Does anyone know how to get a steel drill bit out of a sterling silver
hole that it’s stuck in? Someone told me to boil it in water and alum but
either it doesn’t really work or I’m not doing it right. Thanks again.
Pickle (sparex) will eat out the drill. A strong solution of alum will
also, if boiling, but it’s a lot slower. In the pickle, leave the item in
a half hour to an hour and the drill will be gone. Note that this works
with steel drills. If you’ve broken off a carbide drill, you’re out of
The key with the pickle is to remember that if your pickle has dissolved
copper oxides in it, and you then put in a piece of silver that has steel
in contact with it, the steel, as it dissolves, causes the copper to plate
out on the silver. So use freshly mixed pickle that does not have copper
already dissolved in it, and you won’t get copper plating. Note that once
the steel is dissolved, the dissolved iron in the solution will NOT cause
copper to plate out if you continue to use that pickle for normal purposes.
That copper plating effect requires that the iron be still metallic, and
dissolving in the pickle while in contact with the silver item (or gold or
other precious metal, etc) So if you wish, you can save this pickle just
for use in removing broken drill bits, or you can just add it to your
regular pickle if you wish. Won’t hurt it.