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Thread: Silver solder for inlays.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
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    2

    Default Silver solder for inlays.

    This is my first post on this forum - hello!
    I want to make 'silver' inlays in CZ121 brass by chemically etching the brass and infilling the etched image with some sort of silver solder. Obviously I can't use pure silver as the brass would melt first. I'm looking for an eye-catching contrast between the brass and silver.
    I've tried using 'engineering' silver solder (Johnson Matthey Silver-flo 55) because I have the stuff. It works, but it's quite yellow and there isn't enough contrast with the brass.
    It looks like jewelry grade silver solder might be what I need but I've not been able to find info on the colours of easy, medium, and hard solders. Maybe they're all OK - I just don't have any experience with these alloys.
    I have also tried 95/5 tin/silver solder, but it doesn't seem to polish up so well as silver.
    Any advice would be welcome.
    Bob.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,611

    Default

    Depending on how thick your brass is you get away with Argentium, it has a lower melting point, normally inlays are held in position mechanically e.g. by under cutting the edge with dovetail.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Central London
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    8,419

    Default

    You can also melt snips of jewellery grade hard silver solder directly into a well defined depression in brass. Then pickle, sand back and polish.
    You will get a good sterling colour and as much contrast as available. Dennis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    East Anglian
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    Default

    Now that sounds interesting, Dennis. Something to play about with.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    You can also melt snips of jewellery grade hard silver solder directly into a well defined depression in brass. Then pickle, sand back and polish.
    You will get a good sterling colour and as much contrast as available. Dennis
    Thanks Dennis - that's exactly the sort of thing I had in mind. I guess there's no reason why I shouldn't use jewellry grade hard solder, there's a big enough difference in the melting points. But I wondered about the colours of the of the three grades of solder available - medium seems to have a higher silver content than hard, but from what you say hard is the most 'silvery'. I guess it's to do with the alloying elements, not just the silver content. I've never used this stuff before.
    China - thanks for your suggestion of argentinium, but I think the melting point is too close to that of brass - the brass I want to tart up with silver is only about 1.5mm thick. I take your point about traditional inlay methods, but what I want to do is 'inlay' from a digital image by etching. From what I've done so far I think Dennis' 'well defined' point is well made - I'm not sure if I can get the definition I want by etching, but I'll give it a go and report.
    Thanks for replies, Bob.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    West Midlands
    Posts
    1,465

    Default

    An interesting thread and looking forward to seeing pics of your inlay results.
    Jules

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