Instructables

Soldering copper to copper?

I'm just starting out but most of the instruction I've seen on soldering (jewelry) talks about flux, the solder itself, and a torch or soldering iron. When soldering copper to copper is there a special flux and solder to be used so that the solder doesn't look "silver"? Does it matter whether you use a torch or a soldering iron?

Yes, the solder is going to be silver (look for lead-free versions). When soldering, I like a liquid flux, this will clean the metal so that the solder flows and bonds properly, but will not change the color of the solder. You can patina the solder with liver of sulfur to darken it;. Whether you use a soldering iron or a torch depends on the type of solder you are using. If you are using a soft silver solder (primarily tin) that melts at low temperatures you can use a soldering iron. I like the Weller100, it maintains a constant 700oF temperature and works well for jewelry-sized projects. If you are using hard solder, whether easy, medium or hard grade, you will need a torch, as you will need to achieve temperatures in the 1200oF-1400oF range. I have been soldering copper to copper making bezel settings for resin use and glass use. I make these with a soldering iron and soft solder (tin).
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etherealgirls, I am a beginner, and just got a jewelry soldering iron. I want to make bezels WITHOUT a torch, just using the soldering iron, but can't find any information online about it...all the videos use a torch. Would you be so kind as to share with me how to solder a bezel with a soldering iron? I would be so grateful!

Hi sara.adams.794,

Soft solder isn't a tough as hard solder, so your bezels won't be as tough. Other than that, it's the same process. Here is one idea for soldering glass pendants: http://www.rings-things.com/blog/2013/04/18/how-to... . It's sort of making bezels, but not quite like etherealgirls image above.
And actually, I think what etherealgirls did above is quite sturdy -- I believe what she did was cut a piece of copper pipe / tubing (from the hardware store, using a jeweler's saw), and then simply soldered it to a copper blank. Just practice soft soldering 2 items together and you'll have it down soon. (At first it's messy, but you'll get better!)

Hi Sara.adams.794. Check out Terri Brush online to learn more about making jewelry with your soldering iron. As far as I know you need a torch to create bezels and there are tutorials online for that too, check out Stephanie Lee for that.

Pollyyy2 months ago

Honest, there is copper solder now, and it really is copper color! It flows at about the same temperature as "med" hard silver solder. Companies listed below stock it regularly, and I've used it. I love it, because it's inexpensive and a VERY close color match. It is more brittle than silver solder but considering the price and color I find that a minor factor. I've written a blog about using it (google "I love copper solder" and I think you'll find it.) I should probably add an Instructable too.... as soon as I find the time. <3

rigello2 months ago

There are only two "colored" metals - copper and gold. To make solder, you have to add to base metal something with lower melting temp. So answer is 'no' - you can't have a copper-based solder as red, as copper itself. It'll be yellowish at best - like brass for example (brass consists of copper and zinc). But brass requires pretty high temperatures. So, you are probably going to use tin-based solde.

You have two options:

1. Remove as much solder as you can with wire brush and blacken the rest with liver of sulphur.

or

2. Electrochemically cover your detail with copper. You'll need some bluestone (copper sulfate), battery acid and old phone charger. It's pretty easy, but you have to be extra careful with electricity and acid! Also you can read this instructable.

Pollyyy1 year ago
Copper solder -- genuine copper in copper color -- is available now, from Rings & Things (rings-things.com), Rio Grande (riogrande.com) and probably other sources too.
It melts and flows at hard solder temperatures, so you still need a torch for it (not a soldering iron), but it looks great and is easy to use. The the 93% copper 7% phosphorous copper solder is self fluxing so you don't even need flux!
Mr.Sanchez4 years ago
Some time ago something awesome works for me to weld copper to copper. I Got a ac welder stick...someday when I got no sticks to solder ,I took an old battery and break it gently, find out the coal core and use it like welder stick, and it works with a lot of practice.
beadaholic4 years ago
You don't have to use silver solder with your torch, you can use copper solder. I bought mine from Rawtreasures on ebay. They also have a website with some interesting copper wire (square, half round) that is useful. The copper solder is low temp 1350f. Now if I can solder better that would help!
LinemenOwn5 years ago
If you need to attach 2 pieces of copper together you may want to braze it. The joint will look more goldish then anything but it looks a lot better, and it is stronger.
Solder always looks silver. There ARE treatments that will colour it black. Using a torch or an iron is determined by the size of your job. We use an iron at work for circuit boards - and an oxy-acetlyene torch for soldering BIG copper boxes.