Brazing Non-Ferrous Metals

Introduction: Brazing Non-Ferrous Metals

This is meant to be a fast demonstration so that viewers can get a sense of what the process looks like. The written word doesn't always capture the nuance involved like how red will the metal glow or how 'angry' the torch should sound.

I Joined two pieces of copper sheet using Stay-Silv 5 solder, Stay-Silv flux, and a MAPP torch. Cheap supplies, cheap tools, not a complex process. The solder and flux can be bought at any welding supply.

The solder melts at about 1600 degrees and is one of the hottest ranges I have worked with. Even so I find it easier to work with than other silver-solders with lower melting points and much easier than working with soft solder. The Stay-Silv 5 in particular is very good at bridging gaps and filling recesses.



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    9 Discussions

    Hi, This is a great Instruc. I have been trying to braze stainless steel to stainless steel without much luck. Trying to make metal flowers. any suggestions would help. I am on the verge of "This won't work". Any suggestions would be helpful.



    Does this type of brazing produce a strong joint that will take some mechanical stress?

    3 replies

    If your joint is tight (no gaps between the two pieces of metal being joined) then the brazed joint will be as strong or stronger than any other part of the metal. I rarely worry about getting the seam perfect (unless I'm doing jeweler work) but in any case, the brazed joint is exceptionally strong.

    And, would this torch be adequate for brazing 1/2-inch aluminum or brass washers together?:

    Two things:

    1. > You won't be brazing aluminum to anything. While it is technically possible to braze aluminum, it requires a special kind of solder and the technique is very difficult. Even if you do succeed, the result is hideously ugly.
    2. > That pen torch is actually a nice little tool, I have one, but is completely inadequate for brazing anything. Remember, you have to get the metal above 1500 degrees fahrenheit. At this temp, the joint will be glowing somewhere between Dull Cherry Red to Bright Cherry Red (depending on the metals being joined). Try getting a brass washer to do that with the pen torch and you will understand my meaning.

      For brazing you need a torch that burns MAPP gas (or whatever they are putting in the yellow propane bottles now). A simple bernzomatic like ( will do the trick nicely and not cost much (currently $12 on amazon prime). When working with larger sized pieces I use a version of this torch ( that doesn't have a trigger igniter.

      If you want to work on larger pieces of metal and are on a budget, the harbor freight pistol grip propane torch kit is surprisingly adequate ( )

    Good luck, if you have any questions don't be afraid to hit me up directly.

    What you are doing is soldering not Brazing. Soldering is done at 350 to 600 degrees with solder, Brazing is done at 1100 to 1500 degrees with a brass rod. Other than that it was a nice instructable.

    1 reply

    Thank you for your comment. If you had actually watched the tutorial you would know that the solder I use melts here at 1500F and is a brazing alloy of 92% copper, 5% silver, and 3% phosphor.

    What you are describing is the difference between 'soft-soldering' and 'hard-soldering' (or brazing). Soft soldering uses an alloy that is primarily tin and/or lead which melts at a very low temperature (relatively speaking).

    There is actually nothing happening to the metal that is different in soft-soldering and hard-soldering/brazing it just happens at a lower temp when using a tin/lead alloy brazing filler. If you are in the south-east Miochigan area and are interested in a refresher course I'm putting together a series of workshops that lead up to the 'Up in the Aether Convention', a Steampunk event in May.

    I mention in the text that Iam using Stay-Silv flux. If you buy stay-silv solder or Safety-Silv 45 or 56 then they will have the stay-silv flux there as well. It's not expensive and works very well.

    Keep in mind, that if you are using the Stay-Silv 5 solder I mention in the video, or any Phosphor bearing solder, then you will not need to flux the work as long as you are joining copper to copper.

    Alternatively, the powdered borax you get in the laundry detergent aisle of the grocery store is an excellent flux for this kind of work. Make a small pile of the stuf and sprinkle a few drops of water. Fish out the clump and smush a small bit against the joint.

    Hope that helps.