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Thread: pin materials - nickel silver rods and washers?

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    Senior Member paco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidmind View Post
    Perhaps I am just an idiot but I tried that and got nothing..
    Just type in razor pins
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    Quote Originally Posted by paco View Post
    Just type in razor pins
    The only on flea bay I found were 24$ for 3 @6inch rods in nickel/silver and 100 stainless steel washers.
    Which is a rip off as you can buy 12 inch sections at jantz supply for 1.95 each and the stainless washers from micro fasteners for $2.20

    I am still looking for silver washers. Anyone got a source? With a link?

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    Hold the fort. I think I finally figured out why you guys are saying to use stainless steel.

    In one of my google searches I just learned nickel silver contains no silver. It's more of a marketing name for copper and nickel....I guess everyone but me already knows this.

    I guess the reason I am so bent up on getting silver washers is because I have actual silver 1/16 rod, actually it's industrial silver brazing wire. They go through spools of it at work, and I go raid the trash can in that dept. And pull out small 6-12 inch pieces that get swept up and tossed. Which is crazy because it's I think 60% silver. They are very wasteful. He'll even the guys in that dept. Don't take it home.

    So I guess what I am really looking for is sterling silver washers. At least I think. It might be a bad idea as it will tarnish. Which I didn't think of until now, when I finally understood that all those beautiful razors I have been seeing with nickel silver were not silver...

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    The reason we don't use real silver is that it is too soft. If you see something repeated time and time again, that's probably because it works when it comes to anything in the "workshop".
    Northeastern Texas & Southeastern Oklahoma Mentor/Helper...PM me if I can assist you.
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    Senior Member Caledonian's Avatar
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    Yes, nickel silver or German silver is just cupro-nickel (all of which are terms worth searching eBay or Google for), and contains no silver. It is a little harder and stronger than brass, less so than stainless steel of course, but considerably harder than sterling silver.

    That isn't to say that real silver is a bad material for razor rivets. It is actually an excellent one, and it has the advantage that wire and tubing is available in a wide range of small sizes. The quantities required are so small that the cost hardly matters. It is nothing, for example, compared with lots of situations on eBay where someone assembles various things he knows someone will need. Just try comparing screw kits for a specific laptop, for example, with buying the individual sizes of screw.

    You might want to use a size larger with silver, but the sterling alloy (92.5% silver) is quite a bit harder than the pure metal. There is no way any stress on the rivet is going to pull it in two. The only weakness is the prospect of the peened end pulling through the washer or collar, and I have found that just as strong as anyone could need, when I had to dismantle a bone-scaled razor riveted by myself with silver. I use a pointed burr made for tools like the Dremel hand grinder, but held in a pin-vice instead, to make a tiny bevel in the hole in the collar, which improves strength. You can also make a rivet head by holding your wire vertically downwards, and melting the end into a tiny bead with a blowtorch. I like the small, inexpensive ones you fill from a lighter butane cylinder. You can peen it into a bevelled hole and file it flush, or insert it into a hole in a steel plate, and forge a hemispherical, flat-bottomed head. You can do the same with brass but not stainless or cupro-nickel. They take more heat, and the latter also becomes brittle if overheated.

    Silver brazing wire is probably harder than sterling, assuming an equal state of annealing, and perhaps more brittle. Most likely a lot of the 40% is zinc. If it peens smoothly enough to make an invisible joint, it should be fine. A bit of 1/16in. steel rod, tapered by spinning it against abrasive paper in a drill, would be useful, if that is the true size of your brazing rod. Tapping it through 1.5 or 1.55mm ID silver tube will enlarge it just enough to be a tight fit, and that both strengthens and facilitates your peening job.

    Here is the firm from which I buy silver. It is British, but they are also in the US and other countries. If you go to the "tube" and "wire" links, and choose silver as your material, it will show plenty of sizes which really do fit closely one within the other.


    Jewellery Making Supplies | Cookson Gold Precious Metals | Jewellery Findings
    Last edited by Caledonian; 08-21-2011 at 09:35 AM.
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