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Thread: converting scrap pewter to sheet pewter?

  1. #1

    converting scrap pewter to sheet pewter?

    I have about 40 pounds of old scrap pewter. Dented mugs, bent up candle sticks, etc. Paid little or nothing for it. I used to melt it down into ingots and sell it for those who wanted pewter nose caps on half stock rifles. I just picked up a spinning lathe and I need pewter sheet discs for spinning. If I make a mold for a flat disc, say 1/32 by 6 inch diameter, will that work for spinning?

  2. #2
    Perry, you can sand cast discs then hammer out to the thickness you need. Pewter does not work harden. The sand needs to be very fine. I recommend petrobond. They use Sal alminac as flux. It makes ammonia. You can melt in a steel pan. skim the stuff off the top. Do not over heat. 500-550F is good. If the pewter is old it can have lead. Lead probably won't hurt you but is very bad for kids, so.. We use a bottom pour ladle. When you hammer out the discs you go spiral from the middle. as it gets bigger you can trim the edge. You can thicken the edge by "caulking. Hit the edge side on with the hammer to thicken it up. You can shape your hammers with a disc and polish them.

    Normally they use a rolling mill to make pewter sheet. They start with milling the ingot, so the rolling is on clean metal with no voids. If you want to learn more on hammer forming then
    Also it won't hurt to clean up the pewter before you melt it. No sense in melting oxidized gunk into your melt. Some of the pewter might have lacquer. On silver or another higher temp metal that would burn off, but not at 550F.
    watch videos where they practice blacksmithing on a piece of clay. That will teach you what shape of hammer.
    Cheers Marty
    shenhui 900x1200 dual tubes 150 & 60

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    I knew a jewelry maker who had a small hand-cranked rolling mill for reducing thickness. I almost bought it. Perhaps you could find one used.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Falls Church, VA
    Blog Entries
    Perry, In the organ making business, they cast their own lead sheets.

  5. #5
    If this is the old-style pewter, it can be up to half lead. Are you sure you want to mess with it? If it has lead in it, and you make something that people use with food or drink, it will poison them. And there are lots of ways to expose yourself to toxic amounts of lead if you're melting, sanding, polishing, or even just handling it. There are lead-test kits you can get which will tell you for sure if what you've got is lead-free or not.

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