Saturday, August 20, 2011

Safe and Easy Pickle

 I decided to try foldforming  copper.  I had never done this before, but i watched a few you tube videos and it looked easy enough to try.   I cut my copper, made a t-fold in it , pounded the fold in the vise, annealed it, opened it, pounded the folds flat and repeated the sequence.  I also turned all my raw edges under and pounded them so that the edges would be smooth.  After the last anneal, I shaped it into a bracelet shape with a bracelet mandrel and delrin hammer.  Now I needed to clean it up (remove the firescale created by the heat from the torch) before work hardening it and giving it a final patina.
Normally I would use Sparex - which is a somewhat toxic.  I had read that pickle was called pickle because it was often just pickle juice. For this experiment,  last week I had saved the giant plastic container full of pickle juice that formerly housed some pickles from Costco we had devoured   I took the whole jar and heated it in the microwave for a minute - Sparex (and most pickles) always work better heated.
Costco giant pickle jar full of pickle juice
So here's the bracelet before.....
...and the same piece 1/2 an hour later.
  Woohoo - no more firescale!  Then I scrubbed the copper with dishwasher soap and a green scrubby.  It came out sparkly clean!
this shows the scrubby and the dishwashing's a wider bracelet I also made- but it'has all of its firescale gone too!

Safe and Easy - pretty cool, huh!?!


Joanne Huffman said...

I may have to go buy some pickles. I really like this idea. And, your bracelet[s] is [are] beautiful (of course).

Kris said...

That is VERY cool!! Wow you are a quick study.