I've epoxied a pearl to a silver post and now want to get it
off. If I soak it in alcohol, will I harm the pearl? TIA for
You won’t hurt the pearl with alcohol. But you also won’t
loosen the epoxy with alcohol. You need a product called
"Attack". It won’t hurt the pearl either, but it will loosen the
epoxy. It’s main ingredient is methylene chloride, by the way.
Not something you normally find in the hardware store.
Use it with good ventilation, and no open flames. Depending on
how tight a fit your post was in the hole, it may take overnight
for the attack solvent to sufficiently soften the epoxy for you
to pull off the pearl. Put it in a closeable jar. Baby food
jars or the like work well. Don’t leave it open all night or it
will all quickly evaporate. If you have an ultrasonic cleaner,
and a jar that seals very well, you can put a little attack (and
the pearl) in the jar, leaving enough air so the jar floats in
the unltrasonic. make sure the jar is tightly sealed. After an
hour or so, take out the jar and let it sit until it’s completely
cool (DON’T open it while it’s at all warm still. It’s under
pressure, and opening it can cause a spectacular, almost
explosive boil over.)
Often, especially if you have a very tiny torch available, you
can heat the silver post up without actually heating the pearl
itself. The epoxy can be softened enough to pull the pearl off.
But this is something that might require a little practice, since
only a little too much heat and you can damage the pearl quite
easily. The idea is to heat the silver a little bit asay from
the pearl itself, while gently twisting/pulling the pearl. The
heat travels down the post, and the epoxy softens…
Hope this helps.