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Making Shot


#1

I’m trying to make sterling shot for a pendant. Whether I melt
them on the soldering pad or a charcoal block, some of the balls
have a wrinkeled skin, some are smooth. Does anybody have any
suggestion how to keep them from wrinkeling?

To get maximum attention, it’s hard to beat a good, big mistake.

Bobert
Carmel,CA


#2

try useing plenty of borax flux that might keep the wrinkles out
goood luck, Bob from minnnesota, land of ten thousand taxes!


#3

Bobert: try melting them on a charcoal block with a copper
"Funnel" over the top of it to channel the shot into a discharge
chute. Melt the silver on an incline toward the chute formed.
When the ball forms, it rolls down the charcoal block, falls
through the chute and free falls into a pail of water. If done
correctly, the shot is perfect.

Greg


#4

Dear Bob&/orBarbara, Try using a little flux to smooth out your
melted shot. Are you using remelted silver? Sometimes
too-many-times-remelted silver will be harder to
smooth-granulate. Fine silver consistently makes smooth granules.
Hope this helps, Rex from Oz


#5

I’m trying to make sterling shot for a pendant. Whether I melt
them on the soldering pad or a charcoal block, some of the balls
have a wrinkeled skin, some are smooth. Does anybody have any
suggestion how to keep them from wrinkeling?

Flux them, then remelt, being careful to not heat them any
hotter than needed to melt the surface. Your wrinkled surfaces
are possibly from overheating, and/or a lack of flux. Either
way, you get much oxygen absorbtion into the molten silver, which
then is expelled as the metal solidifies, messing up the
surface. Protect that surface with flux (pripps, batterns, etc.)
and it will melt more smoothly.

Peter Rowe


#6

I used to try to make shot with sterling scrap. It seems a
logical way to recycle it. I did have trouble with both pitting
and wrinkling on the surface at times. A friend who was also a
jeweler turned me on to using fine silver bezel scrap instead
about 20 + years ago and I never used sterling again. Fine
silver is much easier to ball up with very little problems with
pitting and wrinkling. i don’t use flux at all with it. When
trying to do larger shot (larger than 3 or 4 mm) I use a liitle
squeeze bottle of water to cool it fast just after it has melted
and find this works great about 99% of the time to avoid the
aforementioned problems. Sending sterling scrap back to the
refiner in exchange for new metal is my current best use of it.
Because of the way I market my work at juried art shows, some of
which I have participated in annually for over 20 years, I get
to see work that I created over all those years as clients wear
it back to show me. I have noticed no problems with the fine
silver shot I have used as design and engineering elements in a
variety of pieces because of it being softer than sterling.
Give it a try.

Depending on what kind of designs you are doing, I find that now
I use a lot of 14k shot in the same way on silver designs to get
a mixed metal look. My experience is that the silver and gold
piece sells faster and for significantly more money than the
same design in silver. This has been true consistently over a
dozen years and as a result I rarely make all sterling pieces
anymore. That is of course frustrating for those that want only
silver. One can’t do everything though.

Jima Abbott / N. Calif./ @jica