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Walk Through of a Full Repair

A guide to a full pewter repair, and some of the tools used in the process

Starting A Pewter Repair

Often but not always it is useful to make the pewter really warm. This can be done by standing the piece on a wooden disc in a pan of water and bringing it to the boil. Gardening or welding gloves are needed at first to handle it but the whole process makes the pewter more malleable and less likely to crack. It is then surprising with some metals how they can be manipulated by hand, especially using the pressure of thumbs on rims, dents, etc. It is not essential to most of what is done but sometimes it really helps. If water gets in a handle then held the right way over kitchen paper it will drain out and a hot air gun can dry mug interiors – the narrow edge between base and body especially also soft toilet tissue (more on that later) also removes moisture. (Hot air guns need to be kept moving as they can turn small areas into holes quite easily, and they don’t heat all of say a mug evenly as would the boiling water)
Photo of mug in pan of water, usually put the lid on and keep it more to the centre of the pan.

Diminishing A Dent In A Mug

For the dent in the mug body – gentle and repeated tapping with the rod with the ball bearing end from within the mug, even using a thumb to push against the area will help the area to conform to the outer. It often leaves a mark on the outside but far less than the original and use of 2000 wet and dry can diminish this substantially.

Seen here are a variety of forms used by the late Peter Starling some of which may well have assisted him to deal with hollowware body shapes – assuming that you would put the affected area on the shape and push from the inside - often the body shape seems to naturally want to conform to its previous shape.
Selection of forms

Rounding A Footrim

For this I use the rod with the oval disc on the end – it seems to spread the force on a larger area than the ball.

I soon found I scraped the bottom of the vessel with the side of the end so now use the protector fabric cut in a circle to protect the underside. (Two of the forms shown above may have helped PS with this).

The pliers with the protected grips will pull out a warmed folded rim, but if it cracked when it crumpled the split will then show and I have not yet discovered how to effect a straightened finish to that somewhat uneven rim without the use of additional hot metal (which is how it might be done) as any polishing or wheel work really simply shines or removes metal obviously.

The four almost bullet shaped pieces of wood (gill,½, pint, quart - 6-8 inches long) shown in the first illustration speak for themselves. Keep these well oiled with linseed oil so the surface works its way into the mug more easily. Tap them in and then tap the rim toward them thus straightening many a misshapen mug.
Showing cloth protection

Rounding A Footrim

For this I use the rod with the oval disc on the end – it seems to spread the force on a larger area than the ball.

I soon found I scraped the bottom of the vessel with the side of the end so now use the protector fabric cut in a circle to protect the underside. (Two of the forms shown above may have helped PS with this).

The pliers with the protected grips will pull out a warmed folded rim, but if it cracked when it crumpled the split will then show and I have not yet discovered how to effect a straightened finish to that somewhat uneven rim without the use of additional hot metal (which is how it might be done) as any polishing or wheel work really simply shines or removes metal obviously.

The four almost bullet shaped pieces of wood (gill,½, pint, quart - 6-8 inches long) shown in the first illustration speak for themselves. Keep these well oiled with linseed oil so the surface works its way into the mug more easily. Tap them in and then tap the rim toward them thus straightening many a misshapen mug.
Showing cloth protection
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