Thursday, March 24, 2016

Making Metal (part 3) "Going for the Gold!"

Ok, with a working kiln of fire bricks, we thought we'd try something a bit more difficult than Aluminum and Lead.  We had a bunch of 22lr brass we'd picked up when out plinkin' in the woods, and thought it would be fun to melt down some brass ingots.

Aluminum melts at ~1200*F, and brass at ~1500*F so this is going to take a bit more heat.

The brush torch got plenty hot.  Nice thing is we can crank up the heat fast and easily with it.  You can see the brass in the pot.  The pot was hot!  Most of it was 22lr, with a few 45 and 9mm cases.

Before long (~10 min) the brass was a gooey mess in the opt.

Again we put in some Boric Acid (from Dollar Tree) to help separate the junk from the metal.  It burned green, and foamed up in the pot.

The ingot was cool!  One drawback with our propane bottle crucible is that the thin metal cooled really fast, and we had to pour quickly before the metal inside cooled too much to flow well.

Again, there was a lot of foamy junk in with the brass we had to skim off.  Some of this was from the aluminum, too because we were unable to clean out the pot completely before doing brass.  Next time we'll have different crucibles for the different metals.

There wasn't a lot of brass when it was all finished.  Then again, we only started with 2 big handfuls of 22lr brass, so the yield was ok.  And the price is right.  Sure looks perdy, too.  Wouldn't it be fun to scatter small pieces of this in a stream or mountain brook?  We could start another gold rush ;-)

Smelting down cans and brass is great fun, and very engaging with teenage boys.  The results are fun too... but now we are ready for making something out of this mess.  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment