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Pencil lead for cheniers


#1

Continue from:
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/pencil-lead-and-lava-sculptures

Hello Charles A.

BTW pencil lead is awesome, I use it when I'm aligning chennier
for hinges, works every time, and you don't waste silver ;-) 

Would you be willing to expand on your brief description of using
pencil lead for cheniers?

Thanks,
Linda Kaye-Moses


#2

Hi Linda,

Would you be willing to expand on your brief description of using
pencil lead for cheniers? 

There’s really not much to it, and it frees up a lot of time.

I buy the leads for mechanical pencils, they only come in a limited
range where I live, but maybe where you live they come in a greater
range. Where I live this method is limited to a few sizes.

The lead must be a slip fit inside the chennier, so it’s usually
better to buy chennier than to make it.

I use a chennier cutter to get my hinge sections the same size. I
like to use five pieces of chennier as a minimum for a hinge.

Lets assume that you have found some lead and chennier to match,
before you slide that lead into the chennier, you must “cook” the
lead first.

Cooking the lead is simply lighting the lead with a yellow flame,
the protective coating will catch fire and be burnt off. I find it’s
important to do this otherwise this coating may stick to the inside
of your chennier. Also please make sure that you hold the lead with
fire tongs, and please don’t touch the lead it will be hot even
though it doesn’t look hot. Let it cool off.

Now for the fun bit, side the pieces of chennier onto the lead, and
break off what you don’t need. Put your “hinge” where you want it to
go. Then simply solder the pieces of the hinge into place using
small pieces of solder. Push out the lead, and separate the hinge.

If you need to tidy up the hinge sections, just use more prepared
led to keep the chennier in alignment.

Once you’re done, slide in your pin or a finer piece of chennier. If
you use chennier as a pin, you can set it as, I think it looks
interesting, or you can set stones if you want to.

Regards Charles A.


#3

So, what you’re saying is, you use pencil lead as a temporary hinge
pin that won’t solder in?

I use titanium wire for that. You can’t solder titanium (in
atmosphere) if your life depended on it. And, unlike pencil lead, it
is strong and unbreakable.

Noel


#4
So, what you're saying is, you use pencil lead as a temporary
hinge pin that won't solder in? 

Pencil leads don’t deform with heat, so you can be sure your hinges
are straight. CIA


#5

Absolutely a great way to make. or rather to check your hinge
knuckles lining up. I have used HB leads for years and years as
graphite doesn’t deform nor hold heat so annealing is minimised
particularly if rolling a precious metal around a brass or other
alloy wire or bar to make a pressure fitting, etc that has a hinged
part so each time you apply heat it doesn’t throw the hinge parts
out of true. rer…


#6

If you use a pencil lead for soldering hinges, any chance of it
getting stuck from the borax and breaking when removing? Can you put
it in pickle without bad effects?

Janet in Jerusalem


#7
If you use a pencil lead for soldering hinges, any chance of it
getting stuck from the borax and breaking when removing? Can you
put it in pickle without bad effects? 

What I have found with using a pencil lead from a mechanical pencil.

  1. It’s very important to pre-burn it before using it. This burns
    off any plastic coatings. If you don’t do this then the lead will
    stick guaranteed.

  2. If you use a tight fitting lead then it can stick in the
    chennier. It’s not a big problem, because the lead is brittle and can
    be broken, drilled out, or dumped into an ultrasonic. Basically if it
    sticks you can get it out without too much fuss.

  3. Pickle does nothing to the lead, and the lead does nothing to the
    pickle.

It’s a very good solution, and it makes hinge making a joy, and you
don’t waste metal on a bridge.

Regards Charles A.


#8
It's a very good solution, and it makes hinge making a joy, and
you don't waste metal on a bridge. 

Just came from my winter respite and I see that more work is needed.

Using pencil lead is a terrible solution for hinge alignment. It is
actually worse than that. It is creating a time bomb, waiting to
destroy the hinge and possibly the piece itself.

If preparatory work is done correctly, there is no need for anything
else.

Parts of chenier should lie in proper alignment to each other, and
should preserve their alignment though the soldering. The problems
arise if preparation is wrong or soldering technique is wanting, or
both. If any artificial means of alignment are used, like pencil lead
or a bridge, it necessarily creates void or voids under chenier
which are filled with solder during soldering. This extra solder,
which is not visible, is the time bomb. On subsequent soldering, the
solder will reflow destroying the alignment.

If pin is in place, than even worse thing happens. The hinge will be
frozen without any possibility of repair.

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com


#9

Hi Leonid,

Welcome back from your holiday.

I think you’re overstating things again. “It is creating a time
bomb”… really, you being serious or are you having a lend? Just got
a mental image of a jewellery with the TNT engraved on the side :smiley:

Have you ever successfully used a mechanical pencil lead in hinge
production? If you haven’t successfully used a technique, that does
not mean the technique is invalid. Using a bridge is a valid
technique that ensures perfect alignment, same as using a pencil
lead.

Personally I’ve found the pencil lead technique to work really well,
and consistently too. Fast and efficient.

The parts of a hinge need to be aligned correctly in the first
place, other wise the hinge wont work, a bridge or pencil lead wont
create a void or voids. Voids will only happen if they are there in
the first place. Solder joins have to be flush, with any soldering.

Now originally I was taught to use the bridge technique, and it was
a good technique. Once mastered, I’ve had no problems using it, and
there’s no “ticking time bomb”.

In my final year of study, I came across the mechanical lead pencil
technique. It wastes less metal, than a bridge, and it’s a lot
faster. The teacher commented that my hinges were excellent. That’s a
validation for me, and the technique.

Cut your chennier, make sure it fits where it’s supposed to go,
slide in a prepared lead, solder, separate the hinge, check the
joins, put in the pickle, base, water, polish, put in the pin or
another piece of chennier, and your done.

Perfect hinge, not frozen, strong and tight, no time bomb :wink:

Regards Charles A.


#10
Now originally I was taught to use the bridge technique, and it
was a good technique. Once mastered, I've had no problems using it,
and there's no "ticking time bomb". 

The very first lesson in soldering is to avoid excess of solder.

One of the reasons is that excess of solder is liable to reflow.

In hinge, where everything is tight against each other, solder
reflow is catastrophic. Using any artificial means of alignment of
cheniers creates excess of solder. This is simply statement of fact,
except in cases where cheniers fit perfectly. But than there is no
special alignment needed.

In Russian Military there is a saying that fighting manuals were
written in blood.

The rule of avoiding excess of solder is written in sweat and tears
of goldsmiths foolish enough to ignore it.

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com


#11

Hi Leonid,

I’m tapping this out on my phone, so it will be necessarily brief.

Solder doesn’t know, or care, how much solder there is in an area.
Neither does it care which parts are excess, and which parts are
"proper".

The only thing that can cause solder to reflow is that it’s
temperature rises above the melting point of that particular alloy.
Period.

I will cheerfully agree that sloppy joints are bad news, but using
titanium or carbon rod in the hinge tubes is one of the oldest
tricks in the book, andhas been used successfully (at least the
carbon rod part) for at least the last 100 years that I know of.

I’m on the road again, so can’t check, but I have a vague memory of
Cellini mentioning the use of well oxidized and oiled steel rod to
perform the same service in the 16th century. Clearly, he was a rank
amateur.

I don’t remember where I learned that trick, but I’d be willing to
bet it was probably my goldsmithing tutor in London, who was one of
the best fabricators I’ve ever known.

Regards,
Brian Meek


#12

Hi Guys,

I was taught to use very small pallions, or small pieces of wire
solder. In third year I was told not to be a “tight-arse” with my
solder. obviously I couldn’t win :smiley:

I agree that excess solder can and will go everywhere when given the
opportunity.

I agree that too much solder in a hinge joint is nasty in that it
can freeze the hinge, however a means of keeping the hinge alignment
true will not create excess solder. The only reason there will be
excess solder is if someone put it there. You can release a frozen
hinge in some cases with a 8/0 saw blade.

Avoiding excess solder is something I agree with, but a valid
alignment technique does not create excess solder, that shows lack of
understanding of the procedures discussed. Facts and opinions are
different things.

The reason for excess solder being anywhere, is putting too much
solder on the piece, it’s as simple as that.

If you don’t want excess solder, just don’t use excess solder :wink:

Regards Charles A.


#13

Leonid and all- One of my favorite shop tricks is to close the rolls
on my mill and then run my solder through it. It comes out really
thin and makes it easier to pick up what look like larger sized
pallions that melt down to a much smaller amount of solder. Since I
use less solder it not only looks better but saves in solder costs.

I take great pride in my soldering and fabricating abilities. I love
to make or repair a piece that requires no filing or emery. Just a
quick buff.

I love to do do hinges as well. It’s so satisfying to have them come
out perfectly.

I usually use an old drill bit that I have oxidized to hold my
chenniers in place. Just make sure that you remove the drill bit
before placing in pickle. I like to rub graphite from a mechanical
pencil to the ends of my hinge chenniers to keep the solder from
flowing between them. Much cleaner that yellow ochre and less mass to
keep the parts snug against each other.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#14
In hinge, where everything is tight against each other, solder
reflow is catastrophic. Using any artificial means of alignment of
cheniers creates excess of solder. This is simply statement of fact,
except in cases where cheniers fit perfectly. But than there is no
special alignment needed.

I’m sorry, but you do not have to be a master goldsmith to find the
fallacy in the quoted statement.

Using an external means of alignment does not cause too much solder,
and if it does I would like to know where the extra solder comes from.

However, it may enable and encourage too much solder to be used, but
it does not cause it.

-Duane


#15

If you do accidentally get gold or silver solder in a moveable part
and freeze it up, take soft solder flux, apply it to the frozen joint
and heat while gently manipulating the frozen part. The soft solder
flux somehow makes it turn loose. This trick has saved my butt on
occasion.

I’m sure there are folks here that paid more attention in chemistry
class than I did who can explain how and why this works.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#16
Using an external means of alignment does not cause too much
solder, and if it does I would like to know where the extra solder
comes from. 

That is a valid question. A simple experiment should demonstrate the
point.

Assemble few cheniers with whatever extra alignment method and place
it on a sheet of rolled metal. Unless sheet is perfectly flat,
looking with light behind the cheniers reveals gaps between the sheet
and the cheniers.

Do this with 3, 5, and 7 cheniers. It will show that with increasing
length, gaps will increase as well. When such arrangement is
soldered, these gaps are filled with solder. In hinge fabrication
this has to avoided at all costs.

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com


#17
If you do accidentally get gold or silver solder in a moveable
part and freeze it up.... 

That is an awesome technique :slight_smile: Thank you for sharing it :slight_smile: CIA


#18
Do this with 3, 5, and 7 cheniers. It will show that with
increasing length, gaps will increase as well. When such
arrangement is soldered, these gaps are filled with solder. In
hinge fabrication this has to avoided at all costs. 

Ah I see what you are trying to say.

With the bridge method, the metal expands due to the applied heat,
pushing your chennier out of alignment.

This isn’t a problem when using a graphite pencil lead. The leads
aren’t deformed by heat.

You should give it a go, do the same test, but use a pencil lead
instead of a bridge.

If you get it right you can make a hinge in one go.

Regards Charles A.


#19
One of my favorite shop tricks is to close the rolls on my mill and
then run my solder through it. It comes out really thin and makes
it easier to pick up what look like larger sized pallions that melt
down to a much smaller amount of solder. Since I use less solder it
not only looks better but saves in solder costs. 

This is the best part of Orchid, always new tricks for old dogs!
Thanks for the suggestion, Jo!

Melissa Veres, engraver


#20
If you do accidentally get gold or silver solder in a moveable
part and freeze it up, take soft solder flux, apply it to the
frozen joint and heat while gently manipulating the frozen part.
The soft solder flux somehow makes it turn loose. This trick has
saved my butt on occasion. 

Hi Jo, What do you mean by “soft solder flux”? Do you mean like Stay
Brite, or other non-silver fluxes? Or do you mean flux specifically
for easy silver solder’thanks, Janet in Jerusalem