Fusing a Fine Silver Component
After you've made a fine silver ring, follow our steps for fusing it into a perfect, seamless ring.
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Fine Silver Fused Ring (14 Gauge Fine Silver shown)
2 - Chain Nose Pliers
Fire Brick (2500 degree insulation) - can be found at your local pottery store
Stainless steel sheet (for protecting your work surface)
Spitfire Butane Torch
Cool Cup Soldering Cup w/ Tweezers
Triple Refined Butane (check your local cigar shop)
Before you begin it is important to set up your fusing station. Check that your fusing station does not contain any flammable items and fill the quenching bowl 3/4 full with cold water.
To fill the torch, go outside, away from your work area and place the torch upside down.
Gently shake the butane. Turn the can upside down and line the tip of the can up with the gas intake on the bottom of your torch. Make sure to hold the butane straight upside down. Press down on the butane with firm pressure for between 5 and 10 seconds.Your torch is full once it begins to splutter liquid gas. Don't worry the gas will dissipate.
It is very important to let the torch sit for 5 mins. This way any spilled gas can dissipate and the butane can settle within the torch.
While your torch rests you can prepare by closing your fine silver rings. These rings will not fuse if they are not closed completely. Grasp the jump ring on either side of the opening with two pairs of chain nose pliers.
Close the jump ring by moving the left side towards you and the right side away from you.
Then move the right side towards you and the left side away from you.
Continue moving back and forth until the sides are touching and the ring is closed. Make sure the sides of the ring are lined up.
Make sure there is no space at the seam in the ring. It needs to be tightly closed.
Place the closed ring flat on a fire brick with the seam at 12 o'clock.
Once you have let your torch rest, point it away from you to prepare to turn it on.
Rotate the IGNITION switch lifting up the safety.
Push the IGNITION switch down and hold.
For a continuous flame push the red swith to HOLD while holding the IGNITION switch. You can now release the IGNITION switch and the flame will stay on.
Begin to fuse the ring by concentrating the tip of the bright blue part of the flame (the hottest part) on the ring. In a circular motion, move at an even pace around the ring trying to be as consistant as possible with the heat.
Keep torch at a 45 degree angle. This will aid in the flow of gas. The goal is to heat the ring at an even rate.
As you heat the ring you will notice that it begins to turn a matte copperish color. Don't worry, it is supposed to do that. This is the first step in the melting process.
Shortly after the ring has turned matte it will begin to look molten, like mercury (a liquid copper color). This will happen fast. The silver is now melted and needs to be pulled across the seam in order to fuse. Concentrate the heat over the seam and wiggle it back and forth until the ring fuses. Immediately pull the torch away.
Congratulations! You have fused your first fine silver component. Do not touch this ring with your bare hands, both the ring and the fire brick will be very hot!
Turn off your torch by pushing the red HOLD buton into the OFF position.
Carefully pick up the hot ring with your tweezers.
Drop the hot ring into the cold water in the quenching bowl. This will cool the ring rapidly.
It is important to drop the ring into the water so it is cooled quickly and consistantly. You can now remove the ring with your fingers.
A well fused ring will be completely smooth with no bulges or any sign of the original seam. To harden and polish the ring please refer to our Tumbling Technique.
Incorrect Ring 1
This ring was not able to fuse properly because it was not completely closed.
Incorrect Ring 2
This ring was fused under inconsistant heat. Heat attracts metal and the molten silver was pulled to hottest part of the ring.
- Fusing a Fine Silver Component | Beading Techniques | Fusion Beads