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Firescoff - New Firescale Preventer


#1

Hi all,

I am so excited about a new product that I tried yesterday. I bought
this Firescale Preventor/Flux/ Heat Shield in a spray on called
FIRESCOFF. It is non toxic and you do not need pickle with it as you
rinse in water. I was soldering many very large silver bangle
bracelets and rings and did not use another flux with it. It covers
completely evenly (unlike boric acid) and my solder flowed like a
dream. A few months ago after reading about this stuff in the MJSA
NEW product journal I called and ordered it direct from the company
that developed it but this is really the first time I have sat down
and used it all day. I think you might want to try it with Argentium!

The company is Nventa out of Scottsdale AZ 1800-535-4980. I have NO
association with the company I just think it might be the best thing
since sliced bread, LOL!

Beth McElhiney


#2

Beth,

How does FIRESCOFF compare with Cupronil, which I happen to love.

Thanks
Terrie


#3

Looked it up and sounds good,except rather expensive. 4.25 Oz.is
$24.95, figures out to barely over eight (8) tablespoons for nearly
$25.00. If it were something that was used by the drop,wouldn’t be
so expensive,but as a spray,that’s something else. I have to compare
this to the benefits of Prips-or-Pripps flux, which I have used for
a number of years and found to totally eliminate the old "grey ghost"
in my silver work. I hope I don’t sound contentious, it’s just that
I believe we have to weigh cost versus benefits.With this said, there
probably is a place for this product in some shops.As always, I hope
members will continue to bring to our attention newly discovered
products for our individual evaluation.

John Barton


#4

it doesn’t - in a word, i have had contact with the manufacturers of
firescoff about various issues with their product which

a) gums up your soldering area

b) had to have the MSDS changed after a discussion about the
product’s which was lacking at the point i contacted
them regarding the ceramics involved and its by-product(s)

c) pales in comparison to Cupronil- which i too swear by

d) tends to react with fluxes that some people invariably will apply
regardless of firescoff 's claims- which by the way, does not flux
correctly in my trials with gold,silver, or platinum

in addition there are concerns about the product on an environmental
level regarding the disposal of the product that i expressed to Mr.
Passe of nventa corp.that sparked an immediate revision of their
product’s documentation if you care to read on i have copied it
below. Mainly, i cannot recommend the product for performance
reasons, incomplete research and testing by Nventa and the sheer cost
of the product- which is high whether bought through a distributor or
directly from the manufacturer.

Cupronil is the superior performer in preventing fire scale and in
ease of removal of the glassy residues ( if any) that result after
the soldering or fusing process is completed. The packaging, product
safety, cost and time-( it’s been around quite a while and is based
on a Hopi recipe given to Mr. L.Epperson, who manufactures
Cupronil.) alone make it a far greater value and more suitable for
every studio than Firescoff. I might add Mr. Epperson’s knowledge,
teaching and products are more focused on the jeweler succeeding and
progressing in their skills and acquisition of knowledge than the
money to be made- I admire him for that, and his continued
contributions to the art and science of jewelry making. While you
posted this to “beth”, i feel quite strongly about the superiority of
Cupronil on every level and compelled to share that with you.

R.E.R.

  Dear Dr. Rourke, 

  Thank you for expressing your concerns regarding the
  environmental impact of Firescoff reaching our nations
  waterways. After reading your enquiry, I met with our EHS
  consultants to review the Firescoff MSDS and clarify the stated
  concern. Below are the findings from our meeting. 

  1) The spill prevention statement present in Section VI
  Accidental Release Measures refers to a single chemical
  compound in Firescoff that is present in trace concentration.
  If separated from the ceramic matrix, this compound in its
  elemental form has been shown to promote algae growth. 

  2) There is a typo in Section VI Accidental Release Measures
  that reads "Waste Disposal Method". The statement should be
  replaced with "Disposal Considerations" as a reference to
  Section XIII Disposal Considerations for the review of Federal,
  State, and Local regulations by a chemical waste generator. 

  As a result of our meeting, the following actions were
  immediately taken: 

  1) Section VI: Replace "Waste Disposal Method" with "Disposal
  Considerations" 

  2) Make the revised MSDS available to Firescoff distributors 

  3) Upload revised MSDS to the Nventa.com Web site for download
  by health professionals and the general public 

  4) Submit revised MSDS to the National Poison Control Center

  Attached I have included the MSDS 896223-10008 r8 issued
  05/19/2006 with the modification discussed above. 

  I share your concerns regarding safety and the continued
  protection of our nations waterways. Further, I sincerely
  appreciate your help in bringing this issue to my attention. 

  Please feel free to contact myself or a member of my staff
  with any questions or comments. 

  Best regards, 

  Oliver Passe, Ch.E.
  President
  Nventa Incorporated

#5

Dear All,

I ordered two large containers of Firescoff to try, giving one
bottle to my repair person and keeping the other for my own bench. I
am very “old-school” in that I still use the old borax stick and
water for flux, and boric acid and alcohol to prevent firescale.

I have attempted to use the new material twice now, and both times
found it very awkward. My pre-heating of the item being soldered was
uneven and the spray turned white in some areas and not others. In
addition, it covers the solder joint so completely that it is
difficult to see, so I found myself using my regular flux to clean
off the area before proceeding.

Their advertising claims to simplify the soldering process, however
I found it to do just the opposite. I also realize it takes some time
and effort to become “used” to a new procedure, so I will try it a
few more times before I throw it in the trash.

Jon Michael Fuja


#6

Dr. Rourke,

I just quickly read your reply, thank you for that. Lee Epperson is
a good friend. I totally agree with all you say about him. I was
totally unaware of his connection to Cupronil. Hmmmm, makes it even
better.

I will comment more later, have to catch a train for last day art
school/studio.

Thanks
Terrie


#7
I hope I don't sound contentious, it's just that I believe we have
to weigh cost versus benefits.With this said, there probably is a
place for this product in some shops. 

Well for me the toxic costs of my materials far outways the
financial costs. I have had some MAJOR medical issues that might be
linked to White Diamond polishing compound (any women on here should
be using a mask while polishing in addition to a vacuum system) or
other chemicals in the studio. The possiblity of eliminating pickle
gases from the air that I breath is worth alot to me. So yes I will
invest in the Firescoff unless someone knows of another product which
is cheaper and fills the same needs. Everyone makes their own
decisions based on many factors but this industry is TOXIC and has
been for many years with very little knowledge about the long term
affects of what we were working with. It was just a few years ago
that white diamond came with a warning label on it that it can cause
birth defects. I had been using it for 15 years without worrying and
the label happened to come out on it two months after I lost a
pregnancy in the 5th month due to EXTREME birth defects! We need to
educate ourselves to protect ourselves so if anyone knows other
toxicity problems with our common tools of the studio please post
them. Thank you and Happy Spring Equinox!

Beth


#8

I tried a bottle of Firescoff, and it’ not to be scoffed at! I think
it works really well. Using plain water in the crock pot to clean it
off after soldering was really nice. That was my main reason for
trying it. I was using it on regular silver. The downsides I saw
were “wasting” too much getting an good coat of it and price. The
spray head on my bottle had a cone shaped output. I think with the
right spray tip, waste would go waaaaay down.

steve


#9

save yourself some time and toss it now…beleive me it only gunks up
your soldering blocks,when you get down to the last 1/4 inch of
product in the small size it doesn’t come out in a spray rather it
runs down the container,it never worked at preventing firescale- or
even lessening it,in my tests ( almost an entire sample bottle i
think its their small size)…in the end its simply not worth trying
to use it, adjusting ones tried and true methods to compensate for a
not fully researched or developed product and borax and alcohol, or
Cupronil are far superior and then there’s the cost of it -which
further renders it less useful or desireable than other
formulas…but hey, i’m all for experimentation…


#10

According to the Cupronil MSDS it is Boric Acid, Borax and Disodium
phosphate. Can any chemists explain how different the Hopi Cupronil
Disodium Phosphate formula and the Trisodium Phosphate Prip’s Flux
are? For those making Prip’s flux Home Depot here no longer sells
TriSodium Phosphate, Lowes still has it.


#11

Mr. Rourke,

Thank you for your summation of the product Firescoff. I am
currently testing it for a product review on gold and silver.

I agree the product does leave a sticky residue on the soldering pad
but it is no worse than an over application of Handy Flux or
Battern’s. I also agree with you that it is very expensive.

I am finding that it does work to eliminate firescale from sterling
on my test tiles and it does work as an effective flux when applied
in a complete coating according to the manufacturers instructions. In
my tests it performed as well as the afore mentioned fluxes.

I have never had a firescale occurrence on gold, so I am only
testing for it’s use as a flux on gold. I have experienced depletion
plating when soldering gold. And Firescoff did eliminate the
occurrence of depletion plating by eliminating the need to pickle.
Does Cupronil rinse off with warm water after soldering?

The MSDS sheet I received with the product was up-dated with the
correct “Disposal Considerations” language. I was impressed that
Firescoff came with its MSDS, unlike any other flux I have ever
purchased.

I have not tried Cupronil and will test it based on your post. Does
Cupronil come with its MSDS packaged with the product? Again, thank
you for your timely post,

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


#12

I find Stop-OX from Rio to be a great product. I’ve used it for a
few years and I almost never have firescale (just on thinner metal).

J. S. (Sue) Ellington
http://www.jsellington.com


#13

I have tried Firescoff and compared it to Stop-Ox II and studio made
prips flux. There was no difference in the performance of the three
as a flux/firescale preventer in normal use. All three will dissolve
in hot water as will most fluxes (try it some time). The only
functional difference I found with the Firescoff is it seems to last
longer under the torch. I don’t have a definitive test for this as
torch soldering is a very uncontrolled process and to truly evaluate
it one would need a controlled test.

Firescoff is no messier than spraying prips, Cupronil or Stop-Ox II,
I am not fond of its built in spray head but if I were to use it I
would put it in a airbrush like I do with the Stop-Ox II.

For standard soldering and annealing work Firescoff doesn’t seem to
show any functional difference from the prips or its derivatives
(Cupronil and Stop-Ox II).

I did not experiment with it as a protector for stones while
soldering so I can’t comment on its abilities for this type of work.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#14

Okay, after reading some of the posts about overspray with
Firescoff, I sorta backed off. But, it’s my nature to try things for
myself, so before ordering a small bottle, I called Nventa to inquire
if one could “paint” Firescoff on, thereby eliminating the overspray.
I left my name and number for a call back to answer the question and
then forgot about it.

This afternoon (5:54 EST) Mr. Oliver Passe, President of Nventa,
Inc. returned my call and we had a great discussion about the changes
coming down the pipeline. They have developed a special needle to be
used with an airbrush (you can buy the air brush system w/nozzle from
them if you don’t have one, otherwise you’ll be able to buy the
special nozzle by itself).

In the course of the conversation, Mr. Passe said they had developed
a sample 2 ml size bottle, enough to test out on a ring, possibly two
or three rings if you are careful in your usage and that for Orchid
members, he would waive any shipping charge. Incidentally, the sample
bottle has a smaller cone spray pattern (3" I believe he said) as
opposed to the 12" cone spray pattern of the original bottles (hence
the development of the special nozzle for the airbrush).

Go to Firescoff.com, click on purchase and look for the line item
for “Sample” and you will receive your free sample with shipping
charges waived.

It was gratifying to know that there are still companies that hear
you and listen to what you say. Mr. Passe asked me if I thought
Orchid members would pay a small shipping charge and I said, maybe,
but if he really wanted a lot of people to try it, there should be no
shipping charge, so that is what will be done.

I thanked Mr. Passe for being so attentive to our needs, so
Orchidians, don’t miss this opportunity to try a free sample. It’ll
be on their website tomorrow afternoon.

Kay Vontz, where summer is moving in fast in Florida


#15

Just a note of clarification. I picked up the sample bottles of
Firescoff at MJSA and haven’t yet had a chance to try it.

However, I spent a fair bit of time chatting with the manufacturer.
Interestingly, they’re heavily promoting using it with an airbrush
as an applicator to minimize waste and promote even coating. That’s a
relatively hefty additional expense for nothing more than the
application of flux.

They were very clear that items cannot be dipped or painted with
Firescoff. Because it’s a microscopic ceramic, its binder has to
react through atomizing in the air in order to be correctly applied.

This seems a bit of overkill for my personal work style, but for a
high-end production shop the advantages in avoiding the pickling
cycle, applying flux with extreme precision, and whatever else it
does might be worth exploring. Hard to tell.

I’m not saying this because I’m in favor, just trying to make sure
that the info being tossed around about the product is complete and
balanced.

Hope this helps!

Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry


#16

Precisely my point(s)…why pay more for a product that still doesn’t
have the kinks worked out, then have the maker suggest an individual
invest in an airbrush set-up which means a compressor, and extra
jars, and the unit- all to apply flux!!! it seems a bit ridiculous
to me…I don’t expect this company to succeed - or be around very
long, they can’t get a sprayer that works, a bottle that doesn’t
break readily, a product that has a relatively short shelf life-due
to crystallization, and the cost is more than any other flux
available on the market, not to mention the monies they are still
spending on research and development, and now distributing samples
that are enough for a ring, maybe two??? and the consequential
shipping charges- I can’t see this product a wise investment for any
venture capitalist or an acquisition by a larger manufacturer in its
future-

I,personally will just stick to my tried and true (since 1975) low
cost Cupronil for firescale prevention, and my other preferred fluxes
for very specific purposes,ease of use and availability when i use a
traditional torch (my water torch combines flux into the flame
eliminating the need for fluxes for the most part), and forgo the
airbrushing on of flux…that seems…way, way over the top- if not
laughable…in fact anyone airbrushing on flux seems way
-over-the-top in my opinion.

I must however credit Mr.Passe for being willing to listen and
quickly responding, after all he’s heavily invested in making a go
of Firescoff-but that is after all, his job!

Economically speaking, the money spent on the corrections and
improvements, promotion and manufacturing costs would best have been
laid out before its release…taking a few years to “get it right” is
simply not good business… we, the jewelry community, are
essentially doing the development and research for Nventa, and having
to pay for it…In its entirety, this is seeming more and more
nonsensical with each subsequent post I read…


#17

Kay,

Go to Firescoff.com, click on purchase and look for the line item
for "Sample" and you will receive your free sample with shipping
charges waived. 

I just tried this and at the end of the “checkout” process they ask
for credit card info inspite of the fact that there is no charge. I’m
reluctant to give them this

Joel Schwalb
www.schwalbstudio.com


#18
I just tried this and at the end of the "checkout" process they
ask for credit card info inspite of the fact that there is no
charge. I'm reluctant to give them this 

I gave them the and then it said no dice because
there was not a “valid amount” ($0.00). So the whole system needs a
little work.

Noel


#19
Firescoff is no messier than spraying prips, Cupronil or
Stop-Ox II, I am not fond of its built in spray head but if I were
to use it I would put it in a airbrush like I do with the Stop-Ox
II. 

I can’t believe I’m correcting Jim Binnion; but, if I remember my
conversation with the company correctly, the seal on the bottle must
remain intact. I think they said that the air is purged and replaced
with nitrogen so the compound won’t break down or become less
effective. I had wanted to be able to brush it on- anything to
minimize the overspray and make the application more precise.
Apparently once it leaves the original bottle it will start to break
down.

Nventa seems to be following this following this forum, so they will
probably correct me if I’m wrong. I keep looking at the untried
bottle on my bench wondering if and when I’ll ever use it. Perhaps
the spray tip could be modified to produce an more efficient and
controllable pattern. I wonder if those little red tubes that come
with WD-40 would work? With such an expensive product, the wide spray
almost seems like a strategy to hasten the need to reorder. But then,
I’m a cynic.

Allan Mason
www.silvermason.com


#20

I received the new issue of MJSA Journal yesterday. I contains a
review of Firescoff. The author did a side-by-side test of it on
sterling, along with two “common brands” of paste flux. I wish it
had been spray flux (or at least one of them) and that they types
were ID’ed!

Anyway, the firescoff came through with flying colors.

The part that really got my attention was the closing paragraph,
where Forescoff was described as priced comparably to other fluxes
on the market.

Things that make you go “Hmmmm”!

Noel