Improving Your Torch-firing Results

This is in response to comments by Dragonlady and Jenny on my previous posting.

Whether working in silver or copper, I myself am not a big fan of torch-firing for anything that might have a structural role in a jewelry piece. However, here is another suggestion for improving your results.

When we fire with a torch, we waste most of the heat on heating the air. You can build a “mini kiln” out of a firing surface and kiln posts.

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The posts can be 2-3 inches tall, and, as you can see from the photo, they are arranged in a circular structure, leaving just one opening for the torch.

You can cover this structure with another firing surface, a tile, or a piece of fiber blanket.

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I guess that lining the firing surface with carbon is even better, if you can manage to keep it in place.

Fiber blanket is an excelent heat insulator. Actually, you can replace this whole structure with a cylinder made out of fiber blanket.

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The blanket is stitched with nickel-chromium wire, which resists very high temperatures. In fact, I use it to stitch my fiber blanket boxes, and make eyelets of it to insert into steel clay. Just Google “nichrome” or “nickel-chromium wire.”

Then seal the top of the cylinder with another piece of fiber blanket, and cut a hole for inserting the torch.

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Again, lining the bottom with carbon can’t hurt. I’ll be glad to hear about your results.


6 Responses to “Improving Your Torch-firing Results”

  • Liek Mac Gillavry Says:

    Hi, can’t help myself from warning about inhaling glasfibers, I believe putting a torch on it will blow them all around; I wouldn’t do it myself but at least wear masks……
    greetz,Liek

  • Dragonlady Says:

    Wow! Thanks a lot Hadar!
    I am on a very tight budget, so a kiln is out of sight for me.
    But this all gave me a few cheaper options to try out.
    It might take a while until I can test but I’ll be sure to share my results here when I do.

  • Dragonlady Says:

    Hi Hadar!
    I finally got around to try your technique today. The results are much better than before. Still not ideal but it’s not bad for a first test. I need to buy some carbon and test that maybe.

    You can see the result in my blog: http://dragonladych.livejournal.com/171360.html

  • David Says:

    I torch fired two small copper pieces ( one at a time) following the directions on the YouTube video: Torch Firing Hadar’s Clay™ Quick-fire Copper. Both attempts resulted in brittle pieces that broke with minimal pressure. Also, after firing the pieces for 6 minutes, keeping the red glow throughout, when dousing in water the pieces turned black. Thank you for any input that might solve this problem. David

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    David,
    How small were the pieces (in milliliters)? And what kind of torch did you use? The pieces may have turned black because it took them too long to get to the water. In any case, it would be helpful if you can provide more detailed information.

  • David Says:

    Thank you for your response Hadar… the pieces were less than 1″ in diameter and the thickness of two playing cards… I use a small refillable hand torch with an orange plastic body, the same I use to fire silver clay with excellent results. Can I fire the pieces without immersing them in water at the end of the firing?

    I followed the video instructions firing and keeping them red during the entire process for 6 minutes and kept the torch on the pieces until dropping them into the water red hot) I have other pieces awaiting firing, but I am going to wait to find out a better process. I appreciate your help. Thank you.

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