Melting Silver at Home

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GuerrillaCapitalist
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Melting Silver at Home

In one of my first posts I mentioned that I bought scrap sterling and my son and I melted it and made our own ingots. A fellow member suggested a separate thread to discuss this would be in order,so I'll start. First of all, I am a rank amateur, but both my son and I are handy with tools and have a fascination with fire and melting things.  We built a couple of foundries from instructions in the links that follow. For silver, we like the propane model the best. The charcoal model is cheap, easy and a blast to use, especially for aluminum. But you may also buy a ready made kiln to do the same job. You'll find links to sources below. But I digress. I think this is well within the skill range of most people so inclined. Just study and remember molten silver is hot enough to burn through the toughest leather boot and right through your foot. Caution is certainly the order of the day.

I'm going to let the experts do my talking for me. If anyone is seriously interested in melting silver, I strongly suggest joining the back yard metal casting forum. It's made up of really good people who love to share their expertise and their mistakes with the group. They love questions from newbies. I can assure you they do not spam or share your email address. Your privacy is sacrosanct. You'll find they're certainly our kind of people.

http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/index

This is a wonderful overview and tutorial for all things molten metal. It's a good place to start. http://prometheus.vndv.com/index.html

This is where we bought the crucibles and some tools. Good people. http://www.freemansupply.com/index.htm

This is an eBay store that sells all sorts of goodies, the prices are higher, but the selection may be better for the hobbyist or small scale operator. It's a good site to get a feel for what's available and what you can actually accomplish. http://www.lmine.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=LMS&Product_Code=17361&Category_Code=budget_graphite

Ok, everyone, you're on your own. I'll look forward to how this thread progresses or doesn't.

GC

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:09
GuerrillaCapitalist
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Shouldn't Write While Sleepy

After hitting the save key, I checked the hotlinks and found I'd misidentified the last two sources. The one marked as the eBay seller is actually the place we bought the crucible. This is an informative site and run by good people.

The link I said we used is actually to a company that makes things none of us are probably interested in. It's primarily for the casting industry. Look around, but I have no personal knowledge of them.

I'll dig up the eBay store tomorrow.

I apologize for the confusion. Just trying to finish after my normal 16 hour day, now I gotta get to bed.

GC

Captain Hank Murphy
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Leg Work

Thanks for aggregating this info for us, gc.

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Morpheus
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How would you go about

How would you go about getting your ingots certified for sale/trade/barter? Assayed?

Sockeye
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There is a web site dedicated

There is a web site dedicated to purifying gold and silver junk into pure gold and silver.  it is sort of dedicated to going into the business of melting down scrape metals into pure gold and silver. 

I do not remember where it is.  it has a forum for people to discuss methods etc.  with an experienced person who helps everyone get it right. 

I am sure you can find it on the internet.  I saw it over a year ago. 

They had guys collecting gold from dentists teeth which is dangerous to purify.  Actually people who do this die young from breathing all the poisonous strong vapors.  These guys would even take an entire rug off the floor and get the few bits of gold flecks that might be in the rugs.  The days of electronics with much gold are all long gone.  Now you want tons of scrape circuit boards to get much gold. 

There is no easy way to get rich.  haha.

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GuerrillaCapitalist
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Certification Doesn't Concern Us

I'm not concerned about third party certification of our bars.  We're simply turning broken jewelry, old sterling flatware and serving pieces into something that takes up much less space. There are several tests that may be done by laymen to authenticate silver content. The simplest and most fool proof is nitric acid. Nitric acid speeds up oxidation radically, so if the test spot turns a creamy white, it's silver, green indicates copper. Specific gravity is a non-invasive method that determines density and no element has the same density so bars can't be faked. However it requires some equipment that most folks won't have at hand, we don't and don't feel the need to set up a lab, just a foundry.

Perhaps, I should stress that this is only a small part of our holdings. We buy scrap when we find it cheaply. Also my son and I enjoy working with metal and have the space to do so. It's all part of our self sufficient lifestyle.

GC

PastTense
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While I can see why you would

While I can see why you would do this for a hobby, I don't see any situation where this makes sense economically (since buyers would need to have the silver appraised before buying it). If you have some scrap just send it to a refiner such as Midwest:

http://www.midwestrefineries.com/

They pay 90% of the silver you send them with no other charges.

Eric_2
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Melting ASEs?

While it may be unlikely (I hope!), what about a scenario where the govt attempts to seize silver eagles, under the premise that an ASE is technically currency and therefore "property" of the government? Of course they wouldn't just sieze your eagles, that would be stealing and would be unconstitutional! They would "compensate" you for the $1 face value so it would all be legal and legit.

For those who are disinclined to participate in such a transaction, bow would you go about melting the ASEs into bars?

No1Hunter
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Melting SAE's

Eric_2 wrote:
While it may be unlikely (I hope!), what about a scenario where the govt attempts to seize silver eagles, under the premise that an ASE is technically currency and therefore "property" of the government? Of course they wouldn't just sieze your eagles, that would be stealing and would be unconstitutional! They would "compensate" you for the $1 face value so it would all be legal and legit. For those who are disinclined to participate in such a transaction, bow would you go about melting the ASEs into bars?

Why in the world would you want to do that?  SAE's are id'ed as 1 oz of .999 silver, they are actual currency, and carry a premium over a silver bar.

Melt them and you have a hunch of silver colored metal.

BAD IDEA!

Eric_2
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Of course Melting down one's

Of course Melting down one's ASEs is a horrible idea, but I was referring to a circumstance where they may be confiscated and become illegal to own or sell. Unlikely? I hope so. But if it comes to that then I would think that melting down the coins to retain the metal is better than losing tt all.

No1Hunter
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Legal Tender vs Bullion

Eric_2 wrote:
Of course Melting down one's ASEs is a horrible idea, but I was referring to a circumstance where they may be confiscated and become illegal to own or sell. Unlikely? I hope so. But if it comes to that then I would think that melting down the coins to retain the metal is better than losing tt all.

Actually, that is what is great about ASE.  They are legal tender just like any US coin.   In 1933, the Fed's made it illegal for the public to own bullion gold, except "collector" coins (which ASE are).  However, gold in any other form was illegal to own.

So, IMOP, 90% coins and ASE, as well as AGE & APE, will be safe from confiscation because they are US Minted legal tender coins.  However, simple Joe Bob rounds and bars will not be safe from confiscated as they are simply bullion and could be declared illegal to own.

Eric_2
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Thanks hunter

That helps to clarify matters. I guess I had been reading too much by bullionvaultcanada, who often goes on about confiscation. Tip o the hat to you!

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