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Quenching in pickle (was firescale)


#1

I thought, also, that it was kind of curious, saying not to
quench in hot pickle. Every silversmith I know and all the books
say to do so. Of course you don’t throw it in until the red heat
disappears, one tip. I would think the polishing process, if any
acid actually IS in the metal, would remove the thin layer. I
would think also a long soak in baking soda would reach anything
that would be exposed to skin, and by the way human skin is a
slightly acid medium itself…OK, John Burgess’s turn :slight_smile:
Dave

Hi Dave, Afraid I’m wading in on the 'don’t quench in pickle’
side of the story. In factory situations it has been shown people
subjected to sulfuric acid aerosols (what you get when you
quench) show damage to the enamel of their teeth. I’ve seen
people splash their clothing and have it eaten (mine too), seen
people splash hot acid in their eyes (wow that smarts and the
rinsing isn’t exactly fun either) and I go along with the idea
of acid in the microporosities which comes out and reacts with
clients later (well-mostly for cast objects in my mind rather
than sheet constructions). What difference does it make if you
quench in water first and then pickle? I think the reduction in
hazard is worth it. And I always hold that lid like a shield
anyway and slip the object in from the side away from me
(splashed acid in my eye once dropping a cold object into the
pickle). So I quench first and pickle after unless I’m really
moving fast. And then I will preferentially scoop some pickle
solution out into a copper bowl, place my object into it and hit
the bowl with a torch for a really rapid pickle. Use ventilation!

Charles

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#2
I'm wading in on the 'don't quench in pickle' side of the
story. In factory situations it has been shown people subjected
to sulfuric acid aerosols (what you get when you quench) show
damage to the enamel of their teeth. I've seen people splash
their clothing and have it eaten (mine too), seen people splash
hot acid in their eyes (wow that smarts and the rinsing isn't
exactly fun either) (Snip...)

For the newer group members, this sort of brings us back to an
Orchid thread several months back regarding safer pickle recipes.
Two great ideas I remember were to use warmed Citric Acid as a
pickle, or to use Phosphoric Acid (available at the hardware
store as rust-converter), both of these substances are less
corrosive at pickle concentrations, and as a result have less of
an appetite for those brand new KMart trousers you bought last
week.

Laurence Veska.


#3

Charles,

I go along with what you say. I have quenched silver into acid
hot. A great cloud of corrosive acid fumes rises up from the acid
making me choke. I run out of the door. I think “what the hell
did I do that for?” You only have to wait a few more moments
while you cool the metal in water. The pickling process only
takes a few minutes longer. Your pickle will last longer, and so
will you! Richard W UK