Wind Chapman

Disodium Borate, a new flux?

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I came across a product today that promises that you can forge weld now at a red heat and make complex joints simply by heating the work, brushing the scale and ash off, applying the flux and then striking to weld without putting it back into the fire. The ingredients on the bottle state: Didsodium Borate and Iron. Well, as far as I know, that is plain old borax with iron filings in it. I would be very skeptical of these claims except for the person making them is one of the most respected blacksmiths alive today.

Input of thoughts and ideas would be apperciated.

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Gee now even I can forge weld on a regular basis? What is the brand name? Where can I find it? Who is this "most respected blacksmith?:"
"

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I found this:


  • Borax (redirect from Sodium borate)
    Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral , and a salt ...
    20 KB (2,645 words) - 05:12, 27 May 2012

  • Borate
    Borates are the name for a large number of boron -containing oxoanions . ...Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate is used as wood preservative s ...
    10 KB (1,314 words) - 18:32, 19 May 2012

  • If it sounds to good to be true??????

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I remember a tale from the hills of an old smith with a "magic quenching fluid" that he had paid another smith famed for his blades for his recipe and would get it made up at a local pharmacy at some expense (where the pharmacist was in on the scam...) It was "an aqueous solution of sodium chloride"...

OTOH if like Dumbo's magic feather if makes you *feel* like you can do it it may be just what some folks need!

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Iron Mountain Flux - it's borax and iron. I've used it, it's good flux. It's not magic (I didn't expect it to be) but I've had a lot of success with my welding since I bought some. Given the fact that my fire welding was terrible before I started using this flux, that's not saying a lot, but it's still pretty good flux. I would not have bought it if Brian Brazeal hadn't given it a positive review.

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Judging from what I have read, it is going to change a LOT of things that I am able to do around the shop. It is going to allow me to weld a lot of difficult joints that I was not able to do before. Just that little bit of difference will do a lot here at Flute's.

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I remember a tale from the hills of an old smith with a "magic quenching fluid" that he had paid another smith famed for his blades for his recipe and would get it made up at a local pharmacy at some expense (where the pharmacist was in on the scam...) It was "an aqueous solution of sodium chloride"...

OTOH if like Dumbo's magic feather if makes you *feel* like you can do it it may be just what some folks need!

Sort of like dihydrogen oxide causing deaths,and erosion?

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I remember a tale from the hills of an old smith with a "magic quenching fluid" that he had paid another smith famed for his blades for his recipe and would get it made up at a local pharmacy at some expense (where the pharmacist was in on the scam...) It was "an aqueous solution of sodium chloride"...

OTOH if like Dumbo's magic feather if makes you *feel* like you can do it it may be just what some folks need!

That is a very short sighted response Mr. Powers.

I was given a bottle of Iron Mountain Forge Welding Fux over a year ago by Russel Colvin. He asked if I ever had problems forge welding and what did I use as a flux. I told him that I just use borax and that I've tried many other products, but I have never had problems welding. About 2 months ago I had a day to play and thought I'd try it out. I was able to do what I had never done nor seen done before; tack pieces of mild steel together without going up to forge welding temperature. I have since used it and demonstrated it to several people, and some have tried it and can attest to what I've shown. There is no "magic" to it, just documented fact now. I have tacked pieces together even at a dull red heat with this flux and so has Daniel Riffe.
The way it is done is to bring your pieces up to a fluxing temperature, orange, apply the flux, bring the flux up to the temp of your piece, then tack them together in whatever position you choose with ONE SQUARE blow. Then return to the fire and forge weld at a forge welding heat. You can also use it as a filler to fill seams if you want. There is a video on Youtube now that we just made. The lighting is not good and everything looks hotter than it is, but anyone is welcome to come by and see it in person. The next time I'll be demontrating it in public is at the ABANA conference. It is going to open up alot more possibilities for todays mild steel or A36. Wait till next year and see what others will come up with, or get some today and show us what you come up with.

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And I've seen Billy Merrit do welds at a temp I'd not consider hot enough to forge at---without that flux.

My point was that I felt using the "fancy" terms might be a bit misleading for some smiths who may not know the technical terms for borax.

There is no one temp for welding as the NM Tech campus demonstrates as they have a lot of examples of explosive welding Art on display and we all have probably galled a bolt in our time. ("Solid Phase Welding of Metals", Tylecote, has way more info on this topic than anyone is likely to want or need...and yes a copy is on my bookcase)

I'm sure it's a fine flux; I think there are a lot of great fluxes out there. I generally mix my own for billet welding from 20 mule team and roach pruf and I have taken a billet I welded up and stood it vertically and forged it down to a disk with out weld failure (several heats!) and so that seems to do me fine.

Oh yes my mixture would be: "Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate", Na2B4O7·10H2O and Boric acid, also called hydrogen borate, boracic acid, orthoboric acid and acidum boricum", H3BO3.

Hmm I like that "acidum boricum" sounds much more scientific than roach pruf...

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Interesting Thomas, but you may want to try this like others have done and will do and see what will come of it. I do want to do some better videos that show the exact heat at witch I am tacking these pieces together at.

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I did not start this thread nor did I give much technical information on this product. The ingredients are on the bottle. The proportions are not listed. All I am saying is that this mix does things I have never seen done with A36. I'm pretty sure no one else has seen this either. No one has been talking about this, but I am going to be talking about this and helping others out.

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what is confusing me is: hasn't this been around a long time? I have heard of several fluxes that work very well with bits of bandsaw refuse mixed in. But having said that, I have been in contact with the appropriate parties to get my hands on some to see for myself. If it's better than the original "magic weld" I will indeed be impressed. Also the original "climax" flux was a good product, and I watched Mark Aspery do many welds with none whatsoever, but never at a dull orange. If I can weld at lower temps, it saves my eyes, and that's a big bonus, so in conclusion, I'm game, I'll give it a go, this old dog CAN learn new tricks.

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I have a partial bottle that I Got from Tom Clark years ago and I use it on recalcitrant welds. Normally I use Borax as purchased from the store. I have tried to add metal shavings from the bandsaw etc and haven't noticed any appreciable difference. I am a little curious about this tacking at red heat, is it strong enough to withstand manipulation in the fire? That would definitely be a plus. I have had to tack some of the more complex designs with a mig since I am a one man shop, and it is a pain to blend the mig welds in afterwards some times.

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Finally somebody gets it! Thanks MOblacksmith0530! I've been trying to communicate that you can tack things together wherever you want without having to reach normal forge welding temperatures, then you can secure your weld at normal forge welding temps. The video on youtube does not give this justice because the metal and fire are much brighter than they actually are. I never edit any of my videos, and I don't lie. That one hit tack that I pry apart in the end was tacked at a red heat well below orange. This product has been around a while, but I don't believe anyone ever noticed that this was possible.

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I surely don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade but there are no secret ingredients to these magic fluxes. EZ-weld does exactly what is being described by Brian and has been around for years. You can tack at dull red and go back for a good welding heat.

My guess is that these ‘magic’ fluxes use fluorite or fluorspar which has traditionally been used as a flux to lower the melting point of steel and to aid in the removal of impurities.


If the flux contains fluorite you had better have very good ventilation or be wearing a respirator because it can cause all sorts of health problems.


I would be interested to know if this new flux does contain fluorite.

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I just got off the phone with the producer, and the only ingredients are listed on the label: Disodiumtetraborate Na2B4O2 and Pure Iron Powder Fe

Ciladog, I have used alot of different fluxes including Easy Weld, and I have never seen anyone do the things I have been doing with this. But just because I haven't seen it does not mean what your saying isn't so. I'd like to see it. If I had some Easy weld I go out and try it right now. Surely someone has some Easy Weld out there. Show us or send me some and I'll show it.

As for fumes, I think we are all aware of proper precautions and ventilation when dealing with this hot stuff. If you are not, stop.

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I have seen pure iron powder sprinkled on forgeweld seams to help blend and fill the seam. I think the melting point of the pure iron is low. Bandsaw filings would melt at whatever temp. the material they were cut from does, probably the same as the piece you are trying to weld. I am looking forward to trying this out.

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I just got off the phone with the producer, and the only ingredients are listed on the label: Disodiumtetraborate Na2B4O2 and Pure Iron Powder Fe

Ciladog, I have used alot of different fluxes including Easy Weld, and I have never seen anyone do the things I have been doing with this. But just because I haven't seen it does not mean what your saying isn't so. I'd like to see it. If I had some Easy weld I go out and try it right now. Surely someone has some Easy Weld out there. Show us or send me some and I'll show it.

As for fumes, I think we are all aware of proper precautions and ventilation when dealing with this hot stuff. If you are not, stop.


Also called Anhydrous Sodium Borate(Na2B4O2). Five less oxygen atoms than anhydrus Borax. I can see how that may have an effect.

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I think the melting point of the pure iron is low.
Only if you consider 2797F(1360C) to be "low."

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