Pewter

richhodg66

Active Member
Like most of us, I scrounge thrift stores for pewter, have learned to identify it accurately and have accumulated quite a bit over the years. Not gonna melt this down, but yesterday, the wife and oldest son and I went through an antique mall and bought a statue of Stonewall Jackson maybe 8" tall. I thought it was plaster plated in some kind of silvery metal, but when the owner opened the case and I picked it it, it has to weigh six or seven pounds, no way it's plaster.

Sure looks good on the mantel, I'm just wondering what it could be made of, could be lead under some kind of plating, no idea. No maker's markings on it at all, but if that thing is solid pewter, it must have been pricey when new.

Most of the Goodwill pewter I get I figure averages out to maybe ten cents an ounce, but what is the going rate per ounce for pewter/tin?
 

richhodg66

Active Member
Because for all intents and purposes, Pewter is pure tin which makes casting good bullets easier. It's great for alloying in small amounts.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
"Modern pewter is about 91 percent tin, 7.5 percent antimony, and 1.5 percent copper; the absence of lead makes it safe to use for dishes and drinking vessels. The surface of modern pewter is bluish white with either a crisp, bright finish or a soft, satin sheen. ... Some modern pewter work is formed by stamping presses."
 

JonB

Halcyon member
I have melted a couple of large heavy pewter candle holders, that were apparently cast hollow and filled with some kind of sand glue mixture.
 

Jeff H

NW Ohio
I have melted a couple of large heavy pewter candle holders, that were apparently cast hollow and filled with some kind of sand glue mixture.
LOL! Nice surprise.:oops:

Hope you didn't buy it by the ounce!

I pick up a piece here and there and melt it into an ingot. I TRY to get by without tin as much as I can and save it for "special occassions," like when I have an obstinate mould or "alloy." Never came across aything appearing to be "solid," so the heads-up is appreciated.
 

richhodg66

Active Member
I melted a couple of candlesticks weighted with some kind of nasty crap in them too. This sure seems heavy for it's size. I actually got it cheap, was looking at similar things on Ebay and I basically paid nothing compared to what the going rate for such things seems to be.

It's an attractive piece and I've always been a fan of Stonewall Jackson's so it's staying on the mantle.
 

Snakeoil

Active Member
I had looked up Pewter for the formula and saw that it included antimony and bismuth. Hence my question.

Old friend who has since moved on to the big range in the sky cast a big .45-70 bullet from pure tin one day just for the fun of it. It was truly a thing of beauty. The Lone Ranger would have been proud to call it his.
 

Jeff H

NW Ohio
I melted a couple of candlesticks weighted with some kind of nasty crap in them too.........
Based on that experience, would you suggest maybe drilling a hole in any larger object appearing to be solid before melting?

Would the "nasty crap" dribble out or does it float and skim off easily enough when you melt the piece?

I've only found thinner objects, and not that many of them - a few stemmed "goblets" once, which when melted showed to be three separate parts soldered together.
 

Joshua

Taco Aficionado/Salish Sea Pirate/Part-Time Dragon
Based on that experience, would you suggest maybe drilling a hole in any larger object appearing to be solid before melting?
Glass bottom tankards and weighted candle stick holders get the hammer. Just bash this stuff up and get rid of the glass and filler.
 

richhodg66

Active Member
The stuff inside of these was some kind of plastic resin that took forever to burn out. Like was said, tankards, plate and most things are very obviously solid and you don't have to worry about it.
 

Mitty38

Shatterpated Constituent
My current processed pewter#tin stash consists of about 20 lbs of ingot from various sources.
I have about 7.50 a pound in it.
My current none ingot, not processed stash, consists of about 5 or 6 glass bottom beer mugs, a very heavy desk top lighter and a Lucky Strikes ash tray. Total cost about 5 bucks.
 
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358156 hp

Well-Known Member
Remove the felt and anything else covering the base. Candlestick holders, for example are rarely pewter all the way through. The ones I've seen have all been hollow, and filled with sand, or other fillers to make them heavier for safety.