I agree with you that using a particular flux is a very individual
thing. ... You feel the Batterns is too weak for higher temp work
whilst I have no problem with it.
Don, too true! Stuff like this is so individual that sometimes it's
almost embarrassing to say things like "use this" or "that's better".
In the end it's all "your mileage may vary" and one can only hope
that the reader takes it in that spirit.
As to Battern's being weak for higher temp or dirty work I think it
might be worth mentioning that I'm not the only one who has found it
thus. In Tim McCreight's "Complete Metalsmith" in the "Fluxes" section
he says pretty much the same thing:
"Battern's: a flouride-based flux ... does not have the oxygen
absorbing power of the borax fluxes and is not recommended for
metals that oxidize rapidly such as copper, brass and nickel
Clearly he's talking about the same Battern's formulation that I had
used and discarded. I think they've switched formula in recent
years, no? Maybe that's made some difference in it's performance too.
I wouldn't know.
The torch one uses is obviously going to have some effect on this
too, as I think you mentioned. I've used cheap, un-adjustable
torches for much of my metalworking career and that's certainly made
the flux issue a larger issue than it might have otherwise been.
... I use a plastic Skippy Peanut Butter jar to mix and store this
firecoat. ... Close the lid before you burn, and keep it separate
from your workbench, off to the side.
James, it sounds like we're on the same page in terms of our ways of
using our alcohol-based flux though I tend toward the paranoid side.
What I do is mix in a large jar but transfer to a teeny 10 ml jar for
use on the bench. That way if something goes wrong, or the working
jar gets contaminated, then it's not a big deal either way. Less
intimidating too. The basic cap-it-and-move-it procedure still
applies though, of course.
in The City of Light