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Thread: Weighted Pewter filler

  1. #1
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    Weighted Pewter filler

    Weighted pewter is a thin pewter shell filled with what has been not affectionately referred to as "petrified yak dung". Most often seen in candlesticks. I think this stuff is an abomination that when it melts makes a royal mess of one's pot, equipment, basically everything it touches. I think it might be a near relative of horse hoof glue.

    So how do folks get the pewter and avoid the crud inside?

    I have peeled the pewter off of the filler, not often easy, especially if the object has a lot of ridges and grooves. Also the "shell" is thinner than a cheap beer can so much work for little reward.

    Have pried the bottom off and beaten the object against concrete to bust up the filler until it comes out in chunks, then tear it apart to dig out the chunks that don't come out with a screwdriver.

    I started out just melting and trying to skim off the filler when it melted. Aside from the smell of melted glue it makes a huge mess. Fluxing with sawdust can remove a lot but slotted spoon, pot, stir stick, whatever I pitch the skimmings into all end up with the filler stuck all over everything and I'm cleaning it off for the next 3 batches.

    I'm thinking maybe someone has a process that works better than what I have tried. Which is currently setting filled stuff aside to avoid melting it down unless I have a need for it. Wish wife liked these candle sticks more than she does the vases and pitchers, those have lots of easy to salvage weight.
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this source of casting material somehow so we added an "S" to what non casters and wives call what we collect.

    Kind of hard to claim to love America while one is hating half the Americans that disagree with you. One nation indivisible requires work.

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  2. #2
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    I tangled with a few of those. Now I don't even bother with them, for the 50 cents worth of pewter.

  3. #3
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    Diagonal cutters, lineman's pliers and a 3 pound hammer. Pound the base to break up the llama snot, cut a nick with the dykes, peel the pewter off with the lineman’s pliers.

    But a better solution is to let it sit for someone a little more desperate for tin to buy.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

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  4. #4
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    Melt it in a tin can, salvage the pewter, discard the tin can and the weight material.
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  5. #5
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    Hard pass on weighted candlesticks. Not much reward for all the work involved vs the small amount of pewter recovered. I let them sit for another caster who may need tin more than I do. Not worth the trouble, voice of experience.
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  6. #6
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    Can you melt the pewter off of the filler with a propane torch or does the filler melt at a low enough temp to drip off with the pewter?

  7. #7
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    The typical llama snot glue type filler melts well before pewter does. The plaster fillers are an excent insulator and you will spend $5 in propane for $2 in pewter.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BK7saum View Post
    Can you melt the pewter off of the filler with a propane torch or does the filler melt at a low enough temp to drip off with the pewter?
    I was sort of thinking along those same lines. One of my tests for pewter is to just hit the item with a propane or mapp gas torch. Stuff melts so fast compared to lead alloys, or if plated.

    I think I may try a propane torch but in or over a can as William Yonda suggested. That way if the some of the glue melts I should be able to separate the pewter that will be puddled on the bottom. With maybe a bit of the peel and beat out the big easy to get out crud.

    Weighted candle sticks really are not much pewter, but hey we are talking about people (like me) that will collect the foil wrappers off of wine bottles to see if they are real tin foil. I view buying weighted candlesticks as a "rescue" mission, if not for me they will be doomed to a boring life as a dust collector on some shelf. I give them a future as a desirable casting alloy that will go for a fast and exciting ride. The end of the ride in the berm may be a little rough on it but I'm sure it is worth it. To me if not to the rescued candlestick.

    None of the scrap alloys we desire for bullet casting are getting more common in the waste stream so I'm really reluctant to let them go if the price is good.
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this source of casting material somehow so we added an "S" to what non casters and wives call what we collect.

    Kind of hard to claim to love America while one is hating half the Americans that disagree with you. One nation indivisible requires work.

    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by imashooter2 View Post
    The typical llama snot glue type filler melts well before pewter does. The plaster fillers are an excent insulator and you will spend $5 in propane for $2 in pewter.
    Good to know. I have never tried to recover pewter from weighted candlesticks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BK7saum View Post
    Good to know. I have never tried to recover pewter from weighted candlesticks.
    They really aren’t hard to peel after you break up the filler first, but the extra work for the small recovered weight leads to my "let it sit" advice.

    I made pretty much all the mistakes in pewter gathering back when I was selling. I quickly learned not to buy weighted pieces, but sometimes there were a couple in a large lot, and I wasn’t going to throw them away.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  11. #11
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    Like imashooter2, I’ll deal with weighted pewter only if it’s part of a lot I had to take all of, but not otherwise.

    I pry off the bottom cover then whack the base with a hammer to break up the filler. That seems to get most of it. A bit of scraping helps with what sticks to the metal, sometimes some chiseling with a screwdriver up where the neck joins the base and usually I’ll call it a day.

  12. #12
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    older thread but went with the pry and roll off the bottom with some channel locks when lo and behold I got a surprise. This pair of weighted candlesticks were full of sand! I'm very pleased. Got the bottom opened for about an inch of seam and poured it out, into the pot that pewter went.

    That batch of accumulated pewter worked out to 4.4 pounds, would have been 5 but wife took a liking to a small but heavy pitcher. Guess it looked like a small vase for cut flowers to her. Need to not leave that stuff where she can see it, we covet that which we see after all.
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this source of casting material somehow so we added an "S" to what non casters and wives call what we collect.

    Kind of hard to claim to love America while one is hating half the Americans that disagree with you. One nation indivisible requires work.

    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat

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