The Bureau of Mines has developed a system that permits the "soft" soldering of aluminum and aluminum alloys with standard tin-lead solders. The method employs application of a thin nickel-copper- alloy coating to the substrate, which enables the tin-lead solders to wet readily and spread over the areas to be joined. With conventional technology, aluminum and aluminum alloys are extremely difficult to solder because tenacious surface oxide films prevent wetting. With the Bureau-developed method, the aluminum substrate is mechanically or chemically cleaned to facilitate bonding to a minute layer of zinc that is subsequently applied with an electroless zincate solution. The nickel-copper-alloy (30 to 70 pct ni) coating is then applied electrolytically over the zinc, using immersion cell or brush-coating techniques. Development of acetate electrolytes has permitted deposition of the proper alloy coatings. The coated areas can then be readily joined with conventional tin- lead solders and fluxes. The joints so formed are ductile, strong, and relatively corrosion resistant, and exhibit strengths equivalent to those formed on copper and brass when the same solders and fluxes are used. The method has also been employed to soft-solder magnesium alloys.