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kashmire   

so, i attempted my first welded wire billet today. i think i did pretty good. my question is about boric acid. i have strait powder(i just sprinkled copius amonts on in between heats & beats). the container says to make an alcohol based paste. how do you smiths use your boric acid. paste and paint or dip, sprinkle strait, how do you store it(wet or dry and in what?) what do you find works best for you?

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I use 20 mule team borax laundry detergent and no mixing involed just sprinkle it on.
Works fine for me.
You do not want to be puting anything with alcohol near where you are working with red hot stuff.

Bob

Edited by Robert Mayo

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kashmire   

i gathered the entire no alcohol near fiery hot things. (a leaf fell from a tree and landed on top of my propane forge today, it was kinda cool to watch.) thats why im asking about how other smiths do it so i can try several methods and see what works best for me.

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Not so different. They decompose into the same stuff at welding temperatures. If boric acid's what you have, use it. It's a common component in commercial forge welding fluxes, and Dr. Hrisoulas uses it in his "steel glue." No alcohol. Just sprinkle it on at a red/black heat; it melts fast.

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I've used straight borax for years and it works fine, for me. I did try to mix clean bandsaw filings with borax, once, just to see if it was any better. Couldn't tell a lot of difference in the way it welded. My 2 cents! :)

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I use coke for fuel and have used borax from the box it works for me also if I have a good clean fire first thing I have welded as jocko 58 has with no flux. That is my 2 cents

Gaylan

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As a Gold & Silversmith, boric acid & acl are used to pervent fire scale. Borax is a flux. Ether one do the same. Helps to keep the oxy at bay. I make a mix of 8oz Borax to 4oz Boric acid for a solder flux. 16 oz of water and reducde down to a past.
True

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On 9/24/2009 at 5:26 PM, MattBower said:

Not so different. They decompose into the same stuff at welding temperatures. If boric acid's what you have, use it. It's a common component in commercial forge welding fluxes, and Dr. Hrisoulas uses it in his "steel glue." No alcohol. Just sprinkle it on at a red/black heat; it melts fast.

Great info I also just managed after quite the search to find some boric acid in the pharmacy. Was wondering if it could be used. Thanks.

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I get it as part of a cockroach killing compound sold here as "Roach-Prufe" that is around 99% boric acid and 1% colourant so folks won't be stupid. (Even though I once checked the MSDS for Borax and you have to eat a pound of it to get even close to being in trouble IIRC)

Much Cheaper as a hardware store item sold by the pound than as a pharmacy items sold by the ounce. Found a comparable brand, Enoz, at Walmart for US$2.97 per pound  so a bit under 500 rupees for 16 ounces.

I generally mix 3 parts borax to 1 part boric acid to make my standard flux.

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Cheers ThomasPowers,

Cool that sounds like a good idea and might save me having to open tons of tiny packets every time I need some reasonable amount of flux. 16 rupees is not much here but I bet the roach alternative you could buy here would be even less than what it costs in the US. Will look into it now when I go into town later and am planning on visiting the local blacksmith today too. 

What is your opinion on the boric acid, do you think it is easy to pull of a weld by just using that. Is there anything that I would need to take into account. Read that it burns off quicker but to be honest am only guessing at what that means. Would you have to reflux two times for each heat. I realize that this might be a dum question, but if you don't mind would like to know for sure. 

Cheers David. 

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lyuv   

For me it all works the same - Tried straight borax, and couldn't get a weld. Boric acid didn't work either. Mixed the two, added iron oxide and sal ammoniac - nada. Charcoal fire didn't help.

Sprinkled, dipped, tossed, spitted. Nothing. Used up all curse words I know, and got help from armenian neighbor. Seances, blood offers. No cigar.

Have not lost hope. I"m eager to try this reual I read about, that calls for chaining a pure fair maiden of red hair to the anvil, in a moonless night.

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13 hours ago, lyuv said:

that calls for chaining a pure fair maiden of red hair to the anvil, in a moonless night.

Hahaha. yes that might work, just make sure she does not object to it that is :) 

Hope you get a weld. From my very limited experience the surfaces have to be not only clean but as level as possible. Apparently so that when it gets up to the correct heat the molecules or something like that can do some strange magic and bond with other stuff to make the metal into one piece. But don't take my word for it. All I know that is the only time I managed to pull it of twice in a row. It is frustrating alright.

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Molecular migration. Two or more clean, well matched surfaces in the presence of heat and pressure willexange molicules at the interference zone. With in reason the cleaner and closer the Mach the less heat and pressure needed, or the more pressure and heat the less cleaning and matching you need. The idea of flux is for it to melt at a lower tempeture than oxides form, and not evaporate untile the temp is high fo the two pieces to stick. I would have to go get Steves book out, but he uses Borx, boric acid and another flux that mets befor cromimum oxides form. Dang I wish I could remember... 

For cable Thomma just recommended a saturated saluting of borax with a dab of dish soap to get inside the bundle

7partt Borax   1part Boric Acid  1part Sal Ammoniac

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Well if you really want to go into the details: "Solid Phase Welding of Metals" Tylecote

As for learning it the BEST way is to have someone who knows how show you and work you through a couple of welds.  If you are new at smithing how are you to tell if the fire is right or you are hitting it too hard, or cooking off your flux, or trying to weld difficult alloys, or are taking too long to get from fire to hammer strike, or...

Note I do not use the term BEST lightly!

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