As this morning ticked along I realized it's time to change my pickle.
All of you metalheads know what I'm referring to.
Recently, because of possible long-term health issues (or unfounded paranoia) I've taken the leap of faith and switched to this "natural" pickle everyone's raving about. Admittedly so, it does work fast...however, I've noticed not long after my heated solution begins to turn green. In fact it adds a green patina to my copper tongs. By this time, my solution no longer removes the flux and junk from my torched silver. It's become a bit of a nuisance to change it out so often, all in the name of this natural solution.
Also, the guessing game of the ratio of the vinegar pickle is just that, a huge guess. (though I've seen that folks are using a hit and miss guess to get a good ratio.)
My friend Cynde has offered to come over and experiment with it and find out the solution. (yes she is a geology science geek, er person). These sorts of things intrigue her.
I was on MSIA's website where there is information about the handmade pickle. I recently ran across this comment about the solution, and I think it's fine to quote it here as it was left by Anonymous:
When using the vinegar and salt mixture, be aware that hydrogen and chlorine gas is released, it is generally very little. You can just use the vinegar without the salt.
As the salt vinegar mix is rust producing patina mix for ferrous materials
Interesting, because of the green discoloration of my copper tongs.
While the smell of this vinegar in the studio does remind me of eating vinegar chips (mmmm) I think for now I'll go back to the old fashioned way and use my (admittedly) toxic solution. It's very easy (and super important) to neutralize your metal right after the pickle bath using baking soda and water! (which I also did with the "natural" pickle...)
Yes dear instructor (you know who you are...you were right as you almost always are...)
I wonder about what basis others are using their pickle solutions. I'm of the school of thought
Don't believe everything you read on the internet. I'd like to know more about the vinegar pickle before I continue to use it. Until then...
My mask is on, windows open, fan on, and Happy Smithing metalheads!