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Thread: Brass soldering help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    6

    Default Brass soldering help

    Hello everyone,

    I am preparing for my new project - brass spoons. However, there don't seem to be enough information about brass soldering (apart from industrial etc which doesn't seem to use the same equipment). I have found this soldering powder - Easy Flo Flux Powder on Cooksongold website.

    I just want to ask if you would recommend it for brass soldering and what colour does it create (the join), if you have any experience with that.


    Many thanks,
    Nik

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    8,128

    Default

    Right Nick.
    Your question raises several points:
    First of all, brass is not really suitable for spoons, because too many substances cause it to corrode, and they will quickly have a toxic coating. If you research bronze, used for chopsticks and tableware in some far eastern countries, you will be on safer ground.

    The silver solder powder, is useful for filigree work.
    For normal soldering, some use solder paste, but the conventional method is to buy solder strip, which we thin out for convenience by rolling, or hammering, and then cut first lengthwise and then cross wise to form tiny pallions. The joint is fluxed, using borax, or Auflux, and the pallions applied with a brush, or tweezers.

    If soldering brass, you either put up with the mismatch, or use brass coloured solder found on line.

    My picture shows the mismatch on a brass belt buckle from some years back. I think I could do better now. Dennis
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ber. Brass Buckle.jpg  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Oxfordshire
    Posts
    166

    Default

    Hi Nik,

    Hallmarking quality silver solders can be used on brass and bronze, I would caution against enamelling solder as it is easy to overheat the brass to get it to flow and this will then react to the zinc in the brass( I've not tried enamelling solder with bronze). In addition to the hallmarking quality silver solders there is also easy flow silver solder. The brand sold by cookson is silverflow 55 which is 55% silver. It has a lower melting point and is slightly harder so you can't bash it about as much as the hallmarking quality solders after it has been soldered but is still very good for brass and steel. Easy Flo Flux Powder when mixed with water or meths can be used with extra easy and easyflow solder, I think its better than borax for these grades of solder. I've not tried any brazing rod etc on brass so as Dennis has said there is a colour miss match with the silver solders.

    Traditionally cutlery has been manufactured by stamping as one piece to minimise the annealing of the metal during soldering. You may need to work harden the spoons before being able to putting them to use.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Right Nick.
    Your question raises several points:
    First of all, brass is not really suitable for spoons, because too many substances cause it to corrode, and they will quickly have a toxic coating. If you research bronze, used for chopsticks and tableware in some far eastern countries, you will be on safer ground.

    The silver solder powder, is useful for filigree work.
    For normal soldering, some use solder paste, but the conventional method is to buy solder strip, which we thin out for convenience by rolling, or hammering, and then cut first lengthwise and then cross wise to form tiny pallions. The joint is fluxed, using borax, or Auflux, and the pallions applied with a brush, or tweezers.

    If soldering brass, you either put up with the mismatch, or use brass coloured solder found on line.

    My picture shows the mismatch on a brass belt buckle from some years back. I think I could do better now. Dennis

    Hi Dennis,

    Thank you so much for this. I had no idea it is not suitable as tableware seeing all those brass spoons everywhere. I did a little research and seems like it depends on if the brass contains some lead then it might not be safe, right? Also, if the brass will be in contact with acid (citruses, tomato products etc) it can cause leaching and discolouration. I just wonder how is it possible that some retailers sell brass spoon saying that they are 'food safe' - could it be that they know that their brass is without any lead or adding extra safe coating?

    PS: lovely buckle!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alastairduncan View Post
    Hi Nik,

    Hallmarking quality silver solders can be used on brass and bronze, I would caution against enamelling solder as it is easy to overheat the brass to get it to flow and this will then react to the zinc in the brass( I've not tried enamelling solder with bronze). In addition to the hallmarking quality silver solders there is also easy flow silver solder. The brand sold by cookson is silverflow 55 which is 55% silver. It has a lower melting point and is slightly harder so you can't bash it about as much as the hallmarking quality solders after it has been soldered but is still very good for brass and steel. Easy Flo Flux Powder when mixed with water or meths can be used with extra easy and easyflow solder, I think its better than borax for these grades of solder. I've not tried any brazing rod etc on brass so as Dennis has said there is a colour miss match with the silver solders.

    Traditionally cutlery has been manufactured by stamping as one piece to minimise the annealing of the metal during soldering. You may need to work harden the spoons before being able to putting them to use.
    Thank you so much Alastair for your reply. It's been really good to read all this. I might stick to the silver teaspoons which seem to be better in many ways. Although I just love the colour of brass

    Nikola

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,895

    Default

    I can’t say I’ve ever seen brass spoons , copper ladles yes and I have some bronze forks. Apart from the points raised by Dennis it would always need cleaned because some food had reacted. Having cleaned brass a lot in the past it takes on quite a metallic smell which may well also taint food. Out of interest I’ve looked at quite a few retailers advertising brass cutlery and it would all appear to be brass coloured stainless steel. I’m not sure how it’s coloured though

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