Can You MIG Weld Pewter?


Pewter is a soft, low-melting-point alloy that is not suitable for MIG welding due to its delicate nature. Instead, pewter is typically repaired using soldering techniques with lead/tin solder and flux. This comprehensive guide will explore the challenges of MIG welding pewter, provide alternative repair methods, and offer expert insights to help you successfully work with this unique metal.

Understanding Pewter’s Properties

can you mig weld pewterImage source: Mig weld example

Pewter is an alloy primarily composed of tin, with small amounts of other metals such as copper, antimony, and bismuth. The key characteristics of pewter that make it unsuitable for MIG welding include:

  1. Low Melting Point: Pewter has a relatively low melting point, ranging from 170°C (338°F) to 230°C (446°F). This low melting point makes it highly susceptible to damage and deformation during the intense heat of the MIG welding process.

  2. Soft and Malleable: Pewter is a soft, malleable metal, which means it can easily be dented, bent, or deformed during the welding process. This can lead to significant distortion and loss of the original shape and form.

  3. Susceptibility to Oxidation: Pewter is prone to oxidation, which can occur during the MIG welding process due to the high temperatures involved. This oxidation can compromise the integrity and appearance of the final product.

Exploring Alternative Repair Methods

Given the challenges of MIG welding pewter, it is generally recommended to use alternative repair methods, such as soldering, to maintain the integrity and appearance of the metal. Here are the steps involved in repairing pewter using soldering techniques:

  1. Preparing the Surface: Thoroughly clean the pewter surface to remove any dirt, grease, or oxidation. This can be done using a mild abrasive, such as fine-grit sandpaper or a soft cloth.

  2. Selecting the Appropriate Solder: Choose a lead/tin-based solder with a melting point lower than that of the pewter. This will ensure that the solder can be applied without causing further damage to the pewter.

  3. Applying Flux: Apply a small amount of flux to the area to be soldered. Flux helps to clean the surface and promote better adhesion of the solder.

  4. Heating the Area: Carefully heat the area to be soldered using a soldering iron or a small butane torch. Avoid overheating, as this can cause further damage to the pewter.

  5. Applying the Solder: Once the area is heated, apply the lead/tin solder to the joint or area to be repaired. The solder should flow smoothly and evenly.

  6. Finishing Touches: After the solder has cooled and hardened, you can file or sand the repaired area to blend it with the surrounding pewter and restore the desired finish.

Repairing Pewter Buckles and Pins

When repairing a pewter buckle with a bent or damaged pin, the recommended approach is to create a new pin from a more durable material, such as steel, and then solder it into the pewter buckle. Here’s the step-by-step process:

  1. Obtain a Steel Pin: Source a steel pin that is slightly larger in diameter than the original pin. The steel pin should be plated with a material like nickel to prevent corrosion.

  2. Tin the Steel Pin: Use a soldering iron to tin the surface of the steel pin. This will help the solder to adhere to the pin during the repair process.

  3. Prepare the Pewter Buckle: Clean the area around the damaged pin on the pewter buckle, removing any dirt, oxidation, or debris.

  4. Apply Flux: Apply a small amount of flux to the area where the new pin will be soldered.

  5. Solder the Pin in Place: Carefully position the tinned steel pin into the pewter buckle and use a soldering iron to solder the pin in place, ensuring a secure and stable connection.

  6. Finish the Repair: Once the solder has cooled and hardened, you can file or sand the repaired area to blend it with the surrounding pewter and restore the desired finish.

Exploring Pewter MIG Welding Alternatives

While MIG welding is generally not recommended for pewter, there are some alternative techniques that can be explored for working with this unique metal:

  1. Pewter Casting: As demonstrated in the YouTube video “Another Use for Any MIG Welder…”, it is possible to use a MIG welder to create pewter castings. This technique involves melting pewter in a crucible and then pouring it into a mold to create new pewter objects.

  2. Pewter Brazing: Brazing, which involves joining metals using a filler metal with a lower melting point than the base metals, may be a viable option for some pewter applications. However, it is essential to carefully select the appropriate brazing alloy and follow proper brazing techniques to avoid damaging the pewter.

  3. Professional Pewter Welding Services: For those who require specialized pewter welding or repair services, there are some companies, like Proshort, that offer expertise in this area. These professional services may be a good option for complex or high-value pewter projects.


In conclusion, while MIG welding is not recommended for pewter due to its delicate nature and low melting point, there are alternative repair and fabrication methods that can be used to work with this unique metal. By understanding the properties of pewter and following the proper soldering and repair techniques, you can successfully maintain and restore pewter objects without compromising their integrity or appearance.


  1. Another Use for Any MIG Welder… – YouTube
  2. Pewter repair question : r/metalworking – Reddit
  3. Pewter MIG Welding – Proshort