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Boil out pot (was Safer pickle)


#1

A few days ago, under the “Safer Pickle” heading, I wrote:

In a hobby situation there is no need for the "boiling out"
sometimes mentioned in older books. 

and Peter Rowe replied:

 The "boiling out", or "boil out pot" you're talking about
probably refers not to a pickling solution, but to an alkaline
cleaning one. Some of us still use it, either in place of, or next
to and as an alternative to, ultrasonic cleaners. In our shop, we
use a boil out pot with a simmering solution of TSP as a means of
cleaning the gunk out of rings, behind stones, etc, before working
on them, or as a means of cleaning polishing compound off after
polishing. <snip> 

Hi Peter. Thanks for reminding us all how useful a hot alkaline
solution can be in removing the “gunk” before working n a piece. But,
no, that wasn’t what I was referring to. I really did mean a
boiling out pot containing pickle. See, for example, Oppi
Untracht’s “Jewelry Concepts and Technology” (highly recommended, ISBN
0 7091 9616 4) page 418. Boil out pots of similar design are still
in the catalogue of Walsh, the British supplier to the jewellery and
horological trades.

I’ve seen them in use twice. The first was in a video on making
silver watch cases. After every soldering operation the worker
popped the piece into his boil out pot, picked it up with a pair of
pliers, walked over to the fireplace and gave it a blast with his
torch to bring it to a fast rolling boil, the fumes going up the
chimney. He had to use pliers because the pot is made of copper,
shaped like a small shallow cup, and has a flat copper handle. A
design classic…

The second occasion, or I should say location, is in a small trade
jewellery workshop located in a basement in a town near here. From
the street you can look down through a window and see the backs of
two workers at a communal bench, and one of them used an identical
pot right at his bench.

I’ve no doubt it’s a speedy way to work, but I still say it has no
place in a hobby shop, unlike Peter’s simmering alkaline solution. –

Kevin  (NW England, UK)