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Argentium solders and fluxing


#1

This is probably a question(s) for Trevor. I haven’t used the AS
solders yet but I intend to buy some this week. With my sterling
sheet solder I always clean the oxidation off the surface which
forms after storing after a while to ensure good flow. Will the
argentium solders stay cleaner? Another question – say the scenerio
is I am using a backplate of 24 gauge AS and soldering a piece of
sterling tubing onto it with AS solder. I use prips flux.

Soldering on a regular firebrick from above. What do I flux? Or what
should I be doing differently with this combination of materials.
Which prompts another question. I will have to pickle and will
possibly have some firescale from the sterling parts so I will
probably have to buff and polish which means the sterling and AS
components will be cleaned with the same buff. Is that contaminating
the buffs?

Grace


#2
This is probably a question(s) for Trevor. 

Hello Grace,

What a fine set of questions! Some I have answers to, others are
going to be a guess. Here we go:

Will the argentium solders stay cleaner? 

My guess is yes. The soldered joints certainly stay cleaner so that’s
(partially) what I’m basing my “yes” on. Time will tell.

Soldering on a regular firebrick from above. What do I flux? 

I’d say treat your Argentium Silver (AS) like AS and your regular
sterling like regular sterling. So, if it were me doing this piece
I’d firecoat the regular sterling and flux the joint.

I will probably have to buff and polish which means the sterling
and AS components will be cleaned with the same buff. Is that
contaminating the buffs? 

Ya, probably a little. If you can rake the buffs before polishing I’d
suggest using your regular sterling buffs and hoping for the best.
Personally I hate raking buffs so I’d opt for smaller wheels --the
little flexshaft jobbies-- in order to use AS dedicated buffs on the
AS and regular sterling buffs on the sterling bits. In all honesty
though that’s probably being a little manic about the whole thing.

Pickle is a different story. I do not use pickle that has seen
regular sterling on my AS. I can’t confirm that it causes problems
but it smacks of bad karma to me. I have two sets of pickle: one for
AS and one for regular sterling.

If it were me I’d mix a small batch of clean pickle, use it for my
mixed metals work and then dump it into my “regular sterling” pickle
batch. That way you won’t just be throwing it away but you won’t be
contaminating your AS pickle either. I think you’re just going to
have to pick one direction or the other and go for it.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
www.touchmetal.com