Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Making my own copper ingots?


#1

I have a lot of left over copper pieces that I would like to make my
own larger ingot 5lbs and them rework this into sheet I have access
to large rolling mills nearby. How pure does the copper stay? I would
have to add Borax Powder? I get paid at the moment for my left
over’s, it is really poorly paid for, so if possible well I would
like to do this.I think brass is easier done, but really I have no
idea. I do have left over’s with brass too, and german silver as well
(which I think is probably very difficult). I have plenty of propane
and oxygen, so I think this might be doable? I am located in Mexico
and am in the country, not near any houses or anything. No laws to
deal with on that regard.

Anyway any info would be helpful. Thanks!


#2

It’s would be cheaper to buy new copper sheet, and leave the copper
pieces for alloying with other elements, or for sculpture.

When you re-melt copper, you need to add flux (borax will do), and
you need to skim the dross off the top of the melt. Your copper will
be pure.

Brass… I hate melting brass, the zinc fumes can make you very sick
and can make you very dead. If you have to melt your brass do it
outside or with very effective powered ventilation.

If you have large quantities, of these metals, I’d advise making a
furnace to melt them.

Melting large quantities of the metals you’ve listed above is
relatively easy to do.

Regards Charles A.


#3
When you re-melt copper, you need to add flux (borax will do), and
you need to skim the dross off the top of the melt. Your copper =
will be pure. 

And heavily laden with oxygen which will be a problem once you cast
it and try to work it. The oxides will make it tough and not nearly
as ductile as one would hope. Some kind of de-oxidizer must be used
to remove the oxygen from the melt. One common de-oxidizer used is
phosphorous. The trick is in trying to figure out how much to add,
too little and you have oxide problems too much and you have copper
phosphide in the copper matrix that makes for other problems with
ductility when working the metal. Copper is tricky to cast well.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#4

Personally I’ve never found melting copper to be a problem. I melt
in a crucible furnace, my burners do not require added oxygen, just
air drawn by venturi, maybe that’s the difference.

If you do have a problem with oxygen in the melt, another trick you
could do is use a pool tablet, seems to work for people that need
them. Never needed it myself.

I’d like to do another copper melt, but there’s not much call for
copper knives and swords of late :frowning:

Regards Charles from Oz


#5
Personally I've never found melting copper to be a problem. I melt
in a crucible furnace, my burners do not require added oxygen,
just air drawn by venturi, maybe that's the difference. 

If you do another melt compare your results to a commercially
manufactured wrought bar for ductility, then you will understand.
Copper will either absorb too much oxygen or if you have a reducing
atmosphere it will absorb carbon monoxide and or hydrogen from the
reducing atmosphere. It if there is too much oxygen then you will
have reduced ductility and reducing gasses results in significant
porosity issues. It is a careful balancing act.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#6
If you do another melt compare your results to a commercially
manufactured wrought bar for ductility, then you will understand.
Copper will either absorb too much oxygen or if you have a
reducing atmosphere it will absorb carbon monoxide and or hydrogen
from the reducing atmosphere. 

Maybe I’ve just been lucky :slight_smile:

I do want to try a mokume experiment, thinking about a faster
production technique, so this could be a good excuse for a copper
melt.

Fine silver and pure copper mokume? That could work, could also fail
miserably.

I’ll think about it some more.

Regards Charles A.


#7
Fine silver and pure copper mokume? That could work, could also
fail miserably. 

Works fine just horribly soft.

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#8

Hi Jim,

Works fine just horribly soft. 

I’m going to try a different way to make it, and I have the copper
and fine silver handy :wink:

Regards Charles A.