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Before & After
Gorham Soup Tureen

 

A large Gorham soup tureen with caved-in base, dented body & cover. The piece was in a fire and the soot was fused to its surface–not a pretty sight...

Burnishing out the body dents. Whenever possible, burnishing is preferable than hammering because the metal stretches very little and produces no hammer marks...

 

The burnishing continues–from the outside of the piece to the inside–back and forth as many times as it takes to make surface as smooth as glass. This process requires a tremendous amount of pressure to force the dent back to where it's level with the surface around it...

 

The body dents are removed with heads that conform to the compound curve that's being burnished out. The head is placed in a horse–a long steel receptacle which is in turn placed in a heavy vise...

Sometimes a highly polished planishing hammer must be used to force down pinpoint dents that cannot be removed with burnishers. Rubber, wooden, or plastic hammers are considered before resorting to the steel hammer which will remove the toughest dents, leaving shallow marks that must be burnished out, filed, and/or buffed...

The base dents are burnished out. The process moves from the outside of the base to the inside, using highly polished steel tools in various shapes, minimizing any change in the surface of the tureen. Since this piece was created in the 19th century, it's very important to retain the small scratches and dimples that accumulated over the decades...

A wooden hammer is used to remove the edge dents on the cover, making sure every hammer blow strikes squarely without distorting the metal. A highly polished t-stake is used to back-up the cover and absorb the blows...

The finished piece after 5½ hours of work! Notice that the monogram on the body remained intact. The entire piece was hand finished to look as it would have before its battering. The tureen sits atop a surface plate which was used in conjunction with a height gauge to insure that the piece is now level.


Home Page About Me Before & After Images Services Offered Repair Issues Resources
 Frequently Asked Questions Silver Care Silver Glossary Shop Views The Library
Engraving Samples Testimonials Work Order.doc / .pdf

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