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Subject: Soldering pewter

Soldering pewter

From: Bill Wiebold <wieboldstudio>
Date: Monday, December 22, 2003
Heather Beerling <conservator [at] wag__mb__ca> writes

>Does anyone have any information on soldering pewter? I am looking
>specifically for the type of solder and the type of flux to use,
>precautions, etc.

Pewter soldering is not so much the type of solder as it is the
technique of soldering. Since the pewter's melting point is so close
to the melting point of most solders it more of a fusion process
than soldering. The two halves of pewter are melted together and the
solder acts as a filler for the joint. I strongly advise practice on
samples before you attempt the original. There are several types of
solder and flux, some of which can be had at

    T.B. Hagstoz and Son Inc.
    709 Sansom St.
    Philadelphia PA 19106

Another suggestion is to make a small metal box out of tin,
approximately 3 x 3 x 1 inches deep. Braze or silver solder the
corner joints. You might want to attach some sort of a handle to
hold it while pouring the solder. At the base of the wall on one
side drill some small holes (1/16 inch diameter) about 1/2 inches
apart in the side wall. Take some scrap pewter of the same period
and melt it in the opposite side of the box from the holes. While
you are moving the box across a metal plate, tilt the box so the
pewter leaks out of the holes on the other side and deposits a
string of solder on the metal plate. Now you will have pewter solder
made of an alloy close to the original pewter. You may want to clip
the solder into small pieces and lay them along the joint before
heating. This will keep you from depositing an excess of solder to
the joint. This will help you make a closer match in color of the
solder joint and if you intend to oxidize the joint to match an
existing patina the metals will oxidize closer in color. Most
commercial soldering fluxes will work for soldering pewter.

Bill Wiebold
Wiebold Art Conservation Lab
413 Terrace Place
Terrace Park
Ohio 45174
Fax: 513-831-2815

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:48
                Distributed: Tuesday, December 30, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-17-48-002
Received on Monday, 22 December, 2003

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