Hello Liane -
I haven’t posted on Orchid in years… !
If your piece that received a “plated” coating of copper is still in
process and could be reheated with the torch - then, you could
lightly heat the piece enough so it will gently “quench” in a clean
pickle solution and the “plating” will easily be removed. You could
repeat the process if needed - focusing just on certain areas, with
In my experience, the only other way to remove the unwanted metal
coating is to physically abrade the surface. Using a small medium
natural bristle brush (3/4") on the flex shaft - with bobbing
compound - works great to remove small, unwanted areas of coating.
This brush has a good amount of flexibility, along with enough
strength of abrasion, to get into areas that are harder to reach and
can quickly remove the unwanted “plated” metal coating without
removing much metal or creating scratches (by sanding). The stiff
natural bristle brush was a little stiff for my preference.
It is recommended to have separate pickles for different metals -
but that isn’t always possible. Where I teach, the students often
solder multi metals. When the multi metals are soldered in the same
piece, physically removing the unwanted metal on the surface is the
only way to clean the piece.
So, if it is possible to heat the piece again, reheating and
quenching in clean pickle works quickly and beautifully. Hope this
info is useful…