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  1. #1
    smidsy is offline 21 with 19 years experience
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sunshine Coast Queensland
    Age
    50
    Posts
    49

    Default Smelting Brass & Ali at home

    Smelting (or rather the ability to do it at home) has been a long held dream of mine - a cousin of dads worked at a foundry in Perth and always brought over cool stuff, and it was done at my high school although I never got to do it.
    In regard to brass, my brother is a plumber so I have an ongoing source of scrap brass.

    What sort of set up & cost could be involved, I've seen a camping type gas burner with an air hose attached, would that give me the temp I need?
    Any information or links to aussie websites would be much appreciated.
    Cheers
    Smidsy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    melbourne
    Posts
    393

    Default

    Search for home foundry - smelting is turning metal ore into metal. You want to cast.
    You'll need a lot more heat than a bbq style burner. But they can be fabricated.
    You need a furnace, burner, crucible, lifting and pouring tongs, safety gear. Then some sort of mould, pattern, moulding sand.
    All on my to-do list...

  3. #3
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    6,030

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by russ57 View Post
    Search for home foundry - smelting is turning metal ore into metal. You want to cast.
    You'll need a lot more heat than a bbq style burner.
    Yep! Last year I monitored with interest my nephew have several goes at casting brass using BBQ briquettes in his small blacksmiths forge. He used spent brass bullet casings as a brass source and a 150mm long piece of 1" black pipe as a crucible and after a lot of effort and several bags of briquettes he made a few twisted blobs.

    It's surprising how much heat is required - smaller heat sources can be used but then very high levels of insulation (fire brick lined chambers) are needed and it takes a long time to get it to melt.

    The idea of using old bits of brass plumbing has some drawbacks. They shouldn't be used without cutting them up as any trapped water and air inside the fittings can cause explosions.

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