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How to Melt & Cast Silver - we don't do it, but it is neat to understand
Have you ever wondered how they melt and cast silver? This is a great little step by step of how it's done!
2. Take your crucible and put it on a furnace. The furnace must be able to attain extremely high temperatures. Sterling silver melts at 893 degrees Celsius. Heat your sterling silver until it is completely melted. While it heats, get your mold ready. The mold will also be made out of clay. Molds are best for making objects like statues or solid pieces like rings or earrings. The ring or earring can be bent to the correct shape after it is cast. To melt and cast your silver object, you will be using a method called the lost wax process. This is also known by its French name "cire perdue."
3. Design your object on paper or on the computer. Once you have a plan, you can begin to make the mold for it. Take a lump of wax and cut it into the desired shape. Follow your plan as closely as possible.
4. Place the wax inside a metal pipe, once it looks like the object you want to make. The metal pipe must be large enough to hold the original wax object and the plaster that will go around it to make the mold. Both the wax piece and the pipe go on a "sprue" base. This is a fireproof base with little tunnels cut into it to allow for the wax to melt out. A similar sprue will also go on top. This should be a small cup of wax. Additional sprues will also go along the sides to act as vents. To cast the silver, you will actually have to get rid of the wax.
5. Let the plaster harden. Take the mold and heat it. You do not need an extremely hot furnace. You just need to melt the wax. Melt the wax and let it run out through the sprue at the bottom. When you are done you should be left with an empty mold. Now you can cast the silver. Get your molten silver in the crucible and pour it into your empty mold through the sprue hole at the top. Make sure you do this on a heat-resistant surface. Do not overfill the mold. Your silver will take quite awhile to cool.
6. Break open your mold when the silver is cool. The piece should look just like your wax original except for the tiny bits of silver that will be attached where the sprues were. Polish these off. The piece should be ready to use.
Read more: How to Melt & Cast Silver | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/