I mostly spent today organizing and doing prep work, like some annealing. Some of the annealed pieces are ones I'd been working on, and some were raw mill goods that I neglected to specify I wanted "dead soft" when I ordered them. D'oh!
I have now, I think, developed decent skills at coating pieces with Cuprinol or similar before annealing. I'd had a tough time getting the hang of exactly how warm to make them before applying the spray. I also noted that Cuprinol, anyway, does in fact burn off; one piece had a 2-step annealing process, and I didn't pickle it between but I didn't re-coat it either, and it did oxidize some. I'll have to remember that.
Also, it is very puzzling indeed to read so many contradictory things about annealing nickel white gold! One site says in one place to anneal at 1400F and quench when black, then in another place on the very same site, it says 1500F and air-cool. A different site says 1350F and air-cool. So I kinda went with the average, and did it at 1400F (after an initial 600F one), and am air-cooling.
One thing I've yet to get totally sorted out: how to easily but accurately keep track of various ring commissions, several of which are using white metals of different kinds, a couple of which are using 2 different ones- sometimes the same size!- in one commission! Not making any errors is vital, of course, but I'd also like to be able to work on some semi-concurrently, but with NO risk of mixing anything up. And the ones with 2 different metals but the same basic size and shape are even trickier!
Current Mood: thoughtful