Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fusing vs. Soldering

So I saw this really great book on fusing silver. I was in a hurry, didn't have a chance to purchase it, but flipped through it really quick. I was pretty excited at the thought not having to solder, plus it showed you can hammer the piece after fusing. I have not had successful attempts at hammering after soldering, the piece just splits apart.

Today I decided to try it without having the book on hand. Well let's just say it kind of failed. First I tried fusing a ring that was made of low dome sterling silver. Nada! Then I tried a ring using 20g dead soft sterling silver...again nothing. Then with some scrap silver I tried a very thin piece, which I believe was 24 or 26 gauge. Well it kind of worked, part of the silver fused together, but not like it showed in the book.

Then I went online to see what I could find on the subject of fusing. It looks like the recommended silver to use is fine silver and not sterling. With fine silver the melting point is higher than sterling so that kind of confused me, but maybe it's the extra alloys that are in sterling that doesn't quite allow a fusing to happen.

Needless to say I'm going to purchase the book and see what I'm doing wrong or missing. So if any of you out there have ever tried fusing or have any tips or hints, can you send them my way? I would be greatly appreciative of it!

I was really hoping to have some fun pieces to list tomorrow...but that's not the case. As you can tell I'm one of those people that thinks I should be successful at least within the first few attempts....grrr....but I'm not going to give up. I'll post more information after a few more attempts. Back to the torch.


beadinbythesea said...

Hi Shi,
I believe I have the book you're talking about by Liz Jones. Yes, she definitely recommends fine silver. I haven't tried it yet but the projects look beautiful. The part I like is that fine silver does not get firescale. Good luck with it!

SHI said...

Hi Debora, I think you're right! I'll let you know how it turns out. Hey if you decided to make any pieces using that technique, let me know :)