I make my own brass solders and what I do it to melt copper to zinc
in a ratio of 50/50% It is a kind of hit an miss affair, because
there is quite a lot of smoke and fancy coloured flames but
eventually, with a low reducing flame I am at about 40% zinc to
This gives a yellow solder that is quite high in temperature to
cartridge brass,(which I use) but it's got a nice yellow colour. At
first, the melted copper hates the zinc, lots of sputtering and
smoke, but as more zinc is introduced to the melt, it gets an easy
solder melt look.
That is, it stays shiny, liquid and silver looking for longer and
longer after the flame is removed.
So when you pull your flame back, you can see how long it takes to
solidify and so you can judge how easy or hard the solder will be. If
it is too easy, it takes forever to solidify, and when it is to hard
it is still silver coloured but solid in the feel of your melting
Maybe some of the leading lights on Orchid like Leonard or Donovan
can give a better way of melting the two metals but that is how I do
My blog address always gets removed from my emails, but if you go to
my web site and click on the News icon on the top it will take you to
my blog and there you will be able to see my latest brass art piece
called my Dragon Bow.
This is a complicated exercise in brass soldering, where I use the
formula and methodology of making brass solder extensively.
I am aware that you are an accomplished goldsmith, Janet, so I say
this for those that are still learning.
The solder I have described has a high melting point.
Thus at high temperatures, approaching the melting point of the
parent metal, brass becomes very weak and will sag noticeably if not
Also, it the temperature is increased further, an eutectic solution
is formed, thus ruining the piece.
Flame control and a good flux is everything.