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December 10, 2018, 09:10:37 am
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HELP! maybe a dumb solder question...

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Author Topic: HELP! maybe a dumb solder question...  (Read 536 times)
rockjunquie
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« on: March 16, 2014, 01:15:44 pm »

I haven't been soldering very long, so I don't know the answer to this- or maybe I do. Dunno.

After I solder and pickle there is a cloudy ring around where I soldered. I'm thinking it is the pure silver from the pickle depletion. But, it is hard to finish. I know it isn't firescale because I made some on purpose so I now know what it looks like. Can it be cleaned? When I polish it, it looks different from the surrounding silver. Is that the difference between pure silver and sterling? Will leaving in pickle longer help?

This image is one I just took of the latest piece with the shadow ring. 

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guest787
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 01:23:08 pm »

I'm no expert at this but it looks like somehow you depletion guilded your sterling so that the top is a layer of fine silver instead of the sterling.  I could be wrong on this but I've seen where the copper has been removed from the uppermost layer of sterling and that is what it looks like.  I don't believe it to be a bad thing either.
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rockjunquie
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2014, 01:34:15 pm »

That's what I was thinking, too. But, after I do the finish work you can still see the shadow as a brighter section. Hard to explain- think I'll get a picture of it and post. I'm guessing I'll need to be removing that shadow completely.
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bobby1
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2014, 01:40:10 pm »

I use handy flux and coat the whole piece with the flux. If you are using the green liquid (I can't remember the name) and only coating around the soldering area then you are leaving the uncoated area to oxidize and be a different color after you are doing the pickle step.
Bob
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rockjunquie
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2014, 01:45:48 pm »

I use handy flux and coat the whole piece with the flux. If you are using the green liquid (I can't remember the name) and only coating around the soldering area then you are leaving the uncoated area to oxidize and be a different color after you are doing the pickle step.
Bob

I use handy flux paste, too and coat the whole thing. I use the torch to slowly dry it to white before I begin the actual soldering. Everything is coated.


Here is the picture of a finished piece with the difference. You can see it very easily on this one. (But much easier in a picture with diffused light.) I want to sell it, but I don't know what to do to fix it.

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hulagrub
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2014, 02:31:34 pm »

Are you tumbling with the stainless steel bb's? Or how are finish polishing? My wife can just make things sparkle and apparently my patience gets in my way!
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Steve
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2014, 02:52:29 pm »

I believe it is fire scale.  It's really difficult to remove the fire scale from the area just adjacent to a raised part of the items.  The lighter areas in the photos is where the fire scale has been removed.  If you look at the pieces at an angle and move it back and forth slowly you will probably see a very light color of copper - fire scale.

Tumble polishing is the best way to get it off without over polishing (removing silver) from the higher parts.  I oftern run across this problem when doing overlay and designs like yours.  I have a friend that does tumble polishing for his cast pieces that often does my complicated pieces.  Sorry, but the only thing I know about it is that he uses two different 'grits' of ceramic medium to get the job done.
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rockjunquie
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2014, 03:09:20 pm »

Are you tumbling with the stainless steel bb's? Or how are finish polishing? My wife can just make things sparkle and apparently my patience gets in my way!
Yes, I tumble with steel shot and whatever else I need to do. :)
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rockjunquie
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2014, 03:14:00 pm »

I believe it is fire scale.  It's really difficult to remove the fire scale from the area just adjacent to a raised part of the items.  The lighter areas in the photos is where the fire scale has been removed.  If you look at the pieces at an angle and move it back and forth slowly you will probably see a very light color of copper - fire scale.

Tumble polishing is the best way to get it off without over polishing (removing silver) from the higher parts.  I oftern run across this problem when doing overlay and designs like yours.  I have a friend that does tumble polishing for his cast pieces that often does my complicated pieces.  Sorry, but the only thing I know about it is that he uses two different 'grits' of ceramic medium to get the job done.

I was afraid someone would say that. I only started doing this a little while back. I learned from books and videos. The dread fear of firescale was beaten into my brain. I don't know what to do next. I have some pripp's I haven't used, yet. I should get a mister now. Everyone says how horrible firescale is and they tell you not to get it, but rarely do I see any mention of how to get rid of it. I would love to save this piece. I have a lortone 3a with jewelry shot, but I can't tumble this stone. Maybe, I can get the stone out. I feel like crying now. :(

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Cowboy
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2014, 03:40:58 pm »

Do you have a rotary polisher?  I have no experience with tumble-polishing silver. I've always used a Baldor buffer and musllin buffs with "white diamond" polish as my initial polishing step. I often see discoloration, and even occasional firescale. A little extra pressure against the buff and it's gone. Then off to the Zam or rouge for a finish polish.

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rockjunquie
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2014, 04:30:16 pm »

Do you have a rotary polisher?  I have no experience with tumble-polishing silver. I've always used a Baldor buffer and musllin buffs with "white diamond" polish as my initial polishing step. I often see discoloration, and even occasional firescale. A little extra pressure against the buff and it's gone. Then off to the Zam or rouge for a finish polish.



I do not have a buffing wheel, if that's what you mean. I have a foredom and bobbing compound, white diamond, zam, and red rouge.

I just tumbled the new piece- the first picture. It looks better, but not up to snuff.
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skystone
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 12:22:40 am »

Yep that's fire scale no doubt. Only thing you can do is buff it with the Foredom & buffing wheels. Start with Tripoli , Then Red Rouge Then Zam. Washing inbetween with soap (I use Dawn dish soap). Use a different buff for each step too. No cross contamination of abrasives/polish. Toy could start with some 2,000 gritt wet & dry sandpaper wet. That's how firescale looks. Lighter & darker areas. One of the banes of all silver smiths.
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2014, 06:56:13 am »

>The dread fear of firescale was beaten into my brain. I don't know what to do next. I have some pripp's I haven't used, yet.<

Many move to Argentium for this very reason.  I think if you sand down enough you will be able to remove the fire scale. Unfortunately, it's difficult to sand down in the inner areas of a piece like yours (very nice BTW).  I've found the tiny silicone sanding wheels that go onto the Fordom to work quite well.  Trouble is getting a smooth finish at the end.  You have to be carful to sand the entire surface down uniformly and that's difficult to do on a piece like yours. 

Good luck.  For learning all on your own you've done VERY well!!

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guest3478
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2014, 07:58:25 am »

i get this also, i ended up soaking in the flux, reheating the whole piece and quenching in the flux again. then a citric acid bath. seems to work for me.
Im not making museum pieces, just tinkering.
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Debbie K
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2014, 06:21:33 pm »

I, too, think that this is firescale. You've had several recommendations about how to get rid of it, so I won't weigh in on that topic.

I have a question for you: What kind of torch and gas are you using? I found that I had little to no problems with pure propane but when I started using any gas with a oxygen assist I run the risk of getting firescale. I have had less problems with a Bernzomatic than any other torch. The only problem is that the tips and flames are so large that they scare many people.

I know that some will probably say that my technique sucks and if I did it right with gas, acetylene or propane and oxygen it wouldn't happen. I'm just letting you know what was easiest for me.

Debbie K
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