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Removing drill bit from Argentium


#1

I broke off a #63 steel drill bit in a piece Argentium Silver. I
vaguely remember one could use a solution of something…alum and
water? or…? to soak the piece until the steel rusted loose.

If that is correct, where does one find alum? If it is something
else, please advise and tell me where the product can be purchased.

Thank you
Merylyn


#2

Hi Merylyn,

where does one find alum? 

Look in the spice section of the grocery store.

Mark


#3

Hi Merylyn,

I looked in the archives for alum in relation to broken drill bits
and found:

Try a Drug Store for Alum. Yes it will work on broken drill bits
in Silver. The Alum needs to be heated in a Glass beaker with the
piece of jewelry placed in it. 

If you can’t get hold of any alum from the drug store, some people
use similar chemicals (often called alum but strictly not alum by
definition but still contain the sulphates required) as their pickle
solution, such as sodium bisulphate (often sold as pH down).

Helen
UK


#4

leave it in your pickle solution, it will take some time, but the
bit will rust off…

Good luck.
Charles


#5

Alum, citric acid, sparex, all will work just fine to dissolve
steel. Use a fresh solution and keep it warm. The solutions work
faster in the ultrasonic in a glass beaker (don’t want to put acids
in the main tank and plastic containers deaden the ultrasonic
action).

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#6

You should be able to find alum in the drug store and it works great


#7
leave it in your pickle solution, it will take some time, but the
bit will rust off.. 

Alum works a lot better and faster. If you use pickle replace it.


#8
Alum works a lot better and faster. If you use pickle replace it. 

I have used alum, sparex type pickle and citric acid pickle if they
are all made at a similar saturation there is no real difference in
speed. Using fresh solution will make it work faster. There is no
need to throw out the pickle if you decide to do use it for this as
once the iron has dissolved into solution it will not cause any
further issues. The only time iron is a problem in pickle is when
both iron in its solid form and a piece of work are in the pickle pot
at the same time and there is copper dissolved in the pickle
solution. Then it will cause the copper to plate on the work as the
iron replaces the copper in solution. Once the solid iron is removed
from the pickle the solution will no longer plate out the copper and
will be safe to use as before.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#9

ALUM is found in the spices area of most grocery stores. I uses a
combination of alum and added salt. The objective is to break down
the integrity of the drill bit, or “rust” it out…

Good luck on your tempered metal mining and extracting adventure!!
heh!

Patience is the key. Hard to have when a customer’s article you are
working on is “DUE” mut a neccesary evil. To wait…

Keith (AKA MadJeweler)


#10
Once the solid iron is removed from the pickle the solution will
no longer plate out the copper and will be safe to use as before. 

I am so happy that you posted this!! I have long been convinced that
this is true, but have been unable to convince others to believe it.
When it comes from someone like yourself (I assume others share my
evaluation of you as someone who does not proclaim that
you have not thoroughly evaluated and checked) it has considerably
more weight.

Plus it helps keep me from doubting myself.

Noel


#11
Once the solid iron is removed from the pickle the solution will
no longer plate out the copper and will be safe to use as before. 

I am so happy that you posted this!! I have long been convinced that
this is true, but have been unable to convince others to believe it.
When it comes from someone like yourself (I assume others share my
evaluation of you as someone who does not proclaim that
you have not thoroughly evaluated and checked) it has considerably
more weight.

Plus it helps keep me from doubting myself.

Noel