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Soldering outside


#1

I’m thinking about soldering outside. I am just getting started
(again) with jewelry making. I’m using copper and brass. I am
experimenting with using brazing rods from the welding store to
solder with. I have a toddler and I think it might be safer to
solder outside in the evenings. What do you guys think of this?

Thanks
Ceah


#2
I'm thinking about soldering outside. I am just getting started
(again) with jewelry making. I'm using copper and brass. I am
experimenting with using brazing rods from the welding store to
solder with. I have a toddler and I think it might be safer to
solder outside in the evenings. What do you guys think of this? 

Very bad idea-brazing rods aren’t for jewelry. copper and brass are
too allergenic for the majority of wearers and require too much
sealing to work for the majority, and require special techniques to
minimise reactions with skins…but if you choose to do it anyway,
outside would be better for your lungs not to mention a kid shouldn’t
even be around a studio or soldering operation as its 1) distracting
and 2) not at all good for a kid’s health- the flux alone in a
brazing rod is inappropriate for any kids lungs no matter how far
they are from it in the same room- and outside-what would you be
watching the kid or your soldering joint??? Then there is
contamination in your studio. I poersonally don’t allow ferrous
metals in mine as it requires too much clean up and inthe long run
isn’t worth it. Thomas Mann has made a name for himself using
non-precious metals but that is his niche…done already… and he
also works in and sells precious metals in his shops- in fact the
majority of his sales are from other people’s work in silver and
golds…and he has national recognition because he markets himself and
his concept… . But if you are asking these kinds of questions at
all it seems you are still learning the craft and should perhaps
research some more before investing in the equipment it takes, i. e.
the appropriateness and soundness of materials as they relate to
eventual potential sales and the materials people will actually pay
for as jewelry items, and then rethink the entire thing! Not to be
discouraging but if you polled Orchid members i’m betting the vast
majority would warn you against using copper and brass for anything
except model making…people in general won’t buy those two materials
(copper moreover) due to skin reactions as both will react with body
chemistries… then there’s the question of fabrication- those two
are best suited for cold connections - brazing rods are overkill and
the melt point of brass is limiting and prevents fine work if hand
fabricating things…then the sealants necessary to prevent some
degree of skin reaction will soon wear off or pit or if a bubble is
missed then it will turn green under the sealant and you’ll have to
deal with returns…If you are selling the pieces once made…all in
all better to learn and invest in silver than copper or brass if you
want a return on the investment and your time…if not, and you are
just doing it to learn get some easy solder, copper solder paste ( at
home stores) as its easier to control…and marine varnish and learn
how to patinate and then seal those two metals as that’s part of
working with copper and brass is the variety of colours one can get
by heating them ( though it requires a lot of note taking to
reproduce the same effect a second time!). Anyway no kids around
fumes from brazing rods, and if you are going to learn to make
jewelry start with silver if you can’t afford gold as in the long run
its an entirely different skill set than using coppers and
brasses…and what you’ll find in books isn’t interchangeable between
metals… rer


#3
Very bad idea-brazing rods aren't for jewelry. copper and brass
are too allergenic for the majority of wearers and require too much
sealing to work for the majority, and require special techniques
to minimise reactions with skins.. 

I’d have to disagree with you here. There is a huge market for
copper jewelry. People that buy base metal jewelery are perfectly
aware of the properties of the metals being purchased. Some buy
becaue they are obviously easier on the wallet. Others buy for the
character of the metal. Some for superstitious reasons. Who cares.
Personally I find copper, when properly taken care of, more
attractive than gold. But that is me. I prefer silver and platinum
over gold too.

the flux alone in a brazing rod is inappropriate for any kids
lungs no matter how far they are from it in the same room- 

The flux in a brazing rod is no worse for a child than an adult.
That being said… fumes that are not ‘air’ are inapprpriate for ANY
humans lungs. Also, brazing rod comes unfluxed. check the welding
supply store. Comes in bronze, so zinc fumes probably won’t be an
issue from the rod, but you’d still need to ventilate due to the zinc
in the brass. I solder brass regularly. I have no ventilation in my
basement. I’ve never gotten a case of metal fever. I HAVE gotten a
case of it due to galvanized fencing wire being tossed in a bonfire
ouside. It’s unpleasant… but not life threatening. I wouldn’t wish
it on anyone though… especially not a family member. Simple safety
precautions will suffice.

contamination in your studio. I poersonally don't allow ferrous
metals in mine as it requires too much clean up and inthe long run
isn't worth it. 

I can’t really speak to this, because I am unable to afford any of
the precious metals to work with, so it really isn’t a concern for
me. However, if you clean regularly and diligently, it shouldn’t be
an issue. I am able to keep my workspace and tools free of
’contamination’ even though a precious metal has never crossed my
bench. I know this is possible, because my bench also sometimes
serves as a mushroom innoculation area. If you can create a clean
enough atmosphere to not contaminate a mushroom culture, I can
guarantee you won’t pooch your gold or silver stash.

But if you are asking these kinds of questions at all it seems you
are still learning the craft and should perhaps research some more
before investing in the equipment it takes, i. e. the
appropriateness and soundness of materials as they relate to
eventual potential sales and the materials people will actually
pay for as jewelry items, 

This is sound advice. Check to see if you have a market for the
stuff you make. However, if you are starting out, copper and brass
are excellent metals to learn with, and won’t break the bank. Don’t
shy away from the base metals because they are ‘cheap’. They have
their purpose, and can even fulfill some precious metal roles {brass
and nickle silver make excellent bezels. Nickle silver is pretty
tough stuff and you can use it to practice stone setting. Solders
just fine with silver solder.)

people in general won't buy those two materials (copper moreover)
due to skin reactions as both will react with body chemistries... 

Total hogwash. I have been wearing a copper bracelet for over a
year. It only comes off when I take a shower and is immediately put
back on. It has just (within last month month and a half) aquired
enough tarnish to cause a skin color change. 10 minutes in a vinigar
bath and I’ll be good to go for another year. Copper, when clean
rarely causes a color change to skin. It’s the sulphides and oxides
that the skin reacts and is ‘stained’ by. Granted I wouldn’t make
earwires out of the stuff, but pendants, cocktail rings (infrequently
worn) bracelets, necklaces… they are all suitable for copper. It
really depends on the clients body chemistry… and I suspect that
the clientele that seek out copper jewelery are the kind that are
either aware of this reaction, don’t mind it, or know how to prevent
it.

then there's the question of fabrication- those two are best suited
for cold connections - brazing rods are overkill and the melt point
of brass is limiting and prevents fine work if hand fabricating
things.. 

I kinda agreee here… copper is a bear to solder. Brass is easy
enough, and I can get very fine detail work just fine with welder
bought unfluxed brazing rod.

..if not, and you are just doing it to learn get some easy solder,
copper solder paste ( at home stores) 

No NO and NO!. Low temperature solder won’t teach you a thing about
brazing. If you’re in it for the education and experience… learn
what you set out to. Tin solder and low temp copper containing solder
are useless for jewelery. Set out to learn to fabricate the right
way. Get ‘hard’ silver solder and learn to do it properly. Use the
lower temp brazing solders as you need to, but try to stick with hard
solder and learn to use heat sinks and resists. When you do switch to
precious metals, you’re work will be much higher quality.

how to patinate and then seal those two metals as that's part of
working with copper and brass is the variety of colours one can
get by heating them ( though it requires a lot of note taking to
reproduce the same effect a second time!). 

Agreed, copper and brass have some nice patinas, and you will need
to protect these with some sort of preservative coating. Just another
step in the learning process.

Anyway no kids around 

Agreed… kids are a distraction, and metal smithing isn’t the safest
pasttime there is.

if you are going to learn to make jewelry start with silver if you
can't afford gold as in the long run its an entirely different
skill set than using coppers and brasses.. 

Debateable. They are different. Just like, as I understand it,
platinum is a different monster than gold, and gold requires
different techniques than silver. Learn the properties of your
medium, and you’ll learn what you can/can’t and should/shouldn’t do
with it…

and what you'll find in books isn't interchangeable between    
metals... rer 

Also completely untrue. Everything I have learned in a book, I have
been able to apply to copper and brass. You need to understand the
processes that work with the metals you choose to work with. Check
out “Jewelery Techniques: The Essential Guide to Choosing and Using
Materials, Stones, and Settings by Anastasia Young” It covers most
metals, and the appropriate techniques that apply to them.

Sorry for the book, but it irks me when people snub the 'humble’
metals. They make fine jewelery, and are very marketable. They are
excellent to practice techniques with and actually provide more
opportunities to express creativity than the noble metals. Look at
the reactive metals (Niobium especially and titanium). A note though,
I’d recommend only working with the 5300 alloys of aluminum
(specifically 5356) as they are 'bright" aluminum and tend not to
leave black crud on you when you wear them.


#4
I'm thinking about soldering outside. I am just getting started
(again) with jewelry making. I'm using copper and brass. I am
experimenting with using brazing rods from the welding store to
solder with. I have a toddler and I think it might be safer to
solder outside in the evenings. What do you guys think of this? 

I have just read A. E. Rourke’s comments relative to the posting
above. There is, so it is said, no a counting for taste. I easily
understand why a person might eschew copper, brass and bronze as
metals to be used in personal ornamentation when, with more or less
effort, a work in silver or gold will bring a higher price. But,
there is, like it or not, a long history of the effective use of
these metals in jewelry and, further, a long history illustrated or
illuminated by unique and beautiful objects. To me, it seems that to
consign these metals, decorative objects made from them and this
long history to the trash bin as undesirable is arrogant and narrow
minded. There is no reason to stigmatize the works of people who use
these materials or to discourage a beginner from using them. I
generally prefer to work with silver but have used brass, bronze and
steel for many decades. In my hands, iron is the easiest of these
metals to work but bronze and brass are are easier than silver. I
find it simple to use small diameter brazing rods with brass and
bronze as long as plenty of flux is used. The wire used for joining
bronze or brass with a MIG welder makes excellent brazing “rod” for
small objects when using a torch.

In one area, A. E. Rourke is absolutely correct–safety. Children
should not be exposed to the fumes from brazing or soldering.
Neither should the person doing the work!! The fumes from brazing
brass and bronze are no more hazardous than those produced in
brazing (soldering) silver and gold. If these operations are
conducted inside a building, adequate ventilation must be provided
to remove the fumes. In my shop, where I work alone, I use a small
enclosure I devised from scrap plexiglas, wood (I know, it is
flammable) and left over ceramic tiles used in renovation of my
kitchen. Outside my window is mounted the operational portion of an
old upright vacuum cleaner connected to the hood by a shopvac hose.
The airflow is very good. A similar setup uses a branch of the
vacuum hose to a second small hood where most polishing/grinding
operations are accomplished. The setup to these two areas cost me
less than $30.00 (USA). The two small hoods keep my shop and the air
I breathe clean. As a retired laboratory scientist who worked with
the pulmonary toxicity of fumes and particulates I am adamant that
people who work in the areas around which this forum is centered
must be proactive in providing themselves with good protection for
their lungs. This is true whether you are an amateur jeweler or a
professional with great experience.

So, finally, you should, indeed, braze or solder outdoors if you
have no way to remove fumes from from the work area or living space.

Gerald Vaughan


#5
I'd have to disagree with you here. There is a huge market for
copper jewelry. 

Thom, I couldn’t agree with you more, on this and the rest of your
remarks! I’ve made base metal (brass, copper, nickel-silver) jewelry
for over 30 years. It is popular, sells well, and I have almost
never had a customer report a nickel allergy from nickel-silver
(perhaps because they already knew about it) and never an allergy
problem from brass and copper.

Enjoy!

Judy Bjorkman (if it comes through, attached below is an example of
the fun I have with brass, copper, and nickel-silver. If I recall
correctly, the “applique” pieces on this pin/pendant are soldered on
with hammered, fluxed pieces of unfluxed brazing rod. Sorry the
quality of the photography isn’t better.

[Edit]

Attachment removed:

How can I share files and pictures with the list?
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ftp

[/Edit]


#6
I solder brass regularly. I have no ventilation in my basement. 

this is just plain stupid one needs ventilation in any
studio…regardless of the metal, flux etc. i hope no one takes this
poster’s advise and thinks ventilation is at all optional…Get into
good habits not wreckless ones- over time this person will have some
residual effects or a bad experience. This is simply an irresponsible
post. regarding the other persons post:

I am a jeweler- a silver and goldsmith- selling art jewelry that is
higher end… I am not about to discus the anthropology of adornment
on this site- I do however discuss techniques and best prectises in
making fine jewelry, marketing it, and dealing with clients that buy
fine and art jewlery, most of it custom work j…If your market buys
copper fine- it is not an" arthritis bracelet" or alternative metals
market I am speaking to, and as such MY clients do not buy non
precious metal jewelry and juried shows I attend wouldn’t let anyone
in selling jewellery made of copper or bronze, or brasses
exclusively and it is I assure you novice JEWELRY makers, NOT in
demand !! and never will be in fine jewelry markets. Those that say
otherwise are simply - wrong…Many art jewelers make pieces out of
mixed metals- with the larger share based on a precious metal-
alternatives like reactive metals have a niche too- nonetheless, what
I wrote to the original poster was about soldering and kids being
present . It is also not about using mig welders to make jewelry-I
would always, and do teach students traditional handmade jewelry
methosds using traditional tools and materials- brazing rods do not
work for silver and gold jewelry- Mr. vaughn is taking what i was
saying - not only out of context- but defending his method- an
idiosyncratic method at that. Admittedly I am speaking to a novice
jeweler about traditional jewelry making using precious metals,If one
wants to embellish them with say roll printed brass, or a copper
accent, fine- but they DO REACT with cleints skins. Plain and
simple,many clients body chemistries will react with white
gold, copper, brass, bronze, etc. and in a sweeping generality they do
not comprise fine jewelry- art jewelry yes, but there is an extreme
distinction between good art jewelry and trash made sloppily and just
to bring in a 20 dollar price point at a flea market - that is not
what I think most people on this site want about.

I would never fabricate a piece with copper or any ferrous metal
that touches the wearers skin. It is too likely to not only react but
get returned because the buyer did not realise the properties of
non-sealed ferrous metals. Nickel as well, which is alloyed in white
golds has the same tendency to react with wearers skin and potential
buyers of or requests for custom work in that metal should be advised
of the potential for a chemical reaction particularly if they have
never bought or worn white gold before. I do not like to use it for
the nickel content alone- there are far better white alloys that are
not as likely to contaminate my studio or react with a wearers skin.

Arrogant I am not- experienced I am! It is an old discussion on
Orchid, the question of good practises in one’s studio and one’s
choice in metals in designing boils down to each individual’s
preferences, but in the context of making jewelry that is
professional the majority are using precious metals in their
fabrication and novices enter Orchid to learn precious metal working
skills. Since you do not know me Mr. Vaughn, i take exception to your
comments which have nothing to do with the poster’s question but come
off like an attack on my warning the poster of dangerous practices
involving non-traditional materials and children in a studio.


#7

I solder brass regularly. I have no ventilation in my basement.

this is just plain stupid one needs ventilation in any studio.. 

This is aguably correct. I say arguably because I believe you make
alot of assumptions about the working conditions everyone works in.
Ideally any studio would be ventilated. Partcularly when hundreds of
solder jobs are happening per day. Combine this with the more
complex fluxes (flourine containing) and I would wholehartedly agree
with you. But for some… say me, who makes five or six solder joins a
day (maybe per week) using straight borax as flux… well, your
argument kind of falls apart. Add to the fact that this occurs in a
2500sq ft space and the likelhood of breathing related complications
dwindle to almost zero. I gaurantee you that you are in greater peril
sitting in traffic for 5 minutes a day with your car windows down.

regardless of the metal, flux etc. i hope no one takes this
poster's advise and thinks ventilation is at all optional.. 

It wasnt advice… it was a statement of how I (currently) do it. A
calculated risk I believe I said “Simple safety precautions will
suffice.” This could include ventilation, breathing apparatus or
voodoo wards for that matter. (ok… maybe not that). The point is,
the world has enough fear mongering going on. YES, you could
experience breathing issues w/o ventilation. But you could also miss
out on most of your life w/o education, logic and sane evaluation of
facts.

Get into good habits not wreckless ones 

Agreed. Good advice.

over time this person will have some residual effects or a bad
experience. 

Not likely. I’ll more likely have residual effects and bad
experience due to the pack-a-day nicotine habit I have.

I am a jeweler- a silver and goldsmith- selling art jewelry that
is higher end.. I am not about to discus the anthropology of
adornment on this site- I do however discuss techniques and best
prectises in making fine jewelry, marketing it, and dealing with
clients that buy fine and art jewlery, most of it custom work j.. 

Had you prefaced your post with the above statement, we could agree
to disagree much earlier. However you chose to take a stance that
your life experience is the only way to define the jewelery industry.
Which is clearly not true. We are obviously comparing apples to
oranges.

and it is I assure you novice JEWELRY makers, NOT in demand !! and
never will be in fine jewelry markets. 

DUH! I believe the (traditional) definition of fine jewelery is
something along the lines of noble metals, diamonds, fine pearls
etc. However that is changing. I would consider engagement/wedding
jewelery to be ‘fine jewlerey’, but you see tungsten, steel,
titanium, mokume gane all used as the primary fabrication metal. So
where is the definition going, and why do you fight so hard to hold
on to the traditional sense of the term.

- brazing rods do not work for silver and gold jewelry

“Learn the properties of your medium, and you’ll learn what you
can/can’t and should/shouldn’t do with it.”

I believe that statement I made reinforces your position. Noone said
anything about using brazing rod to join a noble metal. However, just
to push the envelope a bit… a brazing rod would work just fine for
silver, but why would you when silver solder is obviously the better
coice.

But they DO REACT with cleints skins. Plain and simple,many clients
body chemistries will react with white gold, copper, brass, bronze,
etc. 

Sorry, not true. As I said before, it is the rection betwen the body
chemistry, and the resulting tarnish. You make it sound like copper
will turn anyone into the grinch if they wear anything made from it.
If this were the case, sterling silver would induce the same reaction
and, in fact, over time it does. White gold/nickle silver would be an
exception to this ‘blanket’ statement. Nickle sensitivity/allergy is
a very real, and very common thing. Copper reacts with body
chemistries to form oxides and much more commonly sulphides. These
stain the skin. If you keep copper jewelery clean, this is not an
issue. This is the difference in the clientel. One of the properties
people seek in noble metal jewelery is the tendency to not require as
much maintenance. But even gold will stain skin if its one of the
more affordable alloys (14k) and isn’t regularly cleaned. This is
why I prefer platinum over gold.

but there is an extreme distinction between good art jewelry and
trash made sloppily and just to bring in a 20 dollar price point at
a flea market - 

True, but this really speaks to the techniques and skill level used
to create the item, it is an elitist position to suggest that the
metal has any effect on the quality of the item being fabricated
(outside its physical properties. We could both agree copper isn’t
really suitable to set a diamond in. Not becuse it’s copper, but
because copper is entirely too malleable for security sake.)

that is not what I think most people on this site want information
about. 

If this were true, I wouldn’t be here. I come to this site to learn
EVERYTHING I can about making beautiful, durable, life enriching
products from metal. I aspire to be what you claim to be, but I can
assure you that when I get there, my mind will be wide open to
possibilities yours can’t possibly comprehend.

I would never fabricate a piece with copper or any ferrous metal
that touches the wearers skin. It is too likely to not only react
but get returned because the buyer did not realise the properties
of non-sealed ferrous metals. Nickel as well, which is alloyed in
white golds has the same tendency to react with wearers skin and
potential buyers of or requests for custom work in that metal
should be advised of the potential for a chemical reaction
particularly if they have never bought or worn white gold before. 

If a client returned a piece for this reason, you obviously hadn’t
done your job as a jeweler. The client should leave the transaction a
veritable expert on every aspect of the piece you made for them. Full
disclosure is a policy that applies to more than doctors and drug
manufacturers.

Arrogant I am not- experienced I am! 

Sorry, you come across as both. Emphasis on the former.

It is an old discussion on Orchid, the question of good practises
in one's studio and one's choice in metals in designing boils down
to each individual's preferences, but in the context of making
jewelry that is professional the majority are using precious metals
in their fabrication and novices enter Orchid to learn precious
metal working skills. 

What exactly is a precious metal working skill. Piercng? Soldering?
Plating? Etching,? Forging? Chasing? Inlay? Twisting? Doming?
Forging? Are these unique to only precious metals? These are
metaworking skills. Stop looking down your nose at anyone because you
choose soley to work in noble metals. You see, if I fabricated a
stone set pendant using all of the same techniques you did… taking
the same skill and time and soul to make a magnificent work of art,
but I chose red brass, and you chose red gold as the fabrication
medium, Artistically wouldn’t they have equal value? We are talking
art jewelery after all. Side by side comparison, identical in every
way except metal choice. I’d say yes. I’m sure you would disagree,
because somehow you believe gold is magic and trumps any humble
metal. I would have to say that they would be identically priced with
the only difference being in material costs.

We all have to start somewhere. For those of us that are strugling in
the current economy, base metals are the way to go. They allow the
creative and technical process to flourish and provide other
struggling people the possibility of owning something of high
quality for a fair price. They are an excellent if not required step
in the learning process, as many precious metal alloys are comprised
of a bit of the base metals. Knowing the properties of your medium is
paramount to success. Truly fabricating your jewelery, from alloying
up to polishing and packaging, is a rewarding experience.


#8
However, just to push the envelope a bit.. a brazing rod would work
just fine for silver, but why would you when silver solder is
obviously the better coice. 

Not unless you were planning on melting your silver object, as
RBCUZN-A the lowest MP brass brazing rod melts at about 1616F which
is 26 degrees from the melting point of sterling silver and even if
you are good enough to only melt the brazing rod the instant it hit
the silver the whole mess would melt as you would have just created
silver solder which is composed of brass and silver. This would still
be true for fine silver.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#9

I think R. E. Rourke and I are talking at crossed purposes to a
large extent. We are in solid agreement on the fact that any
soldering or brazing (joining silver with the standard high temp
solders is, in fact, brazing and not really soldering) should be
done in a situation where the fumes from metal components and the
fluxes are scavenged or removed from the areas where people work and
live. In my opinion, this is an absolute statement. The only
satisfactory alternative is the use of quality fume masks–if they
are correctly used. I have seen people remove the mask when finished
welding as if the fumes are vanished although the air is still full
of the fumes. I encourage anyone involved in this activity to set up
a system to scavenge fumes from the environment, even using an
idiosyncratic but very functional and inexpensive vacuum system such
as I have previously described.

I respect R. E. R.'s skill and experience in the jewelry arts. I
agree that objects made of the precious metals will always bring a
higher price than those made of other metals. The reasons are
obvious. One reason often given, however, is bogus. Beauty and
elegance of design are not exclusively associated with the precious
metals. To state that one should not waste time using copper alloys
(other than those including gold and silver) because they are
basically of low monetary value misses the point that drives many
creative people, artistic expression. Beauty cannot be adequately
defined but is still one of the characteristics we chase even in
these latter days. To dismiss the people using copper, bronze and
brass to make decorative objects and jewelry is, if not arrogant, at
least chauvinistic and parochial. People come to orchid to talk and
learn about good methods and practice in making the things they
want, not just what you want. Some, as was the person who made the
posting to which we are responding,are inexperienced enough to work
unsafely as in brazing or soldering in an unventilated living space
with children present. You were not asked whether his use of copper
or brass was acceptable. He simply wanted an opinion as to whether
he was doing it safely. Not everyone on Orchid is interested in
developing a full-time profession in fine jewelry bench work.

I will bow to your expertise in making fine jewelry. I fully believe
you know more about it than I do. On the matter of working bronze
and similar materials, I have a lot of experience over many decades.
I never stated that brazing rods ( the brass and bronze type) were
appropriate for joining silver or gold. They are of course meant for
brass and bronze (and steel). To braze gold and silver, one uses the
appropriate solders (misnamed). My mention of MIG welding was not to
suggest that this technique should be used in making small objects
but that in joining small parts with a torch, a small brazing rod is
needed. The appropriate MIG wire makes excellent “small brazing
rods”

On the matter of toxicology I also claim professional training and a
long experience. The metals of which we speak, even the alloys of
gold and silver can cause problems against the skin of some
individuals. The term allergy does not apply for technical reasons
but to say that these individuals are sensitive to the metals is
patent. The great majority of people are not.

sensitive. I don’t recommend that people who show significant
sensitivity to metals wear them even though the metals are often
coated with polymer to make them “safe”.

None of my comments are meant to offend but apparently I have done
so. I truly apologize for any discomfort I caused. I expect and hope
that were we able to sit for an hour over good coffee and a piece of
cake to talk about all this that we would find that we are on the
same side.

Gerald Vaughan


#10

I’m planning on soldering in the evenings and on the weekends
outside. I think that should be pretty safe. I do have regular solder
and handy flux. I got the brazing rods (with flux on them) because i
have read on here and other places that they could be used on copper
and brass jewelry. If this is a bad idea, please let me know.

Thanks


#11

Well, Orchidland, this Judy agrees with Judy Bjorkman. I’ve explored
the use of copper and silver in the last year and am pleasantly
pleased with the reception from my customers. I wear a copper and
silver cuff all the time, even in the shower and hot tub. My skin
acquires some green when sweat and copper are in contact. The patina
that develops on the copper makes a nice contrast with the silver and
people seem to like it.

I will add that the copper earring findings I make are doing well.
Personal experience with them reveales a darkness through the earring
hole in my ear, which disappears when another earring post goes
through. No reactions to the Cu. Of course, my Bohemian peasant
ancestry may protect me here! :wink:

Judy in Kansas, where triple digit temps have receded, but the 90s
are still with us!!


#12
My skin acquires some green when sweat and copper are in contact.
The patina that develops on the copper makes a nice contrast with
the silver and people seem to like it. 

I wonder if you know that you poisoning yourself!. Look up verdigris.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#13

i can assure you that verdigris has not built up on your bracelet (
unless you seen deep emerald green crystals growing!. Tthe reaction
making your skin green is electrolytic between the salts in your
sweat and the copper.Verdigris is a crystalline substance much more
"concentrated" than the even, green patinas that naturally develop
over a long,long time on say a copper roof, weathervanes, etc.
Verdigris is more likely to develop around the water outlet on
copper spigots ( like those in many central squares in Europe that
have been running in some cities non-stop for centuries and where the
waters have a high concentration of minerals ( like Baden-Baden -
although their water is higher in calcium than other minerals- and
calcium is not likely to promote verdigris developing quickly ! ).
The patinas that one adds to copper jewelry are not the same thing
either- though the colour may be called “verdigris green”, or simply
verdigris…You can, rest assured, that you are not slowly
poisoning yourself…unless you never wash that green off your
skin…and while it is true, the wrist skin is thinner than other
places on one’s body so anything that has time to penetrate all
the dermal layers does enter the body ( but so does chlorine in a
bath or swimming pool for that matter) but it is not verdigris- and
while it is factual that a small amount of the crystalline form of
verdigris can kill a person, it is not the stuff on your wrist…I
would however wash it off though and not give it the opportunity to
build up daily in your system … .In india a combination of copper,
gold, and silver are worn as ayurvedic treatment ( if you want to
call it that) in the form of adornment ( usually a cuff bracelet or
bangles joined with twists of any one or all three metal wires and
with some sanskrit phrases intended to promote god-conciousness, if
not deity conciousness, to the wearer as most of the phrases are
either names of “god” or prayer verses.) Nonetheless, Verdigris is
another substance altogether than what is causing the green reaction
on your arm…rer


#14

I looked up Verdigris. According to the “Uses” section at this
Wikipedia site: http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/14p , "It is used
industrially as a fungicide http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/14o among
other things.

I might consider maybe making toe rings and marketing them through a
holistic podiatrist. He could send his clients home with a
prescription for an anti-fungal cream and a fashionable toe ring!

I can see it now. People running around in the summer in sandals,
with “fuzzy green toes” and really cool custom made copper toe rings!

“Wherever you go…there you are”!

Keith Hible
madjeweler.smugmug.com


#15
You can, rest assured, that you are not slowly poisoning
yourself..unless you never wash that green off your skin 

You got to be kidding!

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#16

As a Jeweler/Gemologist and a retired Microbiologist I can tell you
that is definitely not good to have Verdigris on your skin. At the
very least it can give you a nasty contact dermatitis and skin
ulcerations, and at the worst: i.e. licking it off or dropping into
your food or beverages can make you violently sick. Has been used as
a poison on many occasions in the past. Don’t f–k with it. There are
some 6 or so copper salts that can make up verdigris, each with it’s
own range of toxicity and symptoms.

Painters in prior centuries became poisoned just from using it as a
pigment to make it’s magnificent greens. I don’t know if they
inhaled the powdered pigment or licked their brushes to make a nice
"point" but it was not a pretty picture. It’s use as a paint pigment
goes back to the Ancient Greeks.

HTH,
Gary Strickland, GJG