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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback layflat binding
  • Publication: 05 January 2024
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781800921665
  • Stock: 20 in stock
  • Size: 204x260 mm
  • Illustrations: 400
  • Pages: 168
  • RRP: $49.99
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Silversmith's Secrets


Repair, restore and transform treasured items by Brenton West

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Book Description

Award-winning silversmith and BBC television presenter Brenton West shares all his silversmithing techniques and expertise with you.

'There are few problems that are insurmountable. If something is broken more often than not it can be repaired. A can-do attitude is essential, or at least a willingness to have a go.'

So writes award-winning silversmith and BBC television personality Brenton West in his introduction to this, his first book. Brimming with in-depth technical information on tools, techniques and metals, Brenton explains how to diagnose the problem, apply the repair, and make good almost any precious items.

Aimed at anyone who wants to learn the skills necessary to fix, repair or improve household items whether for sentimental reasons or to turn a profit the book covers more than a dozen common case studies for you to follow. Ranging from simple to more complex repairs, Brenton tackles re-plating silver, correctly securing metal to glass, polishing, soldering, re-finishing and more on a variety of antique items including table lamps, inkwells, cocktail shakers and hand mirrors.

The case studies are fully illustrated so you can see what's happening at each stage, while handy boxes expand on the specific example, giving Brenton's expert advice on how to apply the skills learned to your own particular repairs. After all, no two objects break in quite the same way: the book will teach you how to adapt. Dotted throughout are Brenton's own hard-won secret tips and techniques, so you can share and benefit from his experience.

Brenton talks you through how different metals and materials can be properly identified and safely repaired. The book also includes information on hallmarking, allowing you to assess those second-hand finds accurately. Finally, an extensive tool directory and techniques section give no-nonsense and in-depth advice on the best tools for the job.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Silversmithing 12
Metal guide 16
Hallmarks 24
Tools 30
Planning and preparing 54
Core skills 56
Projects 74
Removing an inscription 76
Fixing findings 84
Fixing a wooden handle 92
Reshaping metal 100
Detaching silver from glass and fixing hinges 106
Repairing filled silver 114
Rounding items and servicing mechanical parts 124
Replacing thin silver 130
Restoring worn or missing components 136
Removing a large dent 142
Repairing a cast statuette 146
Fixing weak connections 156
Afterword 162
Glossary 164
Health and safety 166
Index 168

About the Author

About Brenton West

A silversmith and precious metal expert, Brenton West is happiest when he is making or restoring something. He excelled during his silversmith training at Medway College of Art & Design, and after graduating had exhibitions at The Ritz, Goldsmiths’ Hall and the London Design Centre. He has since gone on to exhibit at many prestigious galleries and museums.

Being well aware of the therapeutic benefits of being creative, Brenton shares his passion for making and craft with as wide an audience as possible through his broadcasting and as a teacher of adults and children. Brenton joined the BBC's The Repair Shop programme as their specialist silversmith and precious metals expert. Alongside his television and radio work Brenton works on private commissions all kinds of metals, artefacts and eras. He has been lucky enough to work on notable items created by famous makers and designers such as Fabergé, Hester Bateman, Paul Storr, Mappin & Webb, Georg Jensen and Asprey.


Customer Review

Absolutely fascinating book. A must for anyone with a passion for fixing things.

I have long been an avid viewer of the TV programme The Repair Shop so I was quite thrilled when I heard that the resident silversmith, Brenton West had written a book about his trade.

The book is a fascinating insight into the silversmiths trade and contains a wealth of information written in a very accessible format.

This book is not just about silversmithing but is aimed at anyone who has an interest in fixing things.

The book begins with an introduction to Brentons early years and how his passion blossomed for fixing things. The next section is a guide to various metals and their properties and melting points. Following on from this Brenton talks about what is a hallmark and how to identify them, which I found particularly interesting.

I found the section on tools really interesting and useful as it not only provides a wealth of photos of the tools Brenton uses for his trade but also a description and the use of each tool.

The next section of the book covers Core Skills, which leads nicely on from the last section and provides really good insights into the use of his tools, for example cutting with a piercing saw, soldering and repairing dents in items using hammers.

In the final section Brenton talks about a number of projects that arrive at his workshop daily. For each project he lists the item, aim, difficulty of repair and the tools you will need to complete the repair. Each project comes with photos and descriptions of the various steps needed to complete the repair.

This book has helped to rekindle a passion I had when I was younger for taking things to pieces to find out how they work and has brought back memories of my school days in metalworking lessons using the school forge to create wrought iron work and making sand moulds to pour molten metal into to create various items. Thank you Brenton.

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