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Most productive way to produce shot


#1

I like to use sterling silver shot decorations on a lot of my
designs. Could you all give me a few suggestions on the best way to
go about making a large number of shot at a time?

I’ve found I like using charcoal as a forming base because I get a
more consistent and less pitted ball. Is there a trick with using
some other kind of soldering block?

Also, after pickling the shot, is there a better way of
cleaning/sanding the bottoms without sanding off my fingers in the
process? I hand sand with sandpaper and haven’t found a good way to
process tiny bits of shot in prep for soldering.

Thanks in advance,
Tracy
Tracy’s Treasures


#2

Hi Tracy,

I make my silver shot on a charcoal block. I indent small round
depressions with a punch and get about 40 - 50 holes per block. Then
I use scrap silver to make the shot - if you want identical size
shot just measure and cut snippets of wire. I never pickle or sand
off the bottom of the shot, just use it as it. Usually each little
ball will have a flat side to it. I’ve never had any problem
soldering the uncleaned shot to the jewelry - even rings, of course
rings have to be positioned so the shot wont roll off - which
involves many different solderings.

Hope this helps.
Jan
www.designjewel.com


#3

I just use a less oxidizing flame on an ordinary pad… works for me,
no pits and they form very nicely. Just takes some practice and
patience


#4

Tracy,

This looks like a good technique for forming shot (look about a
1/5th of the way down):

Jon


#5

Tracy,

I order several ounces of sterling silver casting grain when I need
shot.

The size varies. It’s a lot easier than trying to make my own. Lee
Epperson

Phoenix, Arizona


#6

Dear Lee,

Nothing wrong with being practical ! I do the same thing with the
balls that I place inside the shanks of customers rings which keep
the rings from rotating. The casting shot that I get from my refiner
supplies me with what I need.

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.


#7
I do the same thing with the balls that I place inside the shanks
of customers rings which keep the rings from rotating. 

Ron, how does this work? It sounds vaguely uncomfortable, but
interesting!

Thanks,
Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com
Cincinnati, Ohio


#8

Hi Jon,

    This looks like a good technique for forming shot (look about
a 1/5th of the way down):
http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nenam/solder.htm 

Thanks for the link!!! Wow, lots of cool ideas there.

I like the idea of using the charcoal block and rolling the shot
into a pan of water. Instead of trying to keep the shot from rolling
or the flame blowing them around, use it to your advantage.
Brilliant. :smiley:

Cheers,
Tracy


#9

Lee,

I order several ounces of sterling silver casting grain when I  need
shot.

What a great idea. I’m not familiar with casting techniques, so
please excuse the basic question: Is there any difference between the
silver grain and plain sheet? Any difference in the way the sterling
is worked?

Thanks for your help,
Tracy
Tracy’s Treasures

P.S. I see you’re in Phoenix. Have you had any Stevie Nicks
(Fleetwood Mac) encounters?


#10
I do the same thing with the balls that I place inside the shanks
of customers rings which keep the rings from rotating. 
Ron, how does this work? It sounds vaguely uncomfortable, but
interesting! 

Hello Jessee,

If you have access to a copy of Alan Revere’s “Ring Repair” check out
Chapter 7, p.73. He calls them “sizing beads”. I tried it on a test
ring of mine just to see how they feel and as long as they’re not too
big you don’t really notice them at all. For most of us the palm
side of our fingers are a bit fleshy so the beads just settle in and
do their thing relatively unobtrusively.

Installing Sizing Beads - Excerpts from: Ring Repair
http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nenam/installing-ring-sizing-beads.htm

Cheers,
Trevor F. in The Cityof Light
www.touchmetal.com


#11

Tracy,

Sterling casting grain consists of round pellets from about 1/8 to
less than 1/16 inch in diameter. Most of the grain is round but a
few will have flat spots. The grain has a very smooth surface
without any porosity. Your can see a picture of casting grain in Rio
Grande’s catalog.

When melting sterling grain it normally is mixed with old scrap
silver. The ration is usually 50 percent new to 50 percent old.

           P.S. I see you're in Phoenix. Have you had any Stevie
Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) encounters? 

I am an old folk music and country music fan. I recently bought a 12
string banjo that is tuned like a guitar. I sure can make a lot of
noise with it.

Lee Epperson
Phoenix, Arizona


#12
    I like the idea of using the charcoal block and rolling the
shot into a pan of water. Instead of trying to keep the shot from
rolling or the flame blowing them around, use it to your advantage.
Brilliant. 

To get shot or balls all the same size, make a bunch of jump rings
(all the same size) and melt them on the charcoal block.

Sojourner


#13
    To get shot or balls all the same size, make a bunch of jump
rings (all the same size) and melt them on the charcoal block. 

Why would you go to the trouble of making jump rings when all you
have to do is cut equal lengths of the same gauge wire??

Beth


#14
    Why would you go to the trouble of making jump rings when all
you have to do is cut equal lengths of the same gauge wire?? 

It’s a lot quicker to make a bunch of jump rings - you make the
coil, saw it apart, and you have a slew of pieces all the same size.

Whereas if you have to measure and cut, measure and cut, measure and
cut… makes my hands hurt just to think about it, LOL!

Even if you use a pipe or something to measure the pieces as you cut
them off, its just easier (for me at least) to make the coil. Since
I already have dozens of different size mandrels (ok, maybe a COUPLE
dozen) I’ve got the flexibility of being able to easily make jump
rings in loads of different sizes. Besides, I use jump rings ALL THE
TIME, so I’ve actually probably already got hundreds made in any
given size. They’re also easier to handle than snippets of wire.

I do love old film containers and baby food jars…

There’s another benefit - you’ll always know (after the first set)
what size beads you’ll get from jump rings made on a mandrel of size
X. And size Y. and size Z. etc. Cuts down a lot on how much
measuring you need to do.

Sojourner


#15

Hi Beth,

   Why would you go to the trouble of making jump rings when all
you have to do is cut equal lengths of the same gauge wire?? 

It all depends on how you make your jump rings or cut your wire to
the same length.

There are many ways to arrive at the same point. It all depends on
the tools & experience you have.

Dave


#16

Why would you go to the trouble of making jump rings when all you
have to do is cut equal lengths of the same gauge wire??

My guess would be that if you have something like a Jump Ringer
tool, that would be a quick and easy way to get a lot of pieces that
were exactly the same size.

Courtney
Courtney Graham Hipp
cgHipp Jewelry Designs


#17
            Why would you go to the trouble of making jump rings
when all you have to do is cut equal lengths of the same gauge
wire?? 

Hi Beth and others;

I think I’d agree with you on that. It might be a bit easier to place
jump rings on a charcoal block, which would be tipped, presumably, to
allow them to roll off into water. Personally, when I’ve played
around with granulation, I’ve just used thin sheet, then made cuts on
one end to make “fingers” which I then straightened out and cut
across, making pallons, much as bench jewelers are in the habit of
doing when cutting solder. Back in school though, we’d use a coarse
file and put the filings in powdered charcoal in a crucible which we
heated in a forge. Messy, getting the granules sorted out of the
charcoal residue.

David L. Huffman


#18

Beth,

Because the jump rings are going to be as exactly the same size as
you’re are likely to get them unless you use one of those handy dandy
little gadgets where you feed the wire into a cutter which is preset
to the proper length and cut them off one at a time. Also, I think
jump rings are quicker to make. :wink:

Jerry in Kodiak


#19

Hi Sojourner,

Whereas if you have to measure and cut, measure and cut, measure
and cut.... makes my hands hurt just to think about it, 

There’s a tool called a tubing cutter jig (e.g., Rio Grande
#113-839) which can eliminate the measuring part so all you have to
do is cut – and that’s a lot easier than making rings and sawing (in
my opinion, of course).

To make equal lengths of wire with this jig, just set the stopper
where you want it and then, instead of using the guide to saw, just
snip with a wire cutter on the inside edge of the plate (this will
make sense if you look at the illustration in the catalog … I hope
:-). Now that I think about it, I bet you could improvise a jig for
this purpose pretty easily.

 There's another benefit - you'll always know (after the first
set) what size beads you'll get from jump rings made on a mandrel
of size X.  And size Y. and size Z. etc. Cuts down a lot on how
much measuring you need to do. 

Same with the jig, once you go through the initial trial and error
to figure out where to set the stopper for each length of wire that
you need.

Beth


#20

For those of us who use fewer jump rings, I found a great cutter
that has a set screw to let you cut consistent lengths of wire. It
was made by jewelrytoolsbymiland.com. I met these guys in Tucson and
they were very cool. They were among the very few who recognized my
Ganoksin tote bag and mentioned it. Just a happy customer!

Laurie Cavanaugh