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Copper raising questions


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#1 Tony Mertens

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 09:04 AM

I'm trying to muddle my way through teaching myself to raise a copper vase from some tubing. I practiced on a piece of 2" type M and got a reasonable end product. I want to make a larger one out of 3" to hold some Calla Lilies I mentioned in another post. I've played with different shapes of stakes to get a little feel for what happens. I've done some searching on MAF but still have a few questions.

1. Stake shape?

I want to use 3" to form a vase that is narrow just below the middle and widens out to about 4" or so on top and a little less on the bottom. With a long sweeping arc. The actual dimensions aren't carved in stone. My practice one started with 2" and got me the approximate shape but the narrow part was less the the original 2". Is that normal? For what I'm doing it doesn't really matter.

2. Pickling?

Whats that recipe again? Some say use it hot others say cold? Should I pickle every time I anneal or just at the end? Do I need to neutralize the pickle with something? Every time or just the last time? What's the neutralizer recipe?

3. Patina?
If I use an acid patina do I need to neutralize it again before a clear coat? Same neutralizer as above?

I guess I had more questions than I thought. Another problem is that at this point I don't really have the proper raising hammers but If I can muddle my way to a decent end product here and I find I like doing it I can start making or buying the correct hammers.

#2 PTsideshow

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 02:00 PM

If by pickling you mean the cleaning of the copper by the use of The PH reducer for swimming pools Sodium bisulfate Is one pickle, to neutralize you can use bicarbonate of soda, warmer works faster, let the copper cool a little from annealing temp. till it starts to turn grey then put in the pickle.

It sort of personal learned thing about doing it every time you anneal. Some do some don't, depends also on the need to see details or scribings on the copper.

Again it depends on what you were taught about the use of bicarbonate of soda with water to neutralize the acid after each dip or when you are finished. I think that it may make some difference when working with silver.

Everybody has their favorite pickle juice. from vinegar,citrus acid, alum, sodium bisulfate to the acid formulas. They all work faster when warmed
And I think that the cost the PH pool reducer is the cheapest by far compared to the citric acid for a beer making or bakery supply. Plus it less of a hassle to dispose of when it is down. Just two things Don't use or put any steel or iron of any kind into the pickle or use an iron pot/pan it when adjust the solution into a flash copper plating bath.
[Beer]
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#3 David S.

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 03:06 PM

Tony,

Gene Olson, who sometimes posts here, had a very nice demonstration of making a vase from a piece of copper tubing on his website. I had it book-marked a few computer crashes ago, but am sure if you find his email address here and ask him, he'll direct you to it. I have a foot or so of 3" copper tubing at medium level storage reserved for such an adventure at some time in the future also, so please keep us up to date on your progress.

Dave, whose only copper work today was replacing part of his shop air line!!!!

#4 Tony Mertens

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 03:10 PM

Is all pool pH reducer the sodium bi-sulfate? I was at a local store that had pool chemicals. They had the active ingredient listed on all of the products except the pH reducer. [Beer]

Dave - I think we were posting at the same time. I've seen Gene's demo. It's in my favorites. I've watched it several times. Those guys always make it look easy! I'm not sure if I have enough patience for this.

#5 David S.

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 03:31 PM

Yes, Sodium bisulphate. The one I have is called "Pool Shocker" and is 93 percent bisulphate. It is also called pH Reducer elsewhere on the label. Warren Townsen had some posts a while back about how he used his pickling solution; I think he said uses an old crock pot to heat his in. Also check with Bill Roberts. As well as I remember, he just has a 5 gal. plastic bucket of the stuff and we used it cold.

Dave

#6 PTsideshow

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 04:04 PM

It should have the active ingredients % on the label
along with the inert ingredients. If they aren't listed then I wouldn't buy it for the pool or other uses as it might be only a fraction of the strength It generally runs from 93 % to 97% as a great quality pool PH reducer.Gene's great site
[Beer]
glen

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#7 Tony Mertens

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 08:20 PM

One more question - My wife likes the way the vase looks now with the multi colors from annealing. Does it really need to be pickled or if I don't do anything to it will it stay this way? I have it all plannished so there doesn't appear to be any loose scale on it. In case you can't tell I haven't really worked with copper before except for the wiring my shop. [Beer]

#8 warrent

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 10:21 PM

Tony, sorry for late reply haven't been home much for the past couple of weeks. The PH down will work cold for pickling, just takes a little longer and I have used it and found no need to heat. Just toss in another cap full.

I use a Rubbermaid plastic tub so I can close up when not in use, lasts a long time. The blue size I think is called the small one.

I also like to use sulfuric acid (battery acid) for pickling. Works a little faster that the Ph down. Also the copper does not seem to tarnish as fast as with the PH, well that might be because have to use stronger mix.

I never worry about neutralizing. Just rinse well. Further more I like to pickle after every anneal so I can get a good look at what I am doing and besides the powder residue is nasty to breathe along with getting your hands dirty.

Yes you can leave the copper the way it is. I have done that many times. Just warm a little and wax with Butchers Bowling Alley wax (heh I got to put in a plug, looking for some sponsors).
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#9 Tony Mertens

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 05:48 AM

Thanks for the help guys. I'll keep "muddling " away. [Beer]

#10 Gene Olson

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 12:25 PM

Hi tony,
If you haven't found the vase demo yet...
http://www.mettlewor...udio/index.html

Gene
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