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Pewter repair


#1

Hello Group,

A customer just called to see if I could fix a mall pewter
figurine. Never having worked in pewter, I was wondering if
there was anything special I should know, or do I just handle it
the same as silver?

Thanks in advance!

Sharon Z.


#2

Pewter melts at a much lower rate. use a small flame when
working. The flux is also different. Dottie B


#3

Tix is a special pewter solder that you can get at Rio Grande.
I do some pewter repair and use a combination of soldering iron
and torch. Be very careful this stuff turns to a puddle at the
drop of a hat.


#4

Hello Sharon, Don’t treat your figurine as you would sterling
because it will melt. You can generally use lead solder, but
that’s about it. Pewter has a very low melting point. Take care.
Tom Arnold


#5

NO! “Pewter” alloys are tin, antimony, lead, and sometimes
copper. From my training as a modelmaker, I can tell you that we
used a natural gas and compressed air torch with a bushy small
flame, a very light touch, and still prayed that it would not
melt. My suggestion is to say some- thing akin to what I do-
“NO!” You really don’t want to reconfigure that figurine…, do
you? Repeat after me- “I work in precious metals…”

The modelmaking alloy that we used actually melts at a higher
temperature than many of the casting alloys, something around 50
degrees higher than the solder. Easy to make that figurine
slump.

Rick
Richard D. Hamilton
USA
Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography
http://www.rick-hamilton.com


#6

Sharon,

Absolutly do not handle it like silver. Peweter and other
"mystery" metals are difficult to deal with. They can be repaired
but the possibility of tragedy is great. They are to be lead
soldered only. and sometimes they melt before the lead solder.
As with any soldering you must have a clean joint and the correct
flux. i do not reccomend fluc core lead solder. There are soft
solders desdigned for this kind of work sold by jewelry supply
houses(Rio Grande, Swest, Gesswien, Ect.). I do not suggest you
do this kind of work unless you are familiar with soft soldering.
I am using both word lead and soft to describe the solder to be
used. I find the term lead solder more descriptive and takes
away the possibility of being confused with soft silver solder.
By lead or soft solder I mean any varity of white metal solder
that has a melting temp af around 600 degreesF. Tix solder & Flux
are an example. Remember to be very careful these peweter
treasures are usually sentimental and irreplaceable.

Good Luck
Ray


#7
   A customer just called to see if I could fix a mall pewter
figurine.  Never having worked in pewter, I was wondering if
there was anything special I should know, or do I just handle
it the same as silver? 

Sharon,

Pewter is a whole different animal than silver. If this piece
is very important to your customer you might not even want to try
it. First of all, the melting point of pewter is only about 550
F (silver is 1600 F). If you just look at it the wrong way with
a torch in your hand it will turn into a molten puddle. You must
go very slowly and very carefully with the heat and the parts you
are not soldering imbedded in something that will draw the heat
away from it. I use a certain plumber’s clay, not really sure
what it’s real use is. It is grey and I think it is used on
pipes. Then you would need pewter solders and fluxes (different
than silver flux). And if there is any kind of plating on it you
would need to file it off in that spot and have the piece
replated. Otherwise the pewter will melt before the plating does
and start oozing out. Any antiquing/coloring on the piece would
probably be some acetone based enamel (like nail polish) and
would need to be redone as well.

Working with pewter has a whole different feel than working with
silver. If you still want to try it make sure you practice on
some scrap first until you get the hang of it. And if you have
more questions feel free to email me.

Jill
@jandr
Jill Alessandra Jewelry
http://members.tripod.com/~jilk/


#8

I am by no means an expert on pewter, but I do know that if you
treat your repair job like silver you will end up with a molten
blob of metal. It has a VERY LOW melting point. I would use a
soldering iron and a very low melting point soft solder.

Pewter 91% tin
              7% antimony  = low melting point
              2% copper

#9

Hi Sharon, Pewter is horrible stuff to repair. Keep it well away
from your silver soldering hearth. You can solder it with soft
(lead)solder, be very careful because pewter has a very low
melting point. Good luck.

Richard Whitehouse
Silversmith & Jeweller

http://home.clara.net/rw/
Email: @Richard_Whitehouse1
UK


#10

Today’s pewter is primarily tin and melts at close to the
melting point of tin. It’s possible to solder pewter with pewter
itself so you might be able to scrape enough from the bottom of
the figure to manage the repair. The smaller the solder
fragments, the quicker it will melt so make them small! Use a
small flame and no oxygen. Keep the flame moving and pay
attention. The flux is composed of glycerin and something that I
can’t remember but could look up if it’s needed. I think that in
a pinch, a hardware flux such as is used with lead/tin solder
would work. Be sure to remove any surface lacquer or paint.

Marilyn Smith


#11
A customer just called to see if I could fix a mall pewter
figurine.  Never having worked in pewter, I was wondering if
there was anything special I should know, or do I just handle it
the same as silver? 

I can already hear the cries of outrage, but i recommend going
chemical. JB weld is available at almost any auto parts supply
and does an excellent job of holding almost anything. It is an
epoxy type material that has been around for many many years as
commercial/industrial repair on a farm it goes right next to the
gray tape and baling wire.

DRAWBACK: takes at least four hours to set up and your repair
must be immobile for the entire curing period. for pewter
repairs/build we have drilled with a dremel tool and used bits of
wire as a dowel or pin to hold.

if the break is across a flat area such as a neck on a figurine
you can make a very good repair with this, even is a reasonable
color (colour for Rex) match. on a small area you are stuck with
soldering which other people have covered well. I can only add
good luck.


#12

Does anyone know of a source for repairing the leg broken from a
pewter coffee pot in Seattle? Please email me privately.