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Nick O

brass casting

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I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this but I've got some questions on casting brass. I was given all this brass for free and was wondering if I could cut it into smaller chunks and melt it down and pour it into brass hammer molds. Or if there are other things I can do with them. Now for those of you who know about bushings how they have those ones that have graphite in them theses ones are not all of these are solid graphite free inch thick brass bushings. Each one ways 50lb so if any one knows if this can be done please let me know  also they are out of a turbine of some sort. the one with my hand on it is a quarter of one of the bushings which would be the one with the big chuck gone. there are not cracks in them they are cuts made by a cutting wheel. the bushing are not cast either

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are they leaded brass?   Sword guards come to mind and perhaps posting in the casting forum rather than general blacksmithing forum; but yes you can melt and pour them.

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22 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

are they leaded brass?   Sword guards come to mind and perhaps posting in the casting forum rather than general blacksmithing forum; but yes you can melt and pour them.

from my research it says they use leaded brass for bushings will it make a difference when I cast it?

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Nick do you have any experience sand casting?  If so, anything hotter than aluminum?  Forgive me if this is below your level; I'm assuming no casting experience.

If no casting experience (or even if only lead bullets), I suggest you begin with aluminum.  Brass and bronze are a fairly big step up from aluminum because the heat is much greater, and the equipment is more critical (for safety and quality of castings).

Since you already have the material, it probably doesn't matter, but silicon bronze is going to be more forgiving for a beginner in casting.  Unknown brasses such as what you have, when heated uncontrolled (which is what you would likely have at home unless you are a professional), can release vaporized lead and zinc (for example).  They can also be unforgiving in casting.  Not all alloys are suitable for casting.

You have a LOT of brass.  It is going to take a long time to cut it all down to a size which you can melt down safely.  You can't realistically build a cupola furnace (like for iron), and expect to get usable brass castings from that.  You need fairly expensive silicon carbide crucibles, custom-fitted crucible tongs (you're a blacksmith, no problem), and a temperature-controlled furnace that can reach 1800F in a reasonable time (compare that to 1400F for pouring Al.)  When you pull out the crucible filled with molten brass, it is blazing hot, glowing like you pulled it from a forge, only now if you drop that thing, you are in a world of hurt.  If you've made your own cope and drag from wood, they will scorch when you get too close with the crucible, and they can even scorch from the heat passing from the casting, through the sand.  Larger crucibles are heavy; not a one-man job.  Physically, hammer heads would be relatively simple to cast, other than dealing with the issues above, because the pattern is uniform and has a nice parting line.  But the quality of the casting is important, too, and the alloy and process is going to influence that.

I have a little experience in aluminum and bronze sand casting.  Not much.  Built my own electric furnaces.  I don't recommend an electric furnace for anything hotter than aluminum--it is just too stressful on the element.  (My bronze furnace finally did a little Chernobyl number on me, and it used a Kanthal A1 element.)

Good luck!

-Q

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4 hours ago, Quench. said:

Nick do you have any experience sand casting?  If so, anything hotter than aluminum? 

Good luck!

-Q

thanks for the info

 

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Please look over at backyardmetalcasting.com  and see if there is anyone near you who can run you through the basics.  Casting can be quite dangerous if you don't know the basics.  I took an out of hours brass casting class at a local university's fine arts department back in the early 1980's and it made a big difference.

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To the melting temp of course! The problems are with outgassing when liquid and the extreme danger of liquid high temp metal---You can drop a forging in a puddle and step back from the steam and be OK.  You spill some molten metal on a damp concrete floor and it can come back up and splatter on you putting you in a world of hurt and expense for medical treatments---though you will save on Halloween costumes for the rest of your life...  I consider molten metal much more dangerous than solid metal at much higher temperatures!

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Of course; hard to pour metal vapor....Zinc burns out of the alloy at a lower temp making it hard to cast and providing a toxic gas to breathe, etc.

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Best bet would be to try and find out exactly which alloy you have. Many "brass" items are actually classified as a bronze, but they look yellow so they must be brass , right?

The guys at work are constantly mixing up the Beryllium copper, and brass chips / scrap parts. BeCu has a more reddish brown color, but when it is cut and is covered with oil it looks like brass.

Aluminum bronze is used for bushings and rollers.

They all have vastly different mechanical properties from one to another.  Try and track down the info on them if you can before going too far.

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1 hour ago, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

Best bet would be to try and find out exactly which alloy you have. Many "brass" items are actually classified as a bronze, but they look yellow so they must be brass , right?

The guys at work are constantly mixing up the Beryllium copper, and brass chips / scrap parts. BeCu has a more reddish brown color, but when it is cut and is covered with oil it looks like brass.

Aluminum bronze is used for bushings and rollers.

They all have vastly different mechanical properties from one to another.  Try and track down the info on them if you can before going too far.

it would be mostly brass there is the possibility that its got some lead mixed with it but not much

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You could machine loads of hammer head inserts out of those if you want a brass hammer. They are sizable chunks and many items could be made from them without going to all the trouble of casting, Cut a section and try forging it, if you can manage it then your options open further.

As stated above it could easily be put to good use by a bladesmith for guards and pommels. And the longer you have it in stock the more tasks you'll find for it, and it's good trade stock too!

Myself, I'd save that as is to be machined into bushes! Possibly casting the turnings and off cuts at a later date into small blanks for.....more bushings!

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