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Reticulation - one pass


#1

Hi all

Regarding the reticulation process, I pass along these comments
gained from reticulating hundreds of pieces using three
different alloys . I have read nearly all books/articles on the
subject . I have actually prepared items using the methods
described in the standard literature.

In short ? the standard methods and the methods I have seen
recommended on this forum require too many passes and much
unnecessary work.

I make one pass , heat the metal one time, and achieve very good
textured metal . I move the flame around to achieve a good result
during the time the alloy is in a molten state . I use this one
pass technique for sterling silver and for an alloy of 70% copper
and 30% silver ( has a nice rose color? Japanese alloy).

I have prepare and used the reticulated metal ( 80% Silver-20%
copper) and see very little difference in the texture Vs easily
available sterling ( 92.5% silver - 7.5 % copper).

I feel that the major factor in the reticulation process is the
different in the melting temperatures of the metals that
constitution the alloy …The different in melting temperatures of
multi metals in an molten alloy creates the forces during cooling
that result in the reticulated texture , we all enjoy.

Lou
Metallou@aol.com


#2
   I make one pass , heat the metal one time, and achieve very
good textured metal . I move the flame around to achieve a good
result during the time the alloy is in a molten state . I use
this one pass technique for sterling silver and for an alloy of
70% copper and 30% silver ( has a nice rose color? Japanese
alloy).

hi lou…this subject is of great interest to me. could you
please elaborate on the one pass process? are you saying that you
do not heat and then pickle your metal the usual 6 or 7 times
before performing the reticulation? i am getting good results
using the 80/20 alloy from hoover & strong but am interested in
finding ways to speed up the process if possible. any suggestions
you might have would be greatly appreciated…many thanks,
@DMorton567


#3

Hi DMorton567

  are you saying that you do not heat and then pickle your
metal the usual 6 or 7 times ?before performing the
reticulation?

YES ?. that is exactly what I am saying ! I used the 5 to 7 step
process at first with the 80-20 alloy and got good results but
?. took too long . While investigating the reticulation
characteristics of the Japanese alloy Shibuichi , which is a high
copper alloy (70-80% copper remaining fine silver) , I started
reticulating with out any metal prepossessing and got great
results . I subsequently tried the one-pass method on a small
sheet of sterling and it came out good.

I have also used the method on 14kt gold .

I have notice that the texture is more defined in thinner gages
but that may be how I use the flame or fuel and tip size?

I have a very amateur Home page that shows some of my
reticulation work , if your interested in what can be achieve
with this method , the URL is:

This site was prepared over a year ago . I just got a Digital
camera and will updating my site soon.

No big secrets in the process just heat and move the flame
during molten state. I use acetylene with a #2 or 3 tip. The metal
is placed on charcoal block . I usually heat the block-up
somewhat but not sure if it makes a difference.

If you use reticulated metal in your designs , this method makes
the process more friendly.

Regards Lou

Metallou@ aol.com


#4

Hi and what exactly is the rose colored Japanese metal called
and where can one get it…???sounds so much nicer then the 6 or
7 times one does have to reheat and scrub and etc before
reticulating… sounds great… calgang@aol.com


#5
  are you saying that you do not heat and then pickle your
metal the usual 6 or 7 times =D8 before performing the
reticulation?

YES. that is exactly what I am saying ! I used the 5 to 7 step
process at first with the 80-20 alloy and got good results but
85. took too long .

I will second Lou’s method. I started doing reticulation before
I knew what it was when I accidently overheated a piece of
silver. I loved the texture created and did it for lots of
things, often dropping other pieces of metal into the molten
surface to get special effects…When I finally found out what I
was doing I tried the heating and quenching several times but
didn’t see that much difference in the results. Its really fun
to do, to watch the metal moving around - hard to get pairs for
earrings though. Jan

http://www.designjewel.com Unique Handcrafted Jewelry


#6

So, why do earrings have to match precisely? I love earrings
that relate but are not exactly the same.


#7

I normally reticulate an entire piece of 'reticulation silver’
the kind with more copper than normal. And after I have the
pattern, I cut out whatever earring shape I want to use . . . no
problem with pairs, I’m too a-simetrical (sp?) I couldn’t make
two of EXACTLY the same if I tried.


#8
   Hi and what exactly is the rose colored Japanese metal
called and where can one get it...???

Hi You can purchase from Reactive Metals … Phil Balwin makes
it. Japanese alloy is called Shibuichi … basically a high
copper alloy. I alloy the copper with fine silver or sterling ,
and roll into sheet (power mill).

later Lou
metallou@aol.com
Go with the flow


#9

Hi jan one phase of my development of the one-pass retic method
was an over heat of sterling that i was annealing . I put the
metal in a small oven and left in too long . When i finally open
the oven the metal looked like a big blob . After cooling , a
very heavy reticulation texure appeared. This accident conviced
me that serveral passes were not required to achieve good
texturing .

Lou
Metallou@aol.com
Go with the flow


#10
So, why do earrings have to match precisely?  I love earrings
that relate but are not exactly the same.

and I find that more sophisticated customers appreciate them as
well…especially since that whole bad Madonna mis-matched
earring thing is behind us.

Karen


#11
So, why do earrings have to match precisely?  I love earrings
that relate but are not exactly the same.

Earrings don’t have to match! That’s just one of those notions
that need to be challenged!


#12

Is this true for reticulating silver or just for sterling?

	@mbm

#13

Can not reticulate a pure metal like fine silver. Must have 2 or
more alloys with different melting /cooling temperatures . All
pure metals such as Fine Silver & 24kt Gold will not reticulate.

Lou


#14

If some one tells me they dont quite match I say any one that
gets close enough to tell the difference kis not interested in
your earrings anyway. I get a lotofsmilesand chuckleswith that
one !


#15

I do some wonderful reticulation with fine silver. I can
control the design of the pieces much better and can even "match"
earrings. I’ll try and scan some designs and see if my
reticulation is the same as other peoples. Maybe I have come up
with a new art form!


#16

There is another alternative to the heating/pickling/brass
brushing six or seven times cycle for reticulation and that is to
use a kiln - once. The problem is that I do not have one and
have consequently forgotten whether it is 1100 degrees for 13
minutes or 1300 degrees for 11 minutes. However- I do know that
you can call and talk to the tech people at your supplier and
they can tell you - which is how I found out once when I knew
this. At any rate - more food for thought. Laura


#17
   Please elaborate a bit more.  How hot (approximately) was
the kiln?  Were you using regular sterling >sheet, fine
silver, or a special sheet made for reticulation? What gauge
sheet have you found to give >consistently good results?  When
you do this "one pass" with the torch, what kind of flame do
you have >and do you literally heat the metal to "meltdown?" 
Are you coating your metal with the basic boric acid >and
denatured alcohol solution before heat treatments? Terri

Hi Terri

Nothing fancy ?. with some practice & determination you will
achieve good textured metal using this method . To reticulate the
metal MUST be an alloy ( copper-silver, gold-silver-copper, etc)
Pure metal can not be reticulated ? no temperature difference to
provide forces … I use standard sterling as purchase from anyone
.

I do not use the 80-20 alloy anymore? very little if any
difference in texture.

The flame work and feel of the process has much to do with the
quality of the texture.and this requires practice.

20 gage is good, have used 18ga, thinner gages 22, 24, seem to
texture better but are light for my application (cuff bracelets).

I am not good at describing flame types ? just a normal flame

As you will learn , the trick in the reticulation process is the
feel of When and Where to move the flame. Bringing the alloy up to
temperature without major melting will require practice.

No coatings ? I have read that placing yellow O, steel may
retard the texturing where applied.

The oven temperature was 1700 to 1800 F. It is possible to use
an oven for this process ? must look in the oven to check
progress ?. very few advantages compared to torch.

Lou

Lou N Goldstein
Highland Hts. , Ohio 44143
216-461-9325
metallou@aol.com
Lou’s Metal Art
Go with the flow


#18

Hi Laura, the process is outlined in Tim McCreight’s book on
casting, I tried it a couple of days ago and it works great,
although I really don’t see much improvement over the one pass
method.

Jan


#19

Jan - You’re right - it was under my nose all the time
(literally, since all my books are under my bench !!) I
sometimes forget I have some of these things…or maybe I just
need to clean up some around there…Ugh what a thought…if I
give it a little time, it will pass … Laura