Bonding Copper to steel

I am new here and found this site in a search regarding my Title:

I wish to bond copper to steel as a trim , and my first thought were to melt the copper and aply it to heated steel, hoping it would stick.

I am a farrier and have hammer weld steel horseshoes in my forge and anvil before, and I have fornd that copper melts at about 2000f and steel at 2600-2800f.

my thought is bring the steel to bright red, and pour the moltan copper onto it. Not very controled but as a first thought.

The project is trim edging a motorcycle fender . . . Thank you for your help however this works.

Raspero's picture

If you were to pour very hot

If you were to pour very hot molten copper on to very clean steel with some borax as a flux, it would probably braze itself to the steel, but what a mess you would have to work with.

A more manageable solution would be to form your copper trim pieces and then braze them to the steel fender with an acetylene torch using a phosphor/copper/silver brazing rod.

johndach's picture

copper to steel

I have a machine that sprays molten metals, copper being one I work with. The 2 things that may not work on this "project" is 1. the sprayed metal (no matter what type) is NOT flexible and 2. the metal sprayed is "hooked" onto the base metal, not really melted to it.

If you were going to weld the 2 metals at the contact edges, I would suggest that TIG welding would work also, and TIG will not heat the entire metal parts to the degree gas welding will. Some samples can be seen here ( going to the 3rd picture on the splash page and going to the sprayed metal page within the site.

There are a number of ways to get this cat skinned!!!!!

John Dach
web site:

Raspero's picture

I need to correct something:

I need to correct something: That copper/phosphor rod is not recommended for steel. You would want to use a regular silver solder such as a 45 % silver wire.


Joe B's picture

I've thought about trying to

I've thought about trying to add copper trim to some of my ironwork before. Brazing with silver solder sounds like a way to go. I wonder about the long term finish where the copper meets the steel. Since no finish is impermeable, there's bound to be some electrolytic action and corrosion after a while. Or am I too much of a worry wart?

Rich Waugh's picture

There may be some issues

There may be some issues with adding copper to a steel motorcycle fender. Fenders are subject to a lot of vibration and if the copper is added at high temperatures (above red heat) there may be copper migration into the grain boundaries of the steel, causing brittleness.

I think if I wanted to accomplish this I'd use electroplating. You can do a heavy plating that would hold up perfectly well.

eligius1427's picture

Another option would be to

Another option would be to form the Copper Trim and attach it to the steel fender with Rivets or some sort of mechanical fastener.


Jake Balcom
Mettle Design
Kansas City, MO

Canaday Designs's picture

I have done this, a ton, for

I have done this, a ton, for signs; but your talking 1/4" steel letters sanded (36 grit) clean faces and then using oxy torch to "melt" +/- 8ga copper ground wire to the surface. I did an entire gated community's road signs (hundreds of letters) this way 10 years ago, currently I am working on a house there and the signs are holing great. but a motorcycle fender is definitely different. your talking maybe 18ga steel, will it hold, possibly. if its your bike I say bust out the torch and some ground wire one of these nights and have at it.

Doctor Virago's picture

Thank you all for your

Thank you all for your responses, I have come back a few times looking but could not find your answers till now. Ha, and I thought I was puter-literate, comes down to looking. I have thought of a few and appreciate all responses. when I figure it out will come back and give a link to photos. Thanks again all.