FAQs about pitch


For those of you interested in pitch, here is an overview of its uses and properties.

What are the advantages of pitch you ask?

Pitch has been used for many centuries in metalsmithing amongst other crafts, (but we'll stick to metalsmithing). Pitch is an adhesive that is very dense and has about the same ductility of lead at room temperature. When warm it becomes fluid and sticky. Its main purpose is for work holding in the arts of chasing and repousse, engraving, stone setting, and metal carving to name a few. The main advantage in chasing and repousse is that it leaves no air behind your piece, so the metal moves only under the tool allowing the most precise detail. It also holds your piece firmly in place leaving both hands free to hold the hammer in one and chisel in the other.

Pitch is very heat sensitive. If you would like it harder, cool it down by sticking it in the fridge for a little while. Want it softer, warm it with a heat gun.

Starting to get interested?

How much pitch do I need you ask?

The 8" deep Grobet pitch bowls take just under 4 pounds (2 bricks) of the California Red. Otto Frei's 8" deep bowls are a little larger and take just under 6 pounds or 3 bricks of the California Red.

I want to work on something larger, how do I figure out how much I'll need? What should I put it in?

The Califorina Red pitch fills approximately 20 cubic inches per pound or 40 cubic inches a brick. Larger containers can be old cast iron frying pans, woks, fabricated metal trays at least 1/8" thick. I like to make trays out of a 3/4" plywood base and 2"x2" walls. To figure the area of a square container multiply height x width x length.

You sell a soft, medium, and hard, which is right for me?

California red chasers pitch is available in 3 consistencies: a soft, medium, and hard. Each consistency has its own use, and can be mixed to fit personal preference. It is sold in 2 pound bricks.

Hard: The hard chasers pitch is for warm climates, and fine detail work. Optimum working temperatures being between 75-85+ degrees.

Medium: The medium chasers pitch is the perfect blend between soft and hard allowing enough support, and adhesion, while still being soft enough for high relief chasing and repousse. The favorite of Master chaser Valentin Yotkov http://www.valentinyotkov.com/

Soft: The soft chasers pitch is made for colder climates and high relief chasing and repousse. It will have the same properties as the hard pitch in 20 degree colder weather.

I hope this answered some FAQs. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask