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Thread: How to shine Silver Chain after pickling?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Default How to shine Silver Chain after pickling?

    Hi all, I'm pretty sure this is on the forum somewhere already, but i have trawled and trawled, and finally had to admit defeat.
    After pickling, a fine sterling silver chain becomes quite dull. What's the easiest way to make it shiny again?
    I really want to solder some chain ends onto some loose snake chain, but want to make sure i can shine it again before i go ahead.
    there are some knots in the snake chain, as part of the design, so it's fiddly. Do i soak it in a solution? Is it the baking powder/salt/tin foil trick?
    Or does tumbling shine it up?
    Thank you

    Sue

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hi Sue

    I use Cookson safety pickle now or alum powder. Only pickle the ends you have soldered and then you will be able to bring it back with rouge or whichever finishing compound you use on your mops. I don't have a tumbler but no doubt someone can advise on that. It isn't a problem in the ordinary way though. Remember if polishing the whole chain to wrap it around a piece of wood if using a bench polisher!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Ah ok. Thanks Caroline. I thought the chain would be too delicate for rouge, and as it's snake chain, i thought the rouge would get stuck in the gaps...

  4. #4
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    Well it will get in the gaps but hot water washing up liquid and a toothbrush will do it if you don't have an ultrasonic cleaner. Luxi might not be as bad but the same process will remove the polish

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ57 View Post
    Well it will get in the gaps but hot water washing up liquid and a toothbrush will do it if you don't have an ultrasonic cleaner. Luxi might not be as bad but the same process will remove the polish
    Some suggestions for the future.

    1. Don't put knots in the chain prior to polishing, as knots don't clean well and obstruct the process.

    2. If you have longish chain ends of say 10mm or more, fix in the snake chain with fast setting araldite.
    Bonus: no discolouration, and ease of removal at some future date under tension,with minimal heat from a mini-torch, if it gets damaged as often happens.

    Below my standard snake ends made from tubing and jump rings. Dennis.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dog Whistle Necklace.jpg  

  6. #6
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    My heath robinson solution is to either tumble them individually and take the unknotting afterwards on the chin, or cut a segment of plastic straw, put the chain through the straw and tape with strong tape at either ends (but not covering the straw holes). Still gets clean, but less knotting.
    This may not make any sense

  7. #7
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    If you do decide to solder ends, then melt the solder inside the end cap, flux and pop the chain in an reheat. That way the solder doesn't travel up the chain if you try and place the solder on the chain inside its cap

  8. #8
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    Jan 2015
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    All great suggestions!! Dennis, I was advised to use Devcon but don't find it works on silver! I think I might make my chain ends out of tubing and use araldite...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Curiosity piqued - Devcon doesn't work on silver? What makes you say that?

  10. #10
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    Me too, as Devon is two part epoxi, similar to Araldite. They come in two versions:

    1. Slow setting, sometimes designated as high strength and waterproof. The primary setting time is about two hours and the maximum strength is developed in eight to twelve hours.
    However I am far too impatient for that. Also, when inserted into narrow channels air gets trapped and the back pressure can cause chain to come out again. This would be too
    frustrating with a slow set. So I favour...
    2. The rapid setting version. Devcon rapid, gives a five minute working time, which is not too bad if you have to forcibly keep the chain in place until it no longer wanders out. It is
    said to be a weaker version, but I have never had one come apart.

    It is also important to mix two part adhesives very thoroughly, and ensure equal parts of the components are used. Dennis

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