The solder is a whole other problem. I'm using silver solder
because I can't find a brass one that will flow. I bought some
brass solder from Rio but the melting temperature is higher than
the brass that I'm using. I've had the same experience with other
various bass solders I've tried. With so many people making all
kinds of things out of brass it's hard to believe there isn't a
brass colored solder that doesn't involve hording pre 1981
pennies(rolling one and using it as solder was suggestion I was
given). Any new ideas on the subject?
Sandra, if your brass solder is not flowing, you're not heating
it enough. I can't imagine what brass sheet you're using that
would melt before the solder (is it red brass? That's what Rio
sells -- 15% Zn, 85% Cu). The flux for silver soldering should work
fine with the brass, although if your box is quite large, you may
want to buy the black flux (available at any welding supply store)
which lasts longer at the higher heats you will need for soldering
I use paillons of hammered brazing rod for much of my brass
soldering. The color match is quite good, but it requires even
more heat than the available brass solders and will only work with
red brass, not the "standard" brasses that have a higher zinc
content (and possibly some lead).
Pennies are for trying to get a copper-colored solder for copper,
not brass. That is tricky, because their melting points are quite
close (but it does work for simple seams in copper).
If you don't mind working with a cadmium-containing solder (cadmium
is dangerous.... wear a mask for metal fumes and vent your area),
Indian Jewelers Supply still has some. The Easy-Flo does flow
very nicely, at a lower temperature, and it has a somewhat brassy
As for the problem of the etched look, can you tumble-polish your
final product? It's a lot easier than wheel-polishing.
All the best,