Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Pickling techniques

Hi folks,

If the piece becomes too cool to place in the pickle by the time
you remove the wire simply heat >it with your torch - then into the

This raises a question for me.

Originally I saw that people used their pickle as a quench when
annealing and also after regular soldering, and I did this myself for
many years. Then I encountered numerous folk who quench in water then
move the work into hot pickle. In his teaching videos, for example,
this is what Alan Revere does. After a while, I made this my practice
most of the time. Now I am working with teenagers, so for reasons of
safety and risk management I have been careful to teach them to quench
in water then move the cooled piece into the pickle.

So this is my question: What is your practice when pickling, is
there a definitive “right way” and if so, what makes it right? I look
forward to your replies. MP

So this is my question:  What is your practice when pickling, is
there a definitive "right way" and if so, what makes it right?  I look
forward to your replies.  

I have heard it said that one can always tell a jeweller who drops
their hot workpiece into acid pickle; That’s the one with lacy shirt

What is the RIGHT way? in my humble opinion the right way to do
anything is that way which achieves the most satisfactory results
safely with the minimum work and cost in the shortest time. Often
there is no ONE best way.

Personally I drop my hot work into 10% sulphuric acid and slam the
lid on the pot quickly. (Quite unsafe) And I don’t have lacy shirt
cuffs. Neither do I roll my sleeves up. But don’t do what I do. Do
what I tell you to do!! –

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ

Hi. MP

My schooling at the Revere Academy and every book I have read on
basic shop practice suggests that the pickle should be warm (not hot)
and not the piece being cleaned. The reason being that the action of
the pickle is enhanced and accelerated by the increase in its
temperature. Cold will work but more slowly.

The instructions on the package recommend a non-reactive vessel like
a pyrex bowl to contain the pickle, set in a bowl of warm water. I
have a plain electric stew pot with a ceramic insert. I set it on the
lowest setting and keep it covered. The warm solution lets off some
steam which is mildly corrosive so do not stand there with your face
over it for any length of time. Do ventilate your space and keep the
area around the pot cleaned up.

Do I sound like your mother? Regards, DYS

I used to use a crock pot and a mini crock pot and even a store
bought pickle pot but the very best thing I use now is a coffee cup
warmer that is six bucks from Walgreens or wall mart and a pyrex
measuring cup.The coffee warmer is the type the cup sits on NOT the
immersable type and it keeps my pickle a constant temp is safe and
reliable.It also makes changing the batch easy.It is a great size for
sitting on my bench.J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio
Hot and sunny

Hello, I use an old standard coffee machine with the Pyrex glass
coffee pot for my pickle. It has a heating plate and cost nearly
nothing. And when it brakes down I buy and other one on a flee market.
But the old thing runs already 7 years with pickle, after it has
served us with coffee for 4 years. The warming up takes only 5
minutes, but I use it only for silver. Gold cleans fast enough at room
temperatures. The pickle is 10% H2SO4. And for neutralization a
washing soda solution.

Martin Niemeijer