Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Repair Pewter Cup


#1

A friend has asked me what she can use to repair a pinhole in a pewter cup so it can be used for drinking. I’ve seen recommendations for a tin/lead solder but she wants something non-toxic.

Thanks!

Judi


#2

Modern plumbers soft solder is just tin, antimony, and copper. The tricky part is that it’s melting point is very close to the melting point of the metal of the cup.


#3

Judi,

If you value your friendship and if you have never messed with pewter before I would not take on this project. You can heat pewter to the point of distortion with a polishing wheel. OR Get some pewter sheet if such is available and practice long and hard before to try a repair. In the 25+ years I have worked I have never once successfully repaired a piece of pewter. It requires a finesse that doesn’t come easy. I know there a smiths about who have the knack but I don’t personally know any. And I know my Dad wouldn’t touch it unless it was a piece he owned.

Good luck and if you try and take it on, keep notes and send pictures.

Don M.
---- Judi Forman orchid@ganoksin.com wrote:


#4

Food grade resin…Rob


#5

Thanks everybody for your answers. I think food grade resin is probably the way to go. I agree that I shouldn’t mess with heating up the pewter, which I’ve never worked with. My friend will be able to fix it herself.

Judi


#6

Pewter melts in a flash when heated… lots of torch control needed. More to the point is does she know if this cup is modern pewter which is mainly tin and food grade or is it older and made mainly of toxic lead? She may be better off using it for a pen cup than a drinking cup! From Wiki Lead was removed from the composition in 1974, by BS5140, reinforced by the European directive BSEN611 in 1994.

Aurora


#7

Hi Judi,

I have repaired pewter using TIX solder and flux that I had purchased from Stuller.
Keep the heat low and focus on the spot that you are repairing. You should practice with some scrap pewter first.


#8

Thanks again everyone. The take away for me from this thread is that I don’t plan to get interested in working with pewter!

Judi


#9

Judi,

I don’t think that should be your take away. Pewter is an attractive look. It is castable and carveable but it is a learning curve you haven’t taken yet. Perhaps the take away is to stay with the materials you know when it comes to repairs and special orders. Find someone who can teach you about the materials you don’t. Put the same effort and study into learning something new if the idea tickles you.

Don Meixner

---- Judi Forman orchid@ganoksin.com wrote:


#10

I think another good choice would be stay-brite solder……

Andy The Tool Guy Kroungold

Stulller Inc

800-877-7777 ext 4194

Andy_kroungold@stuller.com


#11

I just came across this post about soldering pewter in the archives. There is a lot of information here…Rob


#12

Thanks again everybody for all you’ve put in to help me with my question!

Judi


#13

I have had very satisfying results on pewter, using the laser, and Stay-Brite solder. I use a very low voltage, a wide beam and high pulse rate.
As suggested above, the Stay-Brute flux seems to be key to getting a good flow…


#14

Tix contains 2% lead, Stay Brite flows at 535F, Nix and Nix

If you can make a piece of pewter wire then drill the pin hole out with a drill bit that is just big enough, then you can plug the hole. Taper the wire. Then make a stake of some sort and use a small rivet hammer to rivet the plug in place.

If you don’t have pewter wire you can use any lead free solder wire. Either hammer and file it to shape or pull it through a draw plate.

If you do get tin or lead on your precious metals files then you run the risk of ruining future projects as tin or lead introduced into a gold or silver melt will cause the metal to vaporize into the air.

Pewter is soft so go easy on the polishing.

Cheers Martin