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silver soldering ???


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#21 PTsideshow

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:24 PM

I will let Brad fill you in on the niceties of the fluxes and use of the sliver solders.
Here is some articles and vid's and other jewelry related info.

Morethan you want to know, The mother of all Brazing sites

The flat sheet solder is sold by Jewelry supply sites, Sheet silver solder

as is the fluxes or the borax cone or powder to make it your self when it is mixed with alcohol.

I have used Contenti any number of times for other items the local joint for the solder doesn't sell it by brand names. Juste the easy, med hard of the melting temps.


Contenti
Gesswein
Ottofrei
Metalalliferous a number of monster on line catalogs
RioGrande
Grobet USA you will have to see about the local franchise outlet
Armstrong Tool a local to me and a friend from the N A M E S shows
They all sell what you seek.

They are in no particular order, and I'm not responsible for any fall out from the other halves if these become addictive as they all qualify as toop porn sites!;)
;)
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All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

#22 Brad S

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 04:28 PM

A little expansion: Riogrande. com Is The tool and supply company of choice by this jeweler. Their catalogue is on line. If these guys don't have it,
there are others that do, Otto Frie is also real good. They get high marks from me because they usually have the Items I order in stock. I seldom get back ordered..
The silver solders I use are specific alloys of silver with known formulas that have been around for years. They are made by large refineries that specialise in making them and other precious metals. Handy and Harmon come to mind, there are others. Their price is determined by the daily fine or pure silver market. They are sold by the troy ounce. I only purchase silver solder wire, because I can make it into flat little snippets. But I've never been able to make the sheet stock or the snippets into wire. On big stuff the wire is kind of handy. It's most generally 30 gauge.
I stock wire silver solder In these alloys
Hardness % silver Melt temp flow temp
hard 75 1365 1450
medium 70 1275 1360
easy 65 1240 1325

There are about 21 feet of this material per troy ounce.
I do not stock or have ever found a use for a super easy or a harder hard, they do exist. I just don't have a use for them. It's all about heat control.
There are also paste sliver solders in the above alloys. I don't use them.
The primary ingredient in the fire scale preventative I use is boric acid I apply it as a slurry with alcohol and burn off the alcohol. Borax is the principle ingredient in the fluxes we will be looking at. Boric acid is roach killer (read the label to be sure) Here's the real deal..We want the flux to suitable for the temps we are working. Heat range 1100 to 1700 F Rio Ready-flux is a favorite. My-T-Flux green good stuff too, Magic Flame high temp soldering compound is fine...I like a liquid flux over a paste. These three are liquid. Liquids get into the joint.. Pastes often don't.. I've used a brand called Batterns for years I'm having trouble finding it.
HVAC people use alloys formulated for their industry. I don't have ready access to the information about the alloys. I avoid solders containing cadmium..
The silver solders I use and the method. is a system..all about heat control.
Hope this helps. I'll throw in some hints and tips as this continues. But this is the stuff I use.











d

#23 David S.

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 07:09 PM

PT and Brad,
Thanks for the tips; look forward to the follow-ups.

Dave

#24 PTsideshow

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:01 AM

Here's the deal on these companies. Handy&Harmon may be hard to find on the net.
They are listed now as scrap to fast cash

They are part of Lucas-Milhaupt, which is part of WHX Corporation companies

Product and Tech info Handy & Harmon brands

Hauser&Miller is another

United Precious Metals

Hoover&Strong

Handy&Harman Canada

If you do silver or gold this is the book you need. Handy&Harman Canada

Here is the The Brazing hand book pages Handy&Harmon

The above two sites have a wealth of information.
[Welcome]
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#25 Brad S

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:16 AM

Glen, These are fantastic links ! The bottom two hit my favorites list instantly. Ever wonder who your precious metals supplier is buying from? Ever wonder where the daily gold or silver price comes from? Industry giants and fantastic resources. Thanks Glen

#26 PTsideshow

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:38 AM

For those that what to drive themselves nutzO with the metals prices I generally check the price if I'm buying silver, as the local jewelry supplier is pretty in line with it. They all seem to to up in a blink of an eye and take it slower to lower the price.[Welcome]

Here is an interesting site to find out how much the pennies that were made for copper are worth, also all the other coins worth more as scrap They also have the latest news, the crazy money news and things you don't hear about till after they hit with the force of a bomb!

They had a news story a while back about some of the metals holding companies fold out that the 10 oz bars they are holding are titanium bars clad in a layer of gold.here for the conspiracy people that need a new one
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#27 warrent

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 08:40 AM

The primary flux that I use is borax. I apply it as a slurry with alcohol and burn off the alcohol. Borax is the principle ingredient in the fluxes we will be looking at. Borax roach killer is borax.


Brad, I always thought that roach kill is boric acid. I mix the roach kill and alcohol together as a firescale preventer.

Another excellent flux for silver soldering (brazing) is this one
http://www.ccis.com/...iles/page24.htm

Also if I remember correctly the Battens flux has fluorides, which when heated the fumes can damage the respiratory system.
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#28 Brad S

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 10:18 AM

Warren.. Darn it.. see what happens when I attempt to write a quick reply.
Best explanation I've come across is http://www.ganoksin....10/msg00245.htm
What basically happens is that both Borax and boric acid break down or become Boron Trioxide under heat. These both will work as fire scale retardants.. The addition of other things. fluorides for instance make borax into a flux. Fluxes become metal specific and temperature specific. Boric acid dissolves in alcohol better. Boric acid and alcohol for the fire scale retardant. My calling the solutions of borax and solutions of boric acid fluxes is an overstatement.
Fluxes are more aggressive..
Glad you caught That...Borax is my common flux for casting, The 20 mule team variety is 99% borax, I believe..If I had slowed down a bit... Roach killer is boric acid I believe. (Read the label it could also be borax.) They are not the same thing. Boric acid is also available from the drug store. You want boric acid and alcohol as a fire-scale preventative. Thanks for pointing that out. I did a little edit to clean it up. Thanks again Brad

#29 PTsideshow

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:12 AM

Now how do you hold the bits and pieces that you are going to silver solder?
The first thing to do is when they are on sale @ Harbor Fright is to by a couple of these helping hands things. No point in buying them from any place else, as all of them That I have seen come from China or India the Chinese ones are better grade. I have converted a couple of the to single clamping tweezers and they are a lot cheaper than buying them from the jewelry supply places.
DSCF9268.JPG DSCF9270.JPG
The one is holding a gold dollar coin
DSCF9272.JPG
The above are the assorted commercially available soldering boards
The 12"x12" one in the back is solderite brand anon asbestos fireproofing insulation board.
The two sections on the right side bottom are a no name brand type
The upright small one on the left is the ceramic fiber batten insulation that is used in forges choose you favorite brand. It is also sold at glass beading making shops.
Left side in front of the fiber is a magnesia soldering block.
The tan plate at the bottom is a kiln plate
The brown plate is a home made soldering turntable
DSCF9285.JPG

DSCF9271.JPG

DSCF9279.JPG

DSCF9278.JPG DSCF9277.JPG
These two are the infamous very special honeycomb piece holders, very high cost. Don't fall for it as both the rectangle and round ones are nothing more than the hard ceramic elements that the propane burns over on the infared burners sold by everybody. Look locally to find replacements. Tractor supply and such.

DSCF9280.JPG DSCF9281.JPG DSCF9282.JPG

DSCF9283.JPG

The old standby iron wire used to hold assorted bits and pieces together for silver and regular soldering since a long time ago. Also a small soldering nest. If you have any of the jewelry or metalsmithing books from the EU you probably have read of a soldering nest. Pictured is a small one and it in use. You can see in the photo of the two caps wired together if it isn't tight you can always kink the wire to take up some slack.

DSCF9284.JPG DSCF9274.JPG
These two photos show asbestos composite fire proofing board from the old days. It was what could be found inside of some fire proof doors. It is safe as long as you aren't making it into dust. The other is well why they use other means to hold items together. I still have a asbestos soldering disk but can't locate it at the moment for a photo. It is a tin can lid with the old asbestos paper rolled up and fit inside the lid. You would stick the T pins in it to hold items in place.

During the bench jeweler certification classes, the instructor would have us by all of this different stuff so when we went to Work at a shop we could work on any thing with any thing. Well most of it will be in the tool box or bench drawers. As I will not get a job in a shop as I don't speak any of the languages spoken in the shops around here [Welcome]

Brad did I forget anything?

As you pointed out so I'm added it and another that I find helpful, keeps the burned fingers down.

Yep here is the pumice pan and turntable along with the vermiculite pan to hold the hot stuff off the bench.
DSCF9286.JPG DSCF9287.JPG DSCF9289.JPG
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#30 ShawnM

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:50 AM

Great thread, tons of good info here [Welcome][Welcome][Welcome]

Thanks Brad, PT, and all other contributors [Welcome]
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#31 Duckworth

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:07 PM

...great info here...[Welcome]

#32 Brad S

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:27 PM

Well, No you didn't forget anything..Those are all solutions that work. All of them good.
Here's what I use, I'll try to get you a picture. I'm not at the shop.
At the jewelers bench I have a 6X6 sheet of aluminum 1/4 inch thick. In the center of it is a hole. with a domed penny in it to act as a container. This plate is screwed to the bench by one corner with a couple of washers underneath it, to get some air between it and the bench top and so that it pivots into the open air. I use cross locks to hold things and a spring clamp to hold the cross locks. My probe hand rests on the spring clamp. On one corner of the plate there is one GRS type clamp. That's the basic set up for most operations.
There are the usual assortment of more cross locks, additional spring clamps,d Iron binding wire, third hands and a few speciality cross locks.. For off the bench scale, There is a turn table pan filled with pumice stone with various pads as you point out. For the most part I follow the whatever it takes approach. I'm also not opposed to using casting investment to build a jig, to hold difficult things together IE. several heads in a row. or a cluster of them. say a dome of heads. More later as time permits. Gotta get ready for the student and get back to work. Brad

#33 PTsideshow

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:02 PM

In the early1970's ADPC (pre-computer) I sold information in the classified adds in the back of magazines like Money's worth or the Sunday magazines with the newspapers.
What I sold was roach and ant killer info: Boric acid is poisonous if taken internally or inhaled. When mixed with water for eyewash it is the number one cause of households poisonings. Seems people don't label the jug when it was in the fridge. As it had to be refrigerated after mixing. It also was the number one for poisoning pets around the house.

The insects don't recognize it as a poison as they do with the other commercial stuff. It is generally recognized safe when placed in cupboards or behind the fridge.

One thing to check on using the roach kill stuff is that it is only boric acid, and not a little boric acid with a lot of Diatomaceous earth(swimming pool filter material), which is also a natural insecticide.

In addition to the above,Silly Putty was originally made by adding boric acid to silicone oil.

For the best working flux, use only known pure borax, as some brands have scents, and other additives to make the borax work better. But don't help in the flux work.

And yes I know for smithing and casting the Borax hand powder soap works well. That is due to the relative amounts used and the heat etc. It works better if a mixture of borax and ammonium chloride is used as a flux when welding iron and steel. It lowers the melting point of the unwanted iron oxide (scale), allowing it to run off.

For jewelry flux spend the little bit of more money and get a borax cone or the powder you will not have any trouble.
[Welcome] 
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#34 Brad S

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:24 PM

Yup, You are going to have to read the labels. Both borax and boric acid are poison. The reason for using boric acid and alcohol mixture is to gain a fire scale retardant on sterling silver work. You can buy pure boric acid at the drug store. Read the label. It's called boric acid. It's a white powder.
You want boric acid for your fire scale retardant because it dissolves well in the alcohol. Borax doesn't. This solution has other purposes to bench jewelers. It puts a protective coating around the diamonds in most gold jewelry and prevents little carbon spots from attaching themselves to the diamonds. The solution is used following a thorough cleaning.
Back to flux. For the best working flux..For this topic...silver soldering ...buy a commercially prepared flux. They are more than borax, more than boric acid. They get rather temperature and metal specific..IE silver solder flux for stainless steel is not the same as flux for silver soldering of copper or sterling. Any of the commercial fluxes suggested here will work fine. Avoid the Batterns because it contains fluorides if you prefer. Some bench jewelers wear respirators while working with specific chemicals. As in all fields it's best to be aware of the dangers involved. That's another topic. One I'm not going to go into.
Hope we haven't confused. but rather added more than we intended. Brad

#35 Brad S

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 08:53 AM

Week five begins:
I arrive at the "studio" to discover a couple of things have changed. She's been to HF and purchased one of those roll around stool, chairs, black with flames on it. That's cool so far. Then "and I honestly don't know what possessed her to do this," I discover that she sawed about 3" off the legs of the jewelers bench! I can't even mutter an argh. Now she has managed to do this and put everything back on the bench, that she had on the bench, most of which doesn't belong on, in or at the bench. Very industrious.?! is amazing. Something goes through my mind about a "one car funeral" NSTRH !
So we have a little discussion about what a jewelers bench is. and why it is the way it is going to be, again. http://www.kassoy.co....asp?idDept=264 What she has is a cheaper version of the Heavy duty bench. Legs slightly modified.
We begin the discussion with a statement. This is a jewelers bench, that is a table. Tables are for sitting on only if someone has removed all of the chairs?
The jewelers bench is a tool. For me the ideal situation is two of these screwed together side by side. Notice something: it's a rather hefty little bench. About 34" wide. Notice something else. We screwed it to the wall. It doesn't move. That becomes important later.
We make one more general observation: the table is lower than the jewelers bench. As we look at the bench we observe off to the right hand side there are three drawers. Biggest on the bottom, smallest on the top, medium sized one goes in the only place left. For the moment all of those things she purchased, but will never use are going into the biggest drawer.
Starting from the floor, beside the three drawers we find a rather large open drawer, with a metal bottom and sides. Above it we find a cool little shelf with a bunch of cubby hole thing areas. It sits back inside the bench out of the way. Above that we find the top of the bench, It's about 1 1/2" thick.
We now make a comparison to the table again..The table is one smooth board across the side..The jewelers bench has a portion of a circle removed from the front edge. Just below the surface of the bench top, in the middle of the circleish cut out, is a rather hefty piece of wood. Attached to this block of wood is a holding device into which we insert the bench pin. Beside the holder for the bench pin, on each side are a couple of holes in the hefty piece of wood. They are supposed to be there, do not putty them shut. They will hold a ring mandrel later on. As we sit at the bench we make another couple of observations. That bottom metal lined drawer pulls out over our lap, and the bench pin is at shoulder height or just a little below. We don't have to get all hunched over to see the top of it. It's right there, very handy to get to. We discover off to the left side of the bench top, just under it is a piece of wood that pulls out. It's about 1'x2" and if we keep pulling on it we find out that it's just a little longer than our bench is deep..she discovers the other one! These are arm rests. Her economy bench has fiberboard arm rests. We shall replace them with hardwood, soon..I insert her bench pin into the holder and explain that the bench supports the "bench pin" The bench is all about the bench pin. It's proper height and location.
She's been thumbing through the catalogue and noticed that there are benches with drawers that go all the way down the right side..Don't have a bench pin, that she can find and don't have a cut out...I point out that those are watchmakers benches...They are something quite different, designed for another trade. She's now looking at the bench in a different light, but she's frowning.
She says her bench isn't as cool as my bench. I explain that my bench is about the fifth one I've built. It fits me, the things I do, and the ways I do them. I explain that I make jewelry for a living, I do a little woodworking for therapy. She hasn't seen my "Bench Mate" yet. We haven't made any custom bench pins, we will. We hang the Foredom and reinstall the soldering pad.
Lost the day, or did we? Brad

#36 Gene Olson

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:15 AM

Watch the provenance on the vermiculite. Much of it should be left undisturbed. (don't raise dust)
It is made by expanding Mica (pop corn). There was one source in the forties and fifties (Montana I believe) that was VERY high in an asbestos fiber of just the wrong size and shape. The factory was in NE Mpls and the incidence of cancer at the plant, and amongst the children that played in the piles of material is the subject of lawsuits and regret... Not all of it was-is bad, but there is no easy way to tell which is which.
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#37 PTsideshow

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:54 AM

Watch the provenance on the vermiculite. Much of it should be left undisturbed. (don't raise dust)
It is made by expanding Mica (pop corn). There was one source in the forties and fifties (Montana I believe) that was VERY high in an asbestos fiber of just the wrong size and shape. The factory was in NE Mpls and the incidence of cancer at the plant, and amongst the children that played in the piles of material is the subject of lawsuits and regret... Not all of it was-is bad, but there is no easy way to tell which is which.


yes only that one site etc. the EPA has adjusted their warnings
here is the link to the newer info

Just looked at the bag from the garden section at Lowes Not one word of warning other than when using Garden soil and fertilizer, one should wash hands after use. This is a product of Canada.
Here is the web site

[Groovy]
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