View Full Version : Source of brass for the patient

Your Old Dog
09-21-2007, 02:07 PM
It's Friday and the first day of the garage sale weekend. I had a great day finding a lot of wood and other things non machine orientated.

I notice one place had several brass candle holders for 25-50 cents each. It occurred to me, if you do much saleing (garage saleing) it might not be a bad idea to spend a little here and there on these odd brass pieces.

How much harder is it to melt brass for casting then it is aluminum. I've always had an interest in it but never did any aluminum or brass casting. I have done some gold and silver jewelry in the lost wax process.

09-21-2007, 02:31 PM
Not much harder. I know someone who trolls garage sales for brass artifacts and melts them down to ingots so he can cast them later. I tried one of his ingots and it machines nicely. He does it using the normal DIY charcoal furnace and says it just takes a little longer than aluminum.

loose nut
09-21-2007, 07:10 PM
When you remelt brass the zinc can come out of it so you need to compensate by adding more into the melt. How much? that's witchcraft unless you have a proper metallurgical setup. Better to melt bronze, fewer problems and it looks about the same and there are lots of scrap bearing around if you look.

09-21-2007, 09:45 PM
You also have to look out for the zinc fumes or metal fever like welding galvanized. The best book out there on problems of casting brass or for any of the other metals. Is C.W. Ammen Casting brass, 1985 ISBN 0-8306-0810-9 it covers the bronzes and copper a royal pain in the seat cushion. Any of his books on casting are considered standards. Some hate them for being to simply written, but they do cover what you need to make a good pour. And are found on the book sites and in shops at good prices. He also has them for cast iron a number of them for aluminum and sand casting too.They have updated some and are part of a craft series:D
They only thing with all that old brass stuff, a lot has come from India in the last 20 30 years and is of unknown alloy ect.

09-22-2007, 11:45 PM
YOD,a friend of mine cast all the brass parts for the sail boat he built from yardsale brass.There were elephants,tigers,pengiuns,cheatas,horses and gezzells all over his shed for years until he melted down:D Where else can you get a 40lb brass elephant for $5?:D