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[Refining] Shor system


#1

Dear Orchid,

Is anyone using or have feedback on the Shor Mfg. refining
system.??

I’ve sent bench scrap etc. to a couple of refiners and I’m sure
I didn’t get a fair return. I caught part of the refining thread
that went by a while back. Any info on this system would be
appreciated.

Visit Brenn Jewelers website at http://www.brenn.com
mailto: bren@brenn.com

Brenny McLaughlin/Brenn Jewelers
4714-C Starkey Rd.
Roanoke, Va. 24014
voice 540-776-9654
fax 540-776-6342


#2

I don’t know about this system but I have found Hoover and
Strong always pays fairly and fully. Try using them if you are
unsure of your other refiners.


#3

I still had to use a refiner for my filters and poor grade
material, so I simply went back to sending everything out. The
hours spent in preparation, running the system, recovery, and
alloying the pure metal will more than pay for what I might lose
by sending it out.

I’ll gladly relay more if you want to email offline, or might be
interested in buying a used system. Mike


#4

I own a Shor system. It works. If you generate lots of scrap
gold, it may pay to own one. When you give your metal to a
refiner, you relinquish some degree of control. Caveat emptor


#5

I bought one several years ago, used it several times. Did not
like it. It does not refine the entire lot. You are always left
with a remnant of varying size to run the next time, & the
solution retains some of the gold to be recovered latter. Thus
you never have a full return on one lot or any idea just how much
gold you got from any one lot!

Mark Chapman


#6
   I don't know about this system but I have found Hoover and
Strong always pays fairly and fully.  Try using them if you
are unsure of your other refiners. 

And I’ve never had any doubts as to the skill and honesty of
David H. Fell co. either.

As to the shor system, I’ve never personally tried it, though
I’d love to. But my current employer had one a few years ago,
and found it quite dissappointing. Probably they weren’t using it
right, but he was not impressed. One limit of the system using a
plating cell is that all your scrap must be melted into a single
piece, like an ingot, in order to properly work. Doing bench
sweeps and filings requires first melting it into an ingot.
There is another system around, called the Redox 2000 if I
recall, that Shor (I think, or maybe it was Gesswein) sold, which
is essentially a bench top chemical refinery for gold, using the
traditional tried and true method of acid dissolution and
precipitation. works well, and the system is set up to take
care of the otherwise nasty fumes that the process can produce.
While I’ve also not used their system, it duplicates the methods
i have used in the past to do my own refining, and should be
reliable and efficient. But it should be noted that both these
systems are most efficient for gold only. Silver is a bit
harder to recover economically from these systems, and platinum
as well, while recoverable, generally isn’t recovered in ready to
use pure form, but as a mix of whatever platinum group metals
were in the scrap.

the thing to keep in mind is that no refining is free to do.
You’ll have to pay for acids, precipitants, the system, and other
componants and consumables. You may save some cost over having
it done, but you loose the controls and precision that
experienced refiners can have over the resulting metal. Sucess
and high purity gold are not automatic, but rely on your
knowlege, lab technique, and the nature of your scrap. And it
does take time to do. In the end, most of us who’ve played with
it end up coming to the conclusion that for most smaller
operations, the money saved on refining fees does not justify
the time and money spent on doing it yourself. But you have to
make up your own mind on the matter.

Peter Rowe


#7

I’ve tried the Shor system andf have found that the presence of
platinum and platinum metals contaminates the process. If you
are working with karat golds - no platinoids - then the system
works pretty well. Some gold is left in the system, but like any
goldsmith’s shop, there is always gold locked up in the system.

My personal beef in recovering metals is in the recovery of
platinoids. I generally seem to come up with a huge loss any time
I send metals out for refining.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
Maryland’s first JA Certified Senior Bench Jeweler
@Bruce_Holmgrain


703-593-4652


#8

You CAN, actually seperate the platinoid successfully using
traditional acid refining methods, either with the shore system,
or true acid dissolutions steps. But its a LOT more complicated
to do. Hoke’s book, “Refining precious metal wastes” details all
you need if you wish to do it yourself.

Best, though, is to keep platinum scrap scrupulously seperate
from gold, so they can be refined seperately.

Peter Rowe


#9

Once more with feeling, The first paragraph or two of my letter
on this Shor system dissappeared, so I’ll try it one more time.

I quit using the Shor System about five years ago due to safety
concerns, as well as the cost-to-benefit ratio. Mr. Shor may
have improved these areas since then, but at the time I had to
melt all metal into an ingot. I purchased a gas mask to limit my
exposure to the fumes and smoke, but stopped altogether when a
crucible exploded in my face, and sprayed molten gold all over
the work area.

The hours I spent in preparation, operating the system,
recovery, and alloying the pure metal can now be spent in
generating more income. I still had to send out the filters and
poor grade material, so now I send out everything, and enjoy the
check that comes back. I better understand what these people go
through in refining, and I don’t begrudge them their fees at all.

If you have any further questions, please email off-line
anytime. Needless to say, I do have a used refining system
available if anyone is interested.

Mike


#10

hi brenny, i would really like to feed it back to shor. about a
year ago i posted my full opinion about the system. just ot recap
a few points: bench sweeps take a looooooong time to prepare and
still don’t completely dissolve. it is next to useless for this
vital use. it is not odorless. it is not much safer. i really
intensely dislike this product.

best regards,

geo fox


#11

Thanks All, for your replies to my “Shor” query. Sounds like I’ll
stay away from it, for now at least.

I do a lot of finishing castings, filing etc. and have a fairly
"rich" mix of gold, chewed up soft SiC wheels(which are great
things for finishing,btw) and whatever wax sneaks into the mix.
I’ve done a little “panning” in trying to separate the gold out,
but can only get so far with cleaning. The panning was done both
as an experiment to see if I could recover something useful, and
to try to get an idea how much gold was in there as a percentage
of weight. The results of this seems to confirm that I did NOT
get back from the refiners what was sent. (Hoover & Strong was
one of the ones used)

Does anyone know of a trick or substance that will aid in
separating the fine gold from the abrasives, etc?

I’ve been recasting scrap quite sucessfully for years using
ReCastIt, an excellent product. Magiccast is also good, but I
find Recastit a little better.You don’t need to use as much as
they say on the pkg.You DO need to put in enough higher karat or
pure gold to get back to plumb. Any Ideas?

Visit Brenn Jewelers website at http://www.brenn.com
mailto: bren@brenn.com

Brenny McLaughlin/Brenn Jewelers
4714-C Starkey Rd.
Roanoke, Va. 24014
voice 540-776-9654
fax 540-776-6342


#12

Hi Folks,

I have used Ney golds for my scrap. They have a return of 95%+
for quantities of 5 oz’s of buttons or grindings/filings and what
have you. They pay for the gold, silver, palladium, platinum and
you get a print out with your check. I’m really not sure of the
%age of the return but it is close. I just checked and it is 95%
of the total and the charge a small %age for refining charges. I
don’t know if their web site is up yet but the address is
probably something like http://www.neydental.com. Do a seach if you are
interested. They are totally honest.

Regards,
Skip


#13

I am using this system and after 2 years have adapted and made
slight changes to benefit me. Thinking back the first three
attempts gave a medium return, however, after melting down the
flakes and mud left in the Anode Pouch, and refined this my
return was acceptable. I found that too much flaking was coming
off the Anode, so I experimented and found that if I made an
Ingot (round cylindrical) and lowered this into the Pouch
section by section I had very little flaking or sections braking
off. This was achieved by using a plastic plate (with ventilation
), a hole in the center for the Anode wire (steel 5.0mm ) and a
clothes `Peg=92 then it is just pushed down as required. The Ingot
then dissolves just like someone sharpening, a pencil until all
is gone. Most of my metal is 18ct to 9ct yellow and white
Platinum base metals I hold back for another day and another form
of recovery. Being a small retail/manufacturing concern I refine
enough to give me an ounce plus, of fine gold at a time, could
be once every 2 to three weeks. It is much better to work with
clean metal, this saves time in the long run and is better for my
customers.

Regards,
Peter Huxley


#14
The panning was done both as an experiment to see if I could
recover something useful, and to try to get an idea how much
gold was in there as a percentage of weight. The results of
this seems to confirm that I did NOT get back from the refiners
what was sent. (Hoover & Strong was one of the ones used) 

Panning like that will not provide an accurate sample, since it
will select for the larger, higher karat pieces, while allowing
lower karat smaller pieces of metal to stay with the rubber wheel
dust. When really panning for gold, your looking for an almost
pure, highly dense metal, and seperating it from nonmetallic
sands, a much greater difference in densities. Even then,
magnetite sands stay largely with the gold, and they are still
farther away than your varied gold dusts.

Also, remember that when you send scrap for refining, there is
always some loss. This is NOT due to dishonesty by the refiners,
but to the simple fact that refining is not perfect. Some gold
simply evaporates during melting, some remains in solutions, some
remains in slag, filters, crucibles, etc. Expecting to be paid
for these losses is unrealistic. If the refiners had to operate
at perfect efficiency, with no losses, the resulting higher costs
of operation would more than offset the regained metal. What
they are returning to you is generally the best available
compromise between high yield and low cost.

If you are unsure of this, the way to test it is not to try and
pan your gold. That simply cannot produce an accurate sample.
Instead, wash it in detergent, remove iron with a magnet, burn in
an open iron frypan to remove organics (just get it hot enough
over the stove to burn off the wax, is sufficient, and then pack
it all into a graphite crucible with plenty of the appropriate
fluxes (A mix of borax, boric acid, a little ammonium chloride,
and a bit of charcoal powder is what I’ve used.), put it in a
furnace, and melt all your scrap, remaining rubber, abrasives,
and all, down to an ingot. This simply requires long enough
(several hours) in the furnace (not a torch melting job) to let
all the gold settle down, even from tiny pieces. Temp needs to be
high enough to completely melt the highest melting gold you use
Pour the resulting melt into a thick ingot mold. Retain the
crucible for the next time, so losses in your own crucible don’t
accumulate beyond a certain point. One thing you will find when
doing this is that somehow, you’ve always got less weight in
that ingot than you expected to have. But an examination of the
remaining flux in the crucible will show that most of the metal
is actually in the ingot. It’s not your error, it’s simply the
nature of scrap filings and such to often contain less metal than
we think or hope we’ve got. It’s what’s confusing your estimates
with the refiners as well.

With the ingot, now drill several holes all the way through at
various points, both in the center and near the edges (Ingots do
NOT have absolutely uniform gold content everywhere, since
progressive solidification concentrates certain metals in the
center and others at the edges.) Collect the drillings. Wash
off any oils. These drillings are now considered a uniform
sample of the metal in the ingot. You need a gram or so, which
is now sent to an assayer for an independent assay.

NOW you have an idea of what you’ve got. Also, when you now
send that ingot in for refining, those drill holes will serve as
notice to the refiner that you’re not working blind, and know
what to expect in return. Plus, because you’ve done the messy
melting part yourself, you’ve eliminated much of the
unpredictable loss, and the refiner will pay you for what you
expect, not for some lower amount when you thought you were
sending more.

Peter Rowe


#15
    I do a lot of finishing castings, filing etc. and have a
fairly "rich" mix of gold, chewed up soft SiC wheels(which are
great things for finishing,btw) 

I keep a small (3x5 or so) box in my bench pan, and position it
under my benchpin when sawing or filing. This keeps my filings
clean( there’ll be a minute amount of wood from the pin) and as
my box fills I empty it into a small zippered plastic bag.

and whatever wax sneaks into the mix.

I have a separate wax bench, to keep wax away from my metal and
also metal away from my wax. It also leaves room for specialized
wax working tools and a lathe, etc. I also leave my different
scales set up, there.

    I've done a little "panning" in trying to separate the
gold out, but can only get so far with cleaning. 

You can burn out a lot of impurities using an old crucible.

  The panning was done both as an experiment to see if I could
recover something useful, and to try to get an idea how much
gold was in there as a percentage of weight. The results of
this seems to confirm that I did NOT get back from the refiners
what was sent. (Hoover & Strong was one of the ones used) 

I have always found Hoover & Strong to be very fair. All good
refiners explain their refining policies somewhere in their
literature, and will supply you with it upon request. Hoover has
always detailed what was sent and what was processed for me, I
can’t imagine that they have changed this.

Curtis


#16
   Is anyone using or have feedback on the Shor Mfg. refining
system.?? 

This debate seems to be one of those that you must decide what
your actual time is worth to you. Being cost effective is the
ultimate goal. would you rather get your orders out or spend
your time recovering the gold and plat. the cost of the metal
purchased is always passed on to the customer. It is more
important for me to make my deadlines.

The refiners are in business to make money but the also need to
keep customers. its not in their best interest to steal from
you. It is very important to know how much metal you may have
on hand in your scrap but without it being assayed prior to
sending it in for recovery you can have no idea of your % of Au,
Ag, Pt, and Pd. The best way as Mr. Rowe has said is to have
and assay before sending your scrap in. Its very important to
make sure that you ask for the refiner to recovery specified
metals that you want. The failer to state these specific metal
will void the recovery of them. Palladium is a recoverable
metal that most people fail to ask to be assayed for and if you
use a palladium alloy there is 42% in 14k white metal

Refining is messy and dangerous for your health but if done
under the right conditions can be safe and the return is pure
metal that must be alloyed. Whether its the acid or the shor
system one must practice to recover pure metal from the process.
Ej