Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to solder cracks in antique pitcher

Sometimes when you align cracks, they pop into place. What a nice sound! Otherwise it is easing them inside and then going outside. On this Pitcher, I am going to use easy hard solder, for 2 reasons, it is coin silver, and will crack again easily if a low melting soft solder is used, and it is an important piece(important in the antique world means expensive)  If the metal is smooth, you can use hard wooden burnishers to ease into place. I make shaped wooden burnishers out of different sized dowels. Prepare for soldering. I am assuming that the readers, know how to solder. If not, let me know, and I will do a video on different ways to solder.
This kind of project is for an advanced Smith. I would suggest starting out with smaller pieces or even scrapped pieces for practice. You also must be certain of what material you are working with, is it really silver, is it coin, or something maddening; britainia.


Eric W said...

Two questions:

1. What is "easy hard solder"? Is it "easy" as compared to "hard", "medium", "easy", and "extra easy" or is it something else?

2. Why don't you pickle the piece to clean it?


Smithing said...

Great actual question and good ones.

1.Easy: as compared to hard, medium, easy.

2. Do not pickle!
When a piece is this old you do not want to loose patination. A true Silver Collector will be able to tell the difference. The price of the piece will go drastically down. Hand polish with Hagerties or some other un-harsh hand polish. Watch the movies on hand polishing,I made recently. I speak about patination and hand polishing.
Patination is important, that is why one never puts the older antiques on the wheel. I am talking about the difference from a $100,000 piece turned into $10,000 by machine polishing. A Silver tray I know of had this happen> Glad I was not the Smith who did this.