Melting Silver With Borax – Easy Steps You Can Try At Home

How To Melt Silver With Borax

Unbeknownst to many, gold and silver aren’t only used for jewelry like sterling silver. It is also commonly used for industrial purposes, such as electronics for industrial machines. Now that people recycle almost everything, learning how to reuse silver may come in handy.

In this article, we will discuss the step-by-step guide on how to melt silver with borax.

melting silver

1. Gather the Supplies You Need

First things first –  gather all the supplies you need to melt silver using borax. The first thing you need to grab is safety gear. You will also need a silver compound, an adequate quantity of borax, the crucible, soda, a pair of thongs, sodium nitrate, mold or cast, and a bowl of cold water. 

2. Wear Safety Gear 

Since you will be exposed to a few harmful materials in melting silver with borax as the flux, you need to protect yourself. Our team suggests that you wear masks and gloves, and other safety gear. 

We also recommend doing the whole process in a well-ventilated area inside your house. Or, if you have one extra space in your yard,  melting your silver or even gold outdoors is also an excellent idea.

3. Use a Furnace (if you have one)

This one step can only be done if you happen to own a furnace. Furnaces can have many uses, like giving you a source of heat needed. You can place the metal inside the furnace or take a crucible to start the process in such a case. With adequate amounts needed, place the silver chloride. Melting the silver chloride in the crucible is ideal. 

Our team suggests that you ensure that the container is large enough to hold the metals when it starts boiling, so the silver chloride won’t spill.   

However, if the silver chloride you want to melt is too large to be placed on a container, our team suggests breaking it into a smaller part or piece. This way, melting small amounts of it would be easier and safer. It would also hasten the melting process with ease.

furnace

4. Use a Blowtorch  

You can also utilize a blow torch in melting metal or even gold in the crucible. The melting time for metal depends on the size and its substance composition. A lot of torches don’t come with a melting temperature gauge, so you need to monitor the whole process and the torch until the metal starts melting. Check the surface from time to time. 

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5. Add the Mixture to the Crucible 

After which, mix the soda and boric acid with the proportion of 1:1 and add it into the crucible. For at least one kilogram of silver powders, about 500 grams of the mixture is somewhat sufficient to melt the metal. Keep on torching the piece of precious metal until it totally melts.  

You can also add sodium nitrate little by little until you finally see the metal. However, you need to be careful in using sodium nitrate because it is highly flammable. Any mishandling of the said substance can cause explosions and could harm your jewelry. Silver is almost as sensitive as gold.

6. Let the Silver Melt

Once the metal layer in the crucible is visible, you need to let the silver melt. Wait for some time until this layer boils under adequate heat from the torch.

Once it boils, stop the heat from the torch and utilize a graphite stir rod to get rid of the slag or scrap silver/metal layer from the molten metal.  

You have to get rid of the slag/scrap because it is the impurities that got melted along with the silver.

You have to remove any metal residues before proceeding to the next step for a finer jewelry finish and higher purity level. Of course, most people prioritize this step, like how they recycle gold or copper, too.

7. Pour the Molten Silver 

Use tongs to hold the crucible in pouring the molten silver. Pour the melted silver into the molds you have prepared while it is in liquid form. Again, ensure that you have already gotten rid of all the impurities before pouring the metal into the molds to provide a higher quality finish and get the desired shape and angle. You may also use a refining flux to get rid of any fineness marks.

8. Let the Molten Silver Set   

After pouring the melted silver with borax beads, let the substance sit on the mold for a while to let it completely sit. The amount of time you’d need depends on the type of mold or metal quantity. It could probably take at least 30 seconds up to two minutes.

When the metal has already settled, utilize the tongs to take it out from the mold. Submerge the molded silver in cold water so it’d cool down and harden. Quenching is a rapid way of bringing metal back to room temperature after heat treatment to prevent the cooling process from dramatically changing the metal’s microstructure. [1

Right after successfully molding the metal, silver soldering can be done as an option. You can form jewelry like most gold or anything you want to do with it.

FAQS

Apart from gold, you can melt silver/metal in the comfort of your home. Precious metals can be melted using a lot of tools such as a blowtorch or even an ordinary microwave oven. You can also use a stand made of asbestos or any other temperature-resistant materials. Learning how to melt silver with borax as the flux to reduce the melting point is an excellent choice.

To remove borax from silver, you must know how to melt silver with borax first. You can use a rolling mill or a rock tumbler. Use it with a jeweler’s shot, a spot of dish soap, and a drop of vinegar. A lot of people even soak their silver/metal using vinegar alone.

So, How Do You Melt Silver with Borax?

There may be other ways to melt silver or gold. However, melting it with borax is easier, especially when you have the right tools. Boric acid in a well borax glazed container can remove the metal oxides from the silver/metal without affecting its purity. 

To do this process, you need to gather all the necessary tools like safety gear, gas torch pressure, or blowtorch. Mix the borax and soda, pour it into the crucible while the silver is torched. Keep torching the silver/metal until the borax melts it, and then pour it into the mold. In doing these steps, you’ll melt silver with borax even at the comfort of your home.

References:

  1. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-the-definition-of-quenching-in-metalworking-2340021

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