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Fusing Argentium Jump Rings -- Pitting and Scarring

Hello All,

I know there are a lot of different discussion threads about fusing argentium but none have addressed this specific problem:

I make Argentium silver chains and fuse the individual links. I find that when I use a third hand above my Solderite board and fuse the links it takes a lot longer for the metal to fuse (Presumably because most of the heat isn’t reflected back to the metal from the board) and once fused, the fused portion of metal is pitted and scarred on the surface. This problem doesn’t occur when I fuse jump rings directly on the Solderite.

I use Rio’s My-T-Flux and a Smith Little Torch running on a propane-oxy setup. In this case I’m working with 18g wire and using a #4 tip on the torch.

Does anyone know why this happens and how it can be avoided? I mass finish chains so the deep pitting is a little hard to polish away or resolve. I have heard in one place that this tends to happen with propane rather than acetylene. any help would be greatly appreciated

Get a graphite casting stirring rod. Sharpen it with a pencil sharpener. Place it in a third hand. Fuse the chain links on the graphite rod.

(Way back when, I won $25 from Rio Grande for this tip:)

Jette Sorensen


The problem is likely metal vapor from the third hand clips contaminating the silver.
If you’re using an inexpensive, hobbyist quality third hand the alligator clips are made of cheap stuff. You need one that has clips with tungsten tips. They’re pricey, but they’ll resist even the heat of platinum soldering.
You could try to adapt the one you’ve got with new tungsten tips, but it may be more cost effective to buy a new one.
Jette’s graphite rod solution is less expensive.