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Melting silver


#1

I am having trouble melting silver, it seems that with my smiths little torch, I don’t get enough pressure with my propane to produce a hot enough flame (I have the jet nozzle that is supposed to make melting easier)

Then I ordered Bernzomatic ts8000 blowtorch and bought a MAPP gas canister (the yellow one)
I really thought that it would solve my problems and would suffice to melt the silver (argentium)

But so far I can only get the silver grain to clump together and partially melt. I am not trying to melt a lot either only around 20 grams…

This is very frustrating as I have been wanting to experiment making stuff for a couple of months.


#2

You can use MAPP gas with your Smith Little, and the fuel-oxygen mix will be quite hot enough to melt your silver. I’ve done this many times to cast silver in open molds, even without using my melting tip.


#3

You need more heat. Either from a fuel and O2 torch like your Little Torch or a single stage acetylene torch. Larger fuel and O2 torches include Hoke, Meco, Swiss and a few others. You should be able to run any of them from the tanks and regulators that you have for your Little Torch. Single stage acetylene torches can be found at your local welding store. I used a Presto-Lite for years and it is a work horse. I now use a Little Torch and Meco on shared 1 lb. propane cylinders and an O2 generator. I also have an EZ Torch for annealing. I just tried to melt 25 grams of silver with the EZ Torch and it wouldn’t go. You might check out Paige Tips for the Little Torch and talk to Richard there about what you can expect from them. Good luck…Rob


#4

Use the map gas with your little torch, i melt small amounts (40 grams or so) of Argentium with no problem. Good luck!


#5

@StefanM, a problem I can have with Argentium is melting it when I don’t want it to, when soldering or fusing. Argentium is easy to melt. A Smith LittleTorch certainly can melt Argentium. Something is not right.

What is holding your 20 grams of silver? Could that be a heat sink, soaking up all the heat? Carve out a cavity in a charcoal block or magnesia soldering block and melt in that.

You say you don’t have enough propane pressure. Why not? If you are using a tank with regulator set the pressure to around 10 psi for the larger tips. A rule I read about with the LittleTorch is use the same PSI as the tip number, or a bit more. As in 7-10 PSI for a #7 tip…

If you are using a disposable tank and assuming it is not depleted, perhaps there is something wrong with the torch regulator. Since you are using a LittleTorch you are using oxygen, right? Can you describe the flame color, shape, and length?

I have not used the multi-jet tip with my LittleTorch. Perhaps that tip needs more gas pressure than the disposable tank regulator will allow? (Assuming you are using a disposable tank…) Can anyone who has used that tip with a disposable tank confirm it will work? Can you try a #7 tip?

This is not the best solution to your problem, but can you make a small ‘cave’ with charcoal blocks or soldering blocks (3 sides and one on top) to contain more of the heat?

Regards,
Neil A


#6

Hi Neil,

Just confirming for you that a disposable tank works fine for the Smith multi-orifice melting tip. I’ve used this tip with a 1 lb. tank with never a problem.

Alec


#7

I am just wondering if the OP is using the right part of the flame…hottest part of the flame is at the tip of the inner, blue cone(s)…if you are way outside that or much closer, you may not have the heat to melt…the LIttle Torch rosebud tip should melt up to three ounces of silver or gold, according to the Smith literature, so somethings off somewhere.
royjohn


#8

If you look on the Smith Torch site, it specifically says that disposable containers should not be used with the Rosebud tip.