Instructables

Can you melt silver at home (for jewelry)?

I want to melt metal, preferably silver, to stamp in the process of making jewelry. I want to know the process and the materials/equipment needed.

Yes, and it's very easy. I've made a bunch of silver castings at home using nothing more than a ceramic crucible with a pouring handle ($11.00 at a local lapidary shop) and an oxy/MAPP gas torch ($18 from Home Depot) to melt the silver. I later upgraded the torch to oxy/acetylene for faster melts and more gas economy, but oxy/MAPP works just fine. I've done melts as large as 3 oz. via this method with no problems.
Almost forgot. You'll also need just a little bit of borax to prepare the crucible and to sprinkle on the silver as it melts to help prevent oxidation.
I have recently found some Galena ore and am interested in melting it down to extract the silver to use in jewelry making. I tried to melt some by crushing it down and using a mapp gas torch but can't seem to melt enough at one time to seperate the different metals. Does anyone have any easy, at home, suggestions to melt larger amounts of ore other than constructing a forge. I am also aware of the alkaline properties of galena in that you do not want to breath any of the vapors or fumes from the ore.
GALENA IS A LEAD SULFER ORE NOT A SILVER ORE
jtobako4 years ago
Complicated answer to a 'simple' question :P Small amounts can be melted with a propane torch directly, a little more if you set up a furnace and crucible to help hold the heat longer (look up 'ytong furnace' on google). Simplest method? A dish/crucible (hole) in the end of a 2x4 that you dump the silver in (think dime to quarter for amount), then heat for a long time with a propane torch. Don Noris (?) has some info on this with broom/bean/straw/salt/pine needle castings if you look up his name (or steam casting) on google.
Lor4 years ago
Very easily you can. Go to a hobby shop or look in a Business-to-Business phone book and see if you can find a melt pot. I worked at a company that designed and manufactured metal molds for machines and we had several melting pots, little pots on the production floor for the solderers. Not sure exactly what they needed them for, but I played around with them. You could drop a dime or nickel in and watch it melt. When we needed a new one, we drove to to this hobby shop down the street and picked up another one. They're readily available. Home Depot and other hardware stores may even sell them.
lemonie4 years ago
You can, but you need a lot of heat, see this for an example:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Lost_Wax_Casting/

L
jj374 years ago
why don't you just use silver bearing solder it is only like 3% silver but it is not a bad color.
Re-design jj374 years ago
That would probably work as long as it did not contain any lead or cadmium. And it melts at a much lower temperature.
jj37 Re-design4 years ago
Sorry when I said silver bearing solder I meant lead free silver bearing solder its the only kind I normally get. Its about 2% silver and the rest is tin. Do not make jewelry out of lead solder or non lead free solder or anything that does not say lead free!
Re-design4 years ago
Search "melt silver" on this site. Also look at the "lost wax casting" inst. Particularly well done.

Link - http://www.ehow.com/how_4500565_melt-cast-silver.html

Then if you're not discouraged google "melt silver" and get tucked in.

Don't burn youself.
orksecurity4 years ago
Unalloyed silver — Melting Point: 1234.93 K (961.78 °C, 1763.2 °F) A pottery kiln's temperatures get up to 1400-2400 degrees F So apparently it's possible. Whether it's practical, I have no clue.