Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Pripps' flux won't adhere


#1

Hello all,

Have tried the blowing thing with Pripps’ flux and finally got the
hang of it ,and it’s great stuff, but when it comes to larger
silversmithing scale pieces, it 's hard to get the spray into
certain awkward spaces and also takes sooo much blowing. It would be
such a boon if it could just be brushed on. In England we use an
anti-firestain powder called Argotect (not as effective as Pripps)
and mix it with methylated spirits which makes it adhere very well,
so I tried to do that with Pripps mix but it wouldn’t get suspended
in it,or even stick to the brush, and just sank to the bottom of the
jar. Then I tried a dab of liquid detergent in some fresh mixture
and was able to brush it on but when heat was applied it mostly
disappeared except for a very few patches. Anybody have any chemical
background to speculate what might constitute an effective medium
to enable the flux to stick and be applied more broadly?
Incidentally, why is it called flux when you can’t use it for
solder flow?

Thanks v. much,
Kay I.


#2

Here is a great way to apply pripps, get a very cheap airbrush, I got
a cheap imported on for less than six dollars, Used quality
airbrushes can be had cheap on eBay, if you don’t have a compressor,
throwaway cans are available at hobby shops.

The advcantage to an airbrush is the controll of the atomization of
the pripps flux, plus the ability to direct as wide or narrow stream
pov vapor to the part. also the premixed Pripps from Gorbet is great
since it is nearly imposible to get a reasonable quantity of Tri
Sodium Phosphate that has over 10 percent phosphate, most places
that carry it sell by the 100 pound lot.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of fabrication work lately and it sure
saves time on cleanup, I still get a very slight blush but not any
thing that won’t buff out easily, wish I’d heard about this stuff 20
years ago.

Kenneth Ferrell
www.shadras.com


#3

Hi Kay,

    Have tried the blowing thing with Pripps' flux and finally got
the hang of it ,and it's great stuff, but when it comes to larger
silversmithing scale pieces, it 's hard to get  the spray into
certain awkward spaces and also takes sooo much blowing. It would
be such a boon if it could just be brushed on. 

I was looking for the mouth sprayer recommended here for applying
Prip’s flux and a friend who works with enamels brought up a good
point: Do you really want to regularly use your mouth on something
that is exposed to the chemically-laden environment of our studios?
I’ve opted for a fine mist sprayer - an empty Chloroseptic spray
bottle produced a finer mist than the others I had around. I just
swish the nozzle in the rinse water on my bench when I’m done to
reduce clogging problems.

Not having seen the mouth blower, I can’t say that this spray is as
fine, but application is pretty good if the piece is clean (not
greasy).

 <snip> . . . enable the flux to stick and be applied more
broadly? Incidentally, why is it called flux  when you can't use it
for solder flow? 

Brush application was one of the methods described by John Cogswell
when I took a class with him and learned about Prip’s flux.

I used to solder without adding flux on top of the Prip’s but read
here to use flux too. When I began adding a touch of Cupronil to the
joints, things flowed more smoothly.

HTH
Pam Chott
www.songofthephoenix.com


#4
    certain awkward spaces and also takes sooo much blowing. It
would be such a boon if it could just be brushed on. 

Yes, I brush it on, sometimes when spraying is not practical----Just
heat and brush, similar to the way you heat and spray. Make sure the
brush is VERY wet: heat the metal a bit so that the flux turns to
white powder when you apply it, then brush, heat, dip and brush,
heat, dip and brush, etc. Make sure it is not an expensive brush, as
one does tend to singe/burn the brush, occasionally.

Incidentally, why is it called flux  when you can't use it for
solder flow? 

Actually, I find that it is a very good soldering flux. Try it!

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#5

Just dip your piece into the Pripps’ flux. You can cook up your own.

Jennifer
Ventura, CA


#6

Hi Gang,

  Make sure the brush is VERY wet:  heat the metal a bit so that
the flux turns to white powder when you apply it, then  brush,
heat, dip and brush, heat, dip and brush, etc. Make sure it is not
an expensive brush, as one does tend to singe/burn the brush,
occasionally. 

Very good advice Cynthia!

I’d like to add one more point to the list. Be sure the brush is a
NATURAL bristle brush. Synthetic bristle (nylon, etc.) will melt
when they touch something hot.

Dave


#7

TSP is not universally unobtainable in small quantities… While it
has been removed from most household washing materials it seems to
still be found at paint stores. I have been seeing both actual TSP
and the replacement material Sodium meta silicate. Just look at the
small print about a phosphate content. Don’t get concerned about the
numbers in the analysis. they show the phosphorous content as a
percentage of a total elements not a percentage of TSP in the total.

jesse


#8

Yeah guys, and those cheap brushes work the best, the ones with the
bare wooden handle. Maybe a little long at first but they get
shorted up pretty quick. While on the subject of brushes, since I
also add a little flux too my joints, besides Pripps, what do most
of you use to applyl flux when the metal is hot. This is adding flux
after you have cured (turned golden) the Pripps. I was shopping
around for a brass bristle shaped like a little 1/4" in wide paint
brush. The bristles 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, just enough to hold some
flux, but flexible enough to push into the joints. Never could find
one, was wondering too if the brass was kept in the flux jar would
it contaminate the flux? So far now made a little spatula out of a
strip of stainless. Added a little wooden handle too. Does not work
too bad, lets you smash the flux into the joints.

Warren Townsend


Trenton, MI 48183


#9

Warren,

I also add flux (I happen to like Battern’s) to my joins after
Pripping (?) and before adding the solder. I heat the Battern’s
till it relaxes and then add the solder. I normally use a small
brush but then the metal is only warm from applying the Prip’s. If I
need to add more flux after the metal is hot, I use the tip of a
pick.

Your interest in using something like brass bristles sounds
interesting. Suggest trying a small brass brush used in a
Foredom…cut away all but a few bristles and see how that works.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2


#10
    what do most of you use to applyl flux when the metal is hot 

I use the small plastic bottle with the needle in the top, available
at most suppliers. I got mine locally, but Rio calls it a Needle-Tip
Flux Dispenser. Theirs is a kit with four different sized tips, mine
only has the one. Theirs is on page 342 of their current Tools $
Equipment catalog. I’m not sure if they have an on-line catalog, but
their part number is 504-005. $6.55 USD.

James in SoFl


#11
   and it's great stuff, but when it comes to larger silversmithing
scale pieces, it 's hard to get  the spray into certain awkward
spaces and also takes sooo much blowing. It would be such a boon if
it could just be brushed on. 

Kay, if you’re need is for fire stain protection during annealing,
and not with soldering, such as is often the case when
silversmithing, where one needs to anneal frequently, you should
investigate a concoction mixed up by the late Richard Thomas while he
was at Cranbrook, to solve this very question. Unlike Prips, which
uses both boric acid and borax, this mix, which he called
"ring-a-ding" (after that bell going off in your head when you
suddenly find an answer to a question). It’s got two components.
One is boric acid. And the other is a high tech surfactant. Plain
boric acid is known to be effective for preventing fire scale when
used on gold (boric acid and alcohol is a jewelers standard, after
all), but has problems with silver because it doesn’t adhere, and
pulls away from the surface on heating. Ring-a-ding solves this
with the surfactant, a material called Aerosol OT-solid, which acts to
keep the boric acid as it heats up, wetting the silver surface. The
mix is used by just dipping the work in it, or brushing it on. After
annealing, the surface is not quite as bright as is the case with
prips, but ends up slightly dusty looking, but you will not have the
formation of fire stain or fire scale. It acts, for reasons I don’t
know, as almost an anti flux for soldering, so if you use it in
conjunction with soldering operations, you have to be careful to
keep it away from the joints, or the solder will not flow well there.
As with prips flux, ring-a-ding is a home brew concoction, and due
to the need for the surfactant, a bit more bother to make, as that’s
not an everyday material. Metalsmith magazine published the recipe a
number of years ago (ten or fifteen?), and others here on Orchid may
know it as well. There may even be some firms who now make it. At
one time, C.R.Hill in Detroit mixed it up (They’re just down the road
from Cranbrook), but even Richard Thomas was not happy with the way
they mixed it (too dilute, as a liquid, rather than a slurry), and my
own single purchase of their version, back in the early 80s, also
suggested that they’d got it wrong. Not sure if they still try to
make it. We had it available routinely, to students, when I was in
college and grad school, so I know several schools provide it in the
studios. So someone out there knows the recipe… It does solve the
problem of easy application, and works reasonably well so long as you
can tolerate a slight loss of surface polish, which obviously is not
an issue when you’re just going back to hammering on a piece of
metal.

cheers
Peter Rowe


#12

Warren, you might like to look at the ‘glass scratch brushes’ such
as these http://www.shesto.co.uk/jtools_cat/Page06.pdf . As you can
see at the top right, brass inserts are available for these brushes
which should do what you want. I’m sure the same thing is available
from your local suppliers.

Best Wishes,

Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#13

Hello Warren Townsend,

I use an old insulin syringe to apply tiny drops of Battern’s flux
to the soldering joint. Capillary action draws the liquid into the
joint if it’s not hot. If the metal is hot, the first drop sort of
steams off and cools things down so that the second drop stays on
the metal.

Works for me,
Judy in Kansas


#14
    I use an old insulin syringe to apply tiny drops of Battern's
flux 

If anyone wants syringes, my favorite brand is Baxa Exacta Med oral
syringes. These wash up well and last longer than most styles of
syringes. http://www.baxa.com. You can see them there, but not order.
Order from your favorite locally owned pharmacy.

Usual disclaimer.

Elaine
Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#15

I have found the best place to obtain syringes is at the local
farm/feed store. They come in all sizes, and are about 30 cents each
for the small size.

They are for giving shots to horses and cows.

Love and God Bless
-randy
http://www.rocksmyth.com