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Soldering brass


#1

I have only worked in argentium silver but am trying a new pierced
design and want to cut costs so I am using brass sheet, 26g. The
solder is gold-colored silver.

I fluxed and tested a small piece without luck. The solder did flow
but did not bond thesandedbrass sheet. Anything I should be aware of
in this process? Thanks!!


#2

You must be doing something wrong, or using the wrong flux because
brass is routinely soldered with silver-solder. I’ve used both
engineering and jewellery grade silver solder many times with brass
and had no problems at all. When I used Auflux flux (specially
formulated for gold or silver) the results were so not good, but the
standard Easyflo worked fine every time. It would appear that you
are attempting to solder larger items than you are used to doing. If
that is the case then perhaps you are taking an excessive time to get
the joint up to temperature and thus ‘burning’ the flux. This
destroys it’s properties and the solder won’t wet the joint properly,
resulting in a poor or non-existent joint. If it takes much more
than a minute then you risk burning the flux. If this is case, then
either use more heat (or use fire bricks to conserve what you have)
or use a flux more resistant to burning, or both - Tenacity is one
such flux, but it is rather difficult to remove afterwards.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#3

It sounds like you’re doing it right, you’ve made sure that the brass
is clean(steel wool is great for this) and you’ve used a flux. Gold
colour in your silver solder might prevent it bonding. I’ve seen this
before when trying to braze stainless. It could also be the flux
you’re using, it might be burning off before the solder is at flow
temp. you could try a commercial product called Sil-Braz, its a
white paste that burns off at about 1600 degrees f. You can find it
at most welding supply places, where you can find brazing rods and
industrial silver solder that might work better for you.

Chris


#4

I have soldered a lot of brass with silver solder. I don’t know why
the colored solder would be any different than regular silver
solder. The brass seems to need a little more heat but other than
that same process as soldering silver. Always worked fine.


#5

Just in case it helps at all, Johnson Matthey make a brazing alloy
called MATTIBRAZE 34 which has a yellow colour. I’ve used it on
brass and the joint was just about invisible. The melting range is
602-668 C (1117-1234 F).

Regards, Gary Wooding


#6
I fluxed and tested a small piece without luck. The solder did
flow but did not bond the sanded brass sheet. Anything I should be
aware of in this process? 

Karen, are you soldering a pierced brass piece onto a brass backing?
How large are the pieces? Really, you should have no problems with
this process. Almost always, the difficulty is not quite enough heat
was used for the solder to flow completely. Solders for brass tend to
flow at higher temperatures than solders intended just for silver. It
can take awhile to get used to that. Keep us posted.

Judy Bjorkman


#7

I wonder if some people having difficulty in soldering brass is due
to incorrect flux application. Flux used for precious metals is not
going to work. Solder should be in the form of a stiff rod, and flux
should be in granular form. Heat the rod slightly and dip it into
flux. Some of which should adhere to the rod. Use neutral flame as
large and as hot as you can manage. Heating should be as fast as
possible. Keep the rod away from flame until seam is red hot, and
then just touch the rod to it and it should flow.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#8

Interesting that it is not working. Is the solder and piece both
clean and fluxed? How large is the brass piece? I have not had any
problem soldering brass and it has been similar to silver. I do
solder on a charcoal block which helps.


#9

Thanks all for your advice. I am attempting to solder a 2" x 2"
square of pierced brass to a solid piece of the same size. I will
try again and hope for better luck. If not achieved, I will try some
of the other suggested products.


#10

I am guessing that you don’t have enough heat. What kind of torch
set up are you using?


#11
I wonder if some people having difficulty in soldering brass is
due to incorrect flux application. Flux used for precious metals is
not going to work. Solder should be in the form of a stiff rod, and
flux should be in granular form. Heat the rod slightly and dip it
into flux. 

Leonid, I solder brass all the time and use fluxes intended for
silver soldering (e.g., Grifflux and another one). If I am going to
braze, using a brazing rod, I use the granular dip-into-flux or the
black flux intended for brazing, although frankly the
silver-soldering fluxes also work. The advantage of the dipping flux
is that it disintegrates at a higher temperature than the
silver-soldering fluxes, above that at which the brazing rod flows.

Judy Bjorkman
Owego, NY


#12

I use brazing rod to “solder” all the time. I cut it into chips,
pick solder- whatever. I use it on brass, bronze, etc.

Silver “soldering” is, after all, brazing…

Andy in SNOWY Vermont.


#13

I use the Smith Little Torch Oxygen and Propane.


#14
I wonder if some people having difficulty in soldering brass is
due to incorrect flux application. Flux used for precious metals is
not going to work. Solder should be in the form of a stiff rod, and
flux should be in granular form. Heat the rod slightly and dip it
into flux. Some of which should adhere to the rod. 

This is really quite misleading. As well as having almost 50 years
experience in making custom jewellery I’m also a model engineer.
Model steam boilers are silver soldered by both techniques but the
powder flux (usually Easyflo) is nearly always mixed with a little
water and a drop or two of washing-up liquid to make a creamy paste.
The joint is always painted with the flux paste before heating, and
the solder is applied either as paillons (as in jewellery) or from
the tip of a rod. Boiler tubes are nearly always soldered by wrapping
a little ring of solder wire around the tube near the bulkhead, then
applying the heat until it flows. In general, paillons (wire rings
are also paillons) are used for small joints and the rod reserved for
large joints, as in a boiler seam.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#15

I use oxygen and propane also with a little torch and I have
soldered brass larger than the pieces you described but not much
larger. I had to use the rosebud torch end however and it took a lot
of heat. I also fluxed with borax and batterns flux.

What is the correct way?? I have read the other emails reguarding
this and I don’t know the correct way. My way has always worked for
me without incident. I was using easy silver solder and solering on
a charcoal block. I have not tried the “yellow” silver solder yet. I
was just going to buy some and give it a try. Maybe I won’t.


#16

I would say you are doing fine. The roseb buds eems to be enough heat
for your work. the carbon block helps keep a reducing atmosphere. As
far as the gold colored silver solder. This is probably 34 or 35%
silver. This will have a long mushy zone and not as fluid as you are
used to. It wont run like you are used too. The lower silver alloys
are easy to overheat and make a porous joint. They do look more like
brass.

I think I sent some to Judy once and to some one else but never
heard how it worked for them.

jesse


#17

Hello,

I was wondering what the best solder to use when working with brass
and copper. These are new metals for me. I would like to use thee
same color solders as the metals if possible. Also I plan on using
patinas on both the copper and brass. Is there some sort of solder
that will also patina (brown/green) like brass and copper do.

Thanks,
HB


#18

HB, first try the Orchid Archives, going back several years. There
has been a lot of discussion, at times, on soldering brass and
copper.

Judy Bjorkman