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Melting my silver


Hello, I have purchased a Smith Little Torch propane/oxygen outfit
with #5 and #6 torch tip and am burning the crap out of my silver. I
was trying to anneal a 12 guage piece of silver wire to bend into a
ring but it doesn’t seem to be working. The surface of the metal is
melting and the wire is not bending at all. Any suggestions?



Karalee, There could be several problems but lets take first things
first. Use the #6 tip. Be sure that your torch is adjusted to a
relatively bushy flame. It shouldn’t be yellow but it shouldn’t be
hissing either. Hold the flame well away from the piece being
annealed and slowly bring the tip of the flame closer to the piece.
Play the flame along the wire which shouldn’t be too long. If it is
6 to 12 inches, coil it so you can heat more than just a small part
at a time. With such a small tip, it is impossible to get the entire
piece red at the same time but the wire will anneal as long as all
parts become red sometime during the process. Continue playing the
torch across the length a few times and then remove the flame. Watch
the color carefully (its best to do this in a darkened room) and as
soon as it has lost its red color (it will probably become blackish),
immediately quench it in water followed by a bath of pickle. The
surface should not melt unless you have a strong oxidizing flame and
are holding it in one place too long. Be patient with the reducing
flame…it will take awhile to get it up to annealing temp.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2