Hardening a tube catch


I made a very small tube catch for a good sized silver box, and
what with all the added soldering etc, the tongue of the tube catch
has become very soft. I could tumble it in my little rotary
tumbler with steel shot, but I’m afraid the tongue will warp or
break off. I could tap it with a hammer, but I’m afraid it might
stretch the tongue. I could polish it, but I’m afraid it will
catch and rip off. I’m sure I’m missing something, or else I’m too
darn paranoid. Anybody have any great wisdom to offer?

Thanks tonnes!!!

Tobey Robinson
Adoremus Creations in Metal
Burnaby, BC, Canada

I would go for the tumbler for a short period of time. It
shouldnot warp or tear off. I use mixed steel shot and porceline
(<-sp) 2mm and 3mm beads. Not quite as heavy as straight shot. Joy
from IL

Try age hardening it. Place the annealed item in a furnace at
600F for 30-45 minutes. This will not be as hard as cold-working,
but it works pretty well. Let me know how it works.

Chris Maugham

Tobey- I’ve done a few of these tube clasps, the first one I did I
made the tongue in silver as it sounds like you did. I tumbled mine
in steel shot for about 8 hrs. and had no deformation, so that’s
what I would do if I were you. The rest of them have been made in
nickle as it is a much harder metal, aside from having to be
careful when putting the piece in Ni pickle. they work fine.


Tobey, I can’t give any definitive help with this problem (I
would tumble it and then polish it) but for future reference,
Cookson Metals (in the UK) now offer heat-hardenable 925 silver,
which becomes VERY strong on heating. I have used it for brooch
pins and settings and it’s great, although it is rather difficult
to use as it can’t be shaped after soldering.

I’m sure that there must be a supplier of this in Canada. If not,
mail me and I will send you the details for Cookson.

Yours aye,
Dauvit Alexander,
Glasgow, Scotland.