...Tried the flux this morning on silver to silver and on
some nickel- silver. Seems the home brew works well.
Two comments. Remember that Pripps flux (note spelling is two
P’s, Jack Pripp deserves to have his name spelled right) is not
actually a soldering flux. It’s purpose and design is solely to
prevent firescale on sterling silver. It may work somewhat as
well on nickel silver, but don’t expect it to be perfect in that
role. Also, though it will work moderately well as a silver
soldering flux, It will only do so well if the solder and silver
are very clean already. Pripps isn’t really very active as a
flux, and for silver soldering, isn’t as effective as some of the
other fluxes which contain flouride or other different
components. Nevertheless, in times past, many silversmiths and
goldsmiths used nothing but straight borax as a soldering flux,
and Pripps will work as well as, or better, than that ever did…
Question: The commercial Prip's flux I have is a bright
yellow, this mix is colorless when it settles out .Why the
difference in color?
The commercial stuff that is bright yellow is NOT Pripps. It’s
batterns, or a look alike, and is a fluoride containing flux with
a different chemistry and purpose than Pripps. More active as a
soldering flux, but not very effective at preventing fire scale
on silver. If someone is making Pripps bright yellow, which they
could do, of course, then it’s an addition only there to make it
sexy looking for marketing.
Question: There was talk about a "two tube atomizer"
suitable for ceramic glazes that was recommended for the flux.
Does anyone have a name of the atomizer maker? Where can they
Talk… no, print… (grin)… in the original article I wrote a
couple years ago on this subject, and which I’ve reposted a
couple times since. If you want a copy, let me know. But I
didn’t invent it. Only passed on what I was taught back at the
univ. of Wisconsin/madison, by Fred Fenster, back in the early
’70s. Not exactly new info. The mouth atomizers have the
advantage over a common sprayer bottle that they don’t get
clogged, produce a very fine and uniform spray, and last almost
forever (the ones I still use are easily 20 years old or more).
You can use a sprayer bottle too, and they are easier to use,
perhaps, but need to be cleaned after each use of the flux
residue dries in the nozzle and clogs the sprayer. I also know
people who use a small hobby type “external mix” airbrush with
good results. As to where to get them? I’d try an art supplies
store that sells ceramic glazes and supplies. Like I said,
these are used to apply an even coating of glaze to a bisque
fired piece. college art departments usually have nearby art
supply stores (often the local college book store too) which may
carry such things. I’m NOT talking about the little hobby level
stores where you can go and buy molded prefired kitschy ashtrays
and decorator ceramics for you and grandma to paint as a hobby.
I’m talking about an actual arts supply place. If you’re in a
smallet town, this may take some searching. You could also make
one quickly enough. They consist of one tube about six inches
long with an inside diameter of maybe 1 to 2 millimeters. Another
tube is actually a tapered cone, maybe 3 inches long, with the
small end being about twice the bore as the smaller tube, and the
larger end (which is the mouthpiece you blow into) usually about
a quarter inch across. A straight tube would work too. These
are usually made with the two tubes mounted to a hinged bracket
so you can fold it up, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
What’s important is that they are at right angles or just a few
degrees less, to each other, with the open end of the small
diameter, vertical tube in front of, and just below the center,
of the opening in the larger mouthpiece tube. Air blown into the
larger tube passes across the opening in the small tube creating
a venturi, and suction, which sucks up the flux into which the
lower end of that vertical tube is immersed. Lotta talk to
describe a two dollar or less scrap of cheap tube…
Hope this helps.