I am about to begin a project that is a little out of my comfort
zone. I normally solder silver, but this project is a very large
custom man’s cuff, 6" x 2.5", made of 20 ga nugold (also known as
red brass or jeweler’s brass, 85% copper, 15% Zinc). I will be
soldering a border of 12 ga square wire and 8 - 10 saw pierced
symbols on the front of the cuff, and 6 or more saw pierced symbols
on the back (or inside) of the cuff, all in the same brass.
I am using Dandix paste flux (on the front and back), and 14K easy
solder, which seems to be an excellent color match.
My main concern is copper plating; each time I heat the brass, the
entire piece becomes copper plated. I have been assuming I need to
remove all copper plating before each soldering operation. I’m
wondering if I can get away with soldering right on to the copper
plate, and just clean the piece after all the soldering is
completed? I have been planning to clean the plate by adding
peroxide to my pickle. Also, I noticed some pitting on the underside
of a small test piece. From the look of the back, I’m suspecting
some gunk from my solder block caused the problem, although I don’t
So with that background, can anyone tell me:
Is there any way to reduce the copper plating that results from
Must I clean the copper plate before each soldering?
Is peroxide in the pickle the best way to clean the copper plating?
Is there any advantage to using fresh pickle, or a different flux or
different solder surface for this project?
Is fire scale (the deep stain we get with heavily heated silver
pieces) an issue with nugold? (It will have a high-polish finish)
Are there any other tips that might make this brass-on-brass
soldering project go a little more smoothly?
Thanks to all of you, your ideas and tips have truly helped me a lot!