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Wizard27

Sterling Silver

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Hello everyone! I am in the planning stages of a new project and need some help. I searched through the forums and just have not found the information I need and hope that someone here may have it. This new project is for fun and, honestly, just because I think it would be pretty special. I am designing a new top for my wife and want to use sterling silver. I am currently planning on using a HP 3 in 1 to frame the top and then a loose weave inside for the body, it will be worn over another top. I am hoping someone will know if the sterling is just too soft and will deform under it's own weight? Estimation for the weave would put it at about 8 to 9 oz. I will also be soldering each ring with a hard silver solder for added strength and to keep rings from escaping.  Any help would be very much appreciated. I would hate to design and order then have it fall apart or just sag. Thank you all again.

 

Wizard27

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In my experience, sterling does have a fairly unfavourable weight-to-strength ratio, especially when it comes to making things that are going to have to support any traction. If you solder them they probably won't come totally apart, but the upper portion probably would deform, especially at ARs high enough to do HP 3-in-1 with. If she's also going to be moving around in it, that will pull on the straps/sleeves as well.

Further consideration: silver is very dense, so that shirt is going to be pretty heavy to wear regardless. Even steel will be lighter. And it tarnishes very easily, so it'll need frequent polishings and could mark whatever is being worn underneath. For shirt purposes, I really would recommend sticking with aluminum (the bright silver AA is very close to silver-coloured). 

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As long as it's soldered it won't deform under it's own weight. However it may deform as a result of strain from movement.

Please post the ring sizes, the design, the temper of the wire and the relevant measurements for your wife if you want a more specific answer.

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Thank you both for your responses and my apologies for taking so long to reply. 

I plan on using rings from The Ring Lord at half hard 16SWG 1/4 ID. I need to calculate the actual weight of the aluminum test piece to determine sizing and ring count needed. It will be a loose fit top so I am not thinking that the movement will cause too much strain on the rings. I am working on a design at the moment and can put up a picture of the test piece as soon as it is done.

This is a complete show piece that will only be worn two or three times a year but photographed often. If I can get it to work out I believe it will be something special. Thank you again for your help.

 

Wizard27

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That ring size is going to be pretty strong, as long as it's loose fitting and non-supportive I don't foresee any issues.  On the other hand, it's going to be much heavier than the 8-9 oz you originally posted.

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I'm thinking the top will be about 1.5 lbs, which is a little heavy but not too bad. I will definitely let you all know what I find when I start the project. It will take a few months to order all the rings and then weave and solder each one. I am excited to see if it all comes together as I see it in my head. Thank you again for your help!

 

Wizard27

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I never realized they even made 16swg 1/4 in sterling silver...

Well, with that size of rings, I'm pretty sure you would not even need to solder the rings for them to hold 1.5 pound.  Sterling silver is not that weak.

I'm guessing you are thinking of something very open, like a web?  Because an Euro 4 in 1 top would take much more than the 1200 rings you get in 1.5 lb... and with a wholesale price of about 700 $ (CAN)/ lb, keeping things light is important! 

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