Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Prips sprayers & stick pins


#1

Hi All, I haven’t commented on anything for a long time. I swear I’m
still trying to catch up on all the Orchids I got behind on at
Christmas. I only have about 45 to go! Anyway, about these Prips
sprayers. I’ve made up the flux in the past with the trisodum
phosphate, borax, etc. etc. But whenever it cools it crystallizes.
I don’t know how you guys could spray it in anything, let alone a
nasal spray! What am I doing wrong? and why doesn’t yours
crystallize too?

As for my second question: I took a class from Pat Flynn where he
used stainless steel pin parts. I would like to make some stick
pins. I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal but I’ve tried a
couple of times and even with easy solder I can not get it to solder
the stainless wire to the sterling pin. Does the steel have to be
cherry red or something? I mean I solder all the time I’m using the
Little Torch with oxygen and acetylene. Any suggestions?

Then just on a side note. You know http://www.creativegem.com
that advertises here on the Orchid? I ordered some stones from them
last month. And I just want to say I was extremely impressed with
the service, the prices and the quality of the stones. I had tried
to match some star ruby sapphires for several years now. Even here
on the Orchid and had literally looked all over the world. They
matched it and also found 5 blue sapphires that were a really odd
color that I never thought I could find that I have to replace (I’m
not even going to go there). In fact everything I ordered except
for one stone was not on the website and they specifically found to
my specifications! They were fantastic and the prices were
unbelievable. Soooo if you ever need any stones I would highly
recommend them.

God Bless you
~Poppy~
www.jewelrybypoppy.com


#2

Poppy: I used to solder surgical steel findings all the time before I
got a Sparkie II. The trick is to use a good flux (I used paste flux)
and heat the base piece first, then the finding and then hit with the
solder ASAP. I used wire solder. If you heat the surgical steel with
heat too long before hitting it with solder it oxidizes and will never
work. Takes a little practice, but I have soldered thousands of
pieces that way.

Ken Gastineau
Berea, Kentucky


#3

Hi Poppy, I can’t help with the Prips flux question, but have some
insight on soldering stainless. I don’t think it can be done. I use
stainless steel binding wire for two reasons: It won’t accidentally
solder to my work, and if necessary, I can throw the piece in pickle
pot with the binding wire in place without contaminating the pickle.

I wish I could be more helpful. Maybe someone else has an alternate
view, but I’d hate to see you knocking yourself out trying to do the
impossible. Could you utilize some sort of cold connection technique
to make your stick pins?

Good luck,
Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#4
 But whenever it cools it crystallizes. I don't know how you guys
could spray it in anything, let alone a nasal spray!  What am I
doing wrong? and why doesn't yours crystallize too? 

If your mix is concentrated enough that it’s crystalizing out again
as it cools, you just need more water. Making the stuff more dilute
doesn’t hurt it at all, it just means, if it’s very dilute, that you
have to spray more to get enough on the work. But having enough
water in the recipe so it all fully dissolves, and stays dissolved,
is necessary to have the right percentages of the three chemicals on
the work. Most likely, you won’t actually have to add all that much
water to achieve the desired mix.

Peter


#5

Soldering stainless … I don’t think it can be done.

Sorry Dave, it can be soldered alright (or at least 200 series stuff
can) - and with ordinary lead/tin solder at that. I started my first
"real" job at 15, nights after school, and weekends, at a place that
custom-made anything you could think of out of stainless steels from
onsite boning tables to precision gas regulator plates for hospitals
to stainless steel sinks, urinals (and I’ve heard ALL the cracks
about that) and big game fishing stuff. The sinks, including the
bowls, (hand made, not pressed) from 18 gauge sheet and were mounted
on a hand-made hardwood internal frame (that’ll tell you how long ago
this was). Small stainless tabs were routinely soldered to the
underside of the sink-top, pulled down hard and nailed back to the
wood frame to provide rigidity and a proper fall for drainage.

Al Heywood


#6

Peter - In a recent post (8/23/02) you worte " But having enough
water in the recipe so it all fully dissolves, and stays dissolved,
is necessary to have the right percentages of the three chemicals on
the work. "

Once mixed, my Prips flux tends to develop some crystalization on
the bottom and on the tube of the sprayer. I had always assumed that
the 3 components crystalize out in proportion to their
concentrations. My husband, however, thinks that the boric acid has
a lower saturation that the TSP or borax. Your response suggests
that this is true.

Should we continue to add water until nothing at all crystalizes or
is some crystalization inevitable, provided it is not massive?

Debby


#7
  My husband, however, thinks that the boric acid has a lower
saturation that the TSP or borax.  Your response suggests that this
is true. Should we continue to add water until nothing at all
crystalizes or is some crystalization inevitable, provided it is
not massive? 

The three componants each have differring solubilities in water, so
they won’t crystalize out in proportion. So it’s best to keep the
flux fully dissolved. But don’t get too worried or pedantic about
this. The proportions of prips flux are not all that critical.
3:2:2 is the stated ratio. Anything in that general range will work.
A little bit crystalized out may change the ratio very slightly,
But it won’t make any significant difference to the flux. It’s a
simple recipe. Borax and Boric acid are both protective agents
(fluxes) for the metal. For molten metals, such as for a
casting/melting flux, a mix of the two with nothing else is just
fine. The difference between them is that boric acid melts, and is
active in dissolving oxides and protecting metal, through a higher
temperature range than borax. So as the metal heats up, the borax
melts and is active first, then the boric acid takes over protecting
the metal, and keeping the flux from burning off as quickly as it
would were it just borax. Since the higher temp protection is more
important, the recipe uses more boric acid. The sodium phosphate is
a strong alkali, detergent, and wetting agent. It’s purpose is to
lower surface tension so the melting and molten flux is able to wet
and adhere to the metal. rather than balling up or pulling away from
the metal. Other than that, the sodium phosphate has little
additional effect on the mix. The amount of the sodium phosphate just
needs to be sufficient to perform this duty, and thus is also not
critical. So the end answer is that if you’ve got a LOT of
crystalization going on, then add more water. But just a little?
Don’t be too concerned.

Peter


#8

Hello Peter,

Thanks for such a good explanation of Prip’s flux and how each
component works. I have one more question - which I could probably
answer by experimentation, but I’m feeling lazy.

I’ve got lots of precipitant, so I need to add water. Is it
necessary to reheat as the water is added? I vaguely remember
something from chem lab about heat being necessary to make a
saturated solution of the chemicals.

Judy in Kansas, where football season begins this Sat. and the campus
is rockin’

Judy M. Willingham, R.S. Biological and Agricultural Engineering 237
Seaton Hall Kansas State University Manhattan KS 66506 (785) 532-
2936


#9
  Hello Peter, 	 Thanks for such a good explanation of Prip's flux
and how each component works.  I have one more question - which I
could probably answer by experimentation, but I'm feeling lazy. 	 

Yeah, that’s lazy, all right (grin). But i’ll forgive you, this
time…

   I've got lots of precipitant, so I need to add water.  Is it
necessary to reheat as the water is added?  I vaguely remember
something from chem lab about heat being necessary to make a
saturated solution of the chemicals. 	 

heating it will dissolve the componants faster, and more will
dissolve in hot water than in cold. If you dissolve the maximum
amount in hot water, then upon cooling, some will precipitate out
again. what’s left after that happens is a fully saturated solution.
But then you’ve got the same problem all over again. Do it the simple
way. Add some water, shake well, and go do something else for a
while. if, when you return, there’s still undissolved salts, add
some more water.

The big problem with these questions such as you, and others, have
asked isn’t that they’re not significant, it’s that you’re turning a
simple process, a chemical molehill, into this bid deal. It’s not
the mountain of technical questions people seem to be making of it.
Just add enough water to dissolve the stuff. You don’t need it
saturated, or any specific concentration. Just have at least most of
the chemical stay dissolved. You can mix it hot, cold, with
distilled water, tap water, or Evian water if you like. spray it
with my favorite mouth atomizers, or any other sprayer you like, or
just brush it on if you like, though that’s harder for anything but
small items. But Geez. Prips flux is just not that complex or
critical. Almost anything works. I mean, for example, in the
formula, we say sodium phosphate. that can be trisodium phosphate,
disodium phosphate, or monosodium phosphate. How many formulas do
you know there it isn’t even important exactly which of several
closely related compounds you use? Granulation is somewhat the same
way. Almost any copper salt, with almost any glue or gum, will work,
or just plate the copper on (which does work a little differently).
Be brave, people. Instead of killing yourselves with questions,
“just do it”. Experiment a bit. It won’t kill ya, and you might
learn more than from asking questions here. (grinning widely,
now…) And never forget that one definition of an amateur is the
guy who gets to be very good at doing something his way, because he
didn’t know the experts had said you can’t do it that way…

The only problem with making it more dilute is that you might have
to spray a bit more to get full coverage. This isn’t a problem, and
for some situations, it’s an advantage. Some school shops use the
recipe amounts, or thereabouts, that I use to make a quart/liter of
the flux, only they mix with a full gallon of water, to make it a bit
more dilute, since students sometimes tend to not only use more than
they need, but the overspray gets everywhere too. Mixed this way is
more economical for the schools, and the student projects come out
just fine.