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Silver Bezel on Copper


#1

I am in the process of making a 4 sided Copper Triangle (I’m sure
there’s a geometric name for it), and I am planning on using pure
silver bezel on it to hold down some cabs. Anyone have any
recommendations or warnings on how to do. I’ve tried doing silver
with copper before, and it ended with a scorched piece of copper
that didn’t seem to want to braze to the silver, so i’m nervous -
i’ve spent a week carving the triangle pattern out of a single piece
of Copper, and then scoring and folding it to make it perfect, i’d
hate to ruin it on the brazing part. Am I going to run into a
serious oxidation problem because of the copper? That is my concern.

-Cris


#2

Cris,

I make sure that the copper is very clean first then heavily and
completely cover with the paste flux to seal the surface from the
air. Next you want to heat it up fast, flow the solder, then get
out. The longer the flame in on the piece the more oxidation. The
flux can only absorb so much in oxides in the fluid state then it
quits working/cleaning. Also remember that the fine silver bezel
melts at a much lower tempter that the copper: 1762F verses 1981F
(Practical Casting, McCreight, 1986) so you can use a lot more heat
and work faster. Even if you are using hard solder, you are still
working well below the melting tempter of either metal. I have found
the massive amount of flux the key to keeping everything clean. It
also helps to make the solder into beads then place the beads where
you need them rather than using chips. I use a solder pic to put the
beads in place once the flux is fluid on the metal surface.

Hope this helps.
Bill


#3

First issue is that you need some serious flux. If you don’t already
have some, go to a welders or plumbers supply shop and get some of
the paste flux used for brazing copper pipe. I use stay-silv and it
works great. Second issue is that copper is a great conductor of
heat, so you will need a big, big flame if the piece has a large
thermal mass. Copper oxidizes so quickly and heavily that it will
exhaust even heavy-duty flux fairly rapidly, so you want to get the
piece up to temperature and the solder flowing without undue delay.

The third issue is, how does one make a four-sided triangle? Are
you speaking of a four-sided pyramid? Triangles are two-dimensional
and have three sides only.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry
http://www.dosmanosjewelry.com


#4

Hi Cris,

Maybe instead of brazing the silver bezel directly to the copper,
you might consider creating a silver bezel cup and cold-connecting
the cup to the copper with a rivet or two. Then set the stone.
(This only works if you still have access to the back side of the
copper…).

–Terri


#5

Hi Chris, Your four-sided copper triangle is called a
tetra(four)hedron. (now if only only knew about jewellry making
instead of trivia).

David


#6

Hi Cris There should be no problem with a fine silver bezel on copper
as I do it often. Just make sure to use a good borax flux on the
copper and point the torch at the copper not directly at the bezel.
Also try to heat the whole quickly to keep oxidation to a minimum.

Karen Bahr “the Rocklady” (@Rocklady)
K.I.S. Creations
May your gems always sparkle.