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Mokume billet stuck to torque plate


#1

Hi, could someone kindly help please. This is my third attempt at
firing silver/copper mokume billet. The problem this time is the
billet is over-fired, melt a little and stuck to the torque plate.
Could someone kindly tell me how should I separate them while still
be able to keep the billet, please.

Cheers,
Phil


#2
the billet is over-fired, melt a little and stuck to the torque
plate. ...how should I separate them while still be able to keep
the billet, please. 

Phil, I had a similar experience using torque plates in an experiment
to do overlay soldering of a belt buckle. I used a woodworker’s
chisel and a plastic mallet to break the piece free of the torque
plate. Surprisingly, while the piece curled, the chisel did not mar
it.

Good luck!
Neil A.


#3

I suppose I should leave this to the regular mokume guys but what
the… My common sense answer is you have a choice or or combination
of processes. Machining and etching. Most of the steel could be
milled off. You may have to find a small shop with the equipment. The
rest will etch. The mordant will be dependent on the other metals
involved in the billet and/or your ability to mask them off.

Good luck. Bill
Bill, Deborah, Michele & Sharon


#4

Depends on how good a bond you got to the steel of the torque plate.
It could range from just needing a minor whack with a hammer to
machining away the torque plate. Hard to tell without seeing it.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#5

The last time that happened to me was in undergrad, and I’m pretty
sure we just used a flathead screwdriver as a chisel and a deadblow
mallet, while holding the torque plate in a vice grip. It seemed to
work just fine…

Good luck!
Anna


#6

Hi,

I would saw it off, and then grind the remainder off the torque
plate.

Cynthia Eid


#7

Hi there

Proper mokume billets, very brave. Only tried that once, but put
brass next to silver in the billet and had a catastrophic failure.

Assuming you oxidised the torque plate nicely before cranking the
billet together, the join, though soldered, is probably quite
brittle. Taking a cold chisel to the side of the billet, tip where
the billet meets the plate, and giving it a few taps might be enough
to break the join and not do any, well, much, damage to the billet
itself.

If you really really want to keep the billet you can also trim off
the edges of the torque plate, place it in a vice steel side up and
then grind off what remains of the torque plate itself, a bit
aggressive, but effective.

In future, try coating your torque plates with Tip-ex (liquid paper)
or some other anti-flux before clamping up the billet. Or use the
Alistair McCallum method (cheating, but it does work well) and solder
the billet together rather than relying on diffusion bonding under
pressure. This is how I do it, much easier to get binding wire off
then a steel plate and no specialist kit needed, also you get some
interesting blues when you put an ammonia patina on your work because
of the solder alloy

(http://www.collarsandcuffs.co.uk/Webimages/mk%20rect2cl.JPG

a 12 layer silver / copper / gilt metal mix, backed onto a silver
plate if memory serves). Happy to expand, but he explains it well in
one of the Mokume books, can’t recall which one now though.

CP
Collarsandcuffs.co.uk


#8

Wow, I am not the only one who had trouble with Mokume gane. Tried it
once with disasterous results. A friend gave me two steel
plates–about 1/4" thick each. At the four corners of each he had
drilled holes for me to put nuts and bolts, to hold the pieces
together when they were clamped around the billet, which by this
time was pretty thick. Decided to anneal it in the kiln, as per some
instructions I read somewhere. Not a good idea. The nuts and bolts
froze together, and I finally had to saw the darn things off. My
billet was too thick for regular annealing, and even though I tried,
with the biggest torch tip, it still was too stiff for any good
rolling the the mill. I keep that chunk of disaster on my workbench
as a reminder that when I need Mokume Gane, just order it from the
various places that sell it all ready to be used.

Yes, I know, that is taking the chicken route, but at least my
rolling mill is safe from being pushed beyond its capability, and I
have come to accept the fact that there are certain things that I do
well, and will continue to do them, and there are other things that
are best left to the experts.

Alma


#9

how about a vise and a hacksaw - goo


#10

Alma,

The nuts and bolts froze together, and I finally had to saw the
darn things off. 

Sorry to hear about your trials with the bolted billet.

For those who are considering doing something with nuts & bolts in a
high temperature environment, there are dry lubricants available that
will help prevent seizure of the nuts on the bolts.

PTFE lubricants are good for 110F to 500F. There are some graphite
dry-film lubricants that are also good up to 400F. Next up would be
high-temp graphite lubricants that can take it up to 700F to 850F. If
you’re gonna get really hot, there are high-temp mica lubricants that
are effective up to 1800F. If that’s not enough, you can find ceramic
lubricants for extreme temps made of boron nitride crystals that are
effective up to 1562F in oxidizing environments and 3272F in vacuums.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV


#11

Mike thanks for the about the lubricants to use with
nuts and bolts. Wish I had known about this.

Alma


#12
Mike thanks for the about the lubricants to use with
nuts and bolts. Wish I had known about this. 

The only one on his list that is applicable to mokume torque plates,
bolts nuts etc is is boron nitride. I have tried numerous others
with less than stellar results.

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts