This is the first demonstration carried out by a club member whilst on zoom, this is a bit nerve-racking as there is no audience in front of you whilst you are explaining what is happening throughout the process and also a different type of how to ask questions, therefore this will be a steep learning curve for all of us in the use of the cameras and sound and recording of the process.
The Black Country Wood Turners Club had one of their own, Roger Cheshire, to demonstrate how to use pewter within a wood-turned project for this evening. The pewter can be turned into cabochons, finials and rings, all of which can be decorated.
Gloves – Mask – Glasses or goggles – enclosed shoes
Also, have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case you did not clean the area sufficiently first.
Scraping chisel – Parting tool – could also use carbide tools – patterning tools.
Roger started by explaining how to obtain pewter from various sources and demonstrated how to cut the pewter down and melt it. The melting pot was a standard milk pan to contain the pewter and then a camping gas single hob canister heater which is more than sufficient to melt the pewter, Roger has found over the years to melt the pewter and let it cool for a while and then reheat to melted prior to pouring. There is also the possibility of getting slag on top of the pewter which can be removed with a fork or spoon, at this point don’t tell the wife you have just used the best pan and utensils for this work. You will also need a level surface before you pour the pewter to get it level within the former.
Whilst waiting for the pewter to melt Roger mounted some wood onto the lathe to form a former for the pewter to be poured into, a steady hand is required whilst pouring, you need to take it steady but not too slowly for when the two ends of the molten pewter in the former a tenon was also turned into the former so that the solid pewter could be inserted into a chuck with gripper jaws ready for shaping. This was then turned to the required size ready to be inserted into the turned wooden item.
Prior to pouring the melted pewter, the former itself was warmed up to remove any moisture that might be present as this could cause the pewter to bubble and splash out of the former. Roger also warned against using oily wood as this would also react against the melted pewter.
During the session, there were various aspects of turning the pewter and inlaying a pattern which was explained along with the type of tools used for shaping the project.
The turned pewter is then polished down to 2000 grit with some wet and dry and then with the addition of T-cut to finish the polishing process. It was also stated that the use of Yorkshire Grit could be used (the White container type).
Our thanks go to Roger for being the first turner to be captured digitally by the new set-up.
I for one thought that the event went very well for a first-time event and was also a steep learning curve for both Rob and Ian to get to grips with the audio and video side of things, there is room for improvement to give a better viewing aspect and enjoyable experience. It is hoped that we will have learned a little more about the computer system for future demonstrations and be able to record them and use them on the club website for everyone to see again. At the same time, now we have the full complement of the Zoom facilities we are still getting to grips with the added aspect of what can be used.
Hopefully, by next month we will have enticed another club member who is willing to undergo the inspection of the lens and get used to talking through a mike and camera.
We will also be maintaining our chin wag sessions on a regular basis, so we can still discuss things as to what may be accomplished with the Zoom demonstrations.
Additional Information for Pewter.
Pewter can be beautifully crafted and is relatively easy to work with but!
********* Warning *********
Melt pewter in a well-ventilated area with access to incoming fresh air. Some pewter contains a high concentration of lead, which when melted can be toxic to inhale.
Never allow water to splash into your melting pewter.
A splash of water can cause a burst of steam to fly up onto your face or hands, potentially causing serious injury.
Place your pewter pieces into a stove-safe pot or pan.
Turn the heat on your stove up to its highest setting. Temperatures allowed by stoves vary depending on the make and source of heat; your goal is to reach the pewter’s melting point, Depending on the exact mix of metals, pewter has a melting point of 225 to 240 C (437 to 464 degrees F).
Allow the metal to melt slowly. Remember that, unlike ice, pewter does not melt gradually. The pewter will not begin to liquefy until the full piece has reached its melting point. Be patient during the melting process. Melting times will vary depending on how much pewter you melt and the temperature of your stove.
Gently stir the melting pewter with a wooden utensil. This will help the heat to distribute more evenly.
The cuttlefish bone can also be used to form a mould.
Pewter can also easily be melted over a fire, or by using a blow torch.