Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Hard Soldering - Nickel silver question


#1

Donna, I’d say you are the perfect example of someone who’s gotten
the knack for something most people don’t find so easy. Your use of
14kt solder is very interesting - possibly a real solution to working
with NS. I am a goldsmith - I use Sterling as a utility metal, and
nickel silver as throw-away shim stock and the like. Although I’ve
soldered everything there is over the years (not really, of course),
including NS, I’m not expert at it, like yourself. My thoughts were
more that a (rank) beginner could choose a more amenable metal at
first.


#2

Donna, I’ll have to go with you. In my presentation this year at the
Santa Fe Symposium what your saying is one of my main topics for
reducing defects in production casting. For production models I
highly recommend nickel silver models and gold solder. The reaction
that sterling models have to the sulfur in the natural rubber molds
cause all kinds of production defects as more and more molds are
made. The silver solder pits, the silver surface gets rougher and
rougher, and the typical production mold cutter doesn’t stop to clean
them up. Even if they did, it would actually make matters worse
because of the change in configuration of the models over time.
Don’t you ever change and please could you forward your sources of
nickel silver sheet and wire to the rest of the orchid community.
You should start a movement.

Best Regards,
J. Tyler Teague
JETT Research
(Jewelry Engineering, Training, and Technology)


#3
   please could you forward your sources of nickel silver sheet and
wire to the rest of the orchid community. 

Nickel Silver sheet and wire can be purchased from:

Indian Jewelry Supply Co.
601 E. Coal Avenue
Gallup, NM  87301-6005
(800)545-6540    or    www.ijsinc.com

Contenti Company 
123 Stewart
Providence, RI  02903-4000
(800) 343-3364   or   www.contenti.com

HTH,
Donna Shimazu


#4
     The reaction that sterling models have to the sulfur in the
natural rubber molds cause all kinds of production defects as more
and more molds are made.  The silver solder pits, the silver
surface gets rougher and rougher, and the typical production mold
cutter doesn't stop to clean them up.  Even if they did, it would
actually make matters worse because of the change in configuration
of the models over time. Don't you ever change and please could you
forward your sources of nickel silver sheet and wire to the rest of
the orchid community. You should start a movement. J. Tyler
Teague, 

I must be living in a vacuum, thirty years (5000+, two thousand
currently in use) of making molds from sterling silver models, and I
have not had the experience of models degradating from the
sulfur,
the model just gets very oxidized. And spraying the model with a
silicone mold release can give a smoother surface but I rarely do
that, as the piece is tumble or hand polished with no perceivable
loss of detail. I have made multiple molds from one model and the
worst case is that I have to red rouge polish the piece and it’s
ready to mold again. I have been making models with sterling and it
is easy to work with, there is no down side for me. Lack of
technical skill or personal predjudice might be what affects outcome.
Richard in Mile High City, sawing, soldering, fusing casting, ect. my
way to heaven where ever I am geographically


#5

Dear J. Tyler Teague,

The reason I replied to your post, was that I thought there was
misfor less knowledgeable Orchid members.

 Where I often work it is not unusual to make 10 molds of the same
model in one work day , which is rarely in the USA.  These same
mold cutters are normally expected to cut between 6 and 7 molds per
hour, every hour, all day, every day.  Cuts happen."  
Since I believe that most Orchid members make one mold or two

perhaps of the same model, like I may, working in nickel would be a
disadvantage in the time and difficultly I would experience in
workin with a metal that is harder for me to work with. In my case,
fabricating in nickel would be a disadvantage. The details of your
post to my reply supports why I posted what I did. Your need to do
what you do is totally appropriate for your need. The information
you posted was for something so out of the realm of most
metalsmiths on Orchid, it didn’t make sense to me that there was any
advantage.

When I nick a model with a surgical scalpel, I have never had any

problem polishing the piece, remolding and I don’t have any
significant change in the detail of the model.

I have been refered to by a goldsmith I make molds for as an artist

in moldmaking, as passed on to me by the goldsmith that had been
refered to me. And I was told that the goldsmith that refered me
rarely complements others.

I only cast about 500- 1000 pieces per week. For myself, and some

other metal artists, and a bread and butter charm line. I would be
interested in how you could save me money.

Richard in Denver


#6
   For production models I highly recommend nickel silver models
and gold solder.  The reaction that sterling models have to the
sulfur in the natural rubber molds cause all kinds of production
defects as more and more molds are made.  The silver solder pits,
the silver surface gets rougher and rougher, and the typical
production mold cutter doesn't stop to clean them up. 

I make my master models in sterling because I find it a much easier
metal to work with. (I don’t like to draw down nickel for tubing and
it is not as easy to burnish.) To avoid the problem that Tyler
mentions above, the vendors that mass produce from my models rhodium
plate them before molding when they are using conventional vulcanized
mold rubber. I know rhodium plating is pricey (especially if you are
plating thousands of models)- but it keeps the surface nice and
avoids that weird sulfur skin that you get with silver and vulcanized
rubber. When they are using vulcanized silicone molds it isnB9t
necessary to plate the models. I use a curved blade to cut my molds-
it reduces marring the models by about 90 percent- as the sharp part
of the blade is on the inside curve. Just my 2 cents (I love this
forum and the diverse opinions expressed.

Thank
you Hanuman and Ton!)
Best Regards,
Kate Wolf, Portland, Maine- jewelers heaven if you don’t mind veeeeeeeery
long winters (summer is on August 18!).
http://www.katewolfdesigns.com