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Trouble fusing silver jump rings


#1

I’m trying to make a loop in loop chain in fine silver but having
trouble making the loops. I’m using 28ga in ~5mm loops. So far, I’m
getting about 20% of my loops to fuse with the rest ending up with
balled up ends. What is the best way to cut this size wire? I’ve been
using side cutters so far. For the fusing, I’m using a meco with
propane and N-0 tip, and just laying the rings flat on my soldering
board. Any other advice besides to keep practicing?


#2

Laser welder and use black ink to knock down the reflection

Russ Hyder
The Jewelry CAD Institute
www.thejewelrycadinstitute.com


#3

You might want to try and get the links off of the soldering
pad…it is a heat sink.

Russ Hyder
The Jewelry CAD Institute
www.thejewelrycadinstitute.com


#4

I fuse on either a charcoal block or light fire brick. Have patience
and until you learn to do it well you will get those loops that don’t
fuse. Try focusing your heat to the center of the loops and then to
the outside of them, keep the flame moving until you see the flash.

Jennifer Friedman
Ventura, CA


#5

Caedmon,

I’m into silver fusing myself. Admittedly I use thicker wire, 24
gauge, but see if you can’t get better results using the following
method:

My nearest equivalent to a flush cutter has been a fingernail
clipper, followed by a couple passes of sandpaper. Tension the ring
so that the edges meet up exactly. Suspend the ring using a smooth
jawed alligator clip mounted on a wire hanger that is held in a vise.
The ring should be suspended in such a way so that the cut edges are
facing downward.

The next step needs to be done under magnification. I use a Radio
Shack butane pocket torch. Hold the torch so that the yellow part of
the flame very gradually makes contact with the bottom of the ring
where the cut edges are. Make slow passes underneath the ring until
you gain a controlled heating effect.

You’ll notice under magnification the silver getting close to
red-orange just before you see the flash of the silver melting.
Remove the flame at once.

The edges should be fused. With some practice my method works 19
times out of 20 because I let gravity do the work for me.

Luck to you,
Andrew Jonathan Fine


#6

Hi Caedmon. Loop-in-loop chains are really beautiful. I’ve made a
few and really love the supple feel of them. As far as technique, I
wind the wire around a wooden dowel, slide the coiled loops off the
dowel holding them together with my fingers, then cut down the center
with cuticle scissors. I think the problem you are having may be
because you don’t have the ends (where the loop meets) tight enough
against each other. There should be enough tension holding them
together so that if you pull the ends gently apart, the tension pulls
them back together again. You get this tension by pushing the ends
beyond each other a few times, then pull back and line them up
against each other. There should then be sufficient tension to hold
the ends together.

good luck.
Alice


#7

Wow - torch fusing 28G. I think I’d get about 80% rejects using my
hydrogen torch too. I’m sure someone is good enough but for us
mortals you may need a different technology. I’ve fused as thin as
32G using ABI’s pulse arc welders. I find welding or fusing of fine
wire is where the pulse arc welders really shine.

Regardless of what tech is used it would help to be actively pushing
the ends of the ring together. With pulse arc you use your fingers.
With torch fusing you need some sort of jig - a very delicate jig for
28G J

Jon Daniels
The Ring Lord Chainmail
http://theringlord.com


#8

Hi,

I’ve fused lots of fine silver links of many gauges.

I think the problem you’re having is with the way you’re cutting the
links. Wire cutter if I remember. Most, if not all wire cutters
leave the ends of the cut wire tapered.

Fusing requires that the 2 faces that are to be fused are in contact
with each other over their whole surface. Getting 2 points to
contact is very difficult. Then when the heat is applied one of the
ends may be smaller than the other & it’ll melt first leaving a gap
between the 2 wires. The silver will not jump the gap.

The best way to cut coils for links that will be fused is with a
saw. This leaves both ends of the ring parallel to each other. Since
they are parallel the ring can be closed so both sides of the ring
are in contact with each other. With good torch control it’s possible
to bring both ends of the joint to melting temp simultaneously.
Removing the flame as soon as a flash is seen will prevent the joint
from developing a divot or a bump.

I fuse all my rings on a soft (magnesia) fire brick.

Dave


#9

Thanks to all for the suggestions, both on and off list.

After switching from side cutters to my premium $1 Ikea scissors for
the cutting, and using a smaller tip on the torch, and a little more
practice, I was able to increase yield to nearly 50%. Tried some
other variations as well, but these were the changes that seemed to
be helping for me.

I got the cuts clean enough and the ends lined up well enough, that
I had difficulty seeing the joint. This made it difficult to know
where to direct my attention when fusing. The only thing that saved
me was consistently lining them up facing the same direction.

So, better but still way too much work and too little progress. So I
tried with some #26 argentium. OMG. This is so much easier. Out of
~150 rings, 3 that didn’t fuse completely, I think due to the
previously mentioned problem of not being able to see the joint. Of
the rest, almost half where I couldn’t see the fused joint and the
rest where there’s a small line. But it’s hard to see and strength
seems adequate.

I wish I had some #26 fine silver so I could see whether the
difference is just the size or if the argentium has something to do
with it.


#10

Hello OrchidLand, Been thinking… has anyone tried this?

Can the process of fusing fine silver loops be helped by adding a
thin copper plate to the seam area? Essentially you would be lowering
temperature at that point because the copper-silver would alloy to
sterling [lower melting temperature] just slightly before the fine
silver would fuse.

It would be an easy matter to plate these pieces. Use old pickle, add
copper filings until it is deep blue green, suspend loops so just the
seams are submerged and touch steel probe into pickle… Voila !
The amount of copper deposited would be minimal, but enough.

Yes, it is the same principle as grannulation.


#11

On the fusing problem… if your cut is not flush, then I would saw.
The ends of the jump rings should be butted together. And it sounds
like you might be going in too hot?? Try a little less heat and go
around and around the ring, watching closely, then pull away AS SOON
as it fuses.

Good luck, keep practicing!
Mary Barker