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Thread: Hello hello

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Hello hello

    Hi people, Iv'e no idea if I'm in the right place here to say ''hello'', but decided I got to try SOMETHING out. I'm not very good with all this techie stuff.... Anyway, I found this site by accident whilst looking for a bit of advice on preparing items (of silver) for hallmarking, and thought you sound like a cool bunch of folk. So I'm another one who is returning to silver, after a gap of about 25 yrs. In the meantime I've been working only with copper, bronze, nickel-silver, and brass. I have been selling my stuff direct to the public on hired stalls, but a serious drop-off of sales this year has urged me to get back into silver, and try Etsy and the like (as well as try to get some good outlets in shops).
    So I'm looking forward to being part of your forum, hope I may be able to help someone at some point. And it's nice to know you guys are there when I have my own problems! Joe

  2. #2
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    Hi Joe, welcome
    Ask away when you are ready. Just a note from what you said you sell. You do know that it’s illegal to sell jewellery containing nickel in the U.K?

  3. #3
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    Hi Caroline, no I have never heard this about N.S. Don't get it really, as I'm pretty sure there are lots of watch straps that are nickel- no? Anyway, it's a bit moot now, as I can no longer buy the wire in the gauge I used unless I spend at least 350, so not bothering with it anymore- and as I said, going back to silver. I do have a question for you however...my main product is woven wire bracelets that are hammered and swaged, and after melting the ends together and annealing, alot of oxide is inaccessible in the pattern. I had trouble in the past with Edinburgh AO sometimes because of this, and I'd like to know if I need to buy an ultrasonic tank, or if you think a good pickling would be ok, before sending in for assaying ? I am not, as you've probably gathered, a trained jeweller like most of you guys !! Thanks for the ''hello'' ! Joe

  4. #4
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    You have to pickle everything well after soldering, assay or not. It’s the only way to remove the residue from torching. I don’t have an ultrasonic but pickling and then a toothbrush and some washing up liquid if necessary should finish it off. Edinburgh is my office and they are usually really good but don’t imagine they’ll take work that isn’t in a condition to assay.
    As for nickel the law is the law and once someone gets a nickel allergy they have it for life. The US however has different rules and it’s always a point we make on here.

  5. #5
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    Pickling will leave your watch strap a light grey colour, but if you then brush it with a wet and soapy brass brushh, it will ciome up a treat. Metal Clay have a super soft one which would be particularly good for a woven texture. (half way down the page)
    http://www.metalclay.co.uk/search.ph...ft+brass+brush Dennis.

  6. #6
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    Hi Caroline, thankyou for the info- if iv'e silver soldered something,I always immersed it in boiling water and brushed out the (then softened) residue, as that was the advice with Easyflow I received from Walshes. But most of the time with siver I just carefully melt the wires together, no soldering involved, so I assumed the A.O. were getting small particles of oxide dropping out of all the crevices as they scraped away,- back then (25yrs ago) I did not have a pickling set up, so know nothing as to weather this is sufficient before assaying- so thankyou for that, Pickle, then wash well, and that should be enough - Cool ! And can save a lot of money not needing to buy an ultrasonic, will just buy a good crockpot .
    As for the nickel-silver, that's quite a shock, and I hope nobody has had a bad reaction. I did of course come across people who already knew they had an allegy to it, but I had never heard that it works in this manner,( or that it was illegal). As I said, I have in any case stopped using it. Thankyou so much though for the ''heads-up''.
    Joe

  7. #7
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    Hi Dennis, Thankyou for your response to my questions. As i hope you can see here, Caroline also replied, and so please read my reply to her for the details (some rather worrying!) I have to say though that I would be reluctant to use a brass brush...will this not leave a brass residue on the silver? Don't expect you have noticed, but I loved that multi-coloured ring you made, and asked if it was glass- I then saw elsewhere that you work with acrylics sometimes, so assume that's what it's made of. Very nice! Cheers,
    Joe

  8. #8
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    After heating silver (solder or not) you will get oxides of silver and copper, which have a dark grey cast. This will all come off in a warm pickle solution. Rinsing and neutralising with bicarbonate, or soda crystals in solution, followed by plain water is advised.

    If you have overheated, by using a fierce oxidising flame, or even prolonging the time, you will get a bluish patch just below the surface, commonly called firescale, which is difficult to remove without fierce abrasion, so is best avoided. Painting all over with a flux first, helps to reduce the likelihood.

    Brass brushes used wet and soapy are common in jewellery and leave no discernable residue, or reaction by the wearer. Used dry they leave a nasty stain. Many of my chains and textured pieces are finished by this method alone.

    Thank you for liking the acrylics. There is a reply posted for you. Dennis.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    After heating silver (solder or not) you will get oxides of silver and copper, which have a dark grey cast. This will all come off in a warm pickle solution. Rinsing and neutralising with bicarbonate, or soda crystals in solution, followed by plain water is advised.

    If you have overheated, by using a fierce oxidising flame, or even prolonging the time, you will get a bluish patch just below the surface, commonly called firescale, which is difficult to remove without fierce abrasion, so is best avoided. Painting all over with a flux first, helps to reduce the likelihood.

    Brass brushes used wet and soapy are common in jewellery and leave no discernable residue, or reaction by the wearer. Used dry they leave a nasty stain. Many of my chains and textured pieces are finished by this method alone.

    Thank you for liking the acrylics. There is a reply posted for you. Dennis.
    Ok, thanks Dennis, I didn't realize that used wet with soap would stop the brass coming off, onto the silver. And thanks for the advice to neutralize, I didn't know about that either, Yes I'm familiar with fire scale from working 25yrs ago, and usually managed to avoid it ! Although I've not used silver all this time, I've been regularly fusing bronze and copper (bracelet ends) and so I'm ok with setting my torch still- definitely best avoided! And thankyou for replying so quickly, you and Caroline, I'm amazed....and so glad I joined the forum. Cheers for now, Joe

  10. #10
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    Hi Dennis,
    Ah, right, didn't realize that brushing wet with soap would stop the brass transfering to the silver, makes all the difference by the sounds of it. And thanks for the advice to neutralize, wasn't aware I had to do that either. I should be alright avoiding firescale- had that once or twice many years ago,quite a pain- but I've been regularly melting together bronze and copper wires ever since, so am ok with setting torch still. And thankyou for replying so quickly, you and Caroline, I'm amazed...and very glad I joined your forum. Had a bit more time tonight, so looked at the rest of your album- wow, really nice stuff- the Bar chart(?) brooch is my favorite. Cheers for now, Joe

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