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Topic: Restoring old tin cups
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Feb 24, 2011 03:08PM)
Not that I would ever dream of doing it to the antique French tin cups I have in my collection, just out of interest, how do you restore old tin cups to what they would have looked like when new?

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 24, 2011 03:10PM)
That's a real tough one.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Dial (Feb 24, 2011 03:40PM)
Check with a silversmith.

The one I use does all kinds of metal restoration. He's even had to make old coins look old again after some well meaning museum employee polished some ancient coins. Guys with experience can do a lot of things.

Don't forget that a worker is worth his wages. ;)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 24, 2011 10:44PM)
There are some actual tinsmiths around. I'm not sure how much in common silversmiths and tinsmiths have. I think the real problem is finding out how the tin cups actually looked when they were new.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Feb 25, 2011 04:06AM)
I think Mr. Palmer is correct (unsurprising, no?)about the specialty of tinsmithing. Tin is an interesting metal that crystallizes when it gets too cold (at about 12 or 13 degrees C) losing its metallic properties . . . which is why tinsmiths used to have plenty of work every spring. Old tin cups that were stored where they might have crystallized can have tiny imperfections and holes, I would guess.

Woland
Message: Posted by: lint (Feb 25, 2011 10:40AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-25 05:06, Woland wrote:
Tin is an interesting metal that crystallizes when it gets too cold (at about 12 or 13 degrees C) losing its metallic properties . . .
Woland
[/quote]

that sounds almost unbelievable.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 25, 2011 02:23PM)
Tin cups are not made of tin. They are made of thin sheet steel which is coated in tin.
Message: Posted by: conjurormatt (Feb 25, 2011 02:36PM)
Interesting, I didn't realize that. Is that what all tin sheeting is, or is there also pure tin sheets?
Message: Posted by: Woland (Feb 25, 2011 02:42PM)
Then perhaps you wouldn't really need an experienced whitesmith to work on them . . .

lint - tinsmithing was once an important Romany (Gypsy) trade, enabling them to travel from town to town, repairing the tin vessels that had become damaged over the winter.

The process has been called the "tin pest" or "tin disease" -- even "tin leprosy."

Although the process does begin at 12 or 13 degrees C, it affects the metal slowly and doesn't usually present a problem unless it is much colder. But after a hard freeze in winter, many a country family's tin vessels probably showed small areas of damage, which could be re-annealed by skilled workers before it affected the entire item.

Woland