The copper and brass shouldn’t contaminate your tools, but you
may want to clean your files with a file card if your goal is
keeping your sweeps “pure”. I often have my advanced students
clean their work area before beginning so that they can be
assured of as clean a space as possible. Metals such as zinc,
pewter, lead or aluminum (which we use in our studios) are more
of a concern to me due to their low melting point. In my
opinion, you should use separate files for them AND a separate
work area if possible.
Simple cleanliness will probably yield good results for you.
But, be particularly careful when using low melting, non-ferrous
You can use hard, medium, and easy silver solder. If it is
practice work, I’d recommend all three so that you can get the
benefit of knowing how to work with multiple solder processes.
There are also copper and brass solders available if you are
working in those metals exclusively (someone on the list has the
info on them I’m sure).