Welding German Silver (nickel silver)
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  1. #1

    Welding German Silver (nickel silver)

    I have a project that I am working on that requires joining .040 in thick German Silver (nickel silver) sheet. The joint must be metal finished and polished so color match is important. The preferred method of welding to use a piece of the parent material for a welding rod. I have had limited success (mostly bad) welding this material with an O/A torch using parent for filler rod and fux the joint.. German Silver is a copper based alloy and I have been wondering if TIG welding the material might be an option but I don't have a TIG welder to test it.

    Can anyone offer insight and/or past experience joining German Silver sheet. Also can anyone offer advice on appropriate TIG welders for doing this kind of work?.

    Alan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Edison Wa.
    Posts
    714
    I have not welded any of the nickel silvers- there are at least 5 or 6 alloys, all slightly different, that are all called "german silver", but I have tig welded a lot of similar copper/zinc alloys.
    They all tig weld pretty well, unless there is a lot of lead in them, and there isnt any lead in any of the german silvers.

    So physically joining them with tig welding is no big deal. In .040, just about any tig welder will work. DC, Electrode Negative, straight argon for sheilding gas.

    But color match- well thats a whole nother ball game. Many copper alloys change when you heat em up- the different metals have different melting points, and so some of the lower melting point metals boil or vaporise out before the upper melting point metals melt. So the alloy you end up with is not the alloy you started out with.
    This is why even using parent metal for filler, your color does not always match.

    Low temp is the way to go for this- many bronze alloys are actually silver soldered, with color matching solder, rather than welded, for fancy handrails, so you dont melt the parent metal.

    I would check with real metalsmiths- unfortunately, they dont really have a website like this- maybe the closest would be the tech talk at the artmetal website- somebody there might have experience with german silver.
    www.artmetal.com
    Last edited by Ries; 04-16-2006 at 02:51 PM.

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