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Soldering copper without using silver

Is it possible to solder copper without using silver? It’s not just
the cost, but there’s also the stark contrast of silver on copper.


google reveals several items/processes you might explore.
patination [of silver solder]
copper solder
copper plating [of a silver solder]

things will depend on the type of jewelery, and what you are


There are brazing alloys especially formulated for copper. They have
a low silver content and a high copper content. You can get them from


If you are soldering copper to copper, you can use very low
temperature solder. Plumbers have been doing this for a long time.
However, it is a silver gray in color. There are some after soldering
treatments available that can darken the solder and hide it better.

John Atwell Rasmussen, Ph.D., AJP

If it’s not the cost then silver solder is the strongest and easiest
option. You can copper plate the solder line with old pickle and iron
wire (there is a recipe for a copper plating paste in the Practical
Recipes eBook ).

If the join is a large or complex one then using soft solder is a
good option and you can copper plate this too.

But if you don’t want to plate for some reason then you could use low
silver brazing rod, you can get this from most fabricating
engineering supplier. The colour of the join will be brass though.
Phosphor bronze brazing rod, which is copper coloured, could be used
but its pretty tricky to use by all accounts (I’ve never used it).

Chris Boland

Liz ~ soldering copper I bought ‘copper colored’ solder from a place
called ‘caldron crafts’ and they are online just goggle it. It is not
a perfect match and don’t know what alloy it is but it’s more
exceptable than silver solder for a match. You an also contaminate
some pickle on purpose with a piece of steel and then ‘dip’ you
copper piece into that and copper plate the silver solder seems. :slight_smile:


Which pickle formula are you referring to? Sparex, PH down, etc?

I suppose this trick would work on any silver bearing surface?


You can use copper solder - I bought wire copper solder from Indian
Jewelry supply. They also have copper past solder (haven;t tried that

Jette Sorensen

Liz, I suggest you go to your local welding supply house and ask for
Harris phos/copper brazing alloy. There are several alloys but the
most useful (IMO) would be the ‘0’ grade (part #21035). This has no
silver in the alloy but it is the weakest of the three I use. The
’6’ has 6% silver in it and is a bit stronger while the ‘15’ has 15%
silver and is the strongest. None of these will give a perfect match
but the ‘O’ would be the best of the bunch. They come in a tube of
28 sticks about 18" long. They will last you a long time.

I roll my out which, in addition to thinning it, also splits the
stick. Cut it with snips into very very small snippets. A little bit
goes a loooong way. Cheers from Don in SOFL

This topic has been discussed many times – go back through the
Orchid Archives for more

Judy Bjorkman