Homemade Pickle
by Judy Larson
Making your own, non-toxic pickling solution is simple and economical!
Instructions
Pickle is used to remove fire scale from metal pieces after heating them with a torch, as in annealing or soldering. Not everyone has a dedicated pickle pot, or a need or desire to have one. If you will only need to pickle a few items in the course of a year, maybe making your own pickle is the right solution for you.
Homemade Pickle:

  • Bring ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup water to a boil. You can use more vinegar than water. Some people even use just vinegar, no water.
  • Pour in a glass or ceramic coffee container. Hint: Make sure that the container you use for your pickle does not get used for anything else after this.
  • Add 1 tsp salt.
  • Add your metal jewelry piece, making sure that it is covered with solution. You may need to turn the piece over while it is soaking if the back of the piece sits directly on the bottom of the container. Note: Do not use pickling solution on jewelry pieces with gemstones.
  • While the piece is soaking, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water in another glass or ceramic container.
  • When you see that the fire scale is gone, remove the piece from the pickling solution using a wooden pick or copper tongs. Hint: If you have heavy fire scale, you may need to reheat the solution-without the jewelry piece in it-and soak the piece again. You may even need to make new pickle solution and re-pickle.
  • Place the piece in the baking soda/water solution. This solution helps neutralize the acid in the vinegar that ate away the fire scale.
  • Rinse and dry the piece.
  • Brushing the piece with a brass brush will polish the piece to a satin finish. Rubbing a burnisher across the surface of the piece will polish and highlight the raised areas.
  • Tumbling the piece with shot will polish the whole piece.
  • Note: A half and half mixture of pickle and hydrogen peroxide is needed to remove the copper from the surface of brass items that have been pickled.
  • Be Environmentally Conscious: Most communities have laws governing the disposal of what can be considered hazardous waste. Since your pickle solution contains metal particles in it, it should be poured into a labeled container, like an old bleach container, that you will eventually turn in to your hazardous waste dump.
    Additional Tools:

    Pickle Pot, 16 Ounces

    You can pay a lot more and never come close to the quality of this pickle pot. Stainless steel with a stoneware bowl. Sure they call it a crock-pot, but it's the best and most economical pickle pot available. Capacity is 16 oz. with a shipping weight of 2.6 lbs. 110 volts, 60 hertz and 35 watts
    Judy Larson's Homemade Pickle - , Metalwork, , Pickle Pot
    Copper Pickling Tweezers, Curved, Reinforced, 8-1/2 Inches:

    Our curved, copper pickling tweezers provide more strength than ordinary copper tweezers. Made to lift heavier objects, legs are less flexible than others. For years people have been dropping articles because copper tweezers flex too much, causing a lack of grip. This curved version offers a reinforcing rib which runs the length of the tweezer making it far more sturdy, easier to use and safer too! You'll be amazed by the difference. 8-1/2″ long.
    Judy Larson's Homemade Pickle - , Metalwork, , Copper Pickling Tweezers
    Judy Larson's Homemade Pickle - , Metalwork, , Brass brush

    Materials

    No materials listed

    Tools

    Pickle Pot, 16 Ounces
    CLN-584.00
    • CLN-584.00
    • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
    • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
    • Price: $29.95
    • Gold Club Price: $22.46
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    Straight Copper Tongs
    TWZ-958.00
    • TWZ-958.00
    • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
    • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
    • Price: $10.57
    • Gold Club Price: $7.93
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    Copper Pickling Tweezers, Curved, Reinforced, 8-1/2 Inches
    TWZ-959.00
    • TWZ-959.00
    • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
    • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
    • Price: $9.95
    • Gold Club Price: $7.46
    Add to Bag
    Small Brass Brush
    BRS-966.10
    • BRS-966.10
    • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
    • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
    • Price: $10.97
    • Gold Club Price: $8.23
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    Wood Handle Metal Brush, Brass
    BRS-968.00
    • BRS-968.00
    • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
    • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
    • Price: $9.95
    • Gold Club Price: $7.46
    Add to Bag
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    • Category: Metalwork
    • Technique(s): General Education