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Forge welding bronze?


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Has anyone had any luck forge welding bronze? I thought of a project today that would look good in silicone bronze/aluminum bronze composite. I’m not sure if forge welding is even reasonable or if I should approach it like mokume-gane.

Thanks,

David

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While I think forge welding bronze is theoretically possible I think it would be tough in practice.  The difference in the welding temperature and the temperature where the bronze just melts and falls apart would probably be very close.  If you could back down the temperature of your gas forge so that you could hold it at a point where you could get it hot enough to weld but not get to melting temperature it might be easier.  The basic problem is that the temperature of a coal or propane forge is so much higher than the melting point of bronze or other cuperous metals.

Mokume gane techniques might have less risk of failure.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I’ve never forge welded bronze but I’ve forge welded some copper pipes to make them into bars. 
I fill the pipe with 20 mule borax bring the copper right to the point where it gets melty without turning into a puddle then forge weld it shut fold it over and do it again. This works pretty well and is pretty easy. 
not exactly what you were asking but I hope it helps.  

looking forward to seeing what other people have to say on the topic!

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Mokume gane is essentially forge welded nonferrous metals so you can probably make it work.  It may help or you may need a layer of another nonferrous alloy sandwiched between your bronze though.  Read up on mokume gane processes and let us know how your experiment comes out.

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Mokume Gane and forge welding are both diffusion welding but oh SO different! 

I'd make an appropriate steel clamp, match and shine the the joint surfaces, wet lightly with a borax solution clamp and bring it to sweating temp.

I got decent results with silicon bronze by shining up the matched faces and clamping it in my leg vice between jaw covers and heating it with my oxy propane torch. Bronze conducts heat much faster than iron or steel can absorb it. It worked, sure it would've worked a LOT better with a clamp than the vise but it welded. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I may have to give that a try Frosy. May be a while, have to work on my request/commission list first. By the time those are done I’ll need to be working on inventory for the festival I do in the fall… Maybe I just need to spend more time in the forge!

Thanks everyone,

David

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