Pver the years I’ve tried every single copper solder on the market.
Ones currently out there if you are not careful and know what to do,
will show grey. If they don’t you have another problem if you need to
do any small bits of filing, Once the very thin surface of copper is
gone, it will look grey. I’ve learned so much working with copper
about things to do and not do I could write a book, but that would
be just one more thing to do. You can contaminate your pickle and any
problem would plate out as copper and cover the grey solder. Or as I
found, just use a bisulfate pickle compound (I use Rio pickle). Just
put a bit of copper in the pot when you mix a new batch. It is not to
contaminate, just season the pickle once it gets that slight tinge of
blue it is ready to use.
Another funny thing I stumbled on with soldering copper is how often
to pickle I again use the copper solder Rio sells, since I go through
many pounds a year. It was late one night, and I was too tired to make
the run into the next room just to pickle this one small ornament. I
did a major no-no. I soldered the piece a second time even though it
had the crusty black junk on it. (oxide, i just like my old lady
terms). It soldered just fine. A third try and it soldered again no
problem. I could never do that with silver or gold. I thought
lightening was going to strike me any moment. Since then, I found I
could turn out more of the complicated soldered pieces and not pickle
in between steps.
Now for some good news. I’ve been testing new batches of solder for
a company. This last batch worked great. It can be filed and react
like any other solder, but it is copper. They are a company that
already makes solder in all forms and metals when it does come out it
will be in sheet, wire, paste, and powdered as you need. I have no
idea the cost. I do trust this company and purchased quite a bit of
powdered silver solder from them.
Like Mr. Binnion has mentioned it is not a good idea to wear copper
jewelry every day. In fact I’ve not made any copper jewelry other
than a few charms for bracelets. Then it was only a secondary metal.
The sealers on the market wear off too easily for my standards. The
ones that don’t I have questions about their reactions with skin.
Untreated, I hate the green marks it leaves.
Aggie in Fl where people I saw today were wearing down parkas to
combat the cold.