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Heat Hardening Fine Silver


#1

Is if possible to heat harden fine silver? I made some ball headpins
and also some fused jump rings and was looking for a way to make
them as hard as possible.

irene


#2
Is if possible to heat harden fine silver? I made some ball
headpins and also some fused jump rings and was looking for a way
to make them as hard as possible. 

Nope, only works with some but not all alloys so any pure metal like
fine silver cannot be heat hardened. So cold work is your only
option

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#3

simply rub the headpins between some leather stropping,& tap the
jump rings against a rubber anvil or filing block with a leather
hammer to work harden the pieces…often just a well used (and
therefore less abrasive) polishing cloth is enough to work harden
pins and rings…using thick enough wire for the rings, even in.999 is
adequate so they will not bend or distort…

rer


#4

As far as I know, fine silver can not be heat hardened, only work
hardened. Since you probably won’t want to hammer your head pins, I
would suggest you twist them which will have the same effect. Grab
both ends of your head pin with pliers and twist them (for a head
pin, try a 360 degree turn). I do this when I solder ear posts onto
earrings to work harden the part of the post that was heated during
soldering.

For the jump rings, I’m not too sure. If you could hammer them a
bit, that would help.

Good luck!
Allison
www.goldwork.com


#5
simply rub the headpins between some leather stropping,& tap the
jump rings against a rubber anvil or filing block with a leather
hammer to work harden the pieces..often just a well used (and
therefore less abrasive) polishing cloth is enough to work harden
pins and rings..using thick enough wire for the rings, even in.999
is adequate so they will not bend or distort.. 

This reminds me some of the homeopathic medicine ideas wherein some
agent presumed (seldom actually tested in any way) to help with an
illness is diluted highly, then a bit of that solution is again
diluted, and the process is repeated until the chances of any
individual molecules of the original theraputic agent even being in
the solution is very small, and this solution now is essentially pure
water with nothing in it, yet is claimed to have retained some sort
of “memory” of the theraputic agent, and thus to be effective as a
medicine.

if you want to believe in homeopathic medicines, be my guest.
They’ll do no more harm than a drink of water, or whatever else the
carrier solution is, but don’t expect them to have anything but a
placebo effect.

And with work hardening, the only way a metal work hardens is if the
metal actually deforms. Friction, sonic waves, light shock vibrations
from a gentle rubber mallet, or similar good wishes aimed at the
metal won’t do anything but give you some physical exercise. The
shape has to change and the elastic limit of the metal exceeded so
that the crystals it’s made of become distorted and stretched, and
the grain boundaries between those crystals become also stretched and
distorted. If that doesn’t happen, the metal is not going to be work
hardened.

To do it doesn’t need the metal to be squashed flat. Bending it back
and forth or twisting it may distort the crystals and work hardening
it while maintaining most of the overall shape intact. Tumble
polishing with steel shot rubs the surface hard enough to burnish and
flow the surface layer of the metal, so even if the overall shape
remains the same, metal has been moved, crystals have been distorted,
and work hardening has taken place, at least on the surface of the
piece, which is often enough (tumble polishing with steel shot is
often one of the best ways to address the OPs needs, by the way,
because it does give some hardening as well as improving surface
finish, but without greatly distorting the overall shape, so long as
the work has no sharp crisp edges that would be rounded over too
much.).

Note that for any of this, the elastic limit of the metal has to be
exceeded. Bending it a little, just to the point where it will spring
back to it’s original shape causes transient stress, but little
permanent hardening. After a very long time of repeated instances, it
might start stress cracking in some metals, but it’s not actually
distorting and reshaping the metal crystals, so it’s not actually
increasing the hardness. If it’s bending and flexing enough so it
does NOT fully spring back, though, then it will be increasing the
hardness. Slowly, but nevertheless.

A polishing cloth is not going to harden the metal at all, unless
you’ve found a way for it to be changing the metals structure. Same
thing with a gentle rubber mallet or rubbing with a leather strop.
The rubber mallet, if used hard enough to flatten, or significantly
flex the metal, might make a difference, but that’s not what you’ve
described. A steel hammer, enough to slightly flatten the rings or
wires, is more what’s needed. With straight wire, twist it. Keeps
the shape, but distorts the metal, thus hardening it. Remember, it’s
not enough to simply surprise the metal, wake it up, polish it, or
send some friendly vibrations and karmic energy through it. The metal
crystals have to be changed in shape permanently, and the boundaries
between the crystals likewise flexed and stretched.

Remember too, that fine silver work hardens fairly slowly. That’s
why it’s popular for things like bezel wire. To get any significant
degree of real hardening, you have to work it equally significantly.

Peter