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Loop in loop chain fabrication - looking for perspective

Fellow Orchidians…

When fusing rings for loop in loop chain fabrication, I find that I am unable to find the right rhythm for quenching each ring following fusing. My work process just seems to flow nicely by fusing and moving along all the rings on my charcoal block. Each ring though cools naturally without ever taking a bath.

I am working in fine silver and 22 kt with 22 gauge wire … 7mm ring size.

My question to the community here is … by skipping the quench during ring fusion am I fabricating a chain that in some way possess inferior metallurgical properties?

Should I go back and re-engineer my fusing process to incorporate quenching?

Or, should I open another Budweiser and move on to ponder a different topic perhaps more worthy of synaptic brain activity?

Paul Cobet

I doubt that it is going to make much difference. You could reheat the entire chain when it is done and quench it. I don’t think I would bother.

Hi Paul,
I’ve never had an issue with loop in loop chain making and no quenching. Not sure it makes any difference being non-ferrous metal - what is your thought on why you are concerned about not quenching? From what i’ve observed, you shouldn’t have any trouble.
good luck

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Heat it all up when you are done and quench it. This may give you a more consistent initial color from which to start your polish. Since you are using fine silver, you don’t have to worry about removing fire scale. Good luck!

Ntorok … i appreciate the response.

I asked because it’s been widely taught that quenching after annealing is important in re-arranging the crystalline structure of the metal and establishing a “proper” metallurgical state.

I was just wondering if the practicality of this principal holds real importance in the loop in loop chain application. And that I was somehow sidestepping a principal that would indeed have some meaningful affect on the property/Quality of the chain I’m putting so much time into.

I am interested in what others will have to add here… I love this forum and have learned so much by reading the discussions.


Paul- On fine silver, quenching will not make a difference. Some metals quenching matters. But not .999 silver.
I would not anneal and quench after it’s all done because fine silver is so soft to begin with you don’t want your finished product to be so soft that it distorts when handled or worn.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
I sure hope you are being paid for all of the prep time you are putting into your workshop. Be sure to charge for this time so that you can buy more and better beer:-) Sorry I live in Portland where we take our beer very seriously.
-Jo Haemer

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Hey Paul,
well i learned something new. I thought the heating, not the quenching did all the metallurgical goodness. I’ll have to learn more about the pros and cons. Thx for sharing.

I made a chain for myself about 15 yrs ago, fine silver never quenched and have had no problems with it. IMHO its much more important to get the fusing correct then to quench the piece after reheating it.

Never had a problem w/ my links not being quenched. Just finished a custom 24" loop in loop in FS last month, no problems. I’d drink the beer and move on :slight_smile:

Thanks all … your experience is much appreciated.

Jo … you say quenching is not important in FS … where does quenching become important? Is 22 ky gold in the “need to quench” realm? I’m happy with the process I have established in fine silver and am looking to gradually move into 22 kt but due to the investment want to go at it down the best path. It’s amazing how fusing 22 gauge wire has improved my handling of the torch.

Thanks again guys!!!


Paul- Quenching 22 KT is not necessary. Quenching is more of an issue about
what not to quench when dealing with white gold alloys. Also pink, rose,
red golds MUST be quenched after casting or heating.
I love working with high karat golds. Fusing is a dream. But wearability
and polishing can be an issue. I’ve found that tumbling in stainless shot
or pins does a much better job than standard buffing procedures.

It is my understanding that air cooling nonferrous metals allows the to harden somewhat. Quenching stops the hardening. With fine silver being so soft to begin with I don’t think quenching matters.

Esta Jo–just got back from Iceland…awesome!