tig welding jewelry

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Ok. So I have an old tig setup, old craftsman ac arc welder with an old miller hf arc starter, foot pedal, 300 amp water cooled tig torch. Can I use this to weld silver jewelry? Really small jewelry, any advice would be cool, thanks.


warren's picture

Maybe

From what I have heard at other sites you really can not TIG silver. They weld it with a laser welder in a controlled encloser.

www Metalrecipes -- heat and beat to the desired shape, repeat as necessary.
warren


visitor's picture

Actually, if you google "tig

Actually, if you google "tig welding silver", you will find some jewelers who do just that.
It sounds like it works just fine.

But I would guess that your problem is going to be your power supply- I would tig weld silver DC, not AC, and I would want a power supply that was very controllable, down to 5 amps or so.

Neither of which describes your old AC Craftsman buzz box.
Most buzz boxes have a minimum amperage of as much as 30 amps. And are not very fine adjustable.

With very thin materials in general, be they steel, aluminum, or silver, the newer technology electronic controlled tig welders are much better- being able to set a maximum amperage on the machine, and then using the foot pedal, makes otherwise impossible tig welds possible.


Rich Waugh's picture

Bob, You can TIG silver, but

Bob,

You can TIG silver, but not with your setup. As noted above, you need DC and very close amperage control. You won't be able to do that with anything less than a high quality inverter-type TIG unit, I don't think. Silver, like copper, takes a lot of amperage to heat up, due to its high thermal conductivity, but then you risk melting the whole thing. That's why the foot pedal is critical - you stomp on it at the beginning to get the heat in the work and then quickly back off so you don't puddle the whole thing.

For really small stuff in silver, I'd recommend an electric jewelry welder similar to a spot welder in principle. That or a laser welder. What I actually use is a small O/A torch and plenty of care. Works for me. :-)

Rich


bobthebuilder's picture

If I got a controllable dc

If I got a controllable dc power supply would that work with my hf arc starter or would I need some sort of arc stabilizer, if there is such a thing.


visitor's picture

tig welding silver

hi,
I suggest that you try Argentium Silver, which does not conduct heat the way that copper and traditional sterling silver. Argentium Sterling welds and fuses beautifully!
Cindy
www.cynthiaeid.com


Rich Waugh's picture

Bob, I seriously doubt that

Bob,

I seriously doubt that would work as well as you would like, and it would be just about as economical to buy a new inverter TIG unit. The reason for DC tig is not so much for arc stability as it is for having the heat going the right direction. By the time you add power supplies, stabilisers, etc to your existing rig, you could buy a new complete unit cheaper. For just doing jewelry work, you could buy a dedicated jewelry welder cheaper than either. Check out Rio Grande Supply or SantaFe Jewelry Supply for jeweler's units.

Rich


bobthebuilder's picture

Thanks everyone. If I figure

Thanks everyone. If I figure out how to tig silver I will post something.


visitor's picture

welding silver with arc welder

You should try torch welding with silver soldier. Its much more forgiving and can join very small pieces.


visitor's picture

How to tig weld silver by Hightech Redneck II

Yes, TIG welding .999 silver does work although you may not like what you get when your done.
DCSP only. AC goes crazy and RP creates a white film.
1/8 tungsten, water cooled 250 amp head.
HF set to constant with a petal amp control.
Argon was what I tested with although there may be a better gas.
Start with a solid bracelet 1/4 by 1/8 inch thick.
No need to clean because .999 is clean.
To start, the weld will dance and wobble for 2 seconds then a straight arc. One of the calmest and quietest arcs I have ever seen.
The silver will gloss over in seconds then you need to move the head fast because in 2 more seconds you will have a blob on the floor.
A 3/8 in blob gouge happened to me in no time.
I used another 1/4 by 1/8 inch bracelet as a welding rod. Sweet!
The base was EDM-100 with a clamp on the actual graphite.
The clamp needs to be on the graphite!