Oster Pewter



Where can I get metal assayed or analyzed?

Where can I get metal assayed or analyzed?

Call us; we may be able to help you directly or have the piece analyzed at a local lab.

Or go to: www.shivatec.com

Where can I obtain specifications for Pewter?

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) provides specifications for pewter and a wide range of other materials. Visit: www.astm.org

Where can I get information on the properties of various materials?

Visit the following site for the properties of a wide variety of materials: www.matweb.com/index.asp?ckck=1

How I determine the proper size disc for my application?

While there is no substitute for experimentation, a good starting approximation for the proper diameter of a pewter circle blank can be found by adding the diameter of the finished piece at its’ widest point to the height.

I buy pewter sheet by the piece, yet it is priced by the pound. Why?

I buy pewter sheet by the piece, yet it is priced by the pound. Why?

Elemental metals that make up pewter are priced and purchased by weight. As pewter sheets vary in thickness from piece to piece and across the piece itself, the actual weight of a piece of pewter can vary from the theoretical weight. As such, for inventory tracking purposes, it is more accurate for the manufacturer to calculate the price by recording the net weight of a series of items and multiplying the weight by a price per pound.

To determine the cost per piece, multiply the cost per pound by the weight per piece.

You can calculate the weight per piece using our “Weight Calculator” located in the Charts and Calculators section of the “Downloads” page of our website, click here to download it.

How do I calculate the weight of a piece of pewter?

How do I calculate the weight of a piece of pewter?

Multiply the density of pewter (0.263 lbs/ cubic inch) by the volume. For a circle, the formula for volume (in inches) is pi (or about 3.14) x the square of the radius x the thickness; for a rectangle, the formula for volume (in inches) is width x length x thickness.

Or visit our “Weight Calculator” page by clicking here and enter the dimensions!

Another helpful source for any type of conversion can be found at: www.onlineconversion.com

What is “nickel silver?”

A silvery, hard, corrosion-resistant, ductile, malleable alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel, used in tableware and as a structural material for hospital and restaurant equipment. Also called “German silver”.

What is “German silver?”

A silvery, hard, corrosion-resistant, ductile, malleable alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel, used in tableware and as a structural material for hospital and restaurant equipment. Also called “nickel silver”.

What is “Mexican pewter”?

By definition, “Mexican Pewter” is not pewter at all, as it contains no tin and is typically reprocessed scrap aluminum (mostly cans).

By ASTM definition, an alloy must contain at least 90% tin to be legally referred to as pewter. The legal costs to prevent the importation and labeling of this “imposter metal” have posed an obstacle to date.

At what temperature does pewter melt?

Pewter is an alloy, or a combination of metals, each of which has a different melting point. Pewter begins to soften at 471 F (244 C) and becomes fully molten at around 563 F (295 C). Casting temperatures are generally above this level to ensure the molten material fills whatever cavity entirely before it begins to solidify, and range from 600 to 645 Degrees F(316-330 D Celsius).

Is pewter safe to use with food?

As the term “pewter’ refers to alloys that contain predominately tin and may contain lead, it is vitally important to determine what alloy of pewter you are using in your application. Leaded pewter most definitely needs to stay away from food.

Federal guidelines, standards, and tests regarding the use of pewter and solders in various consumer products are available online.

Manufacturers are responsible for determining the suitability of the use of pewter in the products they produce.

The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website contains many papers on the use of lead in consumer products. One such paper is “Guidance for Lead (Pb) in Consumer Products” link to www.cpsc.gov/BUSINFO/leadguid.html

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services FDA website; Chapter 4 of the 2005 Food code, section 4-101.13 talks about acceptable lead levels in pewter and solders that may come in contact with food. Download the pdf at: www.cfsan.fda.gov/~acrobat/fc05-4.pdf

Does pewter contain lead?

It may. “Pewter” refers to a general class of metal alloys that are predominantly tin-based, however, being an alloy, it may contain other elements, such as lead. If unsure, check the MSDS on the material you buy or request a Certificate of Analysis.

What is pewter?

“Pewter” is a term used to describe a wide range of low-melting point alloys comprised predominantly of tin.


What is your maximum sheet size?

The widest we can produce is 28.5″. The maximum length is determined by the thickness of the piece.

Go to our “Mill Sheet Dimensions” sheet to see what lengths are available for a given thickness.

What is your standard sheet size?

12″ x 24″ is generally considered a standard, but since we produce everything to order, we don’t have a “standard” per se. Let us know what you need!

Thicknesses can vary in this size from 0.016″ up to 0.120″

Click here for rectangles.

For our largest sheets, click here and find the mill sheets download.

Do you make tin sheet?

Yes we do, in sizes similar to that of pewter. Call us with your specific application.

How can I cut pewter sheet?

Pewter sheet is quite soft, with a tensile strength of ~10,000 psi, making it quite easy to cut with tin snips or a shear press.

Can pewter be cut using a water jet?

Yes, several customers have had success using this method.

What is a good temperature to pour pewter?

635°-640° F

Can I use pewter sheet scrap as feedstock for casting?

Yes, our standard pewter alloy is very suitable for casting.

Ingots that may be more suitable in your application are available.

Can pewter be glued to other materials?

Yes, pewter can be adhered to other materials using a wide variety of adhesives.

The type depends on your application and method you plan to employ to apply the adhesive.

See below for links to suppliers of materials with which our customers have had success, and contact us about any new ones you might find!

Carrier-less adhesives supplied on a roll with a peel-off release liner: www.flexcon.com

Adhesives from a caulking tube: www.liquidnails.com

Aerosol sprays: www.3m.com

Do you supply pewter sheet in coil?

Not at present.

For the majority of the markets we serve, pewter’s properties require us to cross-roll the sheet to ensure uniform mechanical properties.

Pewter produced in coils may not exhibit uniform properties in some applications.

Do you sell ingots?

Yes, lead-free alloys, only in 6 and 20 pound bars.

See our “Ingots” page on the “Products & Services” pull-down menu.

Click on this link and select the “Available Alloys Chart” to download a pdf.

Can pewter be embossed?

Yes, pewter can very easily be formed by embossing for use as labels, plaques or other decorative items. Contact us regarding your application.

Where can I get some pieces cast?

Where can I get some pieces spun?

What sizes of pewter sheet do you stock?

We do not stock finished sheets, but produce to order. See our “Products and Services” pages for various configurations and sizes of circles, rectangles, strip, foil and mill sheet.

Where can I buy small quantities of pewter sheet stock?

Distributors are located throughout the country.




If the size you need is not ins stock, contact us directly here.

Do you sell pewter wire?

No, we do not.
You may visit the following sites for information on their offerings:

Do you produce any Zinc containing alloys?

No, we do not. For zinc sheets go to: www.rotometals.com

Is pewter available in powder form?

Yes, various alloys are available at: www.mayeralloys.com


What tools do I need to solder pewter?

Depending on the application, either an open flame torch or an electric soldering gun works well.

The soldering iron is generally easier to control, as the temperature of the torch can melt the pewter if the user is inexperienced.

How can I learn how to spin pewter?

There are several schools and various do-it-yourself books available that specialize in jewelry making, metal smithing, and crafts.

Try the Cleveland Institute of Art at: www.cia.edu

Try the John C. Campbell Folk School at www.folkschool.org

Or check out the do-it-yourself books such as those found at www.lindsaybks.com

How can I clean up dross from my casting metal?

Ammonium chloride helps precipitate out the dross and clean up the metal for casting.

This can be purchased at most chemical supply stores.

Can Pewter be welded?

Yes. Many have been sucessful using a TIG welder (low amp setting) using a thin strip of pewter sheet as a filler rod. Argon blanket may or may not be necessary. .

Welds can be ground down to make the seam “disappear” on countertop applications.

Welding has the least discoloration over time.

What fluxes are suitable for preparing the surface of pewter sheet for soldering?

Flux selection is best left to the recommendations of the manufacturer or distributor of the solder; most will be happy to assist you in selecting that which is most appropriate for your application.

“Tinner’s” flux is a very effective flux for preparing the surfaces of steel and pewter for soldering with a tin/ bismuth solder.

What solders are suitable for pewter sheet?

Lead-free solders are specified when material will come in contact with food.

Tin/ bismuth and tin/ copper/ silver solder alloys are available in wire form.

Application guidance is available at various suppliers.

Check out the following distributor’s websites: www.stellartechnical.com



Where can I buy tools for spinning?

These can be tough to come by, though some people have been successful on eBay. Also, many people fabricate their own tools.

Check out the following site for information on making tools: www.jamesriser.com

Can Pewter be etched?

Yes, ferric chloride is a viable option.

This can be purchased in crystalline form from any chemical supplier and mixed with de-ionized or distilled water to make a yellow solution. Follow directions for ventilation, mixing, ppe’s, etc.

Be careful, it will stain. Swab this solution on the piece; it will make swirl marks. Rinse with water.

Are there coatings available to maintain my pewter’s finish?

Clear-coat acrylics, such as Krylon™, adhere well, help preserve the original appearance and provide some protection from scratching. If the piece needs repair at a later date, however, this coating must first be removed completely.

A Kitchen Wax or Glass Wax also helps preserve the finish on high-usage items without the risk of chipping the coating.

Let us know of your success with other options!

Glass Wax can be found at: www.the5and10.com

Won’t pewter countertops scratch?

Yes, they will, however any metal used for a countertop will scratch.

Pewter has been used for centuries in European cafes and homes.

Unlike other metals, pewter develops a warm, appealing character with use.

Can pewter be colored or made to look old?

Yes, pewter can be “antiqued” and takes a patina very readily.

Several manufacturers and suppliers include: www.sculptnouveau.com



How can I achieve a satin finish?

Our customers employ several different methods, with similar results. A paste of pumice powder and water can be applied with a soft bronze brush, or a paste of baking soda and water works well.

A Scotchbrite ™ pad with a powdered chlorine cleanser or glass cleaner, or a warm soap and water solution can achieve similar results.

A 400 grit emery cloth on an automotive buffing wheel can achieve similar results.

For pumice powder, try www.contenti.com

For Scotchbrite™ pads, try www.3m.com

How do I polish pewter?

EEE Rouge or a rouge cloth is used by many hollowware manufacturers to achieve a shine similar to that of sterling silver.

In applications such as countertops, a mild automotive rubbing compound followed by polish can bring out a brilliant shine, using a random orbital polisher.

Fine finishing polishes and supplies can be found at www.matchlessmetal.com

Does pewter tarnish?

Yes, but not in the same way silver tarnishes. Pewter will develop a soft patina if left untreated; its original finish can be restored by washing with warm water and a mild soap and towel drying.


How do I return my scrap to you?

Pewter must be separated from all other materials and be free of any solders. Barrels, 55 gallon drums or sturdy boxes are all acceptable but must be securely covered.

Incoming lots are typically assayed (analyzed) to ensure we do not contaminate our inventories with unwanted impurities.

Visit our page on recycling pewter.

What will you pay for my scrap?

Price is set at the time of purchase and is based on a fraction of the value of the base metals.

Where can I get my pewter piece repaired?

Many artisans can repair damaged pewter. Two names include Jon Gibson at: www.gibsonpewter.com

and Guy Ricklin at: www.pewternet.net

or contact the Pewter Collector’s Club for references at: members.aol/pewterpcca

Didn’t find your question?

If you didn’t find your question about pewter here, please contact us.