All, I have been making some pieces with rather large silver granules
of about 3 mm. Currently I am buying casting grain and sorting out
the best ones. They don’t have to be perfectly round, but they
can’t be saucer shaped or have sharp edges. In a 10 ounce batch of
grain I can get about 2 ounces of usable large granules. I’d like
to make/remake the ones that are too flat or sharp, rounder.
The only thing I have done at this point is to cut rounded holes in
a charcoal block with a round bur and remelt the pieces there. This
has been unsatisfactory because the beads are too oxidized (and
therefore very frosty when pickled, so that they don’t match the
other grains) and it takes far too long.
So, I checked Untracht’s Jewelry Concepts and Technology, but the
granules he shows being made are much smaller than I want to make.
I know that whatever I do they won’t be perfectly round and that’s
OK, in fact it is preferable. I also love the shiney finish the
casting grain comes with, as opposed to the frosty finish I get when
I remelt them with my torch.
Anyone have any experience or opinion as to how I could proceed?
I’m going to try the method in Untracht, but if anyone has any
helpful hints or ideas, let me know. Anything that is especially
oriented toward mass production of these things is even more
helpful. I’d love to be able to make casting grain like the big
metals houses do, but can this be done with a torch or do you need
expensive melters and non-oxygen atmospheres?