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Problems with very thin argentium sheet?


#1

I have a concept for a locket that I’d love to make in Argentium,
but it looks like it’d work best with part of it in (formed) 28-ga.
sheet. Now, when I tried to order this from H&S, they said they only
went down to 26-ga., so I got that. figuring I could roll it thinner
if I had to. (I tried 24 ga and it didn’t do what I need it to do.)

But now I’m wondering: is the reason they don’t sell it in 28-ga is
that it’s impossible to work with then? I know hot Argentium has
slumping and brittleness problems, but I’m figuring on 1 soldering
operation using easy Argentium solder.

Should I just use regular sterling for that part?

Any insights will be appreciated!

Amanda Fisher


#2
But now I'm wondering: is the reason they don't sell it in 28-ga
is that it's impossible to work with then? 

I buy 30 gauge from this supplier. I use it for welding Argentium.
They have 28 gauge. I am a happy customer of this supplier and use
them now more than any other for all my precious metals.

http://www.gsgold.com/cart/search_result.asp?CATEGORY=ARG_FLAT_SHEET

Franklin


#3

Hello Amanda,

I have used argentium down to 0.35mm which is almost 28gauge. The
only issues I had were trying to get the solder to flow without
leaving tracks and of course slumping.

But what I found is that if you take it slow and and do not try and
race to get the metal to solder temp everything goes as planned. The
great thing about thin metal is that it gets to temp quick!!! I
would suggest that you use props to hold parts that have any height
as these will slump, atleast if they slump they will slump in a
controllable direction.

Another issue you may have is that at this thickness argentium fuses
in a snap! Which is great if that’s what you want but horrible if
you don’t.

The reason H&S probably doesn’t sell argentium any thinner than
26gauge is because they don’t want to have to anneal it so they can
roll it down to 28gauge.

More than likely the 26gauge is spring hard when you get it!!!

I hope I have shed some light on your dilemma
Kenneth


#4

Hi Amanda,

there is no problem with Argentium Silver in thin gauges. I have
purchased 30 gauge from other sources, such as Rio Grande, Allcraft,
Hauser and Miller, Stuller, and G&S Gold. In fact, I have rolled it
to 32 gauge for pleating microfolded metal. As always with AS, just
be aware of how little heat it requires, since AS is less heat
conductive than SS.

I apologize for the belated response----I’ve been traveling a lot
this month—first in Hawaii to teach a hydraulic press workshop, and
now in England, where I presented and demonstrated about Argentium
Silver to the Association for Contemporary Jewellery last week, and
will be teaching about Microfolding and Argentium in Birmingham, next
week.

I have recently updated the technical guide to AS that I wrote for
Rio Grande, and it will be downloadable from their site soon.

Cindy
www.cynthiaeid.com