[Noisebridge-discuss] soldering copper sheet metal

jim jim at well.com
Thu Oct 29 20:18:31 UTC 2015

     Nothing's working. I talked to two different
experts, one a plumber the other a bike mechanic.
both are surprised and both guess that the copper
sheets (12" wide copper rolls I bought from R. H.
Leahy in SF) must have a tiny amount of oil that's
embedded a couple or atom's distance into the
surface of the copper.
     I've tried various fluxes, washed 'em with
borax, lye, sodium carbonate (all high base), and
with alcohol, paint thinner, acetone, and muriatic
acid. I've scoured 'em with fine and with coarse
sand paper, by hand and with an electric hand
     My heat sources have been a propane torch and
also a 950 degree soldering iron. I've used tin-
lead and also silver solder.

     The result is that the solder burns and
browns with what seems like little disks from
popped bubbles and all solders bead up and roll

     Somebodies know how to work with sheet copper
to make rain gutters, art, etc.
     I've looked into copper glues, and reviewers
warn that some products are of poor quality, other
products work but cannot withstand mechanical
     I'm gonna try adhesive copper tape, maybe
double it up if I need the strength.

On 10/25/2015 11:58 PM, Cere Mona Davis wrote:
> There is a special kind of flux for solding to copper. . Seen it at 
> ace hardware.  Alternately, you can possibly try borax with a little 
> water.
> On Oct 25, 2015 4:37 PM, "jim" <jim at well.com <mailto:jim at well.com>> wrote:
>         I've soldered electronics and plumbing and
>     am stuck trying to solder copper sheet metal.
>     I've used a soldering iron and a propane torch.
>     I've used alcohol, acetone, and paint thinner
>     to clean the copper as well as fine and coarse
>     sandpaper to clean the surfaces. I'm using
>     electronic flux (haven't yet tried plumbing
>     flux).
>         The soldering is not working: solder does
>     not flow or adhere to the copper, and there's
>     a brown residue that appears after heating.
>     Using a torch for forty or fifty seconds
>     results in flame that does not immediately
>     expire.
>         Anybody got tips?
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