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[Source] Fine Silver Granules


#1

Hi, All!

I’m looking for a source for fine silver granules for granulating. I
usually make my own, but have a commission that requires lots more
than I want to make.

I searched the archives, and only found one source, who didn’t
respond to my query. Any ideas? THX!

Barbara
Barbara Louise Bowling
www.LouisesLeap.com


#2

Hoover and Strong .999 casting grain should do it. Best company,
services, policies and the most reasonable “fabrication” fees of any
US metals dealer (I have used H&S for over 30 years) one could
choose to trade with. Regardless of annual business spending or
studio size, from the telephone service reps to the accounts,
refinery and findings dept. managers any customer is treated to a
welcoming, friendly yet professional sensibility and willingness to
go the extra mile providing superior mill product and solutions to
any order, issue or questions one may present. I would certainly
start there if you are the type of person to shop around. Many
other
distributors sell H&S solders, grain, master alloys, casting
additives, possibly the most superior gold substitute available
worldwide (Tigold) and other things so why not go directly to the
source! rer (no I don’t work for them!)


#3

Hi Louise:

Rio Grande’s making Argentium granules for granulating in various
sizes. Horrifyingly expensive, but given how much of a PITA is to
make good granules, not unreasonable. I’ve never used Argentium to
granulate, but clearly someone must be doing lots of it…

FWIW
Brian


#4

I have always purchased my gold and silver granules from the
following supplier:

SPM company headquarters
SEMX corporation headquarters
1 labriola court, armonk, new york 10504-1336 usa
Phone: (914) 273-5500 * fax: (914) 273-2065
sempck.com

The last time I bought some the price was about $700 plus the cost
of the metal.

You can always find this link on my web site under granulation
links.

Love and God Bless
randy
http://www.rocksmyth.com


#5

Thanks for this reply…but is casting grain really uniform enough to
use for granulation? (I’m not a caster…)

Also, Thanks to you all who suggested Rio for their Argentium
granules…but since I’m using them in enameling, I’m thinking that
1500F will be too hot? Has anyone tried using argentium granules in
enamels? That’s why I was so intent on fine silver, because they
have to go into the kiln.

Barb
Barbara Louise Bowling
www.LouisesLeap.com


#6

Barb,

Argentium doesn’t work for enamelling, it’s a melting point issue. I
make my own granules from fine silver sheet. I snip very small
pieces of the smallest guage I have, then spread them out on a
charcoal block and heat them with a torch until they turn red and
melt. The secret is to set the block on an angle with a dish of
water at the end so that the granules “roll” when melted and don’t
create a flat spot, they roll straight down into the water to cool.
You heat the pieces closest to the water first so that the others
don’t roll into each other and get larger.

It takes patience, but it is worth it.

You can contact me off orchid if you wish.

jennifer friedman
http://www.jenniferfriedmanstudio.com


#7

If you want to produce a quantity silver granules precisely the same
size, they all must contain exactly the same quantity of metal. The
quickest way to do this is to make and melt jump rings. If you keep
a record of the wire size, mandrel diameter and resulting granule
size, you will soon be able to easily duplicate any size in quantity.

Ray Grossman
Ray Grossman Inc.
Inventors and manufacturers of Jump Ringer Systems


#8
Argentium doesn't work for enamelling, it's a melting point
issue. I make my own granules from fine silver sheet. 

i always made my fine silver or 22kt gold granules from coiling wire
around a dowl, and then cutting the coil into jump rings, in order
to keep the granules uniform. I will also look up the name of a
commercial manufacturer on Long Island who produce granules for
industrial purposes…SPM manufacturing or something. You can
contact me offline this weekend and i will dig for the name!

Emily Keifer Fine Jewels
www.emilykeifer.com


#9

If you cant afford to buy the granules, you can cut your own. I was
in a granulation class taught by Jean Stark, and she had a tool to
cut the wire for granules.

After the class I bought one immediately, and it is one of the best
purchases I have ever made.

It is sold by Allcraft Jewelry Supply in New York.

Allcraft Jewelry Supply 135 W 29 St, Manhattan, NY, 10001-5104 (212)
279-7077

Pavel had it specifically designed for this purpose. I just checked,
and they are out of stock, but you can call and find out when they
will have them again.

You can see pictures of the tool at:

http://www.rocksmyth.com/granulationlinks/granulationpictures.htm

An ounce of small granules is about 50,000 granules. I can cut about
2-3 a sec, 180 a minute, or 10,800 an hour. That’s enough to last
for a while.

At the price of granules being $700 plus the cost of the metal, this
tool pays for itself before the first ounce.

I take the snippets, put them on charcoal block ‘slightly’ tilted
down so they will roll into a dish of water, separate them with my
solder pick, use a small flame on my Smith torch, start at the bottom
so they will not run into each other, and heat them from side to
side on the block. There will be some doubling up, but they are easy
to spot and sort out afterwards, and they all get used eventually.

Love and God Bless
randy
http://www.rocksmyth.com


#10

If you don’t want to bother making your own granules, contact Maxine
at SPM. They make 22kt gold and find silver granules. 914-273-5500
sempck.com

Diane
Dikra Gem Inc.


#11

I took a class at Revere with Kent Raible who used a special
granule/wire cutter. At the time I tried to order the wire cutter
from Allcraft and it was out of stock. So, in looking for a different
source I found a wire gillotine on ebay - the Finding King. It looks
very similar to the pictures of the Allcraft tool, it just doesn’t
have the little snippet catcher, but that could easily be added.
It’s only $55, where as the Allcraft tool is $200. It works great.
Here’s a picture:

http://www.findingking.com/p-20330-wire-guillotine.aspx

The other trick that I learned is that if you have a kiln, you can
layer powered charcoal (I purchased mine at an Art store) into a
cylander crucible.

The layers are about 1/4" thick, sprinkle in some snippets and then
layer some more charcoal, until you’ve filled the crucible. Cover it
with a small ceramic tile made for kilns or a thin slice of fire
brick and heat it at 2000 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (time
varies depending on your kiln. Once the granules are melted, they
will be perfectly round, and you are able to make thousands at once.
They have to be sorted for size. Kent Raible had a fabulous setup
for sifting the granules by size. He took a bunch of different
calibrated sizes of metal screen, heated them up and melted them
into the bottom of PVC plumbing tubing that was threaded to screw
together.

You could then screw all these different PVC tubes together, largest
to smallest, largest holed screens at the top and pour your granules
into it and shake a little. The granules would filter down through
the different guages of screen. When you were done, you would have
separated out the granuales into all the different calibrated sizes.
It was really cool. I’ve been meaning to make one of these, but
haven’t ordered the screen yet. What I have now is a series of
little metal dishes that I used different sized drill bits on to
gauge the size of the granules. It’s slower than the method that
Kent had. You can’t sort as many granules at one time.

Hope this helps, if my description wasn’t clear enough or you have
questions, feel free to contact me off line

Ellen Starr
Starr Design - in Minnesota


#12

Another idea if buying granules is too expensive. Taught in a
workshop by Doug Harling- use a solder snippers, insert wire from
the side and you get the same lengh everytime- just change wire gauge
to change size of granule. Dig small holes in a charcoal block for
the snips of wire and torch.

Sharon Kaplan


#13
Another idea if buying granules is too expensive. Taught in a
workshop by Doug Harling- use a solder snippers, insert wire from
the side and you get the same lengh everytime- just change wire
gauge to change size of granule. Dig small holes in a charcoal
block for the snips of wire and torch. 

I always found that method a bit slow. Your snipping the lengths
literally one at a time, and melting the small straight lengths of
wire meant you needed those individual hollows, which makes it really
slow. I prefer to take very fine wire, wind a coil of small jump
rings, cut the coil with small solder snips instead of a saw blade,
so cutting the coil is very fast Because the length of each bit of
wire is regulated by the coil you wound, it’s repeatable and very
accurate for getting the sizes the same every time. The distorted
links cut off lay flat on a charcoal block without rolling off while
you melt them, until they melt to a ball. So I use a slightly angled
charcoal block, and as each link melts to a ball, it then rolls off
the incline and out of the way. All you have to do when putting the
links on the charcoal block is make sure they’re not touching, no
bothering with little holes, etc. The coils themselves can be “power
wound” with the mandrel chucked into the flex shaft, and snipping
down the length of the coil to cut it takes only slightly longer than
snipping each individual chip with the solder snippers. So long as
you’re not trying to get the very tiniest sizes of grain, whre even
using the finest size wire means a whole “link” is still too much
wire, this method works well. And I’ll tell you,.3 mm wire wound on
the shank of a #60 or smaller drill bit makes really small grains.
At that size, you no longer can cut the coil with snips. Back to my
usual method of cutting jump rings, the very thin (.006" thick)
seperating disks. Almost as fast. Cut the coils while still supported
on the shank of the drill bit so they don’t fly all over.

Peter


#14

Ellen, Thanks for all that information. Would you post an image of the cylnder crucible, please and/or a source for purchasing one. Thanks, Linda Kaye-Moses


#16

I was going to suggest the layers of metal in powdered charcoal in a kiln but Ellen beat me to it…:-)… A couple of additional points:

Herbert Maryon (1912) wrote about using tiny jump rings (easy to make a lot at once and they all produce the same size granule) and “a little box made of sheet iron”—so you can really use any sort of container that will take the heat. He layered the rings with powdered charcoal in the box. Then “Tie the lid on with stout iron wire, and put the box in the fire. Let it get bright red-hot.Then take it out and cool it in water. Wash the charcoal away.”

If you want to get the granules perfectly sorted, he then goes on to give a delightful, terribly _IN_expensive way to make a series of nested sieves using a few packets of different sized sewing needles, a sheet of cork, some wax, some copper foil, and some thin copper or brass sheet :-). It’s too long for me to type (I can’t touch-type), but you can find it on page 54 of Maryon’s “Metalwork and Enamelling”–a Dover paperback.

Janet in Jerusalem


#17

Ellen/Seth,

The link
http://www.findingking.com/p-20330-wire-guillotine.aspx
takes me to a page that says “Ooops, sorry the page you requested does not exist!”…

Oops–didn’t realize these posts were from 8 years ago…:-)…!


#18

Hi @janetb - unfortunately, some of the links in the old threads don’t work anymore, simply because the third-party website isn’t servicing the link anymore. Over time we will correct these and hopefully replace them with relevant links!


#19

This last May at the Santa Fe Symposium. Jeanette Caine gave a great tip
for making uniform granuals. She uses the small hole punch pliers to punch
granules out of sheet. Fast and consistent. When I asked her how she cold
get different sizes she just smiled and said “Oh well I roll the sheet out
thinner for smaller granules.” Insert sound of me slapping my forehead. She
gave a great paper “Granulation Demystified”. You can find it on line. Just
Google Santa Fe Symposium Papers 2016. Worth the read.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#20

Jo, what a great tip. Thanks. Alma