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Hand damage


#1

I was wondering what all of you people do about your hands going in and
out of ‘pickle’, rinsing, and then working. I don’t mean literally your
’hands’, but the pieces of jewelry retain some pickle after rinsing, and
transfer to your hands. At least that is what I think is causing the
damage. They are always cracked and pitted, and consequentally rough. It
also could be the abrasives, or polishing agents.

What does everybody do?
Thanks
Allan Freilich


#2

Allan,

My hands never touch pickled pieces until after they have been neutralized
in baking soda/water and then rinsed. The copper tongs hold them through
all of that so they also get neutralized and rinsed (so as not to
neutralize the pickle the next time they are put into it). My hands are
still dry and chapped, but that comes from the use of the boric acid and
alcohol fire coat. I’m always splashing some of that solution onto my
hands. When it gets really bad, I use straight glycerin (from a pharmacy)
on my hands at night. Seems to really help.

Hope this helps.

Sharon


#3

Try Bag-Balm, or cover you hands with lanolin and put socks over them when
going to bed. It’ll repair your hands. As to what is causing the damage,
what soap are you using to wash with? Where on your hands is the roughness
occuring? I went through a period like this in which my hands were cracked
and bled throughout the dry winter…


#4

Allan: jeez! I don’t do nearly as much work as some of you but what I’ve
seen recommended is to have a tub of water to rinse in after pickling (you
ARE using copper tongs I hope) THEN have a tub of water with baking soda
in it. This will neutralize whats left quickly, maybe something I should do
also. Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html


#5

I drop the pieces into the hot pickle, wait a while, remove pieces, drop
into water that has been treated with baking powder . . . I will usually
not touch the piece until after it has dried (I drop the wet piece onto a
paper towel.) I don’t know whether that makes a difference or not . . .
Many, with whom I’ve worked, have picked up pieces using copper tongs and
touch them without any rinsing at all- and they don’t have “hand damage.”


#6

Allen Welcome to the world of jewelry. There are products such as
invisable glove, alagator skin, finger cotts, and many more available. They
all have some measure of effectiveness but as a working jeweler you will
have that wonderful buff stain, small cuts, the occasional graver wound to
proudly advertise your profession. 20/20 did a show on skin creams and
their claims last year. I was suprised to find that in actual test vasalene
hand lotion came out far above the exotic skin conditioners, and it is much
cheaper. May your fingers stay gritty. RED


#7

On 04-Apr-97, Waterphoto@aol.com wrote abouthand damage:

W> I was wondering what all of you people do about your hands going in and
W> out of ‘pickle’, rinsing, and then working. I don’t mean literally your
W> ‘hands’, but the pieces of jewelry retain some pickle after rinsing, and
W> transfer to your hands. At least that is what I think is causing the
W> damage. They are always cracked and pitted, and consequentally rough.

G’day Allen: I use a home-made (of course) pair of plastic forceps for
the pickle jar. The forceps are made from a 3/4" strip of perspex
(lucite?) or PVC about 12" long. Mark the centre, and hold the centre in
the steam of a kettle until the centre bit is flexible, bend it double,
then hold it under the cold tap. You can also use a torch, but it is easy
to burn the plastic. I cut little grooves in the ends of the forceps with a
junior hacksaw. Alongside the pickle jar is another jar containing sodium
bicarbonate solution (baking soda) and the pickled piece in the forceps
goes straight into the bicarbonate, is swirled around, and washed in clean
water, dried on a tissue and that’s it. The jars are made from 1/2 gallon
bottles cut down to about 4"high , edges smoothed with emery paper, and
covered with a plastic lid (home made of course). If anyone wants easy
ways of cutting bottles just ask. If your hands get rough and nasty anyway,
simply use a hand cream such as Vaseline Intensive Care two or three times
a day, and just before going to bed. Cheers,

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#8

Hi Allan

My wife has gone through loads of stockings. My hands are so rough that
they scag and ladder at the slightest touch.

I find my index fingers and thumbs take the most bashing. I grow the nails
on these fingers slightly longer to protect the tips. They are used all the
time, absorbing the graver when it slips, getting cut from the saw blade
and just getting hard skin.

We`ve recently been using leather finger tip protectors and crocodile skin
but you just can not feel anything through them.

Plenty of hand cream is best. I know its sounds strange but it works.

Anyone else got any ideas

Andrew


#9

Add some baking soda to your rinse water to neutralize the pickle. You may
have a metal allergy or sensitivity problem- nickel, copper even silver
can cause rashes even in alloys in small quantities.

Rick Hamilton
Richard D Hamilton, Jr.
@rick_hamilton


#10

Hi Allan, We use citric acid for pickling, which at least doesn’t damage
one’s clothes. After pickling we put the pieces into an ultrasonic claener
for some seconds, which is filled with a bath containing some dish washing
agent and ammonia. You could skip the ammonia which will do more damage to
your hands than the acid. Use some pH-friendly soap for washing your hands
and make a routine of creaming them after days work with some ointment.
Ask a cosmetician for suitable brands. Hope this will be of some help,
Markus


#11

I was wondering what all of you people do about your hands going in and
out of ‘pickle’, rinsing, and then working.

Allan, I use a Crockpot with a glass jar inside; the jar is filled with
pickle, then the rest of the space inside the Crockpot is filled with water
in which I have dissolved baking soda. When a piece is taken from the
pickle, it is dipped into the water to neutralize any pickle remaining on
the piece. I change the water every day, and have had no problems, even
with employees who are sensitive to pickle. The Crockpot cost about $12.00
five years ago, and has worked very well since. Metalsmth


#12
Allan: jeez! I don't do nearly as much work as some of you but what I've
seen recommended is to have a tub of water to rinse in after pickling (you
ARE using copper tongs I hope) THEN have a tub of water with baking soda
in it. This will neutralize whats left quickly, maybe something I should do
also. Dave

I learned this trick in woodworking:

If you are using a base solution, like lye, you wash it off immediately;
then to neutralize any vestigal remains, you use something acid (like
vinegar). I would suggest keeping something slightly base, like milk,
nearby; wash your hands, soap up well (soap is slightly base, anyway);
after rinsing, douse your hands with milk, and then soap up and rinse well
again. Use some sort of handcream after you are finished working–something
heavy duty, like corn husker’s lotion or udder creamYou cannot keep
subjecting your hands to this kind of abuse without negative effects. As a
person with carpal tunnel syndrome, I can tell you that I miss having hands
in perfect working order.


#13

Allan,
Last week the guy who does casting for me walked into a local store. The
store clerk looked at his hands and said “My God!! what do you do for a
living?” He replied, “I’m a goldsmith”. She said, “I should have known,
do you know Wendy Newman? Her hands look just like that!!”. Well, they
don’t look that bad any more. I discovered two things. First, Avon’s ANEW
hand cream ( I wouldn’t expect you guys to know about it), It works great
but you have to use it twice a day. It stings if you have small cuts,
though. Also, I use “Alligator Skin” that self sticking gauze that you
can make fingertip covers with and still hand polish with pretty much
feeling. I think Rio still sells it. Wendy Newman @Wendy_Newman


#14

I was wondering what all of you people do about your hands going in and
out of ‘pickle’, rinsing, and then working.

Here's an aside. This story may horrify a lot of people. I don't

recommend this. I did it. It seemed to help out way back when. Myself and a
whole lot of other jewelers were taught it.

When I started out in this business, we used sulphuric acid. We used a

rince composed of water and baking soda. We were also taught that when we
got a nick with saw blade or graver, it is a good idea to “cauterize” the
wound with sulphuric acid. Then to neutralize the acid with the baking
soda. I can’t tell you how many of us and how often we engaged in this
practice. My experience back then was that inside of forty eight hours I
recovered full use of the wound area. What I mean is that all tenderness
was gone, yet there was no numbness and I would no longer be leaking blood
all over the place. A few times I did this with a pretty deep cut.

Once again, I don't recommend this practice. It's just what we did.

We also did a lot more drinking back then, and I don’t recommend that
either.
Today, I use Sparex or a comparable solution with a water rinse.
When rinse becomes saturated I can just pour it back into the pickle
and replenish with water.

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


#15

Hi, I was wondering if you have tried AVON’s skin-so-soft, for this
problem. I use it and it seems to work pretty well!

Carol Lankford


#16

We were also taught that when we got a nick with saw blade or graver, it
is a good idea to “cauterize” the wound with sulphuric acid.
Then to neutralize the acid with the baking soda

Another method of treating minor cuts is to use super glue. Yes it is true
you can glue a cut back together after you have cleaned it with an
antiseptic solution. Who needs bandaids? This will also work on more
serious wounds until you can seek medical attention. It is not a cure but
can be a usefull tool. It bonds skin instantly!! RED


#17

I was experiencing the same problems with dry skin, cracks, and calluses
as a result of my new jewelry hobby. I was also having thick ugly calluses
on my elbows, behind my ankles, and the bottom of my feet that had nothing
to do with jewelry. I tried all of the previously mentioned products with
little relief. Then about a year ago I was diagnosed as diabetic, and
discovered that the callous buildup is a symptom of sort. I was given a
bottle of Aveeno lotion at the hospital and within a month, all of my
callous buildup was gone, and my hands have been smooth ever since. I now
use it immediately after completing my days jewelry work, and it seems to
eliminate the damage caused by polishers and gravers, and pickle. I hope
this helps.

Larry Hammons
Cheyenne, WY


#18

Okay You guys-- The ONLY product to use is called Pharmacy Fomula. I have
used it for about 8 years now and have long nails ( which are black
underneath from polishing ) but relatively soft and I can wear stockings
without snaging them. You order it from Prarmacy Distributors 0 Box 2951,
Bristol, Conn. 06010 - for $10 a jar. It lasts forever- a heavy white
cream that I put on before going to bed and wear all night. When I forget
to do this- my hands get all dry and snaggy… My mother introduced me to
this product and we all swear by it. I live in Arizona and still send away
for it as I have never found anything as good. I own NO stock in the
company - just a faithful consumer.

Joan