Easy annealing of precious metal

John B.

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In order to not hijack Ethelbert's "Draw Plate" post I offer this as an adjunct.
That post had moved into the area of annealing before and after drawing wire. What I offer here is mostly for the newer craft persons.
Most of the old timers have their own methods.
Friend Dave A. (aka. Silverchip) asked for some pictures of my "Diving Board" method of annealing precious metal.
This is a pretty fool-proof method of annealing with no melt downs.
The secret to annealing wire is to wrap it neatly, evenly with no exposed loose ends.
I wrap it around three fingers and then take the last 6 inches and over-bind the roll.
Lay the roll as flat as possible on the diving board.
Apply the heat to the bottom of the plate until you see the roll move and relax down flat to the plate. Then just tease the flame over the top of the material for a moment as you push it off the diving board with a screwdriver or equal into the waiting "swimming pool" below.
There is no exact temp required to anneal gold or silver for inlay.
As long as it is hot enough to make a spitting sound when it enters the water it will be lead soft, fully annealed.
Sheet gold or silver inlays or plain sheet stock can be annealed the same way.
This method has worked for me on all colors of gold except with limited success on the red gold’s. For that I now rely on someone with a temperature controlled oven and use the Oppi Untracht method from his "Metal Techniques for Craftsmen."
This method also works on silver and copper wire or small sheets.
I have not tried it on 14K or lower.

In reverse. it also works for the initial hardening quench on small steel gun parts or small steel tools like gravers. When re-polished these steel items can be heated to temper draw temperature and quickly plunged to stop the action.
For some steels, oil should be substituted for the water.
The picture of the rolled wire is not great, the Macro would not click in.
If anyone needs a better look I will dig out another camera and try for a better shot.

Hope this is of help to some.
Best.
 

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