Vincent, first of all, you don’t need flux with fine silver. Flux
is to prevent oxygen from combining with the copper in sterling.
Since there is no copper in fine silver, there is no need for flux.
Your fine silver will not have firescale as sterling would after the
application of heat.
As you can tell from the previous posts there are many individual
ways to fuse fine silver. Everyone works out their own methods, but
they all revolve around one point, melting the silver just to it’s
melting point, but no farther! It’s not easy in the beginning, but
it does get easier with practice. I’ve fused 26 ga wire on various
soldering blocks. I’ve fused with a Meco midget with natural
gas/oxy and with propane/oxy and have had good success (up to 95%).
Now a days I prefer to use a propane torch like the handyman uses
and is bought at Sears. The flame is soft enough I have good
control over the process. It heats slowly enough that I can see it
getting to the flashpoint and be prepared to remove the flame. I
also don’t keep the flame on the wire, but find I do better by
moving it around. This way I’m also moving it away and can just
keep it away when the flash comes. I’ve tried it by just holding it
on the metal, but end up with more failures because it takes longer
to get my old tired muscles moving to take the flame away.
Yes, you do want to get the edges lined up as well as possible.
Mine aren’t a perfect 360 match around the wire since I cut my 26
ga with solder snips, there is nearly always a small flat spot, but
I haven’t found that to matter much and I save time and material by
snipping instead of sawing.
Finally, I would suggest that you stress the joint a bit before you
use the piece in your construction. Although the joint may look
good, inevitably there will be a few that won’t be completely fused.
Better to test for them beforehand than after it’s in the middle of
a chain or something.
Hope this helps a bit. The best things is to try some of the
suggestions you’ve seen and build a technique that works best for
M D Designs