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Overheated silver won't pickle

is there a fix?

I was soldering a joint on a silver ring. Piece was properly coated
with boric acid/alcohol solution and burned off. Then fluxed. Easy
silver solder ball placed with pick at joint and both molten solder
ball and piece turned red, but solder did not flow. Figured surface
was not clean, so I decided to start over and insure the joint and
piece was clean, etc, etc. Piece came out of the pickle now
black/grey in color, not silver. (firescale?) Changed my pickle
solution (sparex) with no change.

Is there any way to recover this piece at this point? Or remove the
firescale, if that’s what it is. I’d like to get the silver color
back again.

Angelo G

Hi Angelo,

I was told once that you could use ammonia, but I haven’t tried it,
so I can’t verify it.

The best way to get rind of firescale is to use a file, and/or
sanding stick.

Regards Charles A.

3M trizact sleeves work great for getting ‘underneath’ the problem
though remember to let the rotation of a flex shaft or
micro-motor,etc. do the work for you as pressure will result in too
much cutting action -3M also makes Tri-m-ite papers in various grits
and pumice ( most are graded BY colour code and to a micronized
scale) they can be wound on a mandrel or used by hand to gently
remove surface and small areas of fire scale ( though it sounds like
you left it in the pickle too long and/or perhaps had a Small piece
of ferrous something in the vessel ). I have heard of and seen
ammonia used but the results are not going to reverse the scope of
what it sounds like has happened…it’s too far into the crystalline
structure…and an abrasive perhaps followed by a rouge unless you
have some miracle gold brand flexible wheels ( or any of the shapes
they come in) delivering a rouge like finial/high polish or whatever
the final finish you intended was after taking care of the scale or
stain …It sounds like the zinc affected the piece by contaminating
the pickle if not initially overheated the metal when soldering
it… regardless you can reclaim it by applying the abrasives and
then refinishing it… Next time check the pickle first to make sure
some bit of binding wire, saw blade or other iron containing bit
isn’t lurking at the bottom of, in particular very deep blue ( used )
pickle- but keep some blue pickle for granulation flux if you want
to try that at some point…spent pickle ( sans iron bits) has many

or have it silver plated.

Gill Bridgestock