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Soldering procedures for different metals


Hi all,

I’ve been researching for the past few days and cant find any
comprehensive so I hope someone here can help me. Im
looking to make small metal armatures or maquettes as sculpture tests
or ideas.

Im fine with working with silver (the basics anyway) but Im wanting
to find out about soldering small amounts of copper or iron, wire or
possibly nails (galvanized?). Im not necessarily going to be mixing
the metals.

I have a propane torch, silver solder, Silvaloy1 powder flux and use
PhPlus as a pickle.

As I understand it I can join and pickle copper using these materials
but can I also use them for iron or steel or other cheap scrap metals
that I can use for making small maquettes or armature? Do I need to
use a soft solder (lead? is this dangerous?) and different flux? Do I
even need to use pickle? Im not too worried about colour changes or
surface appearance.

Any help much appreciated,


EM, use silicone bronze brazing rod and your white paste flux, to
join almost anything. ( Not alumimum, of course and stay away from
galvinized metal, I belive it gives off toxic fumes when heated) We
made copper fountains for years and used it a lot for joining copper
and the rods themselves, available at local welding stores, are very
useful for making things as they are relatively cheap and stiff and
come in many thickness. We used 3/32nd size I think. I know of
artists that build entire sculptures out of them drip by drip. I am
not sure about your powdered silvoly flux, it might work but the
white paste from welding store works great. Soak off flux when done
in hot water if you have brazed iron or steel. You can pickle braze,
but not any ferris metals ( Iron or steel) Just remember with any
soldering and brazeing the metals being joined need to be of equal
heat. Solder flows toward the hotest part, so if joining a thick
piece if steel to a thin piece of copper, most of the heat will have
to be on the steel til it gets red hot then bring up the other metal
to the same heat, touch in the rod of braze and fill the gap. ( metal
has to touch together and be clean and fluxed well first) hope this

April Bower