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Repairing Pits in Solder


#1

Folks, I am looking for some advice on how to effectively repair pits that can show when solder is used.

I make bronze sculptures of figurines using vacuum casting equipment. Sometimes, when there is a minor casting flaw I will try and fill the defect with bronze colour solder. It’s like brazing, with proper temperature control I can use this particular solder as a filler.

When the defect is filled I try to sand or file the excess to repair the piece.

This works (maybe it’s not a good way?), but I will usually end up with pits on the soldered area when I sand or file. This is a particular problem when I want to obtain a smooth surface on an arm or leg and a jewellery quality high polish on the metal.

Should I be hammering these pits into submission? This would help my frustrations. I have heard that a margin roller tool can sometimes work?

Does anyone have advice or ideas for me? I appreciate your help.

William.


#2

A better way to repair flaws in bronze sculpture involves the use of a TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welder. If you grind out the flaws and fill them using welding rods of the same composition as the metal used for the casting, the areas will grind down cleanly, without exposing more pits.

If a TIG welder is beyond your means right now, try drilling out the pits and soldering in a rod that’s almost as big as the drilled hole (if these are large voids, you might have to cast these rods specially). That way, you’ll have solid metal to grind down to, rather than a pool of shrink-pitted solder.