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Thread: Brass is expensive. Anybody make their own?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Brass is expensive. Anybody make their own?

    I was just shopping for some sheet brass for a little steam engine. It is getting pricey. For what I need, it's not the end of the world, but if I tackle something bigger, this could run into some serious money.

    But copper is cheap. And zinc is cheap. I have a foundry. I know about zinc fume poisoning and know how to not get sick. Propane is not stupidly expensive...

    Anybody make their own brass?
    Last edited by michigan doug; 05-13-2018 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Copper is cheap? Where are you?
    I suppose making brass for ornamental purposes is possible, but sheet? Way beyond my capability.

  3. #3
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    Knock yourself out! But keep a record of the costs.

    And make a video that shows how you turn it into sheets. Be sure to include the costs of the machine you use for that.
    Paul A.

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    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  4. #4
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    Around here brass is far cheaper than copper...

  5. #5
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    Oh my...
    Keith
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 754 View Post
    Around here brass is far cheaper than copper...
    Hardly surprising, brass has "less copper than copper does"...... although if you want to actually buy zinc, it isn't exactly cheap either.

    I would be surprised if making an alloy yourself would be cheaper than buying the stuff itself, given the cost of equipment and time, added to materials... Since you have the equipment, then it is "just" the cost of time, plus "only" the cost of materials.... "cheap at the price"..... maybe.... or not. Probably "not".
    1601

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  7. #7
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    i have been tempted into making electrolytic copper sheet metal. a drum of aluminum slowly rotating in a vat of copper sulphate, with the copper sheet metal continuously pealed off of it. if i couldn't get this to work, then simply making a big enough vat to make 1 meter square sheets of copper would be cost effective.. when copper sheet metal is selling for 14 Usd/Lb and scrap is $2/lb. rolling it into copper gutters or metal roofing would be very cost effective.. if it can handle the task straight out of the electrolytic vat.


    making brass or melting down pipe fittings, valves.. not difficult. drawing any kind of diy remelted metal into sheets or wire is another world.

  8. #8
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    Pictures of the adjustable rolling mill you build to make sheet from the ingots you cast would probably be of interest to all.

  9. #9
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    If you pour it over the driveway wouldn't it lay flat and be a "sheet"?
    Andy

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by johansen View Post
    i have been tempted into making electrolytic copper sheet metal. a drum of aluminum slowly rotating in a vat of copper sulphate, with the copper sheet metal continuously pealed off of it. if i couldn't get this to work, then simply making a big enough vat to make 1 meter square sheets of copper would be cost effective.. when copper sheet metal is selling for 14 Usd/Lb and scrap is $2/lb. rolling it into copper gutters or metal roofing would be very cost effective.. if it can handle the task straight out of the electrolytic vat.


    making brass or melting down pipe fittings, valves.. not difficult. drawing any kind of diy remelted metal into sheets or wire is another world.
    While this is not something I'd try myself, it would be fascinating to see someone try it. I'd think a small table top sized proof of concept unit might not be too terribly difficult to set up. If you go ahead and actually try this, please start a thread here...

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