Q: What do I do if my flux dries out?
A: With all the talk of fluxes lately, people have been asking what to do if their flux dries out. Here are two methods which will work. I am notorious for leaving the lid off my paste flux, so I learned these tricks early in my career.
1. Put some a few teaspoons of water in the flux jar, on top of the dried flux, and use the wooden tip of your flux brush to punch some holes into the flux. It’s OK to use distilled water, but if you live in an area with little or no iron in your water it’s not necessary. Let it sit a few hours, then shake the jar vigorously and check to see the viscosity of the flux. It should be softened, and can then be used. I put one tiny drop of Dawn Detergent onto the flux to act as a lubricating agent which will help the flux flow smoothly onto the metal.
2. You may remove the flux from the container and grind it with a mortar and pestle until powdery. As you grind it, add in small amounts of water, less than a teaspoon, just a drop at a time. Add one tiny drop of Dawn Detergent as a lubricant.
When you get the rejuvenated flux back to the consistence of yogurt or Elmer’s Glue, put in into the container and seal tightly.
I order 1/2 to 1 lbs jars of flux, and put them in small 2 ounce jars I like condiments come in at some restaurants (or with room service) and those work great.
Lexi Erickson, President of Wubbers University, is an internationally-known artist and teacher based in Denver, CO.