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Burnt Crud behind Diamonds Help


#1

Even after cleaning, sometimes behind the Diamonds especially
channel set diamonds, the crud behind them get burnt and the
black crud takes some time cleaning, whats everyone’s best secret
for cleaning the burnt black crud? I heard Nitric Acid works
well… any good sources for Nitric Acid? Thanks!


#2

An addendum to the lye trick. Lye will attack opals,emeralds,
coral, pearls and a few others. Diamonds, rubys and sapphires
have always been safe.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
e-mail: @Bruce_Holmgrain
http:\www.knight-hub.com\manmtndense\bhh3.htm
snail mail: pob 7972, McLean, VA 22106-7972
phone:: 703-593-4652


#3
Even after cleaning, sometimes behind the Diamonds especially
channel set diamonds, the crud behind them get burnt and the
black crud takes some time cleaning, whats everyone's best secret
for cleaning the burnt black crud? 

Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide. Be very careful. Add a
little lye\ to a cup of water. It reacts with the water and heats
up instantly. Will boil and spatter easily.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
e-mail: @Bruce_Holmgrain
http:\www.knight-hub.com\manmtndense\bhh3.htm
snail mail: pob 7972, McLean, VA 22106-7972
phone:: 703-593-4652


#4

When you have solder repair to do on a ring with stones
(depending on the stones, carborumdums are ok as are quartz) i
usually keep a pot of household lye on a hot plate. Place the
ring in the pot, turn the plate on low and let simmer for a 1/2
hour to an hour. rinse throughly with warm water untill it
doesn’t feel slick. this will remove ALL organic matter from the
piece. also works great for chains. the pot should be stainless
or pyrex. RINSE WELL!!! this is caustic. no more black crud and
you wont believe how clean the piece of jewelry will come out.
Then youy can do whatever solder work needs doing and you don’t
get the smell of burning crud as a bonus!( crud,see- soap, skin
particles,perfume, bread dough, and things best not thought
about)

Frank


#5

Try soaking in a heated lye (NaOH) solution. Red Devil drain
cleaner is 100% lye. SLOWLY add about a tablespoon to a cup of
water in a metal container. Keep stirring as you add it SLOWLY,
the container will get hot! Wear rubber gloves as well, lye will
dissolve your skin in no time. Soak for a while rinse and steam.
If there is still crud, soak it some more. If you do repairs and
get in a piece with a build up of crud, clean it before doing
repairs or the crud will get burned on and be hard to remove. A
common problem that I’ve seen over the years is being in too
much of a hurry to clean a piece. What happens is the piece is
not clean before it is steamed. The steam heats the piece up and
any dirt not removed in the ultrasonic is baked onto the piece.
Steam is for drying not cleaning.

Brett
Split Image Contracting


#6

Frank: How much lye to how much water? I have this lye that we
use here in USA to open drains.


#7

Hello all,

Just for interest sake, in some countries Lye is also known as
Caustic soad. Thanks for the tip, it will come in very handy…

Ray Lees


#8

I may sound like a paranoid hypochondriac but isn’t heating lye
unhealthy? It seems like those fumes would be extremely caustic.
Would it work cold?


#9
Frank: How much lye to how much water?  I have this lye that we
use here in USA to open drains.

Jess i use about 2 tablespoons of red devil lye to about 2
inches of water in a quart cassarole dish. Pyrex dish. If it
dries out just add more water. It also works to remove orange
shellac.

Frank


#10
    I may sound like a paranoid hypochondriac but isn't
heating lye unhealthy? It seems like those fumes would be
extremely caustic. Would it work cold?

Lye works cold but usually takes a day or two. I keep a lid on
the container and don’t heat it unless i need it and then keep it
to a low simmer in a vented room.

Frank


#11
     whats everyone's best secret for cleaning the burnt black
crud

Plan A, and the best thing to do is to clean it first, (I’m sure
you are aware of that). Plan B is to hang in the ultrasonic all
day until clean. Plan C is to coat with boric acid and alcohol
and heat that ring up till almost red hot, dont flow any solder,
let cool and clean and your crud will have turned to ash and be
gone. This works much better than acids. Mark P.


#12

I may sound like a paranoid hypochondriac but isn’t heating lye
unhealthy? It seems like those fumes would be extremely caustic.
Would it work cold?

Lye can be dangereous at any temperature. Heating a lye (sodium
hydroxide) solution will accelerate the clening process but it
wi9ll work at room temperature with fewer problems. Eye
protection should always be worn. An important thing to watch out
for is that near the boiling point of a lye solution it can bump,
meaning that it can super heat and splash violently from the
container. Lye is an excellent solvent for protein and your eyes
are protein. It would help to consult some laboratory safety
books in the library to be certain of safe handling procedures.
Many oven cleaners are composed of lye solutions.

Mike McKim


#13
Even after cleaning, sometimes behind the Diamonds especially
channel set diamonds, the crud behind them get burnt and the
black crud takes some time cleaning, whats everyone's best secret
for cleaning the burnt black crud? 

I have made a wire rack that holds a beaker suspended in my
heated ultrasonic. In the beaker is a saturate solution of lye
(Red Devil drain cleaner, or sodium hydroxide). This keeps the
solution hot all the time and uses the action of the ultrasonic
to speed the cleaning process.

If you have allready soldered and the black crud is under the
diamond this may or may not help. It works excellent for a pre
clean. If you are trying to clean after you have soldered, then
you have removed (burned away) some or all of the organic
material. The organic material is what the lye attacks and you
may have some crud that the lye cannot eat.

To get a saturate solution, I fill the beaker about 2/3 full
with hot water. ( Always wearing rubber gloves and safety glasses
and being under a vent hood.) Sprinkle in the lye, the solution
will boil from the reaction, continue sprinkling , keeping the
boil at a safe level, until it no longer boils. This is a
saturate solution that will clean many grungy rings.

The chemical in lye, “sodium hydroxide”, is real nasty stuff, it
reacts with water, if you get some in your eye or a strong enough
solution on your skin it reacts with the water in your body and
acts like an acid . Instant 3rd degree burns can result. I
would not suggest messing with this stuff unless you are where
you can treat it carefully and everybody around knows what it is
and what it can do. I don’t mean to scare anybody off from
using it because it works great. Nothing else can come close to
it for cleaning power. Just treat it with respect like you would
a bottle of nitric acid.

Best of luck
Ray


#14
     whats everyone's best secret for cleaning the burnt black
crud

I havn’t tried it but paint stripper might work.

Mike McKim


#15

Lye will not give off any fumes when heated. Don’t worry about
breathing it, worry about touching it! It would probably work
cold - just take longer.

Brett
Split Image Contracting


#16

A quick trick for removing carbon (a type of burnt crud) from
tight areas. Protect the piece with boric acid. Use a very small
highly oxidizing flame and brush the flame over the carbon, it’ll
vaporize well before the metal begins to glow. Keep in mind the
thickness of the metal and characteristics of any other materials
nearby. I’ve done this around set diamonds.

I like the lye trick.

Dick Caverly


#17
   Just for interest sake, in some countries Lye is also known
as Caustic soad. Thanks for the tip, it will come in very
handy..

hi ray and all, when my wife and i went on our honeymoon, one of
the places we visited was toledo, spain. there we went to a
factory where they still made damascene articles by hand(high
karat gold tapped onto an iron backround). being a jeweler and
semi-observant, i noticed that the iron backround material a man
was working on wasn’t the deep flat black that the show room
pieces were. i had my wife (i don’t have such good spanish like
my wife) ask him what they do to make it turn such a nice deep
flat black color. he sqinched his face up like everyone knows
the answer to that and said: caustico salsa. when i got
stateside the pharmacist squinched his face up when i asked him
for some caustic sauce. best regards, geo fox


#18
Lye will not give off any fumes when heated. Don't worry about
breathing it, worry about touching it! It would probably work
cold - just take longer.

Whoaa! I heartily disagree - fumes from lye are used as a
patina - heating increases the effects. Couldn’t possibly be
good to breathe.


#19
   Jess i use about 2 tablespoons of red devil lye to about 2
inches of water in a quart cassarole dish. Pyrex dish. If it
dries out just add more water. It also works to remove orange
shellac.

hi, yes it will. so does denatured alcohol.

geo fox


#20
   Plan A, and the best thing to do is to clean it first, (I'm
sure you are aware of that). Plan B is to hang in the
ultrasonic all day until clean. Plan C is to coat with boric
acid and alcohol and heat that ring up till almost red hot,
dont flow any solder, let cool and clean and your crud will
have turned to ash and be gone. This works much better than
acids. Mark P.

hi mark, plan c doesn’t really work for me, it seems to cause
more harm than good. try the lye treatment everyone is talking
aboout. my personal favorite is the extra thick liquid plummer,
dilute it by half. it will turn low karat golds brown and
sterling black if left in for too long. it also will eat some
solders. just don’t leave it in for more than two minutes.

best regards,

geo fox