How to make your own wire: Part I
Metal prices are very expensive right now and I have more scrap metal than I know what to do with. So today I made some sterling silver wire at the studio. What you need to make your own wire is a crucible, ingot mold(mine is a reversible so I can do sheet as well), torch and draw plate.
First step is to choke the torch(acetylene) by wrapping your hand around the turn on valve so that no oxygen can come out. This creates a sooty substance which floats out of the torch. I use the soot to coat the inside of the ingot where I plan on pouring my silver. You will know if you are choking the torch right if black substance starts coming off the flame and if the flame is mostly yellow(as opposed to blue).
Secure the ingot so that the wire will be even by tapping the top of it with a hammer after you have tightened the two ends together. Then heat up the ingot. This secures that when you pour in the metal it will not splatter back at you out of shock from going to molten hot to cold. The ingot and the metal need to be roughly the same temperature.
Heat up the crucible then put your scrap silver into it.
Wait until your silver is like a liquid round puddle. If the metal is dirty or taking longer than expected, adding a pinch of borax helps to clean it off. Pour the metal down the hole in the ingot.
OK, that was the easy part. Next post I'll go over drawing it down.