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Melting Dish


#1

Hi Helen,

I would go with the Fletcher. Actually, if you buy tools from HS
walsh, (which, they’re very friendly and will explain anything to
you!), they sell a crucible with a holder, which is quite economical
(about 15 UKP), the product code is TC146. I’ve used it before, and
you can get a couple of different size crucibles that fit in it. I’ve
used the small size one to melt about 20g of silver, and it hasn’t
been full. It’s good, especially if you’re torch-melting your silver.

Just my two cents worth :).
Robin Cassady-Cain (UK)


#2

Hi Robin,

Thanks for your email. I buy from HS Walsh regularly and yes you’re
right, they are very helpful. Someone else recommended the scorifiers
and one of those for each metal and the holding device for looks to
be good and inexpensive. What do you think?

http://www.hswalsh.com/itemdetail.aspx?i=TC142&t=55

Are there any advantages to the fletcher as opposed to the scorifier?
It’s all a bit confusing. I will be torch melting. Incidentally, when
torch melting it’s normal to add some powdered borax to prevent
oxidation. I have powdered boric acid as I’ve recently converted from
borax and water to boric acid and denatured alcohol (meths) as a
flux. It may seem a stupid question coming from a chemist but can I
use the powdered boric acid as a melting flux or does it have to be
borax? If so I can grind my borax cone using a pestle and mortar
probably.

Thanks again.

Helen
UK


#3

Hi, Helen

Incidentally, when torch melting it's normal to add some powdered
borax to prevent oxidation. I have powdered boric acid as I've
recently converted from borax and water to boric acid and denatured
alcohol (meths) as a flux. It may seem a stupid question coming
from a chemist but can I use the powdered boric acid as a melting
flux or does it have to be borax? 
  • presumably Robin will answer your scorifier question (curious word,
    that!). Really for all: Boric acid and borax both act as fluxes to
    some degree, and are obviously related - borax is a salt of boric
    acid. The relationship between the two is much like a solder, though.
    Boric acid melts at a higher temperature - I don’t know what it is
    beyond bench experience. I find it’s actually too high to be useful
    with silver, for instance. You can mix boric acid and borax to make
    custom fluxes, which is what the flux makers are doing - different
    mixes will be effective at different temperatures. The lower
    temperature and properties of borax make it more useful for chores
    like melting metal, though. Once the crucible or dish is coated, all
    it takes is a pinch. I don’t coat crucibles with borax, by the way. I
    get my boric acid solution and a glass eyedropper (an essential
    accessory, to me) and flood it with that, and burn off the alcohol.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#4

Hi John,

The relationship between the two is much like a solder, though.
Boric acid melts at a higher temperature - I don't know what it is
beyond bench experience. I find it's actually too high to be
useful with silver, for instance. 

What you say makes sense. I’ve noticed that although the boric acid/
alcohol is an easier to use and less messy flux, I am having more
problems with oxidation than when I was using borax and water. And I
now know what firescale looks like!

I’ll grind up my borax cone and use that for melting. Thanks again.

And welcome back Orchid, I’ve missed you all! Hope you had a good
break Hanuman.

Helen
UK