engraving pewter

Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
18
Thread starter #1
Hi Guys and Girls
I have a pewter hip flask to engrave and have no experience of the metal . I believe it to be soft but it would be handy if any one who has worked on pewter could give me the heads up on the metal characteristics
much appreciated
Howard
 

handengraver

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
157
Location
San Antonio, TX. USA
#2
Indeed pewter is a very soft substance. It is definitely a call to use hand pushed gravers. In old days these pewter items were very heavy, made of thick sheet metal to carry the engravings. By now the material they use could be extremely thin. The only way to hold it would be by hand, on a sand pillow covered with a clean soft cloth. A thoroughly done manicure is also necessary, your nail or the hard callous of your thumb could leave marks on the surface.
If the flask appears to be very light, it could be too risky to engrave. Good luck, Howard.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
18
Thread starter #3
Indeed pewter is a very soft substance. It is definitely a call to use hand pushed gravers. In old days these pewter items were very heavy, made of thick sheet metal to carry the engravings. By now the material they use could be extremely thin. The only way to hold it would be by hand, on a sand pillow covered with a clean soft cloth. A thoroughly done manicure is also necessary, your nail or the hard callous of your thumb could leave marks on the surface.
If the flask appears to be very light, it could be too risky to engrave. Good luck, Howard.
 

mitch

~ Elite 1000 Member ~
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Messages
2,100
#5
fill the flask right to the brim with fine, DRY* sand and screw the cap on. if you want it to feel really, really, really solid, you can trickle it full of water after putting in the sand, but you will be flushing wet sand out of it for a good while (yet another lesson learned the hard way). dry works almost as well and pours right back out.

*if it is even slightly damp, put a sufficient quantity in a cake pan or whatever and put it in the oven for an hour or so.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
18
Thread starter #6
fill the flask right to the brim with fine, DRY* sand and screw the cap on. if you want it to feel really, really, really solid, you can trickle it full of water after putting in the sand, but you will be flushing wet sand out of it for a good while (yet another lesson learned the hard way). dry works almost as well and pours right back out.

*if it is even slightly damp, put a sufficient quantity in a cake pan or whatever and put it in the oven for an hour or so.
thanks , i am still a little undecided as to take it on , i have never been able to polish pewter and sods law says i might put a couple of scratches on it .
howard
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
9,040
Location
washington, pa
#7
for one thing, i always used white cotton gloves from the drugstore. the sweat from your hands can wreak havoc on the finish if it's really a smooth finish. graver control is an absolute requirement in this metal. if you get a slip, repairing such will drive one to consume much alcohol ! sometimes pewter objects can be found at second hand stores. good to practice on.
 

JMiller

Elite Cafe Member
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
336
Location
Huntsville, AL
#9
thanks , i am still a little undecided as to take it on , i have never been able to polish pewter and sods law says i might put a couple of scratches on it .
howard
Use Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish. I did a pewter jewelry box, and as you suspect you do get a lot of fine scratches on a high polished piece... Mothers did a pretty good job of cleaning them up.
 

Latest posts

Sponsors

Top