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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking > Welding Brazing Soldering Sealing > Advice on brazing wire sculpture
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    46

    Advice on brazing wire sculpture

    Greetings!

    For a long time I've wanted to do some wire sculpture. (see example) This is primarily 3/16" to 1/4" round stock. What ever is cheapest?

    Originally I thought I'd need a welder. Not ready for that yet. Then I started researching Brazing and soldering. Now being stuck at home I have no excuse not to try.

    As a complete newbee, What material options do I have? I have a Propane torch, should I get Map? If I go Brazing, can anyone suggest what to order? Probably Amazon. What about flux?

    I did watch some videos on brazing vs. soldering. Since these joints are not getting much stress, is a soldering approach enough?

    Any advice on a better torch nozzle for this?

    My only experience was as a kid my uncle was in the Jeweler business, and watched hours of soldering on links, or melting gold to be cast.

    Thanks in advance for any advice:-)

    Max

    This example is 24" tall between 3/16 and 1/4" round stock.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Metal Sculpture.jpg  

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    1378

    Re: Advice on brazing wire sculpture

    Hi Dis - I'd go soft solder. You could use a high wattage iron vs a torch, like lead lighters do. A small propane torch is all thats needed (soft solder about 200C). If you braze use tobin bronze (600degC) and a propane torch. Stronger but not necessary. Forceps would be good for holding bits or soft wire to wind around the bits to hold then remove after soldering....The imaged piece has been coppered or antiqued hard to say what they actually used....Cheers Peter

    MAP is way to hot for that job by the way...

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    46

    Re: Advice on brazing wire sculpture

    Thanks!

    The artist said the finish was rust. I will just spray paint black. So I should go Soft Solder. (I do electronic work, so I'm familiar with soldering at albeit smaller scale).

    So more like a plumbers solder, and use a plumbers flux?

    Super, this means I can start sooner.

    Thanks for you input!!

    Max

    PS: Do you mean a Butane Micro torch like this:

    https://www.harborfreight.com/Butane...rch-63170.html

  4. #4
    Member
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    Jul 2018
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    1378

    Re: Advice on brazing wire sculpture

    Hi Max - Yes use a flux (or flux cored solder) but its important that the wire is clean. A small wire wheel would be perfect for preping it or a bench grinder with a clean wire wheel.... The mill scale has to go. For fiddly jobs I soak the steel in dilute hydrochoric acid for a couple of hours and its then very clean, solder flows fast and smooth. The photos are gal sheet and I used Bakers Flux, small propane torch with soft flame. Peter

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    46

    Re: Advice on brazing wire sculpture

    Thanks, Very nice solder job:-)

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Apr 2004
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    5016

    Re: Advice on brazing wire sculpture

    I find that soft solder isn't easy to use on projects like this, and it doesn't have much strength, when (if) you get it to work. Brazing is better, but it takes more heat than a normal propane torch delivers. You do need flux for brazing; the borax-based type, not the same stuff as is used for soft soldering. I like silicon bronze rod better than yellow brass for brazing; it melts cleaner and tolerates more heat. Jewelry soldering is a lot like brazing, it uses silver alloys to join silver or other metals, but it requires joints that are very well-fitted and it doesn't fill gaps well.

    I'd suggest using copper rod or wire, instead of steel, to make the sculpture, and a phos-copper rod to stick it together. (that's a flattened rod that's typically used for copper plumbing) It doesn't require flux to melt and adhere to copper, and has good gap-filling qualities, making joints like the ones in your picture. Mapp gas will work better than straight propane; an air-acetylene plumber's torch is best, though.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

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