The Cheapest and Greatest Flux Brush

The best flux brushes are free! by using a feather and cutting it as
shown - makes the cheapest and greatest flux brushes ever!!!

Im sure all the old jewellers will know this but Im sure there will
be some new jewellers who will be pleased to have learnt this tip.

Colin Waylett

You left out the directions on how to catch the bird…

If you want a unique feather you’ll need to catch a unique bird. So
how do you catch a unique bird? U neek up on it.

But some of you might want to use a feather from a tame bird. So how
do you catch a tame bird? Tame way.

Ooopps I regressed…Kiddie jokes…

The best flux brushes are free! by using a feather and cutting it
as shown - makes the cheapest and greatest flux brushes
ever!!!!!!!!! Im sure all the old jewellers will know this but Im
sure there will be some new jewellers who will be pleased to have
learnt this tip. 

Great tip! Do you have any suggestions on the best way to clean the
feather? I would assume that removing dirt, mites, germs etc. is a
top priority before using. Or I guess you could just buy dyed ones
from an art supplier but I say where’s the fun in that? :slight_smile:

I know many calligraphers still cut and use feathers for detailed or
traditional illustration that mat be another resource for info on
use, and prep techniques.

Taylor in Toronto

I used to be very “into” feathers.

I’ve cut my own quills for calligraphy from everything goose feathers
to ostrich to pheasant…maybe even a turkey or chicken feather or
too. Anyway, I always just used plain Dawn dish soap and hot water to
wash them with a little bleach in the water. Oh, and if you have a
lot of feathers, you can put them in a pillowcase, knot the top or
use a zippered one, and put them in the dryer to dry and fluff. Other
wise you can just hang them and fluff by hand.

Dawn in Taylor

The greatest and cheapest flux brush…i only use clean
looking Feathers so as long as you dont put them in your mouth and
start sucking Them i wouldnt worry about sterilizing them - but in
the mornings give them 10 seconds in the ultra sonic cleaner in
order to wash out the old dry flux And start the day with a clean
brush -they last for ages. Colin waylett (spain)

What a great idea - one of the “why didn’t I think of that”

The illustration left me wondering - is it best to use the very tip
of the feather (including the thin bit of quill/shaft it contains)
or to use a small bunch of vanes with the quill removed? It seems
that the springiness of the quill might be annoying when performing
delicate tasks like placing solder.

Any ideas as to which type of feathers are best? (I’m overthinking
this, aren’t I?)

Jessee Smith
Cincinnati, Ohio

So where exactly would one buy an appropriate feather?

Betty Belmonte

   So where exactly would one buy an appropriate feather? 

I would take a trip to a local park, particularly one that has ducks
or pigeons, and take a walk around. You are sure to find one that
would work. Short of that go to a local hobby store, most sell
feathers for crafts.


Put a bird feeder (actually several) in your garden and you will be
amazed at the number of birds which will visit, and drop feathers. I
have a collection of blue jay feathers,some black crow’s feathers,
and am waiting for the flock of ring tailed doves to leave someof
their feathers. Just to be on the safe side, I keep my cat well
fed, so she is merely a spectator and not a prospective diner when
the birds come to call. She ignores the birds, and they are not
intimidated by her.


FYI, technically it is illegal to have feathers of any
migratory/song bird in your possession. Crows, if your state has a
hunting season, may be an exception. It is always smart to check
your federal and state regs on these things, especially if you
incorporate them into anything you sell. I’ve been at art/craft
shows and historical events where wildlife agents were present and
looking for violations.

I doubt they’d kick your studio door down and cite you for using one
for flux at your bench, however,…


I actually took a watercolor painting class to learn how to use a
brush for flux.

I learned about various types of brushes and the different
materials they are made from. I personally like a sable #3 for most
jobs. I also pay around $5.00 for the brush. I take good care of the
brush cleaning it each time I apply flux and never letting flux dry
on the brush.

The class also taught how to apply a water based liquid to a

Sue Ann Dorman

If anyone needs feathers for flux, I have 3 amazon parrots and I woul
d be glad to send several to whomever wants some. I have been saving
them f or something. Contact me offline please.

Richard Hart

Hi Richard,

Apologies if you’ve already gotten similar responses, but I’d
hesitate to send out your parrot feathers for use as flux brushes -
they’re way too nice for that!

Colorful parrot feathers are highly sought after for (among other
things) use in Native American dance regalia; members of the Native
American Church also use them in their peyote fans. You might want
to consider selling feathers alongside your jewelry - put those
birds to work for you! :wink:


Jessee Smith
Cincinnati, Ohio

Hi All

I have used an empty and cleaned out nail polish bottle for years,
if it tips over it rarely spills more then a few drops.

In conjunction with the nail polish bottle, I use a 16ga piece of
brass wire, for a “brush,” that is just long enough to stick out the
top of the bottle, so I can grab it with my index finger and thumb,
I bend the end just ever so slightly and it holds one drop of flux.
The other bonus is that it wont melt if you add flux to an already
hot seam.

Theirs my 2 cents worth. From steamy 96F Hot Minnesota, yes folks it
gets steamy hot here . When its not -20 or -30F.

Robert L. Martin
Diamond setter
since 1976
<>< john 3:16

Hello Orchidland,

Robert Martin mentioned having an empty and cleaned out nail polish
bottle for flux, and using a brass wire to apply a drop. I’m thinking
that’s just like using an innoculation loop to transfer a culture to
a petri dish!! It should work well.

My favorite method is reusing an insulin syringe to place flux. I
like it because it holds a few cc of flux and the very fine needle
dispenses the tiniest drop exactly where I need it. One should
replace the protective cap over the needle when leaving the bench so
that the needle tip doesn’t dry out and clog up. Even better, squirt
a little flux in the cap before snapping it back on and the needle
tip stays in the liquid and can’t dry out.

I do like the wire idea too!

Judy in Kansas, where we’ve had TWO lovely gentle rains in the last
couple days. Sooo pleasant.