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Exploding hollow bodies/repair silver electroforms


#1

Hi folks, I have designed and built electroforming systems for a
number of years and what we use for soldering parts and seams on
these items is a solder presently available from S.R.A in N.
attleboro mass.It is 96% tin and 4% silver… melts around 400
oF and requires a white metal flux which SRA also sells. he has
it in wir, pellets and paste. some Silver electroforms have the
wax left in them ,will fall apart and are not repairable. Other
Silver electroforms are are actually plated over cast plastics.
Pure silver is used as an anode in the solutions and due to the
process, the electroforms are hard…however, as Peter Rowe
mentioned, you will have a soft mushy piece that cannot be
rehardened if you attempt to use any kind of silver solder.
Another thing you might find in some electroforms that are
stamped Sterling is that they are not near sterling at all.
Many producers use copper as a base to start the process… and
due to their machinery and lack of knowledge in somecases… they
allow the piece to stay in the copper bath for a while, until the
copper has a nice shiny finish…well thats already too much
copper. If a weight test were done in production, on a large
ornament weighing 10 grams finished… you will find that when
the item comes out of the copper bath(if the manufacturer would
weigh it , which they do not)to get that bright finish, it
rquired over 3 grams of copper…(this Piece would be , let’s
assume , a rd ball 2" dia.) well, when you do the math 10 Grams
-3 grams copper = 7 grams silver… your at70% not 925 The problems
in soldering this piece is that the silver and copper can peel
and you may see bubbles on the piece. In this case, to save the
piece, burnish the bubble down. The systems that i have built
require non of the above mentioned methods and are at a 95%+
silver consistency. These electroforms are RARE and are only
available at a few of the top named stores in America. A few
Very Famous designers also have them.There are some private
individuals who have done similar systems… My basic point is
… repair them with the low melt solder… this solder finishes
to a close aproximation of sterling color when polished. Hope
this helps some of you out. Daniel Grandi Racecarjewelry.com