Beginning Quiz 1 (click for study guide)

Beginning Quiz 2 (click for study guide)

 

Abrasives

Natural and synthetic materials in fine granular form incorporated in buffing compounds and attached to cloth or paper. Abrasives are generally sold in various grades from very coarse to very fine. Paper and cloth-backed abrasives may be identified by a numerical system (coarsest -50 - 80 - 180 - 240 - 320 - 400 - 600 - 1000 1500 - finest). Not all abrasives are identified by number, however.

Acetylene

A colorless gas used under compression to produce high temperatures when mixed with air or oxygen.

Acid resist

(also resist) Any agent that will resist the corrosive action of acid, used mainly in etching. Some of these are: asphaltum, varnish, beeswax, dental wax, and commercial resists.

Alcohol lamp

A small lamp, usually a bottle with a wick, used to provide a small claen flame when working with wax

Alginate

A semi-flexible mold material, popularly used in the dental industry. It is made from seaweed algae.

Alloy

The result of combining two or more metals, or a metal and a chemical element. For example, sterling silver is an alloy composed of pure silver and copper.

Aluminum

(Al, mp 1220° F) A bluish, silver-white metal, noted for lightness and resistance to oxidation. Usually this metal is sold in alloys designed to improve different aspects of the metal, such as its ability to be anodized, or its strength. A special aluminum solder and flux must be used when soldering.

Aluminum oxide

A very fine, long-lasting abrasive used in wheel form and on cloth-backed sanding sheets. Trade name is "aloxite."

American Standard Gauge

(also Brown and Sharpe Gauge) A flat disk of metal with notches graduated in size and numbered 1 (thick) to 36 (thin). Most non-ferrous metals are measured using this gauge.

Ampere

A unit of electrical current.

Annealing

A heat treatment of metal that realigns its crystalline structure to its natural, more malleable state. Annealing also removes stresses created in manipulation during the work process such as bending, raising, forging, rolling, etc.

Annealing pan

A circular pan that supports the workpiece while annealing. These pans are usually filled with pea pumice and designed to be rotated as heat is applied.

Anode

The positive electrical conductor in a plating or anodizing bath. In plating baths, the anode serves to replenish the bath with metallic ions. In anodizing baths, the workpiece serves as the anode.

Anodizing

The electrochemical application of an oxide film over aluminum causing its surface to become harder, abrasion and corrosion-resistant, and acceptant to dyes .

Anvil

Usually a heavy supporting surface over which metal is hammered. Anvils have a traditional form composed of a squarish base, flat top, and tapered horn.

Appliqué

Patterns of bent wire or sheet metal that are attached to a surface of the same or contrasting metal.

Asbestos

A natural rock fiber that is flame-resistant. It is used to make insulation, protective gloves, solder pads, flask liners, etc. There is considerable evidence that asbestos causes some types of cancer and should no longer be used in jewelry work.

Asphalt ground

(also hard ground) In etching, a resist of beeswax, resin and asphaltum (or similar substance). This ground is applied to hot metal, and it has hardened, a design or image can be scratched through to expose the metal.

basse-taille

(from the French word for low relief work) A type of enameling in which transparent enamels are applied over metal that has been textured by gravers or punches. The transparency of the enamel combines with the texture of the metal to create an illusion of great depth.

Beaker

A cylindrical heat-proof glass container for warming liquids.

Bearing

A supporting ledge built into stone settings. The edge of the stone rests on the bearing.

Bench pin
A wedge-shaped block of hardwood attached to a bench to support work while sawing or filing.

Bench plate

A thick slab of hardened steel used to support metal during flattening and texturing processes.

Bevel

The angle that one surface makes with another when they are not at right angles.

Bezel

A type of setting in which an object is held in place by a snug-fitting metal collar. The top edge of the collar is usually bent over the object to further secure it.

Binding wire

A soft iron wire used to hold joints and pieces of metal in the desired position during soldering operations.

Borax

A crystalline, slightly alkaline borate or sodium, used in casting, fuses on heating which forms borax glass, keeps surface clean and allows metal to flow; also used in casting to keep silver and gold from oxidizing and for removing impurities.

Brake

A machine for bending sheet metal.

Brass

An alloy of copper and zinc in variable proportions which is commonly reddish yellow to rosy orange in color. Some common alloys of brass are: yellow brass (65 Cu/35 Zn, mp 1660° F), red brass (85 Cu/15 Zn, mp 2200° F).

Bright dip

A very strong pickle good for cleaning gold and over-fired silver. Bright dip is made up of one part nitric acid, one part sulfuric acid, and a pinch of table salt. The article to be cleaned is quickly dipped (never left in for more than one second).

Bronze

(Cu 90/Sn 10, mp 2250° F) A brownish red-yellow alloy of copper and tin.

Brushing flame

A large natural gas flame with compressed air added until there is no blue cone. This large bushy flame is most often used to anneal or gradually heat metal.

Buff

Usually a motor-driven, spindle-mounted wheel, disc, or cone-shaped form made of layered cotton, felt, muslin, wool, or leather. Buffs are charged with abrasive compounds and spun against metal surfaces to abrade and polish — to buff — the metal.

Buffing

The process of abrading, polishing, or burnishing metal using a buff and an abrasive compound.

Burnisher

A tool with a short wooden handle and a curved or straight finger-like steel blade. The blade is oval in cross section with a polished rounded work face.

Burnout

The process of removing a wax model from an investment mold by heating the mold in a kiln or furnace.

Burnishing

Smoothing and polishing metal surfaces by rubbing them with a hardened steel or stone burnisher. This non-abrasive process creates a smooth surface by rubbing the irregularities out of the metal’s surface.

Burr

(1) A sharp-tipped projection.
(2) A rotary steel cutting tool generally used in a flexible shaft machine.

Bus Bars

The tubes used to carry the electrical current and suspend the anode and cathode in a plating or anodizing bath.

Butt joint

An edge-to-edge fit between two pieces of metal.

Button

The lump of metal that fills the sprue base in a jewelry casting.

Cabochon

A cut of stone generally having a domed top and flat bottom.

C-clamp

A device with a C-shaped frame and a turn-screw used to hold two pieces of material together.

Capillary attraction

The force that causes a liquid to be raised against a vertical surface, or pulled into small crevices.

Carat

A unit of measure used to determine the weight of gem stones; one carat equals 200 milligrams.

Carborundum

An abrasive usually found in the form of grinding stones.

Casting

A technique in which molten metal is poured or injected into a mold.

Cathode

The negative electrical terminal in a plating or anodizing bath. In plating, the cathode is generally the workpiece onto which metallic ions are deposited.

Centrifugal casting

A casting technique whereby molten metal is thrust into a mold by centrifugal force. The most common method is by means of a spring-driven arm supporting a crucible and mold flask.

Champlevé

An enameling technique in which transparent or opaque colors are fired into etched or carved areas in a metal surface.

Charcoal block

A block of dense charcoal used to support work being soldered. It may also be used as a carving medium to develop simple casting molds. Bismuth blocks are often preferred over charcoal for soldering, because they are cleaner and do not break apart as easily.

Charging

The application of abrasive compounds to buffing wheels.

Chasing

A surface embellishment technique applied to the outer surface of a form. In chasing, the metal is backed with an elastic material such as lead or pitch, and shaped with punches to refine or delineate the front of cast or repousse decorated work.

Chasing Hammer
a lightweight hammer with a springy pistol-grip handle, and a head that has one large circular striking surface (used for striking chasing punches), and a ball peen.

Chasing plate

A piece of soft iron approximately one inch thick to which metal is clamped for chasing.

Chatoyance

A fibrous, satin-like sheet appearing on the surface of some polished stones.

Cloisonné

(from the French word for partitioned) An enameling technique in which flat metal wires are shaped into a design, and affixed to a metal base. The spaces in the framework are then filled with enamel, and stoned flush so that each color is bordered by a thin strip of metal.

Coin silver

(U.S. Nickel) (90 Ag/10 Ni)

Coloring

Generic term refering to the natural, chemical, or heat patination of metal. Oxidation, plating, and torches are a few of the methods used to create these colorations.

Compounds

Cutting or polishing abrasives mixed with grease or wax and applied to buffs for finishing metal surfaces.

Constructed

(also fabricated) Assembled of one or more elements to make a finished piece. Generally indicates that the work involves hand tools and fitting as opposed to forms created entirely by forging, casting, or electroforming.

Cope

The top half of a casting frame used in sand casting.

Copper

(Cu, mp 1981° F) A metallic element reddish in color, ductile, malleable, and very tenacious. A good conductor of heat and electricity. Cold rolled sheet is best for art metal.

Copper tongs

Tool used for picking up hot metal during annealing and quenching operations, and to take workpieces in and out of the pickel without copper plating.

Counter enamel

A coating of enamel on the reverse side of a metal ground that prevents the enamels from cracking on the display side.

Cradle

A sheet of metal hung over the arms of a centrifugal casting machine to elevate the flask so it aligns with the crucible.

Crocus cloth

A type of emery abrasive in which a cloth backing is coated with iron oxide particles for fine polishing.

Cross peen

A wedge-like hammer face used to forge or raise metal. In practice, the blows of the cross peen cause the metal to move perpendicularly to the peen.

Crucible

A ceramic or graphite container in which metal is melted.

Cuttlebone

The chalky internal shell of a cuttlefish. Cuttlebone is used as a mold material for metal casting. The resulting casting has a wavy, striated surface. Powdered cuttlebone is also used as a polishing compound.

Damascene

A metal inlay technique. Its name derives from the city of Damascus, where it was popularized.

Damascus steel

Pattern-welded, laminated steel originally popularized in Damascus. Today’s process is a modification of the original technique.

Dapping

A method of pushing out hollows in metal by punching it into a dapping block or die; also adaptable for making hollow beads.

Dapping punch

A punch with a spherical work tip. It is used to form domed pieces from discs of flat sheet metal. The metal is tapped into a steel dapping block that has hemispherical recesses.

Dead blow hammer
A soft-faced hammer containing lead or steel shot to eliminate rebound and increase energy transfer. Used to flatten or shape metal without bouncing or marring.
Debubblizer
A wetting agent used to facilitate the coating of a wax model by investment.

Die

Any of several types of positive or negative mold-like forms into which sheet metal is forced and formed. Dies are generally made of a hard material that permits the creation of multiple pieces.

Drag

The bottom section of a sand casting frame.

Drawing

The process of reducing the size of wire by passing it through a drawplate.

Drill and wire gage
A tool for measuring the diameter of drill bits and wire. Consists of a flat sheet of metal with gradated and numbered holes (usu. 1-60).

Drill bit

A helically grooved steel tool used to cut holes. Bits are generally used in a hand brace, lathe, drill press, or flexible shaft.

Drill index
A set of gradated drill bits, usually boxed with a rack to keep them in order.
Drill press
A upright electric drilling machine in which the bit is applaied to the work by a hand lever.

Drop hammer

A large hydraulically, electrically, or pneumatically powered hammer used in blacksmithing or to exert great force against dies to create specific shapes.

Ductile

Capable of being drawn out, stretched or hammered thin.

Electroforming

An elecrochemical metal-forming technique in which a layer of metal is deposited on a matrix of wax, polystyrene, or a similar material that has been coated with a conductive paint.

Electrolyte

A solution of water and metallic salts in which electrodeposition takes place.

Electrodeposition

The process of electroplating and electroforming. An electrochemical process whereby metal ions are deposited onto an object.

Electroplating

The depositing of a thin coating of metal on another metal to create a new surface or to make a piece more durable.

Emery cloth

An abrasive sheet consisting of a cloth coated with powdered emery, carborundum, or garnet, which is used for finishing surfaces.

Embossing

Pressing or imprinting a pattern in relief from the back or inside of a sheet of metal.

Enamel

Combinations of flux and metal oxides (for color) that can range from opaque to transparent.

Enameling

The fusing of enamels onto metal using kilns or torches to bring the enamel to its melting point.

Engraving

The use of gravers or burins to cut lines and textures into metal.

Epoxy

Any of various resins capable of forming tight, cross-linked polymer structures characterized by toughness, strong adhesion, and corrosion resistance. Commonly used as a two-part adhesive.

Etching

The process of removing metal using through chemical processes. Usually, acid resists are used to mask off certain areas of the metal to develop surface texture or patterns,

Eutectic

An alloy of two or more metals combined to achieve a melting point lower than the melting points of the parent metals. This process is used in granulation where the parts to be joined fuse together only at the contact points.

Ferrous

Metals or alloys derived from iron.

Fibula

A decorative fastener used by ancient cultures to secure clothing. A forerunner to the kilt pin and safety pin.

File

A hardened steel tool having ridged or tooth-like surfaces for cutting away metal. Files are purchased in the length and cross section suited to a particular purpose.

File wax

A hard, brittle wax that can be sawed or filed to make patterns for casting.

Fillet

The bulge formed when excess solder is used to join two pieces of metal at an angle.

Filigree

A delicate design of fine wires soldered together in the frame of a heavier wire or onto a flat base.

Findings

Commercial or handmade fittings or fastenings used to attach jewelry to the wearer: clasps, catches, earring posts, pin assemblies, etc.

Finishing

The final treatment of a surface, usually by means of filing, abrasion, or polishing.

Fire brick

Refractory bricks made specailly for use in high temperature applications

Fire scale

An oxide of copper that is brought on by overheating copper-bearing alloys in an open atmosphere. Firescale is tougher than other oxides and not removed by pickling.

Flask

Most often a steel cylinder used to encase a casting mold.

Flashing

A flaw that creates "feathers" growing on the surface of a casting.

Flexible shaft machine

A machine with a small, high speed motor, a flexible, enclosed drive shaft, and a hand piece with a chuck for holding carving and abrasive tools. Generally used for small-scale grinding, polishing, and drilling.

Flux

A liquid, granular, or paste material (usually boxax-based) used to form a coating that protects metal from oxidizing during soldering and casting processes. This keeps the metal clean of oxides that inhibit the flow of molten metals such as solder.

Foil

Very thin sheet metal; used especially in enameling procedures.

Forging

A process using hammers and an anvil or steel stakes. From a given shape or mass of metal, the material is redistributed by controlled hammer blows to create the desired form.

Fusing

The molecular bonding of metals without the use of solder. Pieces are brought up to heat and allowed to alloy together. Joining is controlled by quickly removing the heat at the moment of fusion.

Gallery wire

Wire that is patterned or textured.

Gate

An opening or system of openings through which molten metal enters a mold.

Gold alloys

Green — 25% silver, 75% gold and cadmium.
Yellow —12.5% silver, 12.5% copper and 75% gold.
Red — 75% gold and 25% copper.

Gold solder

An alloy of gold with a melting temperature lower than the gold to be soldered. Gold two carats lower than the gold being soldered is ideal for use as solder.

Granulation

The process of bonding small spheres or chips of metal to a parent metal. Bonding is traditionally accomplished by eutectic soldering.

Gravity pour

A direct pour of molten metal into a mold.

Graver

A narrow steel cutting tool used to cut lines in metal. Gravers come in a variety of cross-section shapes.

Grisaille

A French term for painting with only black, white, and shades of gray enamel. It is the application of light and dark effects to enamel in which successive coatings of white enamel are applied to a black background to create a rich spectrum of values.

Hardening

The hardening of steel which is accomplished by heating the metal to cherry red and quickly quenching it in brine, water, or oil, depending on the alloy or application.

Hard soldering

(also silver soldering) Joining metal together by using silver solder which is an alloy of silver, copper and brass or copper and zinc (different solders have different melting points). Hard soldering is used for metals that can withstand high temperatures, and where strength is necessary. It is impossible to use hard solder on work which has already been soft soldered. Three basic grades of silver solder available: hard, medium, and easy.

Heat treating

The application of heat to metal to anneal, harden, or temper.

Ingot

A block or convenient cast shape that will be further processed by extruding, rolling, forging, or additional casting.

Inlay

A process in which grooves, recesses, or negative shapes are cut into a base material and are then filled with inset inserts of corresponding shapes. A process used to create contrasting textures and patterns.

Investment

A plaster-like material made of gypsum, silica, and cristobalite.

Jacobs chuck

A device used to hold drill bits during drilling operations. It has that has three adjustable, self-centering jaws which are adjusted by turning the toothed outside ring with a chuck key.

Jig

A fixture preset to accurately assemble or duplicate the components of a workpiece. For example, a jig can be used to secure metal in bending to assure exact duplicates.

Jump ring

The common name for a small circle of wire.

Karat

The measure used to express the purity of gold, 24 karat being the highest or purest. For example, an alloy of one-half pure gold and one-half other metal would be expressed 12 karat.

Kiln

A high temperature oven used to burn out a mold.

Lamination

The bonding of several layers of metal.

Lathe

A machine that rotates a blank of material on a horizontal axis against a cutting bit or chisel.

Leaf

Metal that has been thinned to from 1/8000th to 1/10000th mm. Glued to surfaces to give a precious metallic look to non-precious materials.

Lemel

Gold or silver filings or sawdust.

Limoges

An enameling technique, named for the French city that once specialized in this very basic technique. It is like cloisonne enameling without the wires, and is often called "painting with enamel," since the results look like tiny paintings.

Liver of sulfur

Potassium sulfide. Often dissolved in water as a solution for oxidizing or coloring metal.

Lost-wax casting

A casting process in which a wax model is embedded in a plaster-like casting investment. After the investment has hardened, heat is applied to melt away the wax leaving a cavity with a detailed form corresponding to that of the original wax model. Molten metal is then poured or injected into the cavity.

Malleability

A metal’s ability to withstand being rolled or hammer-formed without cracking or breaking.

Mandrel

A tapered steel form used to support metal as it is being formed.

Metal fatigue

Fissures caused by prolonged or repeated overheating while soldering, by repeated cycles of heating and cooling, or by repeated flexing of the metal.

Millimeter

A unit of measure equal to .0001 meter or .04 inch. Also the standard measure for the size of precious stones.

Model (pattern)

An object that creates a negative shape in a mold. The model is the same size and shape as the desired casting.

Mohs’ scale

A numerical scale (from1 softest to 10 hardest) generally used to rate the relative hardness of minerals and gemstones.

Mokume

(from the Japanese term for woodgrain) A patterned effect created by laminating layers of contrasting metals, cutting away or bumping out the layers, and then cutting to expose the inner striations.

Mold (mould)

A negative impression of a desired shape. It is in this that the casting is made.

Molding boards (moldboards)

Panels of wood or metal slightly larger than casting frames, used as lids and bases for the mold in sand casting.

Mordant

Commercially prepared corrosive solutions used in etching. These solutions are safer than an acid etch as they will not burn like acid.

Needle file

Small files of various shapes used for fine work.

Nickel or Nickel Silver

A hard, dense, silver white metal containing 65% copper, 18% nickel, and 17% zinc.

Niello

An inlay technique in which a compound of silver, lead, copper, and sulfur are set in recessed areas and then fired. The niello material flows into the inlay recesses of the base metals and bonds. The resulting pattern is deep black in color.

Non-ferrous

Metals without iron in their composition.

Oxide

A chemical compound of metal united with oxygen.

Oxidizing flame

A flame that has a fuel mixture rich in oxygen.

Paillons

Small snippets of solder.

Parting agent

A substance used to prevent parts from sticking together in sand casting and other two part molds.

Patina

The coloring of metals through natural aging and oxidation, or through deliberate chemical coloring of the metal’s surface.

Peen

A ball, wedge, or cone-shaped strking surface of a hammer.

Pewter

An alloy of lead and tin replaced by the use of Britannia Metal.

Photoetching

A photochemical process for creating positive or negative photo images on a metal surface.

Pickle

A water and acid solution used as a dip or soak to clean metal of scale, oxides, and flux. The workpiece is usually pickled after soldering or annealing.

Pickling

A means of removing oxides, old flux, and other stains from metal through immersion in a solution of acid and water.

Pin vise

A tool used to firmly hold small cylindrical objects such as wire or cutting burrs.

Pitch

A black or darkly-colored residue of tree sap or asphalt, mixed with oil and a powder-like binder. Pitch is used to hold sheet metal for repousse, chasing or engraving work.

Pits

Tiny holes in a casting. These can be caused by oxides, impurities in the metal, and by contraction of the metal.

Planishing

Smoothing metal with the blows of a planishing hammer while supporting the metal over a steel stake or anvil. The metal is generally worked in a systematic path of overlapping blows to create a structure of uniform thickness. Planishing hammer heads have one flat face and one face that is slightly domed.

Plastic or Plasticity
The property of metals that allows them to be worked without rupturing. Plasticity allows malleability and ductility.
Planishing hammer
A lightweight hammer witha straight handle and two highly polished striking surfaces (one flat and one slightly curved) used to finish forged surfaces.

Plating

An electrochemical process for depositing metallic ions onto an electrically conductive surface.

Platinum

(Pt, mp 3191° F) A pliable precious metal that will not tarnish. The best alloy for jewelry has 10% iridium added for hardness. Palladium, a member of the platinum family, is inferior for jewelry because it is softer, darker, and will not take as high a polish.

Plique-á-jour

An enameling technique similar to cloisonne except that there is no base metal. Transparent enamels are fused into a framework of wires that all touch one another creating an effect that resembles stained glass.

Prong

A pointed or squared metal tooth used for clasping faceted stones.

Pumice

A volcanic stone used in lump and powdered form as an abrasive or as a heat-reflective material for supporting pieces being annealed or soldered. Finely powdered pumice may also be used as a binder in pitch.

Punch

Steel rods with variously shaped faces for repousse, dapping, cutting, or chasing work.

Pusher

A stone-setting tool with a polished flat or indented face; used to push over bezels or prongs.

Quenching

To suddenly submerge a piece of hot metal in a fluid as in cleaning or heat treating.

Quenching pan

A water bath used in annealing operations for rapidly cooling copper based metals.

Raising

The process of hammering flat sheet metal into three-dimensional forms.

Rasp

A coarse file that cuts by means of raised points rather than intersecting rows of straight ridges.

Rawhide Mallet
A lightweight hammer made of dried, untanned leather rolled into a cylinder and attached to a straight wooden handle. Used to flatten and shape metal, and to strike steel punches.

Reamer

A conical tool with multiple cutting edges used to re-shape or enlarge curcular holes in sheet metal.

Recrystalization

The process by which metal changes from a liquid to a solid.

Registration

The alignment of parts of a mold.

Reducing flame

A flame having a higher concentration of gas than oxygen, creating an oxygen-starved atmosphere.

Repousse

The technique of creating a relief surface outward from the back of sheet metal using hammers and punches.

Resin

An organic plastic substance. Rosin, a hard resin, is mixed with methyl alcohol to make a varnish for stopping out areas of work being etched.

Resin, epoxy and polyester

Thermoset plastics suitable for casting. Once set at room temperature, they can be heated with little distortion up to the burning point.

Reticulation

A metal surface texture caused by heat. The texture develops just at the melting point. Cooling and the resulting shrinkage pulls the metal’s surface into a wrinkled cross section. Certain alloys of silver are formulated to enhance this process.

Rheostat

A variable electrical resister used to regulate current especially in anodizing, electroplating and electroforming processes.

Riffler files

Files having specially shaped ends used where common files will not reach.

Ring clamp

A hand-held wooden clamp used to grasp objects too small to comfortably hold by hand. The clamp is usually braced against the bench pin.

Ring-size set

A group of rings manufactured in standard sizes for fitting.

Risers

Primary sprues or supply lines for metal as it comes into a mold.

Rivet

A small pin or tube-like fastener used to secure jewelry components. Rivets are generally used where solder cannot be applied.

Rod

A cylinder of metal circular in cross-section & larger than .325 in diameter.

Rolling mill

A machine having two horizontal steel rollers through which metal is passed under pressure to decrease its thickness.

Roll printing

The process of texturing metal by rolling sheet metal and a patterned material through a rolling mill.

Rouge

A mineral compound whose flat particles have a burnishing or smoothing effect on metal; employed with a buff for polishing.

Scalex

A commercial substance that prevents fire scale from forming on copper.

Scotch stone

An abrasive stone used with water for sharpening tools and removing scratches from work.

Scraper

A tool with a long, flat blade for cutting away metal, cleaning out pits and imperfections, or removing lead build up.

Scribe

A narrow, pointed tool used to scratch or mark metal.

Seat or bearing

A metal ring that fits inside a bezel to support a gemstone.

Setting or table

The form in which a gem is set.

Sheet

Metal that has been rolled into a broad flat plane thinner from .25 to .006in measured with a Brown & Sharpe gage.

Silver

(Ag, mp 1761° F) Pure silver free from impurities is called fine silver. It is very soft and pliable.

Sinking

A process for forming sheet metal in which forms are usually developed by hammering the sheet into a preformed recess.

Soft ground

Asphalt (hard) ground to which grease or tallow has been added so that it does not harden; used for creating textured effects.

Soft solder

A lead alloy used for soldering, which melts at about 350° F. Soft solder will ruin silver when if the heat is raised above 800° F. The alloy of 50 Pb/50 Sn is best for art metal.

Solder

A metallic alloy used to join metals. Solder melts when heat is applied, then re-hardens as it cools. Soft solder contains lead in an alloy with tin an melts at about 350° F. Hard solder may be either silver alloyed with brass or gold alloyed with silver; its melting range is 1175° F to 1400° F.

Soldering

Joining of metal pieces with an alloy with a lower melting point than that of the pieces being joined.

Soldering pick

A sharply pointed iron rod for picking up and accurately placing small pieces of solder.

Sprues

In casting, sprues are wax wires used to connect the wax model with the casting mold’s opening. In heating, or burnout, the wax is eliminated to leave channels (called gates) through which molten metal flows into the mold cavity.

Sprue base

A pad, often of rubber, that makes a bottom for the flask during moldmaking. The cone or hemisphere on a sprue base makes the recess that will be the pouring basin.

Stake

Polished steel, plastic, or wood forms over which metal is formed. Stakes are manufactured in many sizes and configurations to give the worker a broad choice of form possibilities. Stakes may be secured in a vise, bench plate, or an anvil’s hardy hole.

Stamping

Imprinting or impressing metal with a surface texture or pattern, or forming/cutting metal with a mold or die.

Steel wool

A bat of very thin steel wire used as an abrasive. Available in 0, 00, 000, and 0000 or coarse, medium, fine, and extra fine.

Sterling silver

(92.5 Ag/7.5 Cu, mp 1650° F) A silver alloy with proportions fixed by law, which never vary and must be stamped sterling. It is harder and less malleable than pure silver, so it is better for art jewelry.

Stirring rod

A tool used to stir and skim molten metal. They may be made of carbon or quartz.

Stoning

Grinding an object with a flat emery stone while holding it under running water; especially used in married metal and enameling.

Stretching

Generally used as a means of raising hollow forms from thick billets of metal. Forming hammers are used to thin the metal’s center area, thus causing the mass to be redistributed and forced upward.

Stripping

The removal of metal oxides by acid dipping or by reversing the polarity of a plating bath (the work to be stripped becomes the anode).

Sweating

Joining two flat pieces of metal together by melting solder first on one piece of metal stacking the pieces and then re-heating them until the solder re-flows.

Table

See "setting".

Tang

The short, tail-like end of a file or graver that is fitted with a handle.

Temper

A heat treatment usually applied to steel. After fully hardening, the piece is slowly reheated and quenched at the desired moment of hardness. In effect, the process softens the steel.

Tempered sand

Sand prepared to be the correct moisture content for casting.

Tin oxide

A very fine grade of powdered tin oxide used in very fine polishing.

Torch texture

A texture developed as the result of heat applied by torch to a metal’s surface.

T-stake

An anvil with a long, narrow surface for hammering.

Tree

(1) A tapered wax cone ("trunk") with wax patterns set circularly around it in two or more rows ("branches"), for casting up to twelve pieces at one time.
(2) A method used to sprue multiple pieces in one flask. Pieces are arranged in layers and that radiate from one large central vertical sprue.

Tripoli

An abrasive compound applied to a cutting buff for coarse finishing.

Troy weight

The standard weight used for precious metals and gem stones. One troy ounce =24 grains (Gr.) = 1 pennyweight (Dwt.); 20 Dwt. =1 ounce; 12 oz. = 1 pound.

Upsetting

Increasing the thickness and reducing the width of metal by hammering on its edges.

A forging technique whereby a metal edge or rod’s end is struck squarely with a hammer, causing it to spread or thicken.

Vents

Narrow passages cut into a mold to allow the release of entrapped air or gas as the molten casting material fills the mold.

Vermeil

Gold-plated silver.

Vise

A two-jawed tool used as a clamping device. Most vises have one fixed jaw and the second jaw mounted on a threaded shaft. Vises may be hand-held or bench-mounted.

Viscosity

The measure of a liquid’s ability to flow.

Volatility

The quality of being readily evaporated at normal temperatures and pressures.

Welding

Uniting metallic parts by heating and allowing the metals to flow together.

Wire

A cylinder of metal circular in cross-section & smaller than .325 inches in diameter.

Work hardening

The hardening of metal by the molecular compression of bending, rolling, twisting, or hammering.

glossary of metals terms