Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The beginning of the week, with all the broken pieces. I gave the candelabra a strengthening bar inside.
It broke at the weakest point. So made strong with a large brass rod inside.
Removed all of the old lead solder and soldered with stay-brite.
Stay-brite has become my favorite for these old silver plated lead and copper internal parts.
I prefer it to any tin solder that my contemporaries use.
I do not use the flux that comes with it. I found it to be too corrosive and too acid. If you do not get all of their flux off it makes the piece corrode in time. I use a paste flux that is easy to clean. Either with soap and water or brasso when you polish.
Yes, brasso. I often use brasso to polish silver. You cannot leave it on for long, but rub on and then rub off.
This is a trick I learned from a retired restoration expert.
Ok, now all of the secrets are coming out.
Do not forget to wear gloves and be careful when working with the old lead parts.
I clean up after each job, vacuum, wash area, etc. Most of all , do not mix tools with gold and lead, or silver and lead.
Files especially. Keep separate files for each metal, if possible work in separate areas.
I use different soldering blocks for each different metal.

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