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Loop in Loop Chain

Hi All,

I’m a newbie to silversmithing and have just discovered Jean Stark’s
wonderful book “Classical Loop in Loop Chains”. I use a butane torch
to solder jump rings, ear posts etc. and have a Sierra kiln for PMC in
my home. Can I use these to fuse and otherwise make chains? Or
should I invest in the Ultralite Kiln from Rio? And will some nice
soul tell me if the Little Torch can be adapted for use with
atmosphere air? I know I’ll have to get a “grown-up” torch sooner
rather than later.

Thanks for the amazing generosity and knowledge of all members of
this forum.

Lora Hart

Lora, i have made a few similar chains, i used a $30 butane Blazer
type torch with 24-18 guage sterling wire, and i have found that
type of torch sufficient,

Hi Lora,

I’ve made lots of loop in loop with fused fine silver links. All
I’ve ever used is either a butane torch like the one you’ve described
of a Bernz-o-matic propane pencil torch.

I lay all the closed links in rows on a magnesia firebrick & fuse
each link in turn until they’re all fused. I’ve never used the
ultralite (or similar) kiln that Jean recommends. I suppose a lot
depends on what you learn with.

As far as running the little torch on gas & air goes; you’re out of
luck. However I think Smith makes an acetyline/air torch similar to
the Prestolite torch.

Dave

I’ve made piles and piles of loop-in-loop chains using just the
Little Torch (oxy acetylene). No kiln at all, nothing fancy. It’s
probably easier if you have a proper kiln, but I’ve had pretty good
luck so far with just the torch.

-Spider (loves all that woven yummy stuff)

  Jean Stark's wonderful book "Classical Loop in Loop Chains" 

Lora, Fun book, isn’t it? I use a butane microtorch and an Ultra Light
kiln that has a maximum temperature of about 1500 degrees F. The
Bernzomatic torch costs about $10 and has a flame spreader that
keeps falling out unless the end of the nozzle is slightly bent
inwards.

Your Sierra kiln is more than hot enough, but I don’t know if it
too hot for these projects. If the silver gets overheated, the
surface texture changes.

Janet

Lora, How are you coming along on the projects in Jean Stark’s book?
I’ve made the pinched-loop, centerball single, and foldover chains.
The centerball single was the hardest for me, because any variation
in the size of the balls is very noticeable in the chain.

About torches: My Bernzomatic microtorch sprung a leak and needs
replacing. I, too, am not ready for a grown-up torch, but don’t want
to get the same microtorch. It was fine for fusing but barely hot
enough for melting.

From the July 2003 issue of Lapidary Journal: “When the only demand
on the torch is soldering small items, then most of the hand-held,
self-starting torches like the Micro-Jet MJ-300 ($20) and the Blazer
Butane Microtorch ($56) will do the job. These inexpensive mini and
micro single-gas torches produce a pinpoint 2500?F flame powered by
readily available butane.”

The Pro Torch PT-220 (http://www.pro-iroda.com/pt220.htm) is tabletop
version of Micro-Jet, plus the flame is adjustable (MSRP $59). I’ve
never seen a review of this torch but it’s on sale for $33.25 (at
http://www.awrtools.com)–what the heck, I’m going to try it out.

Janet