Steelfinger

Goofed Mokume - Cleaning tips?

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Seems I only get to post when I have a problem.

I decided I'd try Mokume. I see it as a step before welding steel. I grabbed some copper and brass which ran about $70. Of course I wasn't paying attention and melted my brass. The puddles off the forge floor and the patio stone came out easy enough, but now I got this expensive lump of trash. I tried a chisel, but the copper wont budge. I think that's more a result of remaining brass than an actual weld. I'm not concerned about the brass (I'd use any left over for a casting project I'm thinking on), but if I can save the copper it would reduce my cost, and make me feel less wasteful.

I'm thinking of melting it again, but with a rack to hold the piece and a crucible so I can collect the brass. Would there be any perceivable problems with that? would it get any brass between the copper plates? where would I even look for a crucible?

I'm also wondering if the borax I used actually helped the brass melt. Earnestly, I'm not clear on how borax works, or even completely on what it can do. I know it reduces the melting point of oxides, at least Iron Oxide, so it may have been the wrong flux to use here.

Lesson learned - pay attention and watch your heat. At least I wasn't arrogant enough to use silver or gold.

IMG_20180926_123338936.jpg

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you scrapped it, and  we dont use borax for mokume it causes more harm than good there, Perhaps if you read through our Mokume section you would have a better idea of what to do next time,  I will relocate this thread there. 

You can remelt it all and roll it into a new sheet of brass. But most of the zink will have fumed away

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Congratulations you've taught yourself a good lesson for a bargain price! The name of the lesson is called "research, THEN experiment."

No, that's not what borax does welding iron/steel either. The name of this lesson is, "Don't believe what you see and hear on Youtube" and take what people on the internet tell you with a grain of salt, buckets even. Books, Mokume Gane or similar has been around for thousands of years and it's been written about.

My advice is not to use brass for Mokume. There isn't much contrast with copper or nickle and it's a PITA because the zinc basically sublimes away as you weld it. If you think that billet melted quickly you ain't seen nothing for fast till you try brass and silver. NO, do NOT try brass and silver, it makes silver solder and has a euctectic phase with a melting temp sometimes as low as 350 f.

Do some reading, either in the mokume section of IFI or check out one of the excellent how to books from your local library. ILL them if necessary. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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seems to be my recurring problem, not reading and just doing. I hope its not too late for a bump, but I had a more interesting question and didn't feel it appropriate to start a new thread. The first billet I had melted on the second attempt. I took it out after a minute the first time because I realized I used zinc bolts (for as concerned as I was about the danger, I should've also realized brass contains zinc). I noticed some of the plates were sticking, despite not being properly welded, and when I did pull them apart most of the copper plates had a brass residue. initially I chalked this up to the plates welding slightly from the extreme force of the  clamp, but now I'm not sure.

I ran my second stack yesterday which seems to have welded, though I haven't tried any destructive testing. I got 12 plates of each copper and brass, but for fear of welding to the steel clamp despite coating them in white-out, I wanted copper on either side, which meant I put two brass plates in the middle. I don't think the hammer on the clamp did very much, i probably missed a factor when I made it and it didn't want to move down. so I got an initial crappy weld on all the plates, except the brass-on-brass. I welded these properly as two separate billets, but I don't think I can manipulate them until they're a full stack.

Hopefully I've described well enough. I'll be flipping one of the billets, working on sanding the faces down now. But what's causing the initial weld, and why didn't it work between the brass?

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