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Pickle tongs


#1

With all teh talk about citric pickle and it not being a mild
electroplating device when steel comes into play, I thought I might
add how wonderful I find cheapo (usually free) chopsticks from your
local chinese take out place as pickle tongs. They are easily made
into a spring loaded tweezer with a rubber band and one of those
squishy toy balls usually findable at a dollar store (I use those
same foam balls for my hydraulic die former) and! Leave them some
where? Not a problem! I have pairs for my acids and all my pickles.

i love this forum!
molly


#2
    chopsticks...are easily made into a spring-loaded tweezer   
with a  rubber band and one of those squishy toy balls 

Molly,

There’s an even easier way to make tongs from chopsticks: Instead of
a toy ball, just use the paper wrapper that the chopsticks were
packaged in! Fold the wrapper in half, then fold the doubled layer
in half again, and again, etc. Use the resulting wad of paper as
the fulcrum for the tongs.

For those of you who have never seen a Chinese waiters make
chopstick tongs for children: With the chopsticks side-by-side,
wrap a rubber band around the fat ends to hold them together (not
too tightly). Fold up the paper wrapper and wedge it up between the
chopsticks and against the rubber band.

Sometimes I pull one of the rubber loops over the paper wedge to
keep it from falling out, but it isn’t really necessary.

Janet


#3

Not quite as cheap as disposable chopsticks, but plastic or bamboo
"Photo Tongs" (for tray developing) are very inexpensive, and will
last a long time.

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718
213-488-9157


#4
   With the chopsticks side-by-side, wrap a rubber band  around the
fat ends to hold them together (not too tightly). Fold up the 
paper wrapper and wedge it up between the chopsticks and against
the  rubber band. 

You can buy “cheater” chopsticks for a buck or so. They’re plastic,
with the fulcrum built in. Intended for kids, I think - they come in
bright colors. They usually have grippy teeth on the ends, so they
work better for picking things up than regular pickle tongs or
regular chopsticks.

Dana Carlson
The Alchemist Casting Shop
Seattle, WA 206-933-9255


#5

The photo tongs recommended by Dabid Barzilay are also great to use
when etching. I keep a pair for use when I etch with nitric acid,
and also a pair for use when etching with Ferric Chloride. They work
better for me than the chopsticks as I can get a better grip on my
piece.

One use for bamboo chopsticks that I have found handy is to use one
to stir molten metal when casting. Once when I could not locate my
carbon stick, I remembered that one of my college instructors said
bamboo chopsticks could be used in a pinch. She emphasized that they
had to be bamboo and not wood. The bamboo chopstick worked just
fine.

Alma


#6
Not quite as cheap as disposable chopsticks, but plastic or bamboo
"Photo Tongs" (for tray developing) are very inexpensive, and will
last a long time. 

I just can’t keep this to my self any longer. Is under $5.00 for a
pair of honest to God real copper pickle tongs beyond what can be
justified?

Tim
A2Z Metalsmith Supply Inc
5151 S Federal Blvd Unit I-9
Littleton CO 80123


#7
Is under $5.00 for a pair of honest to God real copper pickle tongs
beyond what can be justified? 

Actually, THAT was my exact first thought, but I figured that there
must be some OTHER reason for not using copper tongs…IS there,
Orchid folks?

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718
213-488-9157


#8
Actually, THAT was my exact first thought, but I figured that
there must be some OTHER reason for not using copper tongs...IS
there, Orchid folks? 

When copper tongs are used (or is that abused?) by about a hundred
students the tongs etch thinner and thinner. We have a couple pair
that are now about copper foil thickness. Comes from leaving them in
the pickle pots and not rinsing the tongs. Using (again ‘abusing’)
the copper tongs as annealing tongs does not help them either. Any
Orchid ideas on student proofing a studio?


#9
   must be some OTHER reason for not using copper tongs 

In my case, I often need a tool right away, but don’t know of a
retailer nearby. I’m in Orange County, in southern California, if
anybody knows of a good source!

Janet


#10

Plastic tongs are good for ‘fishing’ for small things in hot pickle
(no heat transfer) and you don’t have to worry much about scratching
your work (nothing like putting a nice scratch on your piece while
’bringing up the fine silver’).

Plastic tongs are probably not too good for grabbing hot metal off
of soldering bricks - someone could try this as an exercise and
report back to the group. I look forward to reading the new threads:
“Safe Disposal of Melted Polycarbonate” and “The Joy of Plastic
Inlay”.


#11
some OTHER reason for not using copper tongs....... 

Hi David. I have not yet found a pair of copper tongs which are so
sympathetic to my arthritic thumbs as the long tongs used in
developing 'photographs. They require only a light pressure to allow
me to retrieve tiny items and they are have fine tips once the rubber
pads have been removed. Just my experience.

Cheers from Ruth in the UK.


#12
 I'm in Orange County, in southern California, if anybody knows of
a good source! 

Once again, I feel this ought to be obvious, but… Just take a
piece of large-guage copper wire (usually to be found even at
hardware stores, or kept on hand for general use), bend it into a
long “u”, and hammer it to stiffen and to form a grabbing area on
the ends… voila! Pickle tongs!


#13

I don’t use pickle tongs. I bought a Tupperware type plastic
container that fits into my pickle pot. I drilled many holes in it
and drop it into my pickle pot. When I need to get something out of
the pickle I just lift the plastic container out of the pickle, let
the pickle drain out and then rinse everything in water.

Another possibility: Home Depot sells a very thick coating material
into which you can dunk items. The coating hardens just like the
plastic on many tool handles. A tool can be coated several times to
develop a thicker coating. The stuff works very well on metal tongs.
When I oxidize my silver work I hold the items with tongs coated
with the stuff.

The stuff works very well on adding thickness to dental tools that
may be too thin to hold comfortably.

Lee Epperson


#14

How about this…If one never uses copper tongs in a fresh pickle
pot, then there will be no Cu ions to be “plated” on the silver if
carbon steel (binding wire) is accidentally dropped in… I haven’t
tried this though…just rambling…:slight_smile:

Irina
(403) 781-2209


#15

I think perhaps that you have forgotten, Irina, that there will
always be copper ions in your pickle, if it has been used even once,
coming from the sterling, because it has copper in it.

Margaret


#16

Hi Irina,

  How about this..If one never uses  copper tongs in a fresh
pickle pot, then there will be no Cu ions to be "plated" on the
silver if carbon steel (binding wire) is accidentally dropped in.. 

When copper oxides are removed from the surface of silver or gold by
the action of pickle, where do you think that copper goes? Into the
pickle! So there will be copper in the pickle whether you use copper
tongs or not. Regardless, I use stainless steel tweezers in my pickle
and stainless steel binding wire. I haven’t copper plated anything
in 10 years.

Beth


#17
    I just can't keep this to my self any longer. Is under $5.00
for a pair of honest to God real copper pickle tongs beyond what
can be justified? 

You’re right Tim, I bought my copper tongs 10 years ago, at least,
and they’re holding up really well! Totally worth the price.

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Studio 925; established 1992
@E_Luther


#18

Roger,

I read your post and chuckled. Every week when the semester is in
full swing, I have my tech go through all the cross lock tweezers,
brass brushes, pickle tongs and solder piks, to give them a full
cleaning and straightening. It is amazing what students can do to
equipment. Many of my dapping punches have little dents in them
from students pounding them onto a steel block. However, the
rolling mills are pristine.

The only way I can “student proof” our studio is purchase in bulk
what the students will destroy. We used to have problems with the
forming hammers, now I put baby socks on the heads. This works very
well.

-k

Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
http://www.metalwerx.com/
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio


#19
    I read your post and chuckled.  Every week when the semester
is in full swing,  I have my tech go through all the cross lock
tweezers, brass brushes, pickle tongs and solder piks, to give them
a full cleaning and straightening.  It is amazing what students can
do to equipment. 

Hi Karen: I don’t know how long your students are with you - i.e.
do you run “semester like” classes, or only 1 week or shorter?

I ask, because when I was a student at a community college (semester
system), the first thing we had to do in our jewelry fabrication
class was put a “polished face” on one of the hammers. That took us
nearly an entire class time but taught us great respect for the
hammers. Then the last 20 minutes of each class was dedicated to
putting all your tools in order, cleaning up etc… Each student was
assigned a desk which had peg board across the back and the tools
were outlined on the peg board so everything had it’s place (big
files, hammers, tongs, etc.) Our normal class time was 3 hours.

I hate to see you have your own tech constantly cleaning up after
"them". Maybe you should spend some time with them on proper care
of their tools. Just a thought. Don’t want to tell you how to run
your own classroom situations and it’s possible you are telling them
and they are just not listening.


#20

When I took goldsmith classes we used them as I can remember
vaguely. Then I went on to silversmith classes. “are you crazy” my
teacher said and took out the cup with his bare hands. I never used a
pickle tong since. Good for getting the nicotine of your fingers as
well.

Alain