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Silver black


#1

This is a warning and a question in one:

I used to do all my silver antiquing at the kitchen sink and
never had any of the stuff in my garage workshop. I thought I’d
be a little more efficient, and started doing touch-ups at my
bench, with q-tips, followed by rinsing in a bowl of water and
buffing on the wheel. I always carefully closed the bottle of
the nasty yellow stuff, and thought I was safe. I neglected
however, to dispose of the q-tips, and left a few of the used
ones on my bench in a paper cup. I was away for a week, and tdo
my dismay when I return, all of the bits of chain, silver scraps,
and every unfinished project on the bench, (I have a particularly
untidy bench area, jammed with all kinds of half-done things,
scraps, etc.) -all of them were not black, but were sickenlingly
dull greyish-brown. . In 14 years, this had never happened, so
I’m assuming it was from latent fumes.

I know the real answer is to tidy up, and put everything away,
but that’s really against my nature, and I’ll bet quite a few of
you are like me. So you know that an uncluttered bench will
greatly reduce my creativity!! So, the yellow stuff is back in
the kitchen, and the brushes, q-tips, etc. are rinsed or disposed
of immediatley.

Question- what can I do with all the discolored chain? I can’t
polish it off, and Tarnex, etc. hasn’t helped. I’d hate to have
to melt it down.

Anothjer question- I left some pieces in relatively old pickle,
(Sparex) for about 1 1/2 hours, and it turned this dark grey,
dull color. What is that from, and how can I fix it. It, too,
won’t polish off.

Thanks everyone,

Ruth


#2
Anothjer question-  I left some pieces in relatively old pickle,
(Sparex) for about 1 1/2 hours, and it turned this dark grey,
dull color.  What is that from, and how can I fix it.  It, too,
won't polish off.

I think the natural state of a jeweler�s bench is cluttered,
it�s the nature of the beast. If the pickle solution has become
concentrated, it can etch the surface of silver. The gray can be
lightly sanded to remove the gray and polished. Just what you
wanted to do, right?

Marilyn Smith


#3

Hi Ruth,

If you haven’t tried it already, the 1st thing I’d try is mixing
up a fresh batch of pickle & re-pickle everything. Then repolish.

Good luck!

Dave


#4

I have had great success with dipping greyed pieces in flux and
re-heating them. After doing so and dropping them in the pickle
(and remembering to get them out!!!) they take on a nice
silvery color again. Be careful, though, with detailed things.

Laura Evans


#5

Just a thought to get you going, have you tried to use the flex
hand piece to polish the pieces? If you have then try to pickle
out the impurities for just about ten minutes and then use a
silver dip to get them clean, then you will need to buff them
with some kind of rouse{red, green, white} to regain the high
luster. Hope this helps you out to save from having to melt them
down. Let me know if this does the trick to the silver. Best
wishes, Nick


#6

I tried repickling everything to no avail; I cannot polish the
machine made rope chains that tuned deep grey, without an
incomplete polish, compound that will not come off, and potential
loss (of my fingers!) The new pickle did not help those items
that were either left in the pickle too long and turned grey or
those that were exposed to the silver black fumes. In addition,
it seems that many of my tools that were on the work bench got
rusty, a state they have never been in, in the last 14 years!

Carelessness and lack of thinking ahead is certainly dangerous!

Ruth


#7

Brushing them with a fine brass brush, detergent, and water
might bring up a burnished shine. I still think that they would
best be lightly sanded with fine sandpaper and re-buffed. I don�t
know any solution to the chain that can not be buffed. I have had
the gray silver because I had left it in too strong of pickle for
too long and the sanding and buffing worked like a charm. Marilyn


#8
    I cannot polish the machine made rope chains that tuned
deep grey,  without an incomplete polish, compound that will
not come off, and  potential loss (of my fingers!)  The new
pickle did not help those items that  were either left in the
pickle too long and turned grey or those that were  exposed to
the silver black fumes.  In addition, it seems that many of my
 tools that were on the work bench got rusty, a state they
have never been  in, in the last 14 years!

If you have access to a kiln with a pyrometer you can put the
pieces in it and heat them up to not more than 1000 degrees
farenheit. Let them soak at that heat for at least 15 minutes.
This should burn off the dark coating. Quench them in water and
pickle in a fresh solution. You can polish the chains by
tumbling them with steel shot. Leaving your pieces for a long
time in a saturated pickle solution will severely weaken solder
joints. Good Luck.

Steven Brixner - Jewelry Designer - San Diego
mailto:brixner@compuserve.com
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/brixner