I am interested in learning how to fuse wire using microtorch, in order to make my own headpins and other components. I have read that copper(that's found in sterling wire) will oxidize and blacken the surface, and needs to be removed with nasty stuff. So, can you use solid copper wire, and if so, how do you remove the black?
Does anyone know of good tutorials, or books to fuse specifically with copper?

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I don't know any tutorials. But it's just like fusing silver, you just need a different type of the stuff you put on the metal to make it melt (Can't remember the name in english) To make the copper clear again, you just use some sort of acid.
The book I have on silver fusing doesn't mention the use of 'flux' - if I get your meaning right? So, you need to it on before starting? As for making the copper clear again, I am looking for a non-toxic alternative(I've read a lemon/salt combo works?)

Danagonia said:
I don't know any tutorials. But it's just like fusing silver, you just need a different type of the stuff you put on the metal to make it melt (Can't remember the name in english) To make the copper clear again, you just use some sort of acid.
Hi,
I've only fused copper once so far and I had to use flux. I tried it without first and no luck. Put on the flux and it worked. As for cleaning I used steel wool, then patina'd with LOS.
I tried with copper, and same for me, no luck, but sterling silver worked fine. Still getting the hang of it. Where's a good supplier for flux? I'll check a hardware store also, might have it there..


Suzanne Fragiacomo said:
Hi,
I've only fused copper once so far and I had to use flux. I tried it without first and no luck. Put on the flux and it worked. As for cleaning I used steel wool, then patina'd with LOS.
Hi,
I was working on a post with respect to that exact question so I just posted a new blog here that might give you some answers to your questions. Just look on the main page for blogs.

Lois
ooo, those look like very cool books - thanks, I'll put them on my wishlist!

Lois Linquist said:
Hi,
I was working on a post with respect to that exact question so I just posted a new blog here that might give you some answers to your questions. Just look on the main page for blogs.

Lois
Flux can be found at any stained glass store. The Glastar "gel" flux is the least corrosive and works the best (in my opinion). You can clean it off with a product called "CJ's flux remover" (also available at stained glass stores) -OR- you can use dish soap with baking soda. If you fuse copper between 2 pieces of glass, it turns a beautiful shade of burgundy.
Thanks Dreamscape - I will make note of this brand..and how to remove it(good to know!)

Dreamscapes Studio said:
Flux can be found at any stained glass store. The Glastar "gel" flux is the least corrosive and works the best (in my opinion). You can clean it off with a product called "CJ's flux remover" (also available at stained glass stores) -OR- you can use dish soap with baking soda. If you fuse copper between 2 pieces of glass, it turns a beautiful shade of burgundy.
I've been wondering about this myself, as every time I try to ball up the end of a copper wire with my torch it never works - just gets red hot...:) As for removing firescale from copper wire I use a supersaturated white vinegar and salt solution on low in a small crock pot and it works like a charm..:) I always solder the basic shapes for my jewelry.
I read about the vinegar/salt sol'n on another site, but I'm excited to hear you can use it as a pickle too in the crock pot! I Really didn't want to use the strong acid - I like more 'natural' alternatives - thanks Karen..

Karen Guthrie said:
I've been wondering about this myself, as every time I try to ball up the end of a copper wire with my torch it never works - just gets red hot...:) As for removing firescale from copper wire I use a supersaturated white vinegar and salt solution on low in a small crock pot and it works like a charm..:) I always solder the basic shapes for my jewelry.
*on the other site, they just mentioned using the vinegar/salt as a 'scrub' on the finished piece, not as a pickling sol'n in crock pot(thought I should elaborate my thoughts a bit!)

Vicki said:
I read about the vinegar/salt sol'n on another site, but I'm excited to hear you can use it as a pickle too in the crock pot! I Really didn't want to use the strong acid - I like more 'natural' alternatives - thanks Karen..

Karen Guthrie said:
I've been wondering about this myself, as every time I try to ball up the end of a copper wire with my torch it never works - just gets red hot...:) As for removing firescale from copper wire I use a supersaturated white vinegar and salt solution on low in a small crock pot and it works like a charm..:) I always solder the basic shapes for my jewelry.
Interestine Vicki - I hadn't heard about using it as a scrub...:) I was really glad to find that it works as a pickle for two reasons - I also don't like the idea of chemicals, and vinegar and salt are cheap...LOL Just remember to keep it on a really low heat - I overheated it in my kitchen and the fumes nearly drove us out of the house - probably not poisonous, but very acrid...:) My poor son puts up with some bad smells between the LOS and the vinegar...:)

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