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Thread: firestain product

  1. #1
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    Question firestain product

    Hi all, i recently did a bit of work in a jewellers and they used a purple liquid to prevent firestain, dipped to silver into it and set it on fire before soldering, i would like to know what this product is called and where i can get it from, ive looked through cooksons website but i havnt seen anything like it although its a bit dificult trying to find a product when you dont know what its called, any ideas ?

  2. #2
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    Was it a premade product or something in an unmarked jar?
    If it's the latter, it may have been boric acid in methylated spirits? (Boric acid is more soluble in methanol than ethanol, BTW)

    There are a few alternatives - Argotect & Magic Boric are the 2 that spring to mind.
    Last edited by ps_bond; 19-10-2012 at 08:41 AM.

  3. #3
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    Yes, that's what I've bee using for years and it goes on better if your metal is slightly warmed before applying it. Recently I have been using up Walshes Fast Flux Soldering Solution, which is a blueish colour and is something similar judging by the lovely alcoholic smell.

    All these remedies including Argotect, help towards avoiding fire scale but cant prevent it entirely if you don't reduce the sharp blue cone of your flame to make it more bushy, or if you heat for a prolonged period.

    You should also be cautious about having a bottle of an alcoholic solution within range of your flame. Dennis.

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    Reading the make up instructions; Argotect can also be made up using water and a detergent they suggest teepol. This will remove the danger of using meths by an open flame...and welcome.
    Last edited by art925; 22-10-2012 at 10:25 AM.
    Poor old Les

  5. #5
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    arh thank you very much, the jar was unmarked. i have brought myself some magic borax which isnt the same but i havnt noticed any firestain since ive started to use it

  6. #6
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    I use the boric acid & methylated spirits solution as a firecoat, but I only use it when I'm annealing. I find I don't need to use a firecoat during soldering, as most fluxes have a firecoat already in them =)
    The video I learned how to make up the solution was http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQr8MPXsghU
    The boric acid is easily available from most DIY shops or even online, sold as cockroach killer powder. I got a huge box online for a fiver.
    Sian Williamson

  7. #7
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    I've just sent a batch off for assay where I've used either Magic Boric or Argotect.

    *ALL* of the pieces where I've used Magic Boric had firestain. None of the pieces that had Argotect showed any.

    Conclusion? Either I'm not using it right or it's not really up to the job.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps_bond View Post
    I've just sent a batch off for assay where I've used either Magic Boric or Argotect.

    *ALL* of the pieces where I've used Magic Boric had firestain. None of the pieces that had Argotect showed any.

    Conclusion? Either I'm not using it right or it's not really up to the job.
    Doesn't sound like it's up to the job & thanks for that info - I was looking into boric acid/meths alternatives (the solution doesn't keep very well, I've had mine about 3 months or so & it's no longer coating items properly), sounds like the Argotect is the way to go =)
    Sian Williamson

  9. #9
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    Well, I'm still prepared to go with "or I'm using it wrong". I don't seem to get the coverage, surface tension pulls the stuff into droplets (much the same with part-cleaned sheets for mokume - wonder if that's the trick?). I know some people use it and seem quite happy with it, but I'm left feeling it's a bit "Emporer's New Clothes". For me, anyway.

  10. #10
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    Solutions coat better if the metal is warmed first, but I suppose you all know that. I once started a thread with the words 'All the girls love Magic Boris' but showed in my test pieces that plenty of firescale built up using it. However love is blind.

    I also hope David Bagley will let us know how he deals with firescale when hot forging, which must be the ultimate test.

    For a long time I have wondered whether you could induce an even firestain throughout, on the principle that if you cant beat it join it. Dennis

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