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Fusing silver


#1

hi joy. I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for. . . but in
the various processes I use, we often ‘raise’ sterling silver to fine
silver by repeatedly heating it and pickling it, heating and pickling.

I don’t actually know what ‘pickle’ is - I just go to the jewelry
district and buy it! but we use it all the time in metalwork -
whenever we heat the metal we pickle it to clean it. you ought to be
able to purchase pickle in any jewelry supply place. at our studio we
keep it in a crock pot to keep it warm. when you take pieces out of
the pickle, use ONLY copper tongs - if you use steel or iron or
anything else, it will actually ‘plate’ the metal.

to raise sterling silver to fine silver, you should heat and pickle
about 5 times.

hope this was some help!!!
cheers,
tereze gluck
@Tereze_Gluck


#2

Hi Yall: Sodium bisulfate is the preferred pickling agent today, a
few years back it was sulfuric acid. What it does is to remove the
coppers and zinc’s from the outside few microns of the surface.
repeated pickling is not as necessary as the temperature of the
pickle and the length of time it has been setting. Quenching a warm
piece in the acid also increases the effect. for best results every
piece should be pickled after every operation except for the final
polish. Stainless steel can also be used to take the pieces out of
the acid and eliminates the problem of possible copper plating from
the tongs and bimetal reaction. Happy New Year Ringman


#3

Thanks to all of you for your input on torches, silver,
flexible-shaft tools–this is a great board. (Due to a hard drive
problem, I lost the name and E-mail address of a nice person who
responded off-list, which is why I haven’t thanked you personally.)

All the questions I posted were for just one project, a loop-in-loop
chain. Getting better at fusing wire into loops–which means only
that more of them are coming out whole. The thickness is often
uneven, which I guess means the metal has been heated a second too
long.

What does it mean when the fused section is mirror-shiny but the
rest is a matte white?

Janet


#4
    What does it mean when the fused section is mirror-shiny but
the rest is a matte white? 

It probably means something terribly intersting on a molecular
level, but as far as you’re concerned? It means the ring is ready
to be used.

-Spider (ever the pragmatist)


#5

Hi Spider,

What does it mean when the fused section is mirror-shiny but the
rest is a matte white? 

It probably means something terribly interesting on a molecular
level, but as far as you’re concerned? It means the ring is ready to
be used.

Don’t you mean ‘Polished’? (BG)

Dave


#6

I splurged and bought an Ultra Light tabletop kiln to help with
making those jump rings. I had planned to keep practicing with the
torch alone, but finally decided to get the kiln as a late birthday
present to myself. It was, after all, a MAJOR birthday–the kind
that makes you realize that delayed gratification no longer makes
sense!

I’m still working with a butane mini-torch. The flame is strong
enough and the price ($7) is right–but it’s too small for working
on rings in the kiln. My hand has to be uncomfortably close to the
heat.

I assume that the solution to this is to get a “real” torch with a
long neck, so my hand will be out of the heat. Any opinions on the
Hoke torch? It’s $50.

Janet-