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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2012-12-01, 2:35pm
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Default I need advice

I have wanted to make some etched beads that has the silver dots and streaks you get when you use SS wire on the bead. All I ever get is a bunch of fried looking stuff. When I purchase the SS wire I'm told it is 99.5% pure SS. What the heck am I doing wrong? I see other artist have used SS on the beads & it turns out all shiney and pretty. Any advice
Liz R
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  #2  
Old 2012-12-01, 2:50pm
dusty dusty is offline
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You say "SS," which I take to mean "sterling silver," which is an alloy, not pure silver. What you want is 99.9% pure silver.

Last edited by dusty; 2012-12-01 at 2:52pm.
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  #3  
Old 2012-12-01, 2:55pm
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Dusty
thanks for the reply, OK so where do I get the pure silver? any suggestions
Liz R
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  #4  
Old 2012-12-01, 2:59pm
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You can google "fine silver wire" or "pure silver wire" or "0.999 silver wire".

I buy mine at Metalliferous or Halstead or Monsterslayer.
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Old 2012-12-01, 3:14pm
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But maybe you are using the right stuff in the wrong way? If it is 99.5%, that sounds right. Do you trust your supplier to have sent pure silver?

Can you tell us your process or what your torch is? And maybe a picture will help?
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Old 2012-12-01, 3:45pm
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OK My torch is a Baracudda, hooked to 2 oxycons. I make the bead and then grab a wire and try to "melt" it onto the bead in the flame. As to the supplier I don't remember who I purchased it from it was over 5 years ago but it does say 99.5 silver on the small tag
Liz R
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  #7  
Old 2012-12-01, 3:50pm
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Yes, it should be Fine Silver. I get mine from Rio Grande. Once you get the wire attached to the bead pull it away from the flame and wind it around, making sure your bead is pretty warm. Then heat real hot and fast to get the droplets or heat slow and cool to melt in a line. Hope that helps!
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Old 2012-12-01, 4:16pm
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Thanks All for the help. All I can think of is that the wire must not be "as advertised" and is in face an alloy. Off to hunt up some pure sillver wire
Liz R
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Old 2012-12-01, 5:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abacus Beads View Post
All I can think of is that the wire must not be "as advertised" and is in face an alloy.
Sterling silver is generally 92.5 percent pure silver but can be higher. Without seeing the actual product listing it would be hard to determine the "as advertised" percents.

As previously indicated, you are looking for fine silver that should be listed as .999 which will not be listed as Sterling.

Indian Jewelry Supply is another source for fine silver wire.

www.ijsinc.com
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  #10  
Old 2012-12-01, 6:01pm
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Theringlord.com is another source. Prices are good but shipping can take a bit.
Thought two weeks or so is not that bad.
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  #11  
Old 2012-12-01, 6:35pm
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The Mandrel has some too I noticed.
http://www.themandrel.com/index.php?...f9e30d9efc7bcd
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  #12  
Old 2012-12-01, 10:13pm
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What color glass are you using? Silver doesn't play well with every color. Also, try heating a spot on the bead to apply the silver. Let the silver adhere to the hot bead, not the bead to hot silver. What gauge silver are you using? Generally I use 28 or 30 - very fine.
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  #13  
Old 2012-12-02, 12:46am
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Also, if you are etching your bead, you may need to take a jeweler's rouge cloth and buff up the silver dots a bit - which may bring them back to shiny! Then soak your bead in a little windex or some water/dish detergent solution for a while and give it a good scrubbing with a toothbrush if you have a little residual "rouge" on the bead. It should come off cleanly.
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  #14  
Old 2012-12-02, 8:49am
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Thanks everyone, This is one reason I LOVE LE.
Liz R
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  #15  
Old 2012-12-02, 12:28pm
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Do you have a picture of one of your tries? That might help too.

DeAnne, thanks for that tip - I didn't know that!
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  #16  
Old 2012-12-02, 12:54pm
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Instead of melting the silver onto your bead, try heating the glass until the surface is molten and wind the silver onto the sticky hot glass. I put the wire on my marver, heat the glass hot enough that it will stick, and then pick up the silver from my marver with the glass and then use tweezers/marker to get the silver wire placed before the bead cools down.. Then I put it in the flame only briefly to make sure it's all stuck together and the silver won't pop off later.
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