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Soldering Argentium ring blanks


#1

Hi,

So far I love working with Argentium, however today I ran into a bit
of a problem. I cut strips out of Argentium sheet (about 10x1mm x
60mm) to make rings. I bend the strips as usual, so they touched at
the seam with just a bit of pressure. I added flux and solder and was
surprised to find that the Argentium moved when I held the flame to
it. This happened with both rings I worked on.

Was it the tension that made it move? There was not much tension, so
if that was the problem, is there a trick to getting the seams
cosely together without putting any tension on the metal? Or was it
something else that caused the metal to move? I did hold the rings
in cross-lock tweezers with the seem on the bottom.

When I fuse round Argentium wire together I lay it flat on the
soldering pad, and even though there is some tension as well, so far
I have not had any problems with movingment.

Thanks for your help,
Birgit


#2

Hi,

In a similar way, I worked a fairly heavy blank of argentium 1.2mm,
same general dimensions below. I annealed the blank and then formed
it, which took some of the spring out of the metal so that I was able
to work it into a circle using a mandrel and mallet… actually
didn’t need to true the ends up, so I coated it in battern’s flux
and fused the seam… no solder needed. beautiful beautiful flash and
there it was - happily we also got to see the product through micron
photography and you can see the dispersion of the molecules amongst
each other so that there really is no seam… and this was after
having laid out a wire pattern in argentium and 18K gold that I also
fused. Afterwards I granulated with same, finishing with setting a
22K gold bezel on top… all fusing, no solder, no fire scale, no
pitting… just beautiful bright silver with a whisper of blue to
remind me of rhodium plated platinum… such a facile thing this
argentium…

I assume you annealed before beginning the bending? Perhaps try
pushing the ends past each other, so that they pop back and click
into place, the pressure being self-imposed to hold together…
worked beautifully today… cheers m


#3

I have bound parts together with copper wire before soldering in the
past and it has kept the parts from moving, or shifting in the past.

Sincerely, Wayne Carvalho


#4

Birgit,

Put your seam on top. The heat rises in the metal. With the seam on
the bottom, the metal expands and can “Push” the unattached ends.
With the seam on top, it will solder quicker as well. Make sure to
heat the entire piece evenly, this will cause a slower, more even
expansion. Hope this can help. Dan.

DeArmond Tool
http://www.dearmondtool.com


#5

Hi Birgit,

I think you found the answer in your last paragraph: try laying the
rings on their sides, just as you lay jump rings down for fusing. The
ring is fully supported that way. If this works, then I think that
the rings may have been sagging when held in the tweezers. If it does
not work, then anneal the rings, then adjust to fit for soldering.
Any metal may move during soldering if it is under tension, after
all—this metal is heavier than the wire you are fusing. Do let us
know if this works!

Best wishes,
Cynthia
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#6

Thanks so much for all the replies. As suggested I did lay the rings
on their side instead of holding them in the tweezers. I was able to
solder them together without a problem. I also found that I could
fuse the rings together. No more movement or slumping. It worked just
beautifully.

Birgit