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  #1  
Old May 25th 08, 04:08 AM posted to rec.crafts.jewelry
Vicki Baylus
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Posts: 2
Default newbie questions

Hi. I'm new at soldering/braizing, I'v had about 32 hours of hands on
instruction - the silver, not me. And I would appreciate someone pointing
me toward information that I call:

Questions not answered by Tim McCreight or anybody else that I have found so
far.

Where can I find a copper solder that will remain copper colored after
soldering, and does not have a skull and crossbones on it?

Do I really need a respirator when braizing? The instructor didn't use one,
even when machine polishing.

What are the proportiions of denatured alcohol to borax (boric acid powder)
I use for a flux, and why do I have to keep it in a completely glass
container?

Thanks in advance.

Vicki


..
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  #2  
Old May 25th 08, 04:47 AM posted to rec.crafts.jewelry
Peter W.. Rowe,
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Posts: 355
Default newbie questions

On Sat, 24 May 2008 20:08:42 -0700, in rec.crafts.jewelry "Vicki Baylus"
wrote:

Hi. I'm new at soldering/braizing, I'v had about 32 hours of hands on
instruction - the silver, not me.


Your silver has had instruction but you haven't? Interesting... (grin)

And I would appreciate someone pointing
me toward information that I call:

Questions not answered by Tim McCreight or anybody else that I have found so
far.


You need to find the Ganoksin.com web site. It's the home of the main
competition this public newsgroup has on the topic of jewelry making, and that's
the Orchid mail list. Though this group is much older, that list, in part
because people can find a web site a lot easier than they find this list, so
they find Orchid, is MUCH larger and more active than r.c.j. (which, as
moderator of this group, suits me just fine...) Orchid is a mail list which
you can either get in your email as a single daily digest message or as
individual messages (typically 30 - 60 of them a day sometimes), or you can read
it on the ganoksin web site. And their archives go back about ten years or so,
and therein is one answer to your question. Lots of good info there.

Another good source if you're ready to invest in a more extensive book is
Brehpohl's (spelling?) "Theory and practice of goldsmithing", pretty much the
bible for this craft if you were learning in in germany the last 40 years or so.
Translated a few years back into english by Charles Lewton-Brain (also one of
Ganoksin's co-founders), it's a supurb and complete tome on the craft. The
closest thing written originally in English are the two books by Oppi Untracht,
also fine texts, but not quite the equal, I don't think, to Brehpohl (though it
may be a close call, especially at the beginner level).



Where can I find a copper solder that will remain copper colored after
soldering, and does not have a skull and crossbones on it?


I don't think there are any copper solders that are really copper colored, that
don't at least have cadmium, and even they aren't a great color match. I'd
suggest simply being sure your seams are very closely fitted, so you don't need
much solder. Then use just enough silver solder to do the job. After cleaning
it up, hold in iron tweezers and dip in old used pickle (blue in color). Some
copper will plate out on the whole thing, including the remnants of the solder,
so then it won't show, so long as you don't polish it off again. Use a brass
wire brush, lubricated with soapy water, to burnish it bright rather than
buffing, and the copper plating will stay there. If you do a neat enough job,
you may not even need to do this. remember that eventually, the solder will
turn black same as the copper would do, and the tarnish will also hide any white
color (or do it with liver of sulphur intentionally.

You can come closer to copper color using solders that aren't intended for
jewelry. Some of them (usually called brazing alloys, rather than silver
solders, because they're usually aimed at industry which calls the process
brazing rather than soldering (a word *they* reserve for when you use things
like tin/lead solders...) are more brass colored than silver colored, and they
will not have so much of a color difference. But they're usually still not a
true copper color.


Do I really need a respirator when braizing? The instructor didn't use one,
even when machine polishing.


This depends on several things. If you're using solders that do not contain
cadmium (in which case you'd need a respirator that's rated for metal fumes),
and this means most jewelry solders these days other than a few older repair
types, AND you are not useing soldering fluxes that contain active fluorides,
then soldering itself doesn't create tremendously harmful fumes. If you're
soldering station has good ventillation and air flow, you're probably OK not
using a respirator. If it does not have these, it's better to correct that
situation than to always rely on sometimes uncomfortable respirators. Even so,
however, some soldering fluxes, and some metals still give off some fumes that
at least some people will want to avoid, so in some cases, the respirator will
be good idea. it's also a question of scale. If you're using a little torch
to solder jewelry scale items (rings, etc), then it's less a problem than if
you're using a larger torch flame, more flux, more solder, etc, on large items
like a silver coffee pot or something. Bigger means more fumes, so more need
for protection. But I'd repeat the suggestion that good ventillation is more
effective in the end.

As to polishing, a mask isn't needed if the machine is set up with a good dust
collecting setup. This means a hood and fan through a proper filter behind the
wheels to catch the dust. And a proper face mask is often a good idea too. If
the buffing is being done on a bare machine without dust collection, then not
using a mask of some sort is kinda dumb. Unlike soldering or other processes
that generate gasseous fumes needing a good respirator with the proper
cartridges, buffing just generates dust. Some of that dust can be bad for you
(including anything with silica based polishing agents in particular, but other
abrasives too) So if it's getting on you much during polishing, then it's a
sure bet you're breathing in a bit too. So wear a dust mask. The simple paper
or cloth types are fine for this, since you're just blocking dust.


What are the proportiions of denatured alcohol to borax (boric acid powder)
I use for a flux, and why do I have to keep it in a completely glass
container?


First, boric acid is not borax. They are related, but not the same. As fluxing
agents. boric acid is less active, but withstands a higher temperature. Boric
acid powder is commonly mixed with alcohol in which items can be dipped to
reduce or prevent fire scale or surface oxidation during soldering. It's mostly
effective on gold and platinum. On silver it tends not to stick to the surface
well enough to give much protection (on heating, it tends to ball up instead of
melting to a uniform glaze on the surface). Many jewelers used to using it with
gold routinely use it with silver too just out of habit, but there are better
ways to protect the silver from fire stain or fire scale. Prips flux is one
method, a spray on flux you make yourself from borax, boric acid, and sodium
phosphate (TSP). Ask if you want the full recipe. Or you can buy products
(including premixed prips flux) that will do the job and may be easier)

The boric acid by itself will not serve as an adequate soldering flux, though
occasionally you'll still get a decent solder joint if everything was clean
enough and there's enough boric acid there. Borax, though, which melts lower,
does indeed work OK as a silver soldering flux. Very traditional. Usually, one
buys "cones" of the stuff made for flux, which has been heated to drive off the
water content (anhydrous borax). This differs from the laundry type product in
that, on heating, it doesn't swell and foam up all over the place, making it
more useful as a flux. Usually it's ground to a paste with water just before
use on a slate borax dish or unglazed ceramic tile or similar surface. Or you
can use the laundry grade powder (borateem at the grocery store is pretty much
pure borax), but as I said, it's a bit messier to use.

More active soldering fluxes are better than borax, however, giving you better
solder flow and stronger seams. You can get plain liquid fluxes like Batterns
or other commercial liquids that are intended for all types of jewelry
soldering. They work well. Even more active are the white paste fluxes (like
Handy flux, grifflux, etc). Some of these, like handy flux, do contain
fluorides, so pay attention when buying them. You're better with those that
don't have free/active fluorides in them, for safety reasons. nasty fumes from
the fluoride fluxes, but they ARE more effective fluxes for difficult soldering
jobs, if you're equipped to safely use them.

Back to the boric acid in alcohol mix, the proportions aren't critical. Dump
some powder into some denatured alcohol (ethanol). The alcohol is just there as
a carrier, so the proportions aren't critical. Mix in enough so it's like a
thin "milk" when stirred, so dipping a piece gets leaves a film of boric acid
powder on the work after the alcohol dries or is burned off. Too thin doesn't
deposit much boric acid, too thick is messy to work with, but between those,
there's a wide area.

And the container doesn't have to be glass. Glass has one advantage over, say,
plastic, in that if you accidentally set the mix on fire, you just drop the lid
on it to put it out, and the container doesn't catch fire. on the other hand,
if you drop a glass jar, it breaks, making a mess. But almost any container
you'd like to use if fine. Something with a wide enough mouth so you can dip
your workpieces in the container is needed, and with glass you can see how much
boric acid is in the mix before you stir it up, as well as more easily fishing
out small bits dropped in the jar by mistake (lift up the jar and look through
the bottom to see where the errant part landed...) But other than convenience,
there's no real requirement for glass. Just make sure it's not itself
flammable, or too tippy, etc. And it must have a lid you can drop in place in
case you catch the jar on fire.

Oh, one other reason why glass can be useful. A few types of gold alloys (rose
gold, some white golds) benefit when you anneal them from being quenched in
alcohol, rather than either air cooling or being quenched in water. If you've
got a metal or glass (thus heatproof) container for your boric acid solution,
you can let it do double duty for that task, rather than needing a seperate
container of alcohol. Drop a hot bit of rose gold into a plastic jar filled
with alcohol and it will melt through the bottom before fully quenching...

Cheers

Peter
  #3  
Old May 25th 08, 07:02 PM posted to rec.crafts.jewelry
mbstevens
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Posts: 165
Default newbie questions

Peter W.. Rowe, wrote:

You can come closer to copper color using solders that aren't intended for
jewelry. Some of them (usually called brazing alloys, rather than silver
solders, because they're usually aimed at industry which calls the process
brazing rather than soldering (a word *they* reserve for when you use things
like tin/lead solders...) are more brass colored than silver colored, and they
will not have so much of a color difference. But they're usually still not a
true copper color.


Yes, it is called phos-copper rod, available at many welding shops.
Sculptors loved it in the 50s and 60s when direct metal sculpture
was all the rage. Makes a nice copper colored joint.
  #4  
Old May 25th 08, 07:06 PM posted to rec.crafts.jewelry
Peter W.. Rowe,
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 355
Default newbie questions

On Sun, 25 May 2008 11:02:47 -0700, in rec.crafts.jewelry mbstevens
wrote:


Yes, it is called phos-copper rod, available at many welding shops.
Sculptors loved it in the 50s and 60s when direct metal sculpture
was all the rage. Makes a nice copper colored joint.


My probably incorrect memory of the stuff (at least a 30 year old memory) was
that it behaved more like a welding rod in that it didn't flow into a capillary
joint too well, but would nicely fill a gapped joint, just as one does with
stick welding rods. Is that right? or does it actually flow well enough to be
used like a solder? Is the melting point low enough to also allow it's use on,
say, bronze or similar alloys?

Peter
  #5  
Old May 26th 08, 04:27 AM posted to rec.crafts.jewelry
mbstevens
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Posts: 165
Default newbie questions

Peter W.. Rowe, wrote:
On Sun, 25 May 2008 11:02:47 -0700, in rec.crafts.jewelry mbstevens
wrote:

Yes, it is called phos-copper rod, available at many welding shops.
Sculptors loved it in the 50s and 60s when direct metal sculpture
was all the rage. Makes a nice copper colored joint.


My probably incorrect memory of the stuff (at least a 30 year old memory) was
that it behaved more like a welding rod in that it didn't flow into a capillary
joint too well, but would nicely fill a gapped joint, just as one does with
stick welding rods.


I remember a fairly free flow, but not just watery like silver solder.
No flux was necessary (nice!).

Is that right? or does it actually flow well enough to be
used like a solder? Is the melting point low enough to also allow it's use on,
say, bronze or similar alloys?


That I don't remember. Looking at my tables, I rather doubt it, since the
melting point of copper is about 400 degrees higher than bronze. So the
phos-copper
rod would have to melt _way_ down below the melting point of copper to flow
on bronze.

It is easy to join copper with any bronze rod, though, or you can
flow it over the copper to make a nice mottled surface. I have some old
sculptures I did that to, back in the 60s, coating the finished surface
with acrylic polymer medium. Their surfaces have still not deteriorated.

Mike


Peter

  #6  
Old May 26th 08, 04:27 AM posted to rec.crafts.jewelry
mbstevens
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Posts: 165
Default newbie questions

Peter W.. Rowe, wrote:
On Sun, 25 May 2008 11:02:47 -0700, in rec.crafts.jewelry mbstevens
wrote:

Yes, it is called phos-copper rod, available at many welding shops.
Sculptors loved it in the 50s and 60s when direct metal sculpture
was all the rage. Makes a nice copper colored joint.


My probably incorrect memory of the stuff (at least a 30 year old memory) was
that it behaved more like a welding rod in that it didn't flow into a capillary
joint too well, but would nicely fill a gapped joint, just as one does with
stick welding rods. Is that right? or does it actually flow well enough to be
used like a solder? Is the melting point low enough to also allow it's use on,
say, bronze or similar alloys?

Peter


http://www.made-in-china.com/showroo...-HG-PCBA-.html
http://www.ascotorch.com/mm5/merchan..._Code=BRAZEROD


seems to suggest that some kinds may melt a a pretty low temperature.
  #7  
Old May 26th 08, 06:22 PM posted to rec.crafts.jewelry
Jman
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Posts: 130
Default newbie questions

On May 25, 9:27*pm, mbstevens wrote:
Peter W.. Rowe, wrote:
On Sun, 25 May 2008 11:02:47 -0700, in rec.crafts.jewelry mbstevens
wrote:


Yes, it is called phos-copper rod, available at many welding shops.
Sculptors loved it in the 50s and 60s when direct metal sculpture
was all the rage. *Makes a nice copper colored joint.


My probably incorrect memory of the stuff (at least a 30 year old memory) was
that it behaved more like a welding rod in that it didn't flow into a capillary
joint too well, but would nicely fill a gapped joint, just as one does with
stick welding rods. *Is that right? *or does it actually flow well enough to be
used like a solder? *Is the melting point low enough to also allow it's use on,
say, bronze or similar alloys?


Peter


...
seems to suggest that some kinds may melt a a pretty low temperature.-



I use copper Phos quite often in 3/32 and 1/8". It does solder quite
nicely but you do have to be careful with heat. Too much heat and the
stuff will ball up on you and become unuseable. If joining copper,
brass, sheet metal etc, the stuff I have seems to work best as a
'wetting' application vs. Brazing. I normally find the right
temperature with the torch and then wet the joints or pieces to be
joined. The color match is very good as well.

Myself, I prefer the low fume Bronze brazing rod. I usually scrape
off all or 'most' of the flux that coats the rod and use the borax /
ethanol homemade mix instead. It seems to work much better and is
waaaaaay less toxic than some of the stuff that comes off those rods.
The color match to copper is of course, pretty 'bad' but the tensile
strength is far better. The other downside to this is the amount of
heat you need to melt the bronze rod..... (about 50% hotter..)

If heat isn't an issue, I would highly suggest 'Silicone bronze
brazing rod'. It's flow point is about 1800 degrees but the results
are 'really nice'. The copper color is similar to that of a new penny
and the T Strength is superb. The 1/16" rods are great for reaching
those 'tough to find areas and makes joining small pieces really
convenient.

Cheers,

/Jman...
  #8  
Old May 29th 08, 02:06 AM posted to rec.crafts.jewelry
Mr G H Ireland[_2_]
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Posts: 16
Default newbie questions

In article , "Vicki Baylus"
wrote:
copper solder that will remain copper colored


On the subject of matching solders to substrates, is there a solder that
makes a strong joint between two pieces of stainless, that also makes a good
colour match to stainless?

The type I use appears yellowish against SS. Any suggestions?

Thanks in anticipation, for your time.---G.H.Ireland.

--
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/ \._._ |_ _ _ /' Orpheus Internet Services
\_/| |_)| |(/_|_|_ / 'Internet for Everyone'
_______ | ___________./ http://www.orpheusinternet.co.uk


  #9  
Old May 29th 08, 09:50 AM posted to rec.crafts.jewelry
Abrasha
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Posts: 298
Default newbie questions

Mr G H Ireland wrote:
In article , "Vicki Baylus"
wrote:
copper solder that will remain copper colored


On the subject of matching solders to substrates, is there a solder that
makes a strong joint between two pieces of stainless,


Stainless steel cannot be bonded strongly with solder, under almost any
circumstance.

--
Abrasha
http://www.abrasha.com
  #10  
Old May 29th 08, 05:24 PM posted to rec.crafts.jewelry
mbs
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Posts: 1
Default newbie questions

On Wed, 28 May 2008 18:06:50 -0700, Mr G H Ireland wrote:


On the subject of matching solders to substrates, is there a solder tha=

t
makes a strong joint between two pieces of stainless, that also makes a
good colour match to stainless?
=20
The type I use appears yellowish against SS. Any suggestions?


Have a look he
http://www.brama.com/news/press/2004/09/040930uima.html

Millach describes his working method in "Direct Metal Sculpture,"
Crown, N.Y., 1966,pp. 57-59. Using a propanox flame he=20
fluxes clamped joints with all purpose stainless flux,=20
then uses silver solder. After
cleaning he files the joints until they are "smooth and
unnoticable." She claims a good color match, but the
filing is probably the key. If you get off any solder
that migrates beyond the joint, things will look better.

This discussion might be helpful with technique, though
not with the color:
http://www.artmetal.com/brambush/for...sages/149.html






 




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