Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 67
Like Tree3Likes

Thread: Turning Sterling Silver on a Manual Lathe

  1. #41
    L Vanice is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    8,696

    Default

    "...the stench of that soured burned buttermilk..."

    As I mentioned in post #2, oil of wintergreen smells really good, though I never got it hot.

    Larry

  2. #42
    Bullwhacker is offline Plastic
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    nevada, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default

    [QUOTE=snowman;1656091]
    Quote Originally Posted by gwilson View Post
    Washing silver periodically with ammonia water helps it to not tarnish.
    QUOTE]

    Thanks! DIdn't know that

    Here's a link for you in re: to casting. It will cost you A LOT less than having a local jeweler do it.

    .: Best-Cast Homepage :.

    Just a note, I have not done business with them, but they were recommended to me by kpotter who is a goldsmith when I asked about stainless casting.
    I agree.
    For non critical items I cast them.
    As a former gunsmith I encountered all the metals mentioned and weird alloys as well.
    I am curious as to ALL this effort one little job?
    It is clear you don't know what you are doing and why not "farm" it out and get it done? The client wouldn't know you did....
    As for silver, copper and other of a similar types they can be machined, BUT one screw up and the piece will bite into the tool with all the really nasty results that entails...
    For parts that have to precise I made very very lite cuts and used cutting oil.
    For your project as an ornamental piece dimensional specs isn't that critical except where your joining it to the trophy.
    From your posting and I think others missed it; there is no master to cast this piece from?

    Go to some "Third" World countries and you will find cottage industries that they don't have much in the way of machine tools. A majority of their "machining" is done by hand and by file.

    Don't believe me as to what is done this way? Look up the cottage industries in the Philippines in regards to the manufacturer of firearms; it will blow your mind.
    I have fired exact duplicates of the colt assault rifle and ones with "improvements" as well, semi automatic handguns and magnum revolvers as well there.
    Frames and receivers as well as many other parts cast then turned and filed BY HAND..
    The quality in some is incredible and some you will literally take your own life in your hands...

  3. #43
    gwilson's Avatar
    gwilson is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    williamsburg va
    Posts
    5,987

    Default

    I have seen pictures taken many years ago of Arabs sitting on the dirt floors of caves,filing out copies of British Webley revolvers. They were made from stolen railroad rails. I thought that was pretty amazing. I'd like to have seen pictures of their entire processes.

    In Williamsburg,though,except for a primitive boring machine made of wood,using twisted square files as reamers,and a wooden rifling machine,the gunsmiths make flintlocks from scratch. The barrels are welded up from flat bars of wrought iron.

    A small,rough little hole is left through the inside of the welded tube(I won't call it the CENTER of the tube!) Just so you can see light clear through it. The smallest reamer is used to begin reaming the hole. Larger ones are used till the hole is of the correct caliber. These are turned by hand. The holes are straightened by eye by sighting down them. Rays of light will appear to have breaks in them until the tubes are very straight. Then,the rays of light reflected on the insides of the hole will be continuous all the way down the barrels. These same methods are still employed in factories,except they have nice barrel bending presses instead of hammers.

    Rifling takes about 600 passes to complete.

  4. #44
    dgfoster's Avatar
    dgfoster is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    1,755

    Default Derailed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullwhacker View Post
    <Snip>I am curious as to ALL this effort one little job?
    It is clear you don't know what you are doing and why not "farm" it out and get it done? <Snip>...
    I guess I started out maching not knowing what I am doing. Gradually I have learned a few things. The purpose of my original question was to learn something. The generous folks in the thread above have all contributed something to help me out on this project. I am hopefull there will be other jobs to follow this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwilson View Post
    <Interesting but completely unrelated-to-the-thread-topic story.>
    I have been amazed at how long this thread has stayed on track and how useful it has been. I am hopeful it will not switch subjects now to a discussion of primitive gunsmithing.... There is another subforum for that.

    Denis

    Added later: If anyone has a bone to pick with me on this particular post, it would probably be best to just PM me. No need to entertain everyone with some sort of non-thread-ralated debate.
    Last edited by dgfoster; 09-30-2011 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Added later comment

  5. #45
    dgfoster's Avatar
    dgfoster is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    1,755

    Default Back on TRACK (I hope)

    Quote Originally Posted by L Vanice View Post
    I have to point out that sterling silver is not brittle in the as-cast or annealed state. It can be annealed and formed like brass, copper or German silver. Cold work (rolling, spinning or hammering, for instance) does reduce ductility, as it does in brass, copper or German silver. When it gets to a certain point, you need to anneal it again before further forming. Remember, Paul Revere and a million other silversmiths have made sterling bowls and such by hammering on rolled sheet. I have raised (hand-hammered) bowls from brass, copper and German silver sheet. It will not crack if you anneal it at the proper points during forming.

    There is no problem with brittleness or cracking when machining from a solid bar or a casting.

    Larry
    Thanks for clarifying this

    Quote Originally Posted by buckwill View Post
    years ago, many more than i care to remember, i was trying to machine some small copper rocket nozzles, the scientist wanted many, many, and i was not having much luck, i had more failures than finished articles, i had some success with lps, i had some limited success running the copper frozen from nitrogen bbath,, howerver, an old german machinist wandered by, watched me awhile then left an came back with a quart of buttermilk, put it in my hand then holding his hand over mine poored it over the copper while turning, !! IT worked,, dnt ask me, i didnt and dont unless it was some weird combination of acidity, butterfat whatever, needless to say it was a mess to clean up, the stench of that soured burned buttermilk, i dont know that this has anything to do with silver but ut turned similiarily,
    Interesting. Would try it as a last resort given the smell---yuck!

    Quote Originally Posted by L Vanice View Post
    "...the stench of that soured burned buttermilk..."

    As I mentioned in post #2, oil of wintergreen smells really good, though I never got it hot.

    Larry
    Ah! Springtime in the shop! Sounds good. Thx.

    Denis

  6. #46
    shunka is offline Plastic
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    colorado, usa
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Having done at least a bit of all the methods involved, I personally agree with the prior poster who suggested:
    1) cast the part
    2) chuck in lathe on "slow" and finish with files, then polish

    this method has served me well in the past, especially where dimensions are not critical and using silver or other wonky metals - that is, wonky wrt machining :-)

    I would also add this for further thought - have you ever cast metals before?

    If so, I'll shut up :-)

    If not I would suggest you do a trial using aluminum (low melt compared to silver) or low-melt red brass. This will give you some learning experience at melt, pour, preheating the mold, sprues, vents, etc ... all on cheap metal. Learning new methods on silver at $7.50 an ounce was bad - at $30 or more per once a screw up could ruin your day.

    toddling off back into the shadows to continue to lurk and learn
    shunka

  7. #47
    dgfoster's Avatar
    dgfoster is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    1,755

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shunka View Post
    Having done at least a bit of all the methods involved, I personally agree with the prior poster who suggested:
    1) cast the part
    2) chuck in lathe on "slow" and finish with files, then polish

    this method has served me well in the past, especially where dimensions are not critical and using silver or other wonky metals - that is, wonky wrt machining :-)

    I would also add this for further thought - have you ever cast metals before?

    If so, I'll shut up :-)

    If not I would suggest you do a trial using aluminum (low melt compared to silver) or low-melt red brass. This will give you some learning experience at melt, pour, preheating the mold, sprues, vents, etc ... all on cheap metal. Learning new methods on silver at $7.50 an ounce was bad - at $30 or more per once a screw up could ruin your day.

    toddling off back into the shadows to continue to lurk and learn
    shunka
    Good points all. I do indeed plan to practice on aluminum for this part and for future reference as I am sure I will want to be casting aluminum items here and there.

    No need to be lurking. Sounds like you have some good information to share.

    Thx,
    Denis

  8. #48
    gwilson's Avatar
    gwilson is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    williamsburg va
    Posts
    5,987

    Default

    This is a very SMALL problem,really. Just keep your tools sharp and no acute angles. Keep the tool rest close to the silver and you'll be fine. I was never trained to turn silver. Just did it when helping to make many PGA trophies and retirement gifts. No biggie. Copper is MUCH worse to turn. Practice on COPPER,nothing else,if you want to practice.

    I warned you most to keep your HAND HELD turning tool from getting grabbed and sucked UNDER the silver. Just keeping the tool rest very close to the silver will prevent that.

  9. #49
    dgfoster's Avatar
    dgfoster is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    1,755

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gwilson View Post
    This is a very SMALL problem,really. Just keep your tools sharp and no acute angles. Keep the tool rest close to the silver and you'll be fine. I was never trained to turn silver. Just did it when helping to make many PGA trophies and retirement gifts. No biggie. Copper is MUCH worse to turn. Practice on COPPER,nothing else,if you want to practice.

    I warned you most to keep your HAND HELD turning tool from getting grabbed and sucked UNDER the silver. Just keeping the tool rest very close to the silver will prevent that.
    Sounds like excellent advice based on much experience. Thanks, George.
    Denis

  10. #50
    oeo2oo's Avatar
    oeo2oo is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lee, MA United States
    Posts
    70

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dgfoster View Post
    Please see OP---item needs to be solid


    Beautiful piece. I don't think I would be apologizing for the “haze” on that. I am still working out the final details on this piece. I will PM you if I need the solid material. What alloy is it? THANK YOU for the offer!
    It is solid sterling silver, from Cookson Gold.

    Sterling Silver Rod 16.0mm Diameter, Hard, Straight Lengths 600mm - cooksongold.com

    BTW, sorry I failed to mention that I used a Sandvik CD10 insert (diamond) to turn the piece for the final pass.

  11. #51
    calvin b is offline Cast Iron
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    E-burg MD USA
    Posts
    424

    Default

    Hello Dennis,
    I've worked with a bit of silver in the lathe.. It can be tricky as it tends to "grab" and is somewhat soft.. If you really need something to practice on get your self some copper ( ground rods from lowes are cheap enough) and when you can turn that successfully and repeatedly then hop over to the silver and it will seem simple.. Tool geometry will be the same.. ( assuming sharp hss )
    Let us know how it turns out.
    Stay safe
    Calvin

  12. #52
    Screwmachine is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    1,860

    Default

    This isn't much help to you but it's an inspiring video. Martin Matthews is I believe the last traditional watch case maker in England, here he's showing the making of a silver pair case for an antique watch. Video is short and has no sound, but you get a good idea of his skill. Only person I've seen actually using a bow powered lathe.

    V&A Jewellery Gallery - Making a Watchcase - YouTube

  13. #53
    dgfoster's Avatar
    dgfoster is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    1,755

    Default Thanks and some homework done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Screwmachine View Post
    This isn't much help to you but it's an inspiring video. Martin Matthews is I believe the last traditional watch case maker in England, here he's showing the making of a silver pair case for an antique watch. Video is short and has no sound, but you get a good idea of his skill. Only person I've seen actually using a bow powered lathe.

    V&A Jewellery Gallery - Making a Watchcase - YouTube

    That was a great video. The coordination of his hand holding the lathe tool and the movement of the bow was the result of a lifetime of practice.... His work was exquisite.

    Quote Originally Posted by oeo2oo View Post
    It is solid sterling silver, from Cookson Gold.

    Sterling Silver Rod 16.0mm Diameter, Hard, Straight Lengths 600mm - cooksongold.com

    BTW, sorry I failed to mention that I used a Sandvik CD10 insert (diamond) to turn the piece for the final pass.
    This may be the simplest way to go. I will PM you. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by calvin b View Post
    Hello Dennis,
    I've worked with a bit of silver in the lathe.. It can be tricky as it tends to "grab" and is somewhat soft.. If you really need something to practice on get your self some copper ( ground rods from lowes are cheap enough) and when you can turn that successfully and repeatedly then hop over to the silver and it will seem simple.. Tool geometry will be the same.. ( assuming sharp hss )
    Let us know how it turns out.
    Stay safe
    Calvin
    OK, I got a chunk of copper 3/8” ground rod and gave it a go . Seemed to turn pretty straightforwardly. A few pics of results attached. I used a HSS cutter that was good and sharp. The copper seemed not to misbehave at all. It parted off fine too. I just used some standard “heavy dark” cutting oil. It cut pretty well dry but seemed a little better finish resulted with the oil.


    Denis
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photo_1.jpg   photo_2.jpg   photo_3.jpg  

  14. #54
    jscpm's Avatar
    jscpm is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Posts
    689

    Default

    Turning silver is a crime. You should spin it. Haven't you heard of Paul Revere?

  15. #55
    dgfoster's Avatar
    dgfoster is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    1,755

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jscpm View Post
    Turning silver is a crime. You should spin it. Haven't you heard of Paul Revere?
    Yes, I think you are about the 4th or 5th person that suggested I should spin it rather than turn it. But if you notice the requiremets for the job outilined in the OP are that the item be solid. Seems like spinning would be the hard way to get that done.

    The video link posted by Screwmachine shows a modern-day Paul Revere using old-time ways to make elegant watch cases.

    Denis

  16. #56
    HoosierBoy is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    63

    Default Filing?

    IF you would end up with some file work - for whatever reason - you may consider chalking the file to improve finish and keep it from loading up.

  17. #57
    dgfoster's Avatar
    dgfoster is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    1,755

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierBoy View Post
    IF you would end up with some file work - for whatever reason - you may consider chalking the file to improve finish and keep it from loading up.
    Hoosierboy,

    Thanks for the reminder about using chalk to reduce pinning when filing , especially when filling soft metals.* I use this pretty routinely if I am filing a finished surface.* I think that using soapstone might even work better than chalk.* For a while I had a hard time finding soapstone to use on the file until it finally dawned on me that the refills for the markers commonly used by welders are very convenient sources of soapstone.* Either way chalk or soapstone does really reduce pinning.* Using a piece of aluminum or brass to clean out the teeth on the file by using the alu or brass like a comb also helps…

    BTW, the silver is orderred....
    *
    Denis

  18. #58
    dgfoster's Avatar
    dgfoster is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    1,755

    Default Silver Trophy Nose Cone (Finial) Done

    Well, thanks to the generosity of a member, oeo200, I was able to buy a short length of Sterling round .62" bar stock. It was in "hardened" condition--perfect for turning.

    It did turn very easily with a sharp HSS tool. I was expecting some drama based on various bits of advice I received but there was no drama. That may have been because of the advice received as I was very careful to use a really sharp tool and to make sure my setup was ideal.

    I was careful to save the shavings which came off in long curls. To avoid birds’ nests I just cut for a 3 inch curl, stopped advancing the cutter momentarily, rinse, wash, repeat.....

    The cuts were made at closely spaced tangents to the desired shape resulting in a fairly good approximation of the desired curve. Then I started with 220 carbide paper on a flexible plastic backing and progressed to 400, 600, 1000, and 1500. At 1500 it was shining pretty well and then I used some red rouge and put the final shine on it.

    The whole thing was pretty easy, really.

    See photos of the result below. The overall length is about 1.625” and the diameter is .615”

    Thanks to all who helped out.

    Denis
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails silver-1-.jpg   silver-2-.jpg   silver-3-.jpg  
    Mike C. likes this.

  19. #59
    Mike C. is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    10,645

    Default

    Looks GREAT.

    On the file pinning removal...

    On a topic discussing files, Frank Ford showed a beautifully made tool specifically for this use, but using a piece of hard wood. Got me to thinking (dangerous, I know).

    What Frank had made was a nice handle to hold a piece of flat hard wood. I had recently found a broken hickory hammer handle at work with the usual failure, right where the head ends (bet you guys have one laying round somewhere). Well, there's a nice handle made out of hardwood, just need to slice off the frayed end and cut the end down flat on the bandsaw. My version is not nearly as fancy as Franks, but it does the job and it was going in the garbage, otherwise.

  20. #60
    gwilson's Avatar
    gwilson is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    williamsburg va
    Posts
    5,987

    Default

    I told you it was no big deal,and 58 posts!!

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •