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High-Performance Blades Sharing ideas for getting the most out of our steel.

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  #1  
Old 12-11-2011, 02:43 PM
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NorCal Nate NorCal Nate is offline
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Melting silver for handle pins?

Hello, just curious if anyone has used liquid silver to make handle pins. Any info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks ~Nate
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:54 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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If you are talking about casting your silver pins in place I think that you would be running into problems. First of all you would have to have to have at least a 1/4" hole to get the silver to pour into. Also the silver will contract some as it cools. Then there is the expence.

If I were wanting to cast my pins in place I would get some babbet metal to do it with. I got a lead free babbet metal from Roto Metal. The list it under their lead free pewter.

Just out of curiosity, what problem are you trying to solve by pouring your pins?

Doug


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Old 12-11-2011, 03:12 PM
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NorCal Nate NorCal Nate is offline
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Personaly I dont think its good idea either Doug. My friend who wants me to make a knife for him wants silver pins, as well as custom shaped inlays. Like spades and diamonds (poker player). And he has it in his mind that to pour the sliver would be the best idea to acheive what he wants.

Doug do you have any pics of what you have done with pewter?

as usual, Thanks Doug! ~Nate
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Old 12-11-2011, 04:21 PM
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Eli Jensen Eli Jensen is offline
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I have been putting silver in some of my pins. What you do is go to a jewelry supply store and buy some silver wire, like 11 guage or such. If you have gaugued drill bits your life is much easier just use the same gauge bit. If your like me and you dont, make a draw plate. Drill progressively smaller holes in a piece of steel, and the preferably harden the steel plate. Taper the end of the silver wire and pull it through a slightly smaller hole with pliers in one continous motion. Make sure to anneal the silver after each pass. To anneal silver, heat it till it glows (careful it melts quickly after) and either air cool or quench. Keep pulling it through smaller and smaller holes until you get the size you want. Be warned though, silver is quite soft and you may have great difficulties getting it into a small (1/8 or less) pin hole.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:28 PM
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NorCal Nate NorCal Nate is offline
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Cpt-Jens, what my friend wants done is to have pins that are shaped like the 4 suits in a deck of cards. So basicly I'd have to engrave a matching shape (say a heart) on both handles and drill a hole connecting the two through the tang of the blade. Then somehow pour the silver while containing it on the other side.
Obviously if wood was used for the handles they would burn, and as Doug said there is some contraction of the silver.

I've told him ten times that its outta my league but he wont give up.
I think a test is in order....at his expense of course!
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:56 PM
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Eli Jensen Eli Jensen is offline
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Ohhhhhhhh . . . . I get it. Here is how I would do it. I would make the silver pins like I described, 3/32" in diameter.

On the knife, first, drill 1/8" holes for the pins. Put 1/8" brass tubes in there, whatever method you like, glue, chamfer, whatever. Sand them flush to the handle. Put your silver pins in without any glue. They should not be snug. Sand them flush. Carefully punch the silver pins out. You could also precisely measure the length of the silver pins before putting them in. Then, with small files, file the design into the head of the silver pins. Then put them back into the tubes with dyed epoxy, maybe black dye for the clubs and spades and red for hearts and diamonds. Then when finishing the handle, make extra sure not to sand the pins very much, the more you do the more your design will fade.

If successful, you would certainly impress me, and could charge $$$$$$$$
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2011, 07:12 PM
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xspook2158 xspook2158 is offline
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Nate

There may be another way to get this done, just not sure if it will work for your project.

There is a product that JTV.COM sales called ART CLAY SILVER. It is made of Jewelry Grade 9.25 S/S powder. It looks and forms like PlayDough but when you fire it you have 925 S/S molded into almost any shape that you can imagine. Just make your reuseable mold, insert the clay and fire.

That will allow you to make the set of pins the way you want them too look. It will also make for a harder silver pin using 925 S/S, then if you used pure Silver.

There is a little more to it, but its pretty simple.

I hope this helps.

Jeff
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:36 AM
dennie dennie is offline
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3 other ways to accomplish the look would be with silver wire inlay, with decrative silver pins, and silver inlays. The wire inlay will not be an option on all handle materials, but is pretty straight forward to do like Bill Moran used to do on his knives and many others still do. If you're working with wood for the handle, the inside area of the design can be stained a different color to get an inlay affect.

With the decorative pins, draw your design on the handle while it's still over thick and flat. Go around the outline with several equally spaced holes the same size as your wire. The holes will not go completely through the handle material. Drive in the silver wire and finish the handle as normal. The round ends of the wire will form the design like the Native Americans used to do with tacs on their rifles and hawks, ecept smaller and flush. Not hard, but very time consuming.

With the silver inlays, you would start with silver sheet and cut out your designs, get the handle close to finished size and inlay your cutouts, and finish. If you really wnated to dress it up, you could alternate every other design with gold sheet, such as silver heart, gold spade, silver diamond, gold club. To lower the scale a little you could use nikel silver and brass, but they will tarnish. The actual pins could be hidden under the inlays.

With most handle materials, the liquid silver will be above the charring temperature of whatever is being used for the handle. After pouring and finishing, you would have a brown "halo" around each pour, but with some wood it wouldn't really show. You will have shinkage, so you will need to form a dam around each hole, pour above the finished size, and pien to expand like normal.

dennie
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:45 AM
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NorCal Nate NorCal Nate is offline
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WOW, thanks guys for all the info!
I really need to think this one out before I attempt it. Im still in the design phase on this project, so I've got alot to do before im even at the silver pouring stage.
xspook, I will check out that site, thanks.
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2011, 04:39 AM
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xspook2158 xspook2158 is offline
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Nate

As I said I am not sure if it will work for this project, but it might work for another.

I had a order from a Fly Fisher that had everything to make some Nymphs and Attractor Flies with Barbell Style Eyes and Real Gemstones.

It took a little time and a lot of thinking outside the box, but I was able to make the eyes work with Facetted and Cabochons Gemstones with a few afjustment to the design of the mold.

As I said, just trying to give you another approach that maybe you had not thought about.

Good Luck and Great Success!!

Jeff
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