Annealing nickel silver
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Skagit County, WA
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    Default Annealing nickel silver

    Greetings all;

    I'm basically a wood turner but I'm also a very novice metal spinner. I've worked with pewter, 1100 aluminum, copper and brass. I prefer the silver type finish of polished aluminum and pewter but aluminum lacks a perception of quality, at least within the thicknesses my spinning talents and basic hand tools. So I've begun working with nickel silver.

    I've successfully annealed copper and brass but with the same gauge/thickness of the nickel silver I don't seem to get much change in the ductility. How hot and for how long should the nickel silver be heated and should I quench or no?

    I've also found that the nickel silver seems to gall a lot using cold rolled steel spinning tools. Again, I know very little about metal stuff but my assumption is that the nickel in the alloy makes it 'harder'? For those who are a good deal more accomplished at this than I am, Should I be using harder spinning tools like tool steel or harder?

    Thanks in advance for any advice/comments. And thank the moderator folks for making it available.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    While my experience with nickel silver in large pieces is limited, I do not think it would be a good idea to quench it. Every piece of sheet brass or bronze that I have annealed and quenched always warped like a wet noodle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    On Elk Mountain, West Virginia, USA
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    I have never done any spinning. But i have raised bowls by hammer and stakes in copper, brass and German silver. All three materials were annealed at intervals using a torch, either acetylene-air or propane-air. It was done in dim light so that a dull red glow could be seen. No science was used, and I simply did it like it had been done for centuries. The parts were dunked in water simply to get back to work quickly. I don't think the water affected the softness of the metal. Warping would not be apparent on a raised work in progress, since some irregularity is inherent in hand-hammered work, until the final planishing.



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