Andrewjbelcher

Pitch alternative

23 posts in this topic

I'm new to this. I have tried chasing and repousse in the past, but only at a friends house. My question is, since repousse pitch is so blasted expensive (at least where I looked) are there alternatives?

Thank you
AB

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Wax would probably be the way to go. I took a workshop on raising and some minor chasing/repousse details and we used pie tins filled with wax as our student version pitch pots. I recall discussing the different types of wax with the instructors but I can't recall what the names were. The cost for something like pitch and wax might be a little high to start with, but don't overlook the service life of what you are buying. You probably won't need to buy more for a very long time unless you are really using it every day.

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Rio grande is at $45 this morning for the stuff I have. It is good and was worth it to me.i know that is a considerable amount but I agree whith chinobi that the service life makes it worthwhile. But try the wax, it's cheap. My guess is it will work but will be a bigger pain when it comes to heating and cleaning.

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Some tars get really stiff when cool. Check with a roofing company.

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Somewhere back in the mists of time there was information on the web on how to make your own "pitch" using roofing tar, plaster of paris and some other additives to get the consistency right. I'll have to check the Best of the Hammer to see if they had a recipe there.

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Well, parrafin's cheap, but tends to be brittle. (as I found out the hard way on my first lost wax casting, whoops!)  Doesn't get much cheaper than used crayons. Beeswax is very durable, but goes about 5 a lb, and gets kinda yellowish orange and very, very hard to clean off of metal when overheated. (probably why it makes such a popular finish, no?)

 

Maybe you could mix parrafin with an oil, or say another wax?

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Consider modeling clay!  :rolleyes:

Just a thought that came to mind.

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I have always used lead. 

Use care and common sense obviously. 

Not sure if it would work with thin metals though, but it works well with 1/8" thick metals.

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I preferred lead as well. I found it much more user friendly. I have not done any repousse for years and back then was not aware that I should be in fear of lead poisoning and instant death if I touched a piece.

I do have a pitch bowl and ring which I have never used. The awful experience I had with a pitch tray doing some repousse for a Davies brothers' gate restoration in the seventies scarred me for life. To be fair I think the pitch was out of condition and could have done with more tallow to make it less brittle, I think the tray it was in was also too shallow for the depth of relief we were trying to achieve. I was under training at the time so was not in a position to change things.

I am surprised it is expensive nowadays though, I am sure I would only have bought mine on a whim. It came from a jewellers tool supplies place.

Alan

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I have always used lead. 

Use care and common sense obviously. 

Not sure if it would work with thin metals though, but it works well with 1/8" thick metals.

It works well on 16SWG and also copper, annealing is vital, 

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Iron Dwarf, do you have or know the brand name offhand?  I cant for the life of me get google to give me something that resembles a purchasable product :'(

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Iron Dwarf, do you have or know the brand name offhand?  I cant for the life of me get google to give me something that resembles a purchasable product :'(

 

Poth Hille in the UK I do not know whether they will ship overseas but I am sure there will be an equivalent company in the USA. They have a good web site. They do different melting point versions of microcrystalline I think, maybe Iron Dwarf will enlighten us as to the one he has had success with...

 

If you do a search on here for the thread on Renaissance wax and bees wax I posted the recipe for the Renaissance wax which comprises Microcrystalline  and polythene waxes and white spirit.

 

Kill two birds with one stone!

 

Alan

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Many thanks Alan, I will look into that company and see if the shipping is worth the hassle, or if that can lead me to a domestic source.

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Having mentioned I have an unused pitch bowl and ring earlier I happened to spot it on the shelf under the silversmithing bench today. It must have been there for the best part of forty years! Still has the bag of Plaster of Paris with it, mice have probably had the tallow! Interesting how the steady weight of the bowl and ring have just displaced the pitch over the years. When I tried to lift the ring off, the pitch just shattered and yet the form it had taken makes it look so soft. The only price tag still on it can be seen on the leather ring at £4.55 the bowl still also had its lable but the price had faded.

Alan

post-9203-0-07519600-1421874205_thumb.jp

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A while back on Facebook someone was using hot glue and a bowling ball.  Haven't tried it not sure how well it cleans off.  Different amounts of heat would change how it moves

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Depending on local availability, you can get vastly different types of glues/and colors too the black ones here are much 'denser' and harder than the clear.  

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For thin metals, foils, I have had excellent results using a rubber like material that is used to cover floor drains in the event of chemical spills.  It is somewhat tacky, care must be taken to keep it clean so that the dirt particles do not transfer to your work.  For heavier metals I would imagine that the rubber would break down over time.  It would not be cost effective to purchase new, but if you could get some that has been used and discarded I would suggest you try it.

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I've heard of people using hamon clay for repousse work. It can be made pretty cheaply, if I remember correctly.

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