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Thread: Copper solder?

  1. #1
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    Default Copper solder?

    Hi there - noob question as Iím just starting out and working out what is useful to buy...
    I thought I might have a go with copper first to learn soldering skills (plus I quite like the colour). Iíve seen various discussions about using silver solder and then hiding it with decoration or gold to blend in. Iíve also seen an Etsy store that sells copper solder (I think in the US).
    I can get 1mm copper solder wire on eBay that claims to be Ďideal for hobbies & jewellery makingí but I noticed that Cookson Gold donít list copper solder in their own clearly more specialist catalogue. And that makes me think that perhaps there is something more I need to know about using copper.

    So folks, what do I need to know?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Silver solder is easier to use, because it flows well and you can use various grades.

    Copper becomes very soft when heated and then warps and buckles, so it is sometimes expedient to start with easy solder and progress with x easy. This reduces the problem for flat sheets and boxes.

    However spills and splashes can be unsightly. They can be disguised upto a point by immersing in well-used pickle solutiion, which has turned blue, by temporarily adding iron, for instance a nail. The electrolytic effect will deposit copper on any silver solder, but the layer is thin and can be polished off. You can also set up a battery circuit with coopper sulphate solution and a piece of copper as an anode. The deposit can then be thicker.

    The alternative is to use copper solder, but it has quite a high melting point, so can be regarded as hard. It contains phosphate and is self fluxing, but there is no harm in using borax as well to keep the piece cleaner.

    It is a very hard alloy and is best rolled down, or hammered flat before snipping into pallions. Here is some:https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/2277...iABEgJ8r_D_BwE

    It usually comes from far away places. Dennis.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Dennis, I thought there must be a reason why it’s not so much used otherwise it would be more readily available. Having done a bit more reading around I think the stuff I’d seen initially was ‘ideal for soldering’ rather than ‘ideal to use as solder’, with genuine solder being much more expensive and from an overseas supplier.
    I’ll go with your recommendation for silver - the plan is to move onto sterling silver projects when I’ve got the hang of things a bit and tested a few designs so it will stay useful. ��

  4. #4
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    Default

    The copper solder Dennis recommended is the closest colour match Ive come across but even so its still somewhat grey so you need to make sure your joins are very tight.
    We have the same problem with rose gold solder, I actually use yellow as its about the same colour as the rose gold solder anyway.
    It all comes down to getting your joins /seams tight enough so that it is barely visible.

  5. #5
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    I've found this question very useful too. I'm at the same stage as eekoh. I was going to order some easy silver solder (i just have hard solder paste) but at the last moment didn't as i'd forgotten the reason why.

  6. #6

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    I actually happen to sell Copper solder; it comes in wire form and melts around 700c. Better colour match than the silver solders.

    If you'd like to know anything let me know - I'll do my best to answer.

  7. #7
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    Sounds a little more co-operative than the phos/copper brazing rods I've used in the past - and they tend to be a greyish/copper colour.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlbionFireandIce View Post
    I actually happen to sell Copper solder; it comes in wire form and melts around 700c. Better colour match than the silver solders. If you'd like to know anything let me know - I'll do my best to answer.
    Thank you that will be useful. Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 09-02-2019 at 08:27 PM.

  9. #9
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    Another site that sells copper solder is www.metalclays4you.co.uk he also sells a good range of wire including bronze, titanium and neobium.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    ....

    Copper becomes very soft when heated and then warps and buckles, so it is sometimes expedient to start with easy solder and progress with x easy. This reduces the problem for flat sheets and boxes.
    ...... Dennis.
    Any way to harden up shaped (3d) copper elements after soldering? Or is it best to not to solder them in the first place? Had noticed some of my items were very bendy. Definitly going to try easy solder and see if it helps.

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