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Prips Flux


#1

Bought the ingredients which probably would end up making
several gallons of flux. Weighed out the 120/80/80 grams as
indicated. Boiled them all up in a little over a quart of water.
A little bit of something would not go into solution as the
solution was probably saturated. Tried the flux this morning on
silver to silver and on some nickel- silver. Seems the home brew
works well. Brewed this in class and left the balance. A slight
smell while brewing.

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? 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 be
bought?

Thanks.
Bill in Vista


#2

You can order the two-tube atomizer to use with Pripp’s Flux
from Leslie Ceramics Supply, 1212 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA
94706 (510)-524-7363.


#3

I bought one of those atomizers from an art supply store
(Continental Art Supplies in Reseda, CA for about $6.00 - there
is no brand name or anything on it). The guy at the store said
you blow thru the larger tube to get a coarser spray, and through
the smaller tube for a finer spray. He said you stick one end in
the liquid and blow through the other tube; it works as a vacuum.
I tried that and only got a few splatters - no fine spray.

-Mary/Simi Valley, CA
Wish I could go to Tucson!!!


#4

Thank you Peter Rowe for the super post about the flux.

I had always spelled it as PRIPP’s. I sit here with the container
in front of mine eyes and see:

PRIP'S FLUX 
Griffith Distributors, Inc
4 ounces $3.50

and yes it does say “cover the entire piece for FIRECOAT
protection” and yes, it is a kind of bright orange color. Also
says to use it as a primary flux for soldering. Quote:

Directions
Apply PRIP'S FLUX to entire piece, place solder
and dry to a white powder prior to heating evenly
to soldering temperature.

Our teacher Anthony Lugo says he once met the gentleman.

Bill In Vista


#5
  ...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
be bought? 

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… :slight_smile:

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe


#6
I bought one of those atomizers from an art supply store
(Continental Art Supplies in Reseda, CA for about $6.00 -
there is no brand name or anything on it). The guy at the store
said you blow thru the larger tube to get a coarser spray, and
through the smaller tube for a finer spray.  He said you stick
one end in the liquid and blow through the other tube; it works
as a vacuum. I tried that and only got a few splatters - no
fine spray. 

They “guy” obviously didn’t know how to work it. Blow only
through the larger tube. blowing through the small one will only
make you feel silly. You sometimes need to blow fairly hard,
and the atomizers sometimes need a little adjusting, so the end
of the small tube is directly in front of, and at no more than a
right angle to, the large tube. Some of these are made very
cheaply, and may not be at quite the right angle. Try "closing"
the hinge just a tad to seperate the two ends by a millimeter or
so. That decreases the angle between them… Play with it a
bit. They DO work.

Peter Rowe


#7

I use just a simple li’l ol plant mister. Works well.

On the subject of Pripps Flux, I had to try it, although two of my profs
were kinda… well, let’s just say, they both prefer other methods quite
vehemently. We’d been using the white paste flux before, and that worked
well… so just to compare the two for anyone who’s moderately
interested…

Paste Pripps

  • did not have to be reapplied * had to be reapplied throughout operation
  • protected against firescale okay * fantastic protection against firescale
  • lasted through a long soldering process * got all over my firebrick and
    everywhere else
  • is less messy than Pripps for your firebrick * about a buck a quart
  • is a buck a camera film canister * takes twice as long to pickle
  • pickles quickly * have to make it yourself
  • forces the college tecnician to spend hours filling
    little film canisters :slight_smile:

Sooo… I’m pro Pripps. I think it’s fun making your own stuff, and it
means if there’s something due Monday, and the technician is gone for the
weekend… everybody comes to me. Heh heh. :slight_smile: It’s really amazing how
little firescale I got – I was filling a pit in a heavy sterling casting
and had to heat the heck out of it, so I just kept reapplying the
Pripps… and as the metal cooled on the way to the pickle, it was still
silver
. There was literally NO oxidization on the surface. Wow, was I
impressed. :slight_smile: Could simply be because I was constantly putting a fresh
layer on, but you can’t do that as easily with paste anyway.


#8

If they are charging you that much, you need to get to a art or
jewelry supply store or welding shop. It’s not surprizing that
they don’t recomend your using something you make yourself.

If you don’t live near any of those stores, look at
http://www.metalworks.com/SolderTools/SolderTool.htm There
pasteflux and Bittern’s are both listed at around $4 for 1/2
pound.

Check the metal prices while your out there, I’ll bet you’re
getting soaked for that, too.

Chunk