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Restore that heirloom!


Statues and Sculptures

This section deals with the restoration of Statues with particular reference to Statues made from:

  1. Aggregate
  2. Brass
  3. Bronze
  4. Concrete
  5. Ivorine
  6. Ivory
  7. Lead
  8. Marble
  9. Onyx
  10. Pewter
  11. Sandstone
  12. Spelter

Only the section below are finished, however if you have specific questions about a Statue or Figurine then, send us an E-mail.
 

Spelter

Spelter repairs are really difficult.
It is therefore that I recommend that you raed this WHOLE section before doing anything.
I have done this many a time, but always ensured that the customer was fully aware, that the attempt may result in total loss, although this hasn't happened to me yet.
The problem lies not only in the harder plating, which makes it hard to gauge the temperature of the treated area before reaching melting point.
Without expensive testing one cannot know the exact composition of the metal, and therefore its melting point and its fusability with the solder you are using..
The main problem of soldering this material (spelter ) is that, upon heating the material to such a degree that it accepts,(alloys, fuses with ) the solder, the material is ready to melt and collapse.
I therefore heat the general area with a gas torch to raise the temperature of the area to about 100Celsius (212 Fahrenheit) and then with a hot electric solder iron I solder the joint.
The raising of the temperature of the general prevents to much heat moving from the newly applied solder and electric solder iron, into the surrounding metal during the soldering without having to heat a large area to this critical temperature.

Whilst doing this sort of repair, it is best to support the statue and the to be soldered part in dried sand,
this allows for easy hands-free positioning of separated parts as well as holding the statue easely any position you like for the soldering.

Now the hardest part.............
Replating is just as uneasy, due to the sometimes high magnesium content of the material,
bubbles may form under the plating during this replating.
And again without expensive testing.....
However if the repairs only effect a small area.
One can often just colour the area.
Some times just darkening the area with darkening solution or "Gunblue" and/or first colouring with coppersulphate (available from "Stained glass suppliers" ).
Leadlighters often use coppersulphate to give a coppercoat to the lead.
Anyway try this first on some inexpensive spelter items, so that you get some experience and BE aware of over-confidence, when you have gain some trust.

To livening up the statue just wax it with some Antiquax
Diluting some Antiquax with mineral or pure turpentine will assist in removing the dirt without damaging the statue.
It will bring a nice glow to it.