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Thread: copper fumes?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    15

    Default copper fumes?

    I started a new project today. I am making flowers with hammered copper petals TIG welded to carbon steel stems. My question is do I need to worry about copper fumes the same as I would worry about galvanized steel fumes when welding? There is not a lot of welding on each flower but I might start to do a lot of these and I was just wondering if my wife is going to find me dead in the shop one afternoon.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    preacher
    Attached Images Attached Images
    If you had fun making it, you did a good job

    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Hobart Airforce 250A
    HH 135
    Smith O/A
    and a LOT of hammers

  2. #2

    Default

    Here's a little reading on it. It looks like small amounts of welding in a day may not do much,probably more of a cumulative affect. I'm going to try to start wearing a good mask.
    http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/C5170.htm
    Last edited by Jeepnford; 04-23-2007 at 10:06 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    107

    Default

    According to that MSDS for Copper Metal, "Use only with adequate ventilation". So, if any of you are running electrical circuits for your welders, be sure you don't do it with copper wire in an enclosed area!
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    DFW area
    Posts
    180

    Default

    They're not as bad as galvanized fumes, but they ain't healthy for ya either.

    No more than what you're doing- keep upwind of the smoke & fumes coming off the welding action, have some ventalation, and you'll be fine.

    I also think copper accumulates in a person, but our 'system' also casts it out. I've noticed the guys at plumbing supply houses always wear gloves when handleing copper tubing....... Of course they do it for a major portion of their day too, not just on occasion like we do.

    Our water commonly runs in copper tubing, but the metal of it probably doesn't leach out much either unless the water/pipe gets REAL! hot.


    A big concentration of it like you'd get from snorting up a cloud of welding fumes in which some copper is bound to be vaporized could potentially be hazardous for ya.

    Basically copper is like lead, carbon dioxide, arsenic, carbon monoxide, acids, chlorine, whiskey, almost anything you can think of-heck- even water:
    There is no such thing as a toxic substance,,,,, only toxic levels of them.

    .
    "Gone are the days of wooden ships, and Iron men.
    I doubt we'll see either of their likes again".

    Circa 1920.
    Author:
    Unknown US Coast Guard unit Commander.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Ukiah, Ca
    Posts
    280

    Default

    I worked for 12 yrs building hi-amperage DC power supplies. Lots of torch soldering cooling tubes, grinding, drilling, etc. Cu dust & sweat= green skin. MSDS says too much exposure to anything is bad. I haven't experienced any health problems.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    just wondering ....why not just grab a torch and braze them togather?? why TIG ???

    cool flowers.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    15

    Default Why TIG?

    Why TIG?

    A few reasons. First I feel I can control the heat better with TIG allowing me to get the discoloration of the copper to where I want it. Next (and this likely has a lot to do with my first reason) I don't have much experience with an OA torch. Lastly I enjoy the the TIG process so it really is a matter of personal preference.
    If you had fun making it, you did a good job

    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Hobart Airforce 250A
    HH 135
    Smith O/A
    and a LOT of hammers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    i fully understand TIg being a favoret, i gotta say i realy like playing with mine. it just seemed like a braze would have been faster and easyer, i never tryed dissimler metals like coper to steel with tig. you just melting the copper to the steel ?? are you using a flux or some thing to aid the process??
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    15

    Default Thanks

    Thank you to all who replied to my post. I think I'll just keep some good ventilation going and not worry to much.

    As far as welding dissimilar metals to together, I don't use any flux. I just keep my base metals clean and go. Its really not much different than welding steel to steel. I hold a the TIG torch in one hand and hold the flower petal with pliers in the other hand this allows me to move from one part to the next pretty quickly.

    If strength was more of a concern I would likely use a little filler or learn to braise. But this is art so I am more concerned with keeping the welds small and neat.

    Thank you again

    preach
    If you had fun making it, you did a good job

    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Hobart Airforce 250A
    HH 135
    Smith O/A
    and a LOT of hammers

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