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ArtificerMade

  • Date JoinedAug 15, 2011
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Orangeboard

Terry20304 months ago

Wow, am I glad I found your instructable. I have been trying to Braze stainless steel to stainless steel.. For the purpose of making metal flowers. Not having any success. Would like some suggestions. You seem to know more about metals then anyone I have talked to so far. I am not real up to date on this so go slow. Hahaha

ArtificerMade (author)  Terry20304 months ago

I'll give you the bad news first. Brazing Stainless is one of those things that require lots of voodoo and black magic. On paper it can be done. Use a very aggressive flux and a very high silver content solder and keep your heat very low. If your stainless gets hot enough to glow red, you've likely ruined it. I can get into the metallurgy of why this is so, but I will leave that for another day if you are interested. It may be enough to say that brazing stainless to anything is not something I ever count on succeeding.

So... what do you do?

1-For many projects it is enough to use soft solder. Use an aggressive acid flux like 'Stay-Brite' or mix up your own with muriatic acid and zinc and sal amoniac (mix a bit of each together till it stops bubbling ... where splash goggles). Use a plumber's solder with high silver and no lead. Without knowing more about your project I would say this method is probably not for you. Soft soldered joints are very strong when well supported by the metal joint. Petals on a flower would have a lot of leverage against the joint.

2-You could bolster the connection with a mechanical joint of some sort. Create a simple collet that fits over part of what you are joining and use silver solder to secure the joint.

3-Learn to TIG weld and buy a cheap welder to get you going. TIG is really the only option for good sturdy joints on stainless. It's also a skill I don't have. I take my limited stainless work to a guy who welds it.

4-You could reconsider your choice of materials. I'm not one to answer a question about how to do a project by telling them to do a different project. If you need to make this out of stainless then you need to make this out of stainless. But... if you don't need to make this out of stainless then things get so much easier. I make flowers out of brass and copper and brazing is a snap.