other day, but when I
melted them in the crucible with an oxy-acetylene torch and a
neutral flame, there was a lot of hissing and some dark smoke given
off. 

I have melted quite a bit of sterling flatware, it melted like any
sterling with no hissing or smoke. I do not believe sterling flatware
would be plated, I have not run into that. Hollow pieces, knife
handles, can be filled with wax. I would test the metal, at least
with nitric acid, green color would indicate base metal.

Richard Hart