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Randy478

bronze statue repair?

13 posts in this topic

I know this is not blacksmithing but maybe somebody can help me with some brazzing info. I stopped by an antique store looking for any blacksmithing tools and stuff and the owner asked me about repairing a bronze statue of an elk. apparently someone pushed it over and broke off the end of the antler/horn and he wants to get it welded back on. I dont have access to a welder but can get oxy/act torch set. I need to know what kind of filler rod would be used on bronze. I have brazed exaust mainfolds and rear end housings anything different from that I would need to know? Thanks for any help, Randy

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you might be able to weld it together with oxy acyl ....depends on location and type of crack also you might be able to silver solder it...its kinda tricky to weld /braze...if its possable to silver solder that will probably be easyier to get a good result...good luck

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How big is it?.....I'd say OA is a very risky method for this,even more so with a small piece. With a tig it's possible to weld in small steps without getting the entire mass molten if there's some decent mass to it........ If it's smaller than a pencil I wouldn't touch it.

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My 2 cents: Depending on the size of the break, you may want to consider glue. Not just any glue of course, but I once repaired a small bronze statue with JB Weld 2 part epoxy and used a little paint to replicate and blend the patina in the small area where it showed. Since it was a stress point, I also pinned it with a tiny steel rod, but it sounds like it wouldn't be necessary in your case. I'm always tempted to bring out the fire at every opportunity, but I have to remind myself that it's more about the most effective way to do the job than the most fun :D

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Welding of any kind would be tough in this case. I'm assuming the antler broke off at the base? I think I would pin the break and solder it.

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My son worked for a bronze scluptor for a while. He said you must find out what kind of bronze it is or the color will never match. Silicone bronze most likely. TIG welded all of there stuff. He said thats the easy part then you must grind, blend and then match the patina. The repair could cost more than the piece is worth. Any repair with anything other than the same alloy will always show.

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thanks for the replies. probably not in my capabilities to repair. the antler broke off about 8 to 10 inches from the end, not at the base. it is hollow and the thickness is between 1/8 to 3/16 inch. kinda oval in shape about an 1" by 1 1/2". its a fairly large statue. May leave it alone. Thanks, Randy

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I worked for one of the best art foundries in the USA for 14 years. 1986-2000. In that time I have welded up tons of castings. The metal we poured was one of two alloys, Everdure or Hurculoy we mostly used silicon bronze welding rod from a local welding supply shop (Norco) and we used T.I.G. welders for all of it. Then it has to be tooled out and textured so no body can tell it has been welded, then it has to putined so all the colors look right.
The first thing to do is to make sure that it is made of silicon bronze and not brass. If it is brass the zinc will start to fume when you use the T.I.G. welder on it.

If I can be of any help let me know.
Chuck

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From your new discription Randy, depending on the alloy, its a fairly straight forward TIG weld repair....

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seems tig is the way to go. i do tig weld, carbon, stainless and aluminum. but havent tried my hand at bronze. i dont have a tig set up anyway. i will suggest he try to find someone who works in restoration of that type of statue. Thanks for the help everyone, Randy

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when I repaired a bronze basket hilt for a rapier, I uses my Oxt/acc set (I have a little smith jewler torch) and mixed up my own to match. It was not easy, but in the end the client was happy and paid in full.

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I know this question is several years old - but for anyone looking for an answer to a similar situation Junksmith has it right. From the perspective of the piece of art, repairs to metal are always glued. I don't know how reversible JB Weld would be, but generally in art conservation and repair, you want to do as little further damage as possible and leave room for a potentially better repair solution that may be developed down the road.

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Based on my own experience in the art restoration studio, I must agree with Waits and Junksmith. In fact, the hollow antler in this case would make it even easier to add an interior brace, such as a piece of stainless steel rod. Just put some kind of wadding inside first, to act as a dam to keep the glue from running down inside.

Oh, and a glued repair can be touched up afterwards with bronze powder and lacquer, to better match the original color.

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