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Brilliante silver - making headpins

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  • Brilliante silver - making headpins

    I make large headpins from sterling using the balling up method.

    Yesterday, without realising, I picked up a roll of Brilliante rather than sterling and cut lengths. Without exception, the wire (1.5mm) just thinned and snapped above the ball once it got to the right size.

    Does anyone know if brilliante has a different meltpoint, or needs handling very differently? I was impressed at how little firescale I got, so I'd love to be able to use this for pins, but not if I lose half the pin every time!

    Thanks for any advice
    george
    www.mizgeorge.co.uk
    www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
    www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

  • #2
    You lost me after 'I make large headpins' George!............................

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    • #3
      Hi George,
      I found this article referring to an old Cooksons pdf,
      http://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/archi...6/msg00282.htm

      The melt range he is talking about seems a little unspecific so I dont know how helpful it would be.
      Vendi..Verdi..Visa...
      I came..I saw..I shopped

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      • #4
        On Cooksons web site I found an info sheet and it says.

        Melting Range 890 - 950°C

        does that help?
        "You've Got to Keep Your Mind Wide Open" - AnnaSophia Robb
        my Folksy shop Goldy'sclearoutblog debaynewebdesign


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        • #5
          Snap ......
          "You've Got to Keep Your Mind Wide Open" - AnnaSophia Robb
          my Folksy shop Goldy'sclearoutblog debaynewebdesign


          Comment


          • #6
            lol, better to have 2 than none
            Vendi..Verdi..Visa...
            I came..I saw..I shopped

            Comment


            • #7
              I've had that problem with brilliante silver too. It is possible to do it but you have to keep your torch flame low. I gave up in the end and went back to sterling. I had a problem with a batch of sterling the other day. When I balled it it went "crusty" (that's the only way I can describe it!) rather than nice and smooth. I sent it back to Cooksons with examples and they tested it and said it was OK. I've not had the same problem since.
              Best wishes
              Carole

              www.caroleallenjewellery.co.uk

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm glad it's not just me then! I just couldn't get to the point where I could make a head big enough to hold a focal bead. Using a lower flame, I just couldn't get it to do anything at all.

                I've had that problem with sterling too. No idea why, and totally random. I wondered if it was because I was using liquid rather than paste flux, but then forgot to experiment to see!

                I love the tarnish resistance of the brilliante, but it is harder to cut, and I'm not convinced its as workable as sterling. And it is enough more expensive to think twice about.

                Thanks guys
                george
                www.mizgeorge.co.uk
                www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
                www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

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                • #9
                  yep lost me too but Ive been after longer headpins for a while so intrigued

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                  • #10
                    If you hold silver wire in a flame it starts to melt on the end and it forms a ball. That's a headpin. I've found the ones you buy aren't strong enough and they break easily. I've given up buying them - it's so easy and cheaper to make your own.
                    Best wishes
                    Carole

                    www.caroleallenjewellery.co.uk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What gauge do you find best to use?
                      "You've Got to Keep Your Mind Wide Open" - AnnaSophia Robb
                      my Folksy shop Goldy'sclearoutblog debaynewebdesign


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Depends on what I'm using them for. I usually use .8 ml wire as that fits most bead holes. The larger the wire, the harder it is to get it to ball up.
                        Best wishes
                        Carole

                        www.caroleallenjewellery.co.uk

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Argentium is a silver-germanium alloy. Whilst having good many advantages over sterling (best of which - it doesn't tarnish almost at all), germanium (chemically related to silicium) provides rigidity and a tendence to exfoliate when burned (germanium oxidizes quickly at fire and makes the alloy divide into small chips). It can't be worked at melting range with usual means.
                          Brilliante might share some properties of argentium due to indium content (behaves much like aluminium). This means: at melting range, instead of having a transition phase during which metal behaves like glass, it liquefies of a sudden and/or the indium burns into indium oxide and disrupts the alloy.
                          Under normal circumstances both alloys are virtually untarnishable because at room temperature and with minimal amounts of moisture the germanium and respectively indium oxidize into a thin layer of oxide, of pretty high toughness, which protects the metal underneath.
                          Last edited by alex_amarfei; 15-01-2009, 02:25 AM.

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                          • #14
                            thanks glitter bug will try that, I find the ones I buy are fine just need larger ones,does it have to be specific silver wire? x

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by piggintracy View Post
                              thanks glitter bug will try that, I find the ones I buy are fine just need larger ones,does it have to be specific silver wire? x
                              If you're making fine pins (under 1mm), then fine silver (.999) is probably easiest - and needs no pickling afterwards. You do need to use wrapped loops as fine silver is too soft to hold otherwise.

                              For heavier stuff, it's better to use sterling, but you will need to pickle it afterwards. You don't need to buy jewellers or safety pickle, warmed vinegar and salt or cillit bang will do the job.
                              george
                              www.mizgeorge.co.uk
                              www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
                              www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

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