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  #1  
Old 2006-01-09, 9:10am
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Default Silver and gold fuming basics

First of all, do not try this without good ventilation!! If you dont have a hood and at least 350 cfm fan (or more) with make up air, dont even think about fuming.This will work with all torches from a minor up. ( I have never tried it on a one gas torch. Silver might work, but gold has to have a lot of heat to fume)

Fuming Silver and gold, The basics

First start with pure metals (.999 if possible) I use 1 oz silver ingot from jewelry store. For gold, I found a piece 8 inch's long of 24 karat fine chain at same jeweler.( make sure it's 24 karat. (gold needs to be as pure as possible to fume well)

Prepare a 12 to 14 inch 6-8 mm rod by warming up very end and putting a small dent in top side. ( I use quartz, but boro will work)

Take silver with tweezers, heat up 1/4 inch of ingot. Using glass shears, cut a 2-3 mm strip from ingot. Set aside to cool. Once cool, cut a piece off strip about the size of one half of a BB. (about 2 x 2 mm). Silver strip should cut OK when cool.

For gold, I cut 3-5 links off chain.(very fine chain)

Now, pick up the rod you prepared, using tweezers, put the BB of silver (links of gold) into the dent you made on the rod. Heat up end of rod till till metal melt into small ball. This should hold metal to rod.

Let's fume! Warm piece to be fumed till it has slight glow. Keep turning in last third of flame.
Silver: Place end of rod with silver on top near the end of the "candle" of the flame. When it warms up to the point that it begins to sparkle, you are fuming! Keep piece turning, and "bounce" the end of the rod in and out of the flame. Sliver fumes at a med temp, so you have to keep cooling and reheating fairly fast to keep the process going. You will see the honey yellow color start to appear on you piece. The longer you fume, the darker the color will become, until it turns white. Once you like the color, bring the piece into the working area of the flame, and melt in the fume. Some silver will burn back off, thats normal. you will get the hang of how much to put on for the desired end result. Or you can encase it right away. ( makes a cool effect)

Gold: takes a lot more heat to fume! using a forceful tight flame, begin as with the silver. Once piece is warm, bring the gold into the very tip of a candle (should just touch the end of cone)Leave it there. When The gold starts to "dance" around on the rod you should see color start to show on your piece. (great purple!) the gold has to stay in the cone to fume. ( no bounce like with silver) Again, the longer you fume the darker and richer the color. You can go all the way to gold plate. Melt in as before. Gold does not burn off like silver, so WYSIWYG.

For fun, put dots of clear close(2-3 mm apart) together all over the piece. melt in really well. When you melt it into a ball, it gives a neat honeycomb effect.
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  #2  
Old 2006-01-09, 9:52am
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I have noticed that 22k gold works better than 24k. The impurities in the gold help it stick to the glass. Plus, it doesn't seem to take as much fume with 22k to get the same effects you do with 24k.

And, a hot reducing flame will burn off gold, just like an oxidizing flame burns off silver. So, you have to be careful using both in the same piece. The flame that you use to fume one kind of metal burns off the other kind.
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Old 2006-01-09, 10:24am
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Can you fume using gold/silver foil or leaf? I see a lot of tutorials talking about fuming with chunks of metal. Since a little metal lasts a long time, I was wondering if the leaf and foil I have will work. I have 22k gold leaf and wanted to try fuming this week. If you can use leaf or foil...what's the best way to use it? Can I ball up the sheet and stick it to the end of my fuming rod, or should I wrap the end of the rod in the sheet and burnish it. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 2006-01-09, 10:28am
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You should be able to fume with the leaf. I would ball it up really tightly before picking it up with the rod. You will still lose some it to burn off.
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  #5  
Old 2006-01-09, 10:31am
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I have never tried using foil. I don't see why it would not work.I would try the balling up method. The metal starts to melt and trying to move before it starts to fume, so I fear it would fall off the rod with the wrap and burnish method. If you decide to try, let us know how it worked out!!
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  #6  
Old 2006-01-09, 10:32am
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Sorry Chad, must have been typing at the same time!
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  #7  
Old 2006-01-11, 8:43am
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Aside from good ventilation, aren't you supposed to wear a respirator? What rating respirator, will the N100 work?
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  #8  
Old 2006-01-11, 9:11am
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I guess technically you should. I just sort of hold my breath and lean back a little when I'm fuming. My ventilation is pretty good...
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  #9  
Old 2006-01-23, 9:12am
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Question Question

I tried fuming for the first time last night. I made a simple bead using transparent dark aqua then added stacked dots in black and some handmade purple. I ended with black dots. Then I fumed, it turned out neat, but why did the silver only show up on the last black dot? It was all melted flat prior to fuming. Are there certain colors that don't take to fuming or what?
Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 2006-01-23, 9:20am
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If the glass is too cool (which is what may have happened since you did a lot of work to it) the fume won't stick.
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  #11  
Old 2006-01-23, 10:00am
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I see. It actually looked pretty cool, but I just figured I did something weird. Thanks for the tip.
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  #12  
Old 2006-04-18, 8:51am
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for me, silver sticks the best when the glass is cool but you need to get it glowing before you throw gold on...i usually do silver and then gold...
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  #13  
Old 2007-01-17, 5:52am
uniqueleigh uniqueleigh is offline
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[quote=firefreak;272254]
Fuming Silver and gold, The basics

Prepare a 12 to 14 inch 6-8 mm rod by warming up very end and putting a small dent in top side. ( I use quartz, but boro will work)

Hello, I was wondering, since some of us only work in soft glass is there another way to introduce the silver to the flame instead of using quartz or boro?

Silver: Place end of rod with silver on top near the end of the "candle" of the flame. When it warms up to the point that it begins to sparkle, you are fuming! Keep piece turning, and "bounce" the end of the rod in and out of the flame.

Here I was wondering if you are actually putting the end of the glass rod into the flame or are you holding slightly below so that the flame is mostly hitting the silver only? Thank you so much for sharing, LeighQUOTE]
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  #14  
Old 2007-01-18, 7:45am
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I don't know if you could use a soft glass rod. I will grab a piece of my DW's clear and try later today. i work boro, so quartz works better for me. You have to leave the tip of the rod in the edge of the flame for a while. The boro gets soft and droopy after a few uses. Quartz doesn't.
I don't think there is any way to fume without using a rod. i tried it with a piece of graphite and a little dent at the end. The metal would not stick. It just blew off the rod every time. The idea is to use a rod that takes more heat than the glass your working with.
You want the flame to hit the silver. you don't need much if any of the rod in the flame.
If you need a small piece of boro to use for fuming, Send me your address in a PM and I will send you one.
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  #15  
Old 2009-05-08, 6:41am
FairyVerre FairyVerre is offline
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I read that you can actually do fuming with some of the silver glass rods too ! I must find that info .....arghhhh
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  #16  
Old 2009-07-08, 6:46am
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I have not done any fuming for a while - doesn't silver fuming work better in a slightly reducing flame, or am I confused?
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  #17  
Old 2009-07-08, 7:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyVerre View Post
I read that you can actually do fuming with some of the silver glass rods too ! I must find that info .....arghhhh
I've done some gold fuming using rubino.

I just placed some quartz rods to hold your silver and gold in the flame in the garage for sale for those interested. I had little succes trying ot use boro.
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  #18  
Old 2010-12-21, 5:14pm
danielle danielle is offline
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Okay, this is totally awesome. Two questions:

1. Can you fume with a hothead? (Siiigh...)
2. Where can one get the quartz rod set-up for fuming nowadays?
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  #19  
Old 2010-12-21, 10:34pm
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Hey, this thread is exactly what I've been looking for! I've searched for fuming but this thread never came up, or if it did it was so far near the bottom of the search that I overlooked it. Thank you to everybody who contributed!
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  #20  
Old 2010-12-21, 10:47pm
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You should be able to fume silver with a hot head. I doubt if you could get the necessary heat or flame environment for gold. Silver likes a reducing flame.
Quartz rod: http://www.dichroicimagery.com/advan...sort=4a&page=2
I use a 12 inch piece of 7mm.
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  #21  
Old 2010-12-22, 7:04am
danielle danielle is offline
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Oh, sweet, thanks! Though if I'm understanding the instructions right, you need to melt a dent into the rod, and my hothead will never get hot enough to let me do that. Is anyone selling pre-dented rods?
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  #22  
Old 2010-12-22, 11:09pm
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I don't think you would be able to get the quartz hot enough with a hot head. It took about 5 min if my pre-mix flame to get a 7mm quartz rod hot enough to put a small dent on the end. No one sells a pre-dented rod. For use in a hot head, i would think that a piece of boro rod would work just fine.
The dent on the end of the rod makes it easier to keep the little ball of silver from falling off in the flame. Once the silver starts to warm up, it will sometimes try to "move" around the rod. Or fall off. Once you have fumed with the rod a few times there will be a deposit of silver on the end of the rod that will hold on to the silver just fine. The dent just helps hold the little ball for the first few times.
You don't have to have a special rod to be able to fume. You can use any rod to hold the silver. If you take the color that takes the longest time to melt in your flame, it will work enough to find out what fuming is all about. When you start fuming on a regular basis or for longer amounts of time, then you need a rod that does not melt well in your flame.
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Last edited by firefreak; 2011-01-05 at 11:35pm. Reason: typo
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  #23  
Old 2013-01-19, 10:23pm
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thanks for this info firefreak it will help a lot i just got a fume hood and a 650 cmf fan
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