Author Topic: Making Pewter Buttons  (Read 2064 times)

Offline Tim Crosby

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Making Pewter Buttons
« on: June 06, 2018, 05:37:29 PM »
 I needed a button for a pouch I made so I decided to try making one with Pewter. The pictures, although not the best show the procedure. If you have any question just ask.

 The pic shows a Spade bit but after drilling the hole I did not like the groove the outer cutters made, so instead of grinding them off I switched to a Forstner bit, one hole is 3/4, the other 1". I counter sunk the lead hole with a 7/32 bit to make the tab on the back of the button. A little over pour on the one but it cleaned up with a little sawing with a Jewelers Saw. I used Graphite and soot as a release, the hammer and wood block were used to loosen them up, the one Pic shows cleanup on the lathe.

 Tim


 






















Offline rich pierce

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2018, 05:51:04 PM »
Cool!  Did you have some old pewter laying around?
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline James Rogers

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2018, 06:03:08 PM »
Nice Tim! I had a mold  made from steel . I cant find that mold anywhere so I am inspired to do as you have done. Thanks!
I actually used Tuftex copper nickel for my buttons   :-[
« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 08:09:35 PM by James Rogers »

Offline stubshaft

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2018, 07:55:24 PM »
Very ingenious.
I'd rather die standing, than live on my knees...

Online Greg Pennell

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2018, 08:49:18 PM »
I’ve been wanting some pewter buttons as well...this is a super idea for producing a few!  I have some old spade bits that I might reshape just a bit...remove the spurs and round the edges to cut the cavaties. If it works, I’ll post the results.

Greg
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Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2018, 09:55:07 PM »
Cool!  Did you have some old pewter laying around?

 Yes I keep quite a bit of it around, I buy old stuff so I can see the color it gets with age, find it cheep at yard sales and flea markets. Cold Blue or Brass Black will turn it dark, and can be adjusted with Steelwool. I will shape the tabs as needed and drill. After looking at them I will probably  thin them down a bit making them a little flatter.
 Necessity; The Mother of Invention.

  Thanks, Tim

Offline Percy

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2018, 04:48:36 PM »
Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

Percy

Offline Martin S.

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2018, 06:46:28 PM »
Slight thread drift...

I have an old plate from my father he no longer wants.

It was a keepsake for work he did in Indonesia in the 60's.

It looks like it could be pewter, or maybe coin silver, hand pounded out to a mold, it is very primitive.

It has some sort of engraving on it, so would not be useful as a plate at rendezvous.

It has no historical value, so I thought I might be able to repurpose it for gun building.

How do I tell if it is pewter or coin silver?

It has some tarnish that I would associate with coin silver, but how can I be sure?

Thank you, I have learned so much on this forum.

Offline P.W.Berkuta

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2018, 08:26:54 PM »
Take it to a jeweler and ask him ;).
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it." - Chinese proverb

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2018, 09:01:25 PM »
 I have a button mold made the same way, except mine is made of pipe stone from Minnesota. I got the idea from an exhibit in a museum. These molds were often found in the camps of the American rebels during the American revolution. I guess buttons got lost, and broken on a pretty regular basis. The original was soap stone, and had a tapered iron pin that created the hole, without drilling.
 I have found that modern lead free pewter mugs, and flagons, are often engraved as trophies, which makes them pretty hard to sell at the local junk store. You can usually pick them up for almost nothing.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2018, 09:55:03 PM »
Slight thread drift...

I have an old plate from my father he no longer wants.

It was a keepsake for work he did in Indonesia in the 60's.

It looks like it could be pewter, or maybe coin silver, hand pounded out to a mold, it is very primitive.

It has some sort of engraving on it, so would not be useful as a plate at rendezvous.

It has no historical value, so I thought I might be able to repurpose it for gun building.

How do I tell if it is pewter or coin silver?

It has some tarnish that I would associate with coin silver, but how can I be sure?

Thank you, I have learned so much on this forum.

 If you don't care if it is destroyed hit it with a Propane torch, Pewter has a low melting point around 450F,
it will melt quickly, Coin Silver around 880. Pewter also bends easily. I have also used metal marked "White Metal", not sure what it is but it melts easily and takes on a good color.

 Tim C.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 10:04:49 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline Marcruger

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2018, 09:58:56 PM »
You never cease to amaze me. 

Offline Barry Myers

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Re: Making Pewter Buttons
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2018, 11:17:30 PM »
This is what wiki says about white metal:  A white metal alloy may include antimony, tin, lead, cadmium, bismuth, and zinc (some of which are quite toxic). Not all of these metals are found in all white metal alloys. Metals are mixed to achieve a desired goal or need.