Copper Solder

Help, I am fabricating a large copper piece (for me) 12 inches
tall, and would like to use copper solder. Does anyone know where
I can buy it? I need the copper solder that melts at a higher
temperature than the 500-600 degree plumbing stuff. A friend gave
me a small piece & I like the way it melted & moved, and the
darker color. But she didn’t remember where it came from. Would
you’all help me out here? Helene

Helen, Go to a welding supply shop and tell them what you are
after. Should be “silver solder” of some sort. Many of the
silver solders available today don’t even have silver in them but
they are still refered to a silver solder. Very hard, you can
get them to match copper color, I think they will do what you are
after. Most need a flux or come pre fluxed (much more
expensive). John Dach

MidLife Crisis Enterprises
C.T. Designs
Cynthias sculptures are at:
Maiden Metals,
A small bronze foundry, no web site yet!!

What ever you do, Do Not use a lead based solder anywhere near
your silver fabricating work area. I’ll bet that there are a few
stories about the piece that morphed from the use of a lead solder. Will Estavillo

Hi Helen, phos/copper brazing rod is available from any welding
supplier. These match moderately well, being somewhat darker
than the copper. The seams patina well and disapppear int6o the
form. Also available are sil(silver)/phos rods. They come in
various silver percentges-5,10 and 15% are common. The color
match is a little better(brighter) in 5 & 10% in an exposed
seam. They cost 3 to 4 times more than phos/copper(about $10 to
$11 per lb). A wonderrful advantage of phos/copper is its
ability to be used without additional fluxes. Start with clean
copper and go to it. ALWAYS in a WELL
ventilated area. Marcus Amshoff

RRuff has given a good idea about plating using old, copper-filled
pickle. I use this plating technique in a number of ways but I need
to warn you about using it.

I use a different pickle so I don’t know how this would work with
vinegar and salt, but the fumes given off while the plating is going
on will scorch your lungs if you breathe it. I use a pH Minus
(sodium bisulphate) pickle heated in a crockpot and I learned the
hard way. If you have any kind of ventilation system available, I
advise you to use it in this process.

Another problem I’ve had with this type of plating is that the layer
of copper going onto your piece is very thin. It is very easy to rub
it right back off in the finish work so be very careful. Maybe I’ve
been doing something wrong and , if so I’d like to hear about it. I
have a lot to learn in this pursuit.