Trouble with unfolding fold in argentium sheet

Hi there, I’m having a blast trying out some of the techniques in
Charles Lewton-Brain’s FoldForming book, but on some of the "thicker"
pieces of Argentium (like .8 mm - how am I doing? trying to use mm -
ha!), I’m having a heck of a time unfolding at the edge of the piece
(so, for example, I did a cuff with diagonal folds, and where the
fold crossed the edge of the cuff, I wasn’t able to completely unfold
the metal).

I have a knife, which I wrestle (sometime tap with my hammer) into
the fold and then I use my mapps gas torch to heat between hammering.
I know that I am getting enough heat on thinner pieces, as I
sometimes fuse them shut (ridiculously annoying). Is there a
preferred technique? I’m using a nylon wedge hammer and often whack
my thumb or fingers nicely, yet still leave the edge curled down. I
can see about upload a pic if that would help. Thanks, as always, in
advance for your responses!

Ros Bain

Ros -

My experience is that sometimes you can’t unfold those edges. If
they fuse, you can hammer (metal on anvil) them flat but that still
leaves the mark of the fold.

I have taken to coating the folds in Argentium with a solder-resist
(I use water based white out) to prevent them fusing.


Debby! You’re brilliant! I have white out on my bench but it never
occurred to me to use it avoid accidentally fusing! Oh my goodness,
you’re just saved me a lot of headache!!

Thank you!

Hi Ros,

You are seeing why foldforming is generally done on 24 gauge/.5mm or
thinner metal, aren’t you?

When I need to fold form heavier gauges, there are two things I do
to make it easier to open:

1- Don’t confirm the edges all the way closed. Only the fold needs
to be well-confirmed (For those new to fold forming: confirming a
fold is like creasing a fold made in paper. We confirm by hammering
next to the fold, or running it through a rolling mill.)

2- Once you’ve got a little bit of an opening, put a wedge in a
vise, put the opening over it, and mallet the metal down onto the
wedge, to open the fold. Malleting this way give you more force and
leverage than pushing an opening tool into the opening.

Cynthia Eid

Thanks Cynthia! Gosh, it never occurred to me to run the fold thru my
mill. Bet that would make a nice, crisp fold (and that I’d have zero
chance of unfolding it). A couple more questions - I think that I
stressed not only myself (ha ha!) but also the metal at the fold
location. By stress, I mean unnatural looking stretch marks. Is this
aresult of insufficient heating of the piece first? And for the vise
question - just for clarification, I put the crease/fold into the
vise, ends of the metal up?

Cheers and thanks