I've tried the Cascade option and was unhappy with the results,
the Cascade has a small amount of TSP in it, hence it's use, it's
better to simply go with the Prip's and use TSP:
I’ve been writing about prips flux here on orchid, and on the
rec.crafts.jewelry newsgroup for almost 9 years now, I think, and
I’d like to think it’s more frequent discussion here online might in
small part be due to my little writings on the subject. So
obviously, I’m hooked on the stuff.
But. the formula with cascade was, as I recall, called frips, in
honor of Fred 46enster, who’d come up with it as a derivative of
prips, which was named for 46reds colleague, Jack Prip. Now, the
thing is, Fred Fenster is the guy who first taught me about prips
flux, and at the time he did so, he too was, or seemed to be, totally
addicted to the prips formula. I still use prips flux in exactly the
way Fred taught us, way back in (gasp. has it been that long?) 1972.
So if it was Fred Fenster who came up with what he believes is an
improvement on prips, by using Cascade instead of TSP, then I’d be
very slow to discount it. 46red is a rather prominent and skilled and
knowledgeable smith, teacher, and innovator, not someone who’s
kitchen chemistry is worthy of quick dismissal.
On the other hand, I looked at a locally (Seattle) purchased box of
Cascade, and noted that it’s label, while not giving actual chemical
analysis, did mention a phosphate content that’s way too low for it
to be mostly TSP, as I believe the initial posts on this flux
I believe that what we’re seeing here are regional differences in
the formulation of Cascade. Some states and locations legislate the
amount of phosphate that can be in detergents and similar household
cleaning products. Reducing the phosphate usually results in either a
more costly product, or a less effective one, so manufacturers seem
to market two or more different versions of various products of this
type. In states/locactions where they’re not limited in how much
phosphate they can include, they use the older phosphate containing
formulas. In areas where it’s restricted, the products then have a
different formula. So Cascade in one place may not be the same as in
another. If memory serves, Wisconsin (where Fred taught) didn’t
limit phosphates. Here in Seattle, where not only are our drinking
water supplies derived from mostly surface watershed sources (unlike
the deep aquifer wells in Madison Wisconsin), but surface streams are
also critically important to local fish populations, including
endangered salmon populations. So phosphate containing products are
hard to find indeed around here, and may be similarly so in Mr.
Woooley’s location, or that of others who’ve also had poor results
with this flux.
I don’t know the actual formulation of Cascade, normally, but would
not be at all surprised if a full phosphate version had a lot of TSP.
That’s an almost ideal cleaner for that type of use. I would also
expect, but don’t know, that it might also include various other
wetting agents, or sheeting agents to prevent streaking and enhance
cleaning of the dishes. I would expect such additives to aid in the
application of the flux, and help it to not pull away from metal that
might not be perfectly clean, etc. If that guess is true, then frips
flux might easily outperform traditional prips.
If anyone has a bit of the working version of frips, or just the
cascade product they know works, I’d appreciate a small sample to try
out and compare…