Free Video Tutorial: How to Fuse Fine Silver Wire Links with a Handheld Butane Micro Torch
If you've hesitated to move away from cold connections and begin soldering and fusing metals with a torch (even a small handheld torch like a micro torch or a butane torch, also sometimes called a crème brûlée torch), we have a treat for you!
|You can fuse wire links with that convenient little hand-held micro torch!|
Denise Peck, editor in chief of Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry and senior editor of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, has created a free instructional video that will show you the simple process of using a butane micro torch to fuse fine silver wire links from start to finish. In our free video, The Jewelry Maker's Video Guide to the Micro Torch, Denise shows how easy it is to fill a small handheld micro torch with a butane canister and how to use a micro torch to anneal hard wire. Annealing metal makes it softer, more pliable, and therefore easier to work with, especially when wrapping wire around a mandrel to create links for fusing. Denise wraps the wire up the length of a ring mandrel, which is graduated, to create links of different sizes–which will result in more interesting fused-link jewelry.
|Denise shows what I call the "flip and snip" technique for creating flush cuts on wire loops.|
After she makes her wire more pliable, Denise shows you how to create large wire coils by wrapping fine silver wire on a ring mandrel (or anything you like), how to create flush-cut ends when you cut your wire coil into loops, and how to file the ends to be perfectly flush for torch fusing. The most important part of fusing wire links with a micro torch is to have perfectly flat edges that will butt against each other and allow the molten metal to flow and fuse to itself–and Denise shows you exactly how to achieve that.
|Get a bird's-eye view of how to fuse wire links using a micro torch.|
Lastly, Denise shows how to fuse the fine silver links using the micro torch. She explains why you should move the micro torch flame around the wire, heating the entire loop, not just the seam, until you see the metal turn rosy red. Then you focus your micro torch's flame on the seam and watch for the ends to flow and fuse together. It will be quick! But the video is close-up, so you can clearly see when she demonstrates how the flame of the micro torch turns the bright, shiny fine silver wire to a (temporary) soft, fuzzy gray while you're annealing it and later, how the wire loop turns rosy red while it's being heated under the micro torch's flame, just before the seam fuses closed.
|Create fused-wire-link jewelry like this using the simple technique shown in this free micro torch video guide.|
Denise also explains why you can only fuse pure metals such as fine silver, not sterling (which is an alloy that contains copper), how to get a snug joint on your wire loops and how to make them very flat so they will fuse properly with the micro torch, and shares some examples of jewelry created by fusing fine silver links with a butane torch.
So what are you waiting for? Watch our free video tutorial, The Jewelry Maker's Video Guide to the Micro Torch: Fuse Wire Links with a Butane Torch, and you'll be fusing fine silver wire links in no time! Once you've watched the video and fused a few fine silver links, you'll be on your way to fusing lots of links together to create your own handmade chain. It's easy to do using the small, portable, lightweight micro torch. Plus, after you've learned the basics for annealing and fusing wire with a micro torch, you can use the same simple process you follow for fusing these fine silver links to create a fine silver ring, just by switching to a heavier gauge wire. Check out The Jewelry Maker's Video Guide to the Micro Torch and soon you'll be making stack rings, chain links, and other jewelry components using a convenient handheld butane micro torch! (And share it with your friends–you know how I love to share!)