[Favorite tips] Warming pickle

When working on small items, I use a mug warmer for a pickle
pot. I keep my pickle for various metals in heat resistant jelly
jars that come with plastic lids. When I switch metals I switch
pickles. I have an old, large, ceramic mug that I place on the
warming surface after I have microwaved about a quarter of a cup
of water in it. I then put my acid filled jelly jar in the
water. (Check the water level to avoid overflow.) It doesn’t take
long for the acid to come up to and then maintain temperature in
this double boiler situation. This also allows me to keep the
plastic lid on so the pickle doesn’t evaporate and lots of fumes
don’t escape. The small size makes it easy to retrieve objects.
When I’m finished, I just make sure the caps are tightly secured
and store the pickle in the labeled jars. I also keep a bag of
popsicle sticks in my studio. I use them with abrasive papers.
They carve easily to help reach difficult spots, are good props
and sometimes are useful for levering something back into
position. Linda M

Here is a hot tip for keeping pickle warm. My friend David
Clarkson, the Point Reyes Jeweler, has the simplest, neatest
contraption rigged up:

He nailed a tin can, with the lid removed, to the side of his
bench, right at the top of the leg. The can has one hole punched
in the side just above the bottom so that his torch tip can rest
inside the can. Above that, an inch and a half or so, there are
a couple of long nails going horizontally all the way across, to
form a rest for a circular copper sheet which is slightly
smaller than the can so allow air can flow around it. The jar
(Peanut butter, not necessarily pyrex) is placed on top of that
and the top is open, with pickle in the jar. He keeps the gas
cracked open and the flame barely lit, so that the heat rises,
warming the nails and copper plate, warming the jar, warming the

Thanks David. Go see his web site too: pointreyes.com. Better
yet, stop by his handsome shop and gallery on the coast above
San Francisco and tell him I sent you.

Alan Revere
Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
San Francisco

We just use an old crock pot which you can get in a garage sales
for $6 to $8. Put a plastic basket (the kind strawberries come
in) inside to make it easier to get your metal out, throw in
your pickle, turn it on low and keep the top on to contain the
fumes. You might not want to use the pot for future stews, of

Re: When I switch metals I switch pickles.

For what it’s worth: I use the same pickle (sparex-type) for
copper, gold, and silver with no problem. I think this idea of
different containers comes from when we used to use sulfuric acid
for silver and nitric for gold.

I like the idea of the mug warmer and small jars…but my
solution to that prolem is “baskets” to keep track of small items
and help fish them in and out. My latest discovery is a $3.50
plastic coffee maker filter-cone (lined with plastic mesh) from
the grocery store. Great for small ittems in the pickle or


Cynthia Eid

ky favorite pickle cups are 8oz yogurt cups(empty) with a copper
wire handle with a couple of holes in the containe a good use
for the punches used to punch the old 5" floppys Leonk