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Distracted by posting shiny pictures as I was, I did not post about… - Metals Geekery

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My artisan metalsmithing site
My original Celtic designs in various media, including jewelry
My Etsy store- Affordable individually-made items.

February 14th, 2007

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04:18 pm
Distracted by posting shiny pictures as I was, I did not post about my Sunday experiments with using a tack welder to ease the process of making argentium filigree.

The thing about tack welding is this: it works pretty well and straightforwardly for temporarily sticking gold and platinum to itself, once one gets the hang of it. And it's theoretically capable of doing the same with silver... but silver is more conductive of both heat and electricity, so it doesn't work as well. I'd hoped that argentium- which in many ways works more like gold- would be more natural to the thing.

My results were mixed. The difference between an ineffective tack and an overly exuberant one were tiny in terms of the machine settings. I'll have to play more with that. At times the argentium was more enthusiastic about being tacked to the tweezers than to the other piece of argentium- that was a nuisance.

I was also playing with fusing rather than soldering the argentium filigree. Again, mixed. the nature of filigree wire seems to mean that there is not a beautiful fit between 2 pieces- the twist gets in the way. So the most effective fuses were on joins which had been welded with a too-strong burst of power.

I'm not completely discouraged with either technique, though. I think more experimenting is in order, and I will hopefully be able to either develop some techniques that will work, or rule out the processes.

Also, tonight I plan to be posting prices on the pieces I posted about recently, assuming the power doesn't go out.

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