Pulling / rolling silver and gold wire

Forum: Jewelry Making

I have just joined this forum ( 5 min ago ) so here is a quick intro and my first question.
My Name is Lockie from Australia I am a retired opal miner of 45 years mining and cutting all types of opals and gemstones.
Please be patient with my typing and spelling as my mining and cutting trade far out way my Literacy and computer skills
In the last few years I have started making my own jewellery to help sell the last of my collection, I am slowly getting the hang of things but need help getting that professional end result. I live in a remote part of Australia and advice is in short supply around here, so here goes.
My work shop is extensive with most tools sourced online and are second hand but over the years have put together most things I need including a quality rolling mill.

My first question….Pulling 925 Stirling silver and gold wire:
I have melted down from off cuts and old jewellery bits and pieces then rolled annealed until I have square lengths small enough to pull through draw plates to make my desired sized wire. This is no problem but when inspecting and working with the wire I am finding bures or barbs on the wire and some splitting when bending into jump rings and pendant making.
Can some body help me as to what Im doing wrong or a better technique.

Thanks in advance and as mentioned I have professionally mined, cut and graded all Australian opals and gemstones most of my life and happy to give any advice if asked or when reading through this forum.
Cheers Lockie

Don't count the days make the days count

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5 Replies

House of Silver ...

Hi, you need to use clean silver. Those offcuts and old jewellery contained some other metals that make your wire unworkable. For instance, tiny amount of tin would render silver unworkable – it will split etc. just as you described.

Lockie5 ...

Thanks and noted

Wandering Rock Designs ...

Recycling silver is fine, just anneal often. I do add fine silver .999 to my scraps to reduce cracking bringing the alloy closer to .94 instead of .925 of mystery alloy. I’ve never had a problem on 30% reduction to hardened from dead soft pulling or rolling using this method. Rolling .925 scrap to a 25% reduction should be safe but pulling scrap at .925 with solder and junk metals other than copper has never pulled smooth without the added fine.

Dennis Richer ...

Thanks for sharing

Lockie5 ...

Thanks for your help and will add silver