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Porosity in argentium granules


#1

Hi Orchid, i’m having a small issue with porosity in my granules.I am
doing a lot of work lately with fusing fairly large argentium
granules (like 4-6mm or so) as the center of my filligree mandala
pieces. I make them by melting clean scrap on a charcoal block with a
propane torch. I still use a cheap bernzomatic plumbers torch for all
my work, it’s what I learned with and I like it… anyway sometimes
my granules have some porosity that doesn’t show up until final
polishing, requiring me to go back and burnish and rebuff it. Does
anyone know of a way to reduce porosity when melting granules on a
charcoal block? Here’s a link to one of my 3d filligree pieces on
etsy:

Thanks, Douglas


#2

Dug- You are probably burning your metal when you heat it. Try using
a softer flame and taking longer to melt. If you can’t adjust the oxy
to gas on an inexpensive disposable torch try holding the flame
further away and take your time. Don’t over heat.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#3

Thanks Jo, I will try that. I can’t adjust the oxy/fuel ratio but
what I do sometimes if I want a more reducing flame is put a bit of
heatresistant metal tape over two or three of the air holes at the
bottom of the torch head, reducing the amount of air that gets into
the mix. I’ll also try using a lower flame and being a little slower
about it and see if that helps. Ganoksin is wonderful, thank you all
for participating


#4

Dug - Are you using a flux when you melt your granules? My-T-Flux
from Rio Gande is a very good high temperature flux for this purpose
and when fusing with Argentium silver.

Peter


#5

Hi,

I agree that the porosity is likely to be from over-heating, or too
harsh/oxidizing a flame. In my personal opinion, the speediness or
slowness of the melting is irrelevant. DO use a reducing flame, and
keep it on the metal while it is melting (this is a situation where
AS, like SS, does not do well with oxygen introduced to the melt),
and stop heating as soon as it is fully melted.

I hope you figure this out— I looked at your work, and it is
really lovely! So, I am rooting for you. Please do keep us informed
about what turns out to solve the problem.

Best wishes,
Cynthia Eid
Cynthiaeid.com


#6

Hi Peter, I was using flux for a while but I stopped when I noticed
that the molten flux would become a little puddle on the surface of
the metal and leave a small round depression in the granule after
pickling. For my purposes I usually need granules that are flat on
the bottom so I letthem cool on the charcoal block rather than
dropping them into water. Perhaps that may be the reason why flux
leaves a mark on the surface? here’s a link to one of my pieces that
I did with 22K granulation. htt=shop_home_active Thanks again,
Douglas