We can program ourselves to be so scared of something, that it’s a struggle to overcome the programming even when our mind knows that it’s OK. Sticking my hand into the forge and rummaging around is an example of that – I had to force myself to relax and reach inside.
It turns out that the silver found its way down to the lowest point, like the molten uranium fuel at Chernobyl – it nestled up against the weld-line in the bottom of the forge and cooled there. I was able to pick it right up with no effort. I replaced the broken old flux-soaked fire bricks with some fresh ones and leveled them as carefully as I could; that decreases the likelihood of flux running or crucibles falling over.
Then, I did some tricky welds in steel just to make sure everything still works. It did.
Since the oven was hot after the welds, I broke the silver up into a crucible and added some tin and flux and poured a mold that has been sitting on my “TO DO” shelf for a while. It wasn’t a perfect pour; one piece of the mold cracked off and floated up, so I pressed it back into place with my tongs and held it there till it cooled.
The surface looks rough but it’s really not. A few minutes with fine sandpaper made it begin to gleam. Then I flattened the faces with the belt sander and got busy with some steel wool and buffing compound.
I’m tempted to melt these down and try again, but they’re pretty cool as it is. In the back-strap inner piece there are some divots from when the buffer flung them across the room, and the finger-hole where the mold broke is a bit badly finished.
So, instead of melting them down, I went on Rio Grande and ordered some 5mm bezel cutters and synthetic blue zirconia. I’m going to see if I can add a gem in a ‘gypsy setting’ and a blue rabbit-fur fluffy pom, just to make these things look tactical as all get-out. I bet these would stop a werewolf with one punch. I wonder how they’d do on a nazi? “But officer the law says ‘brass knuckles’ and these are fine silver sterling!”