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Hello all.  I hope the last couple of years have been better for you all.

I'm wanting to dish out a bowl and plate to eat off of and am wondering if you'd share your opinions on pros/cons of my material choices. 

I'm thinking about going the traditional copper and then tinning the eating surface, but think that aluminum may be easier due to no need for tinning.  Any other thoughts?

Thanks, and have a great week.

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Why not stainless and dishwasher safe? (Or Titanium, but that's pricey...)

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As a former food service safety & sanitation instructor, I'd be reluctant to use either tinned copper or aluminum because they'll scratch easily (if using steel utensils). Those scratches can harbor bacteria if not washed & sanitized thoroughly. That being said... tinplated copper is beautiful. Are you aiming to reconstruct a particular time period?

Without knowing anything else about what you're looking for, my recommendation would be for modern (lead & arsenic-free) bronze.

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Another question is do you want to have to polish the plates every time they are used?  For display---not a big problem; for daily use they will discolour from food acids, finger prints, etc  fairly fast.   Tinned metals don't have much of this issue but as mentioned prior they have issues of their own. 

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Thanks all.  I apologize, I guess a little more info would be helpful....

Our organization (the NWBA) has some members who have decided to provide the food for our annual conferences (pig roast, gumbo, breakfast, etc...) and I decided that I don't want to use the provided paper plates or plastic forks, so I want to make one bowl, plate, fork and spoon.  I already have a damascus butter knife. 

I also heard rumor that there may be a competition at our October conference for the best set to encourage others to bring their own.

Regarding the desire to polish after each use, it's not necessarily something I want to do, but is something I'm willing to do because these are most likely going to be used only 2 weekends a year.  If the initial fabrication isn't too much more labor intensive.  In other words, if using copper makes the initial dishing significantly easier, then I'm willing to tin and then polish. 

But if all I need to do is form the plate using sheet aluminum, then maybe that's what I'll do. 

20 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

 (Or Titanium, but that's pricey...)

Can you cold work titanium?  

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If I were to be making a plate or bowl for food I'd go with stainless. 

On a side note, kind of relating between stainless and aluminum, I have used mess kits while camping, both aluminum and stainless, and much prefer the stainless ones. 

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There is a pretty solid theory that aluminium deposits are common in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. 

My father died from it, very uncool.

Copper is very easy to dish, bronze not much harder. Brass on the other hand requires genuine skill, experience and knowledge.

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Yes you can cold work titanium, (depending on what state your sheet comes in.); but hot working it is MUCH easier.  Use the CP 1 or CP 2 grades and avoid the duplex alloys!  You can also get wild colours by anodizing and pretty neat ones by temper colouring it.

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On 5/30/2019 at 6:43 AM, arftist said:

There is a pretty solid theory that aluminium deposits are common in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. 

Good point!  Thanks for pointing that out.

 

On 5/30/2019 at 8:25 AM, ThomasPowers said:

Yes you can cold work titanium, (depending on what state your sheet comes in.); but hot working it is MUCH easier.  Use the CP 1 or CP 2 grades and avoid the duplex alloys!  You can also get wild colours by anodizing and pretty neat ones by temper colouring it.

What thickness would you recommend?  I can pretty easily get some 6al4v in .026", .050" and .071".   Also, what temp would you recommend working it?  

Thanks

 

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On 5/30/2019 at 5:43 AM, arftist said:

There is a pretty solid theory that aluminium deposits are common in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

That was no theory there were high measured concentrations of aluminum found in Alzheimer brain tissue. It was causing quite a stir till it was noted the stain they were using to color the thin sections was aluminum based.

When they changed stain (dye?) aluminum returned to normal background levels in Alzheimer's victims. 

If you use aluminum be sure it doesn't have dangerous alloying agents in it say lead or antimony.

I'd go with stainless and make a wider bowl with a shallower rim the plate could nest in. It'll work cold with regular annealing as necessary. Electropolish will return it to shiny clean. I'd try to time it so it was nicely work hardened when I finished and not anneal it, that way you can get away with thinner stainless and not be limp floppy. 

A stainless cup would be more serious work than I've done by hammer though. Carved wood would be nice and a good sittin and whittlin on the porch project.

Frosty The Lucky.

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As late as May 2018 alzdiscovery.org published a study looking at occupational and daily exposure from antiperspirant and antacids to aluminum and the correlation between Alzheimer's and early onset dementia. All sources are listed in the article.

It's a horror show watching a loved one eaten away by it.

Pnut

I've not been able to find a conclusive answer. There's studies showing both results. Also studies showing too much OR too little zinc as a contributing factor. So the jury is still out.

I worked for two years casting engine blocks from Al and Alzheimer's runs in the family. I've been looking at this for quite a while and there's no consensus. The evidence is pointing to a relationship between Al and dementia but  the mechanism by which Al is  contributing seems to be what the science can't agree upon.

 

 

 

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Got some 0.071" titanium plate on the way, I'll post results....

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Can't wait to see how it goes. Should be good. I've never used titanium myself. Let me know how it is to work with it.

Pnut

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Well if you are not paying attention to my suggestion of NOT using duplex alloys then I'm out of here!

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Thomas, if he works it hot he should be OK, I have forged 6al4v hot and it works like butter.

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I was think of the reports of Flu like symptoms after hand forging duplex Ti alloys; possibly from vanadium exposure!

Hot cp 1/cp 2 TI is much softer than steel under the hammer---greatly surprising many people who think it is a *super* metal and so must be good for *everything*.  My Ti camp dinner knife has a break in the oxide colouring from when I got so annoyed about folks claiming Ti was so much better than steel; I took out my belt knife---san mai with a nicholson file as the edge layer and carved a curl off the Ti knife with it.  I used it for an camp eating knife as it was dishwasher safe to the extreme! My belt knife has to *cut*!

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I was told by another smith I know and trust (possibly incorrectly, I realize) who forges mainly titanium and he said: "if it is pure titanium or a low ally titanium like 6al4v, it should be fine to cold work. It could be easier if the titanium is heated up with a blowtorch or heat source. I think pure titanium would be the easiest/best."

 

Thomas, are you saying that the Al content would be dangerous, that it would difficult to work or,

21 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

I was think of the reports of Flu like symptoms after hand forging duplex Ti alloys; possibly from vanadium exposure!

 

If it's the possible dangers of using Al for eating utensils, then I also have some 0.050" grade 2 CP plate.  

If it's the difficulty working, I guess I'll find out the diffrerence in the CP and 6al4v

If it the reports of flu-like s/s, this is the first time I'm hearing of this.

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What part of "possibly from vanadium exposure"  mentions Aluminium? 

I got the warning from Robb Gunther when he discussed forging Ti at a Quad-State decades ago---it was still at the Studebaker farm.  I do not know if it has been proved/disproved as I have stuck with the CP 1 or 2 alloys.

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30 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

What part of "possibly from vanadium exposure"  mentions Aluminium? 

Nothing. 

 

 

But the prior mention of Aluminium's possible contribution to Alzheimer's makes it relevant and I was thinking that your comment:

On 6/2/2019 at 6:00 PM, ThomasPowers said:

Well if you are not paying attention to my suggestion of NOT using duplex alloys then I'm out of here!

was referring to that.

39 minutes ago, billyO said:

If it's the difficulty working, I guess I'll find out the difference in the CP and 6al4v

I also have some 0.050" grade 2 CP plate available as well to use

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Always in reference to Vanadium; never to Aluminium as Al is one of the most common elements in the earth's surface, (ranks 3rd!); so if it was the problem we already are hosed just from environmental exposure!

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Not really true.  Aluminum doesn't exist in its pure elemental form naturally.  It's always bonded to other atoms.  As with many other substances, our bodies can be negatively affected by molecules containing certain elements while remaining unaffected by other compounds containing the same base element. 

Look at the difference in how your body deals with pure carbon, pure oxygen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide for instance.

One of the issues with the dietary supplement industry is that some of the "essential nutrients and minerals" contained in the capsules provided by some manufacturers are not in a form that can be readily absorbed through our digestive systems even though they exist in the quantities claimed. The devil is in the details.

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