Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

I may have found Copper-colored solder


#1

Having reiterated that there is no solder that will yield a
copper-colored seam, I may have found one.

I bought some “Copper Wire Solder #801” from Caldron Crafts
(www.caldroncrafts.com) a couple of years ago. I must have tried it
because I wrote “leaves grey seam” on the plastic bag. This summer I
was talking to the owner of Caldron Crafts who said she had talked
to the manufacturer of the solder who said that one should not use
any flux
with this solder.

I finally tried it out on a copper jump ring (16-gauge wire). It was
not a great seam nor did I use a tiny amount of solder. So far, no
grey. I filed the seam a little, hammered the jump ring flat,
tumble-polished it in my ceramic media for a few hours, rubbed it
gently with 4/0 steel wool – still no grey.

The copper wire was from one of those little wooden spools from
years ago. I tried a second jump ring made of Rio’s copper wire –
I’m not sure the effect is so good. I need to try it again, but I’ve
run out of time for experimenting on this. Try it yourself – no
flux. Let Orchid know your results.

Judy Bjorkman


#2
one _should not use any flux_ with this solder. 

Judy, this sounds like what I posted the other week on the subject
Soldering Copper - Any new advances?

"… brazing rod specially for copper to copper joints and no flux is
necessary? It’s pretty much just copper with phosphorus in it as a
deoxidiser, isn’t it, so it’ll be close to copper-coloured. Johnson
Matthey sell it as…

http://www.jm-metaljoining.com/products-pages.asp?pageid=65

Remember: what we do with gold and silver solders is really called
’brazing’."

Brian
www.adam.co.nz


#3
Having reiterated that there is no solder that will yield a
copper-colored seam, I may have found one. 

It is probably a phos copper spring wire

jesse


#4

I use a couple of brick sized pieces of Styrofoam, and put my files
in it tang side down. I keep them within arms reach, and this keeps
them from rubbing up against each other.

Alma


#5

Judy - in reguards to copper solder - I bought the same copper solder
from caldron crafts. I solder copper beads together with it. I have
found it can grey like you said and with no flux it does not grey. I
tumble, polish and patina these beads and you cannot see the solder
seam. The “copper colored” solder works great for me. I was glad to
have found it on-line. :slight_smile:

Joy


#6

Thanks for responses from Jesse:

It is probably a phos copper spring wire 

I agree.

and from Brian, who posted this a little while ago:

"... brazing rod specially for copper to copper joints and no flux
is necessary... 

I guess I missed the importance of the phrase, “no flux is
necessary.” and from Joy, who gave us the happy results of her work
with this phos-copper solder:

I have found it can grey like you said and with no flux it does
not grey. I tumble, polish and patina these beads and you cannot
see the solder seam. 

It’s a lot easier to use than the hammered old pennies!

Judy Bjorkman


#7

Has anyone found a US source for the Copper-flo products of Johnson
Matthey? I searched the net - but w/o success. Thanks. Jim


#8

This class of products is widely available in the US from a number of
suppliers. check your welding distributor and Google : phos-copper
brazing alloys

jesse


#9

I’m still looking all over the web for someone who sells this in the
US or Canada. Does anyone have a source?

Michele
MikiCat Designs
www.mikicatdesigns.com


#10

There’s something called “High-copper wire solder” in the Rio
catalog on p. 684. Sounds the same (self-fluxing, contains phos.)
however, it says it’s gray. ??

Trish


#11
There's something called "High-copper wire solder" in the Rio
catalog on p. 684. Sounds the same (self-fluxing, contains phos.)
however, it says it's gray. ?? 

I have some “phos flo #7” bought YEARS ago from IJS, and it is gray,
but I have found that it sometimes is copper-colored after soldering
copper with it. I now suspect that it comes out copper-colored when
less flux is present, since I would never have thought you could
solder copper without flux. If I can find it, and find the time,
I’ll try it without any flux, though it won’t be easy to go against
all my deeply-ingrained habits!

Noel


#12

I have some of the gray-colored copper solder—from either Allcraft
or Rio Grande—can’t remember which. I haven’t used it in a while,
but my recollection is that there is another way to get it copper
colored: I think I recall that I soldered as usual, using the mix of
black and white flux that I find works better for copper alloys
(fights the black scale better than white). After finishing, I
believe that I heated and pickled—essentially depleting the
surface. I also recall that if I was doing a patina, it seemed to
take the patina about the same as the copper, even without
depleting, and that it did not matter that it had been gray.

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#13

Hi Cynthia

What is black flux? I imagine that white flux is Handi-flux…

Thanks
Rose Marie Christison


#14
What is black flux? 

Rose Marie, black flux is used for higher-temperature
brazing/soldering. Mine is Harris’ Stay-Silv Black Hi-Temp Brazing
Flux (No. 40051). It’s active from 700-1800 degrees Fahrenheit. It
contains fluorides. I think most welding supply stores carry it.

Judy Bjorkman


#15

These copper phosphorous solders are grey in color but come to you
looking copper colored because they have been pickled which removes
the phosphorus from the surface. When you use them on copper as
directed without flux the surface ends up looking copper colored
because the phosphorous is oxidized/burned out of the surface of the
solder. If you use flux you are providing an oxidation protection
and you see the true color of the bulk solder. If you sand or
otherwise abrade the soldered joint you will see the grey color. But
you can return it to a copper look by heating it up fairly hot but
not to melting point and then quenching in water and then pickling.
To avoid bringing up the grey color use a wire brush to burnish the
surface of the soldered area rather than a more abrasive polishing
method.

If you use this solder on other copper alloys like brass or bronze
you will need to use flux. I have not had luck in trying to get a
uniform copper color on the solder when it is used on brass with flux
though. It tends to actually look worse than tight clean silver
soldered joints on the same materials as it wants to bleed away from
the joint.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#16

I have found a copper wire solder that works well. at Capilano Rock
and Gem (capilanorock.ca) in Vancouver, Canada, which is also where
I work. I’ve also discovered that low karat gold solder works well
for brass.

Bee
Silver Bee


#17
...I've also discovered that low karat gold solder works well for
brass. 

Bee, this is true, but over time, as the brass slowly tarnishes, the
little seam line will remain a perky bright gold. Maybe you would
like this effect…

Judy Bjorkman