I have a hard time fabricating a way to make silver ingots that come
out close to the right size to work with my roller. If I use the ones
I have purchased for this, they are to thick and I end up either
filing a considerable amount off, or annealing and using a hammer and
anvil to get them down to size. I don’t like doing either, and both
are probably the wrong thing to do.
I have tried using casting sand to make an open, one sided form of
my correct size, but am having troubles getting the amount of silver
correct. The end product is either budged to high on top, or sunken.
Will this way work, and is there a good way to figure how much
material I need to fill the fabricated mold?
These are just ways I have tried on my own, and I have no idea if
they are even close to anything correct or even workable. So I am
open to any and all suggestions on making this. I don’t really have
the money to buy anything else right now, and I am already looking
into a place to send my silver scrap to possibly trade for stock,
especially being made aware of the drawbacks, thanks again Orchid, to
working used silver.
My favorite way to make an ingot a certain size is this…take two
charcoal blocks. Hollow one out the size and depth you want. Melt
your metal in the recess. While molten, press the other block on top.
Hold it a few seconds, and there you have it. Be sure to squirt your
charcoal block with water when your finished. This will stop the heat
from burning it up, prolonging the life of your block.
I also got tired of the hassle with ingots being the wrong size for
my roller. So I made one for my self that is adjustable and it has
served me well for the last ten years or so.
Go check out Making Adjustable Ingot Mold
Any questions, just feel free to ask.
Cheers, Hans Meevis
It sounds like you need a combination rolling mill, or one which has
both flat rollers as well as grooved rollers. The grooved rollers
are for refining and reducing ingots, however odd shaped they might
start out. You are looking to create a square ingot, at the correct
width, which you can then either flatten, or shape into half round
with the mill. The square ingot can also be pulled through a
drawplate after you have tapered the end with the rolling mill
Lots of possibilities…
I have a hard time fabricating a way to make silver ingots that
come out close to the right size to work with my roller
I don’t have a real clear picture of all you are asking, but here’s
some thoughts. Unless there’s some reason for you to get a “whole”
ingot, you don’t need to. Just pour it either until it’s full, or
until your metal runs out - it doesn’t have to be pretty. I used to
carve a space into a charcoal block for ingots. I also make small
ones on the bench using self-locking tweezers. If you get flashings
and bulges, you can fire polish those away - melt the outside, but
not so hot the whole ingot melts. Lastly, you are opening your
rolling mill up? If you open the rollers, you can begin with an ingot
that’s 3-4 times the size of the first slot - the ingot doesn’t have
to fit into the first square - you roll it down to the first square.
And bulges will even out - just be gentle (light increments) until
you get it through the first whole slot.
Most Ingot molds are 5mm thick a standard set by Italy. Some small
rolling mills have a maximum capacity of 4mm opening. The best thing
to do is get the adjustable Ingot mold and you can grind the sides on
The base on the fixed side can be removed by unscrewing from under
Place the two plates on a flat surface with both sides facing up.
You can now use a belt sander or get it done on a surface grinder. By
doing both together you eliminate the problem of having to square
For smaller jobs you can get a mini adjustable ingot mold that is
basically two plates with three sized inserts.
Ingot molds can be made by bending wire into a “U” and holding it
between two pieces of steel. Bend the tops of the “U” out a bit to
form a funnel. Cut little notches every 3mm or so along the edges of
the wire that will contact the steel for vents. Use wire up to 10ga.
or so, then go to sawn strips of metal to make the “U” if you want a
thicker ingot. Lightly oil (avoid hydrogenated oils for health
reasons!) the wire and steel plates. Assemble with “C” clamps, using
one or two to hold the mold closed and two more at the base to hold
it up vertical. If you stagger the steel plates so one is a little
higher than the other you will have the higher to pour against. Heat
the plates until the oil smokes. With your third hand melt the metal
and pour very quickly into the mold. Sometimes it takes a couple of
tries to get a usable ingot. Use a metal pan to catch spills.
Instead of oiling, the plates can be coated with soot from your
acetylene torch. Wear safety glasses, leather shoes, long pants, keep
your hair away from the hot stuff, and use positive ventillation. I
cast ingots one by two inches by 10ga. reliably this way. Charcoal
works well instead of steel plates, but is expensive. Warm the
charcoal to drive off any water before using. The ingot seems to be
more workable if you forge it with a hammer and anneal before
It is usually more cost effective to send scrap to a refiner and
order what you want unless you need non-standard alloys.
No, that purple gold alloyed with aluminum in not mallable. Not at
I only just mentioned this before. For small amounts of metal, like
under 8 dwts. or so, I make ingots on a charcoal block with
self-locking tweezers. I have 3 ingot molds, and crucibles and
melting dishes, too. If you get those nickel plated tweezers with the
wider tips, not the skinny, red handled variety, then melt your
till it’s just fluid, and straddle it with the tweezers and close
them some, the metal will run along the tips, making a long ingot.
It’s difficult to describe, but very simple to do. Dip the tweezers
water first. Also, any ingot will benefit from fire-polishing, which
is when you heat enough to melt the surface, but not to melt the core
of the metal. Makes it nice and smooth.