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Thread: How to cut 1/2" thick Naval brass

  1. #11
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    I am pretty sure that it is Manganese bronze by now. It is a darker gold color.

    The junk dealers have been after me to sell it,but,of course,at scrap value as the metal has no certification to prove exactly what it is.

  2. #12
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    I brought some scrap to the yard yesterday and got $1.90 for yellow brass. I meant to ask for a price sheet but forgot. FWIW, my 25lbs of brass fetched 4x more money than my 120lbs of steel.
    Stuart de Haro

  3. #13
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    Smile

    If I was to try to cut it with a saw. Would use a worm drive saw . We used to cut 2 inch thick aluminum all day long with a worm drive Skill saw. Never tried brass though.

  4. #14
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    This stuff looks like the same stuff I made a couple of cannons from. It was very tough,like turning stainless steel. Pretty sure by now it is manganese bronze.

    I could just take my cheap orange B&D with a carbide blade and see if it will cut in a promising way before I buy something more expensive. With a fence clamped onto the plate,successive shallow cuts could be taken.

  5. #15
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    Don't be too surprised if even carbide doesn't touch it. It depends on the hardness. If it was rolled to dimension and not annealed it could harder than the hobs of hell. I have a big chunk of bronze here two inches thick. I was trying to cut off a piece in my bandsaw using a good Lennox bimetal blade and the blade just skidded on it. It wouldn't cut at all. I finally succeeded in cutting it with my shaper and a cutoff style blade. Even then I managed to do a couple of soft crashes that broke the blade each time.

    If you sell it you should get top dollar for scrap in that condition.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  6. #16
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    Its going to take more than a plasma cutter rated for 1/2" to cut it. Probably something in the 3/4 to 1" range (60-70amps.) Brass is somewhat like copper and pretty tough to cut. I once tried to have a 1/4" brass piece cut on a 40 amp machine that should have been able to do up to 1/2". Hardly touched it. And what little did cut looked terrible.

  7. #17
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    Naval brass is still a brass, so it will dezincify in salt water, albeit rather more slowly than "ordinary" brass. Its most common use on boats is for the prop shaft tube.
    Managanese bronze is, as I expect you know, not a bronze at all. It has zinc rather than tin as the alloying material, so it's really a brass. Although it is the commonest material used for boat props, after several years in the water is can eventually dezincify.
    It can also be a real bitch to machine, as you have already discovered.
    If you were feeling wealthy, you could always send a small piece to be analysed.
    Last edited by Mike Burch; 08-07-2011 at 01:40 AM.

  8. #18
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    Ask yourself "What am I going to make out of the few bits I'm going to cut off after a lot of effort and cost "?

    Then as others have said ask what it's worth and sell it.

    You posted this exact same thread in January 2010 so in at least 18 months you haven't had a need for it but it's now gone up in price.

    Added to this you still don't have a clue what you have, in the last post you thought you had aluminium bronze, now you are reaching for manganese bronze.

    Or you could keep it as a conversational piece and post again in another 18 months, this time it could be nickel bronze?
    .

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.




  9. #19
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    Just get on with it. Hack a hunk off however you can, hacksaw, skilsaw, hammer and chisel, anvil and hardie, whatever. Then machine something - anything - out of it just to see how it machines. If it machines to your satisfaction you may learn something. Then decide how to render it into managable pieces.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

  10. #20
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    For what it's worth,I bought a good saber saw,and did cut about 9" into it with the same blade,so it will cut. Just was going too slow to be practical.

    The dark gold color as opposed to the lighter gold color mentioned by another poster makes me pretty sure its manganese bronze,Sir John. Does look the same golden color as the cannon,which I was able to machine out of 5" bar stock.
    If all you have to offer is sarcasm,John,keep it to yourself,and get back to putting servos on rotary tables. Posting a question here does give the jerks a chance to make out like I am stupid,doesn't it?

    I think I can tell the difference between nickel and other stuff. I've had to prove that I do blacksmithing work. Need proof that I have worked this tough alloy? See new cannon thread.

    If all else fails,I can get it plasma cut and bandsaw off the affected areas. I am not about to give this plate away for 1/3 the value to the junkers.

    I don't actually need the brass,but I could make tools to sell from it,and sell pieces to others.
    Last edited by gwilson; 08-07-2011 at 10:05 AM.

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