Thanks for the reply! I'm in New Jersey in the US. I've attached the pictures of the safety gear I've been using. That's in addition to a respirator, steel toe boots, and safety goggles. I'm a Locksmith by trade (hence why brass was my first choice, since I'm sitting bn about 12 buckets full of locks, which is typically an amalgam of brass, aluminum, cast aluminum, and steel). The floor I used, was the asphalt on my driveway, as I didn't feel comfortable doing this indoors yet, and didn't care to make my family homeless. Being in the trades, and being a union man, I'm certainly no stranger to using the appropriate PPE.
While I haven't taken any courses or classes, I've watched a significant amount of videos and done a little bit of research, so I definitely didn't just decide to, blindly start casting metal. It's obviously very dangerous even under the best of circumstances, and I reached out to someone who's done it before who gave me lots of pointers and safety information, including preheating things as to avoid steam explosions. I didn't reach out to him initally, as I only have an email for him, and it was doubtful I'd get an immediate response. All that being said, I'm thankful for any advice you all can provide, and thanks for entertaining the post!
THIS is what I was looking for! I'd wondered if I'd either burned off all the zinc, or burned it altogether. Going back on it in my mind, (hindsight and all) I definitely did see the zinc fumes, but didn't really think that's what it was.
|Copper has a real affinity for O2 and turns |to a copper coloured *ceramic* that really |needs to be ground up and re smelted to |be usable for melting again.
Yes! I was trying to figure out how to describe it, and after it cooled, the bottom is brass in the shape of the crucible, and the top looks like hard volcanic ash, rocky, etc.
I think to things affected this melt compared to the first, well, a bit of ignorance too.
1) The infrared thermometer I had didnt go above 610° F, which I didn't know until Sunday. I've since ordered and received one.
2) Not having a regulator valve with a guage on it. I had ZERO idea what level it was at. (On it's way to me now)
These 2 things would have allowed me to have more data with which to fine tune and know when it was time to pour, or that adding a mortise cylinder with is nearly solid brass would cool it significantly, even with pre-heating.
Thanks for the reply! I'll post pictures of the 2 melts here later when I get back home.