I am new to Jewelry making and am having less than great success soldering brass to silver or to copper. I have been using hard solder and a torch. Are the special temps, or different solders to use any help will be appreciated.
I have learned so much here I know someone can help.
Soldering brass should be no more difficult than that of any other metal but it and copper seem to pose the most problems of any two metals out there for some reason. I have not had as many problems with soldering brass to brass or brass to silver as I have had with brass to copper but then again it seems like a lot of folk have trouble with anything to do with copper. Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper which in a sense makes it a type of solder like silver solder, think about that for a minuet. Soft silver solder is 65% silver and 35% zinc and Hard silver solder is 75% silver and 25% zinc, now yellow brass ranges in the neighborhood of 65% copper and 35% zinc so you can see it is an excellent brazing material too that is used in "soldering" ferrous metals together. This does not stop one from using it in jewelry making as the melting points are different but there is an affinity for the zinc to flow form one to the other if the temperature is high enough. But this is not what you are asking about is it? You want to know why you are having so much trouble, right? Part of it has to do with flux, use a paste flux and lots of it, part of it has to do with temperature, use a big flame when soldering copper and brass so you can get it hot now, heat it all around, from the top and from below, not just from above, you want it all hot right now and make sure your metal is clean.