Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Maleable bronze


#1

Hi All I was thinking of making a bronze-age type dagger and was
wondering what type of alloy to use. I know there is casting bronze
but can you forge, roll, cut etc this type? I am sure there are some
alloy fundies out there.

Thanks in advance for your help Sam


#2

I guess you mean “malleable” (maybe not). The nicest bronze to
cast is one of the silicon bronzes - Everdur (95 -88 % copper,
1-1/2 5 to 4 % silicon , 0.25 to 1 % manganese) or Herculoy (96 5
copper. 3.5 % silicon 0.5 %, tin). These are easy to cast
particularly in larger very accurate shapes using ceramic shell
techniques with lost wax patterns. With good techniques you won’t
need to forge them – They can be cold worked to higher tensile
strengths but they are very good as cast. Forging is possible but
as in most copper alloys the forging temperature range is narrow and
critical. For decorative purposes ( the only legitimate ones) it
is great.

jesse

Berryllium copper make good tools but Berrylium is NASTY… don’t
fool with it .


#3
    Hi All I was thinking of making a bronze-age type dagger and
was wondering what type of alloy to use. 

Hi Sam;

Long ago, I got hold of a scrap of “AMPCO” bronze. I’m not sure the
exact composition of this alloy, but if you don’t care about
authenticity, this is about the toughest bronze I’ve ever tried to
work, so I would bet it would be great for an edge weapon, at least a
bronze one. The color was pretty appealing too. I think I aquired
it from the scrap bin at Copper and Brass Sales, in Detroit. They
have a minimum order now of, I think $200, so perhaps you can scare
up some of this on the web.


#4

Sam, I use a silicon bronze with the trade name Everdur (sp?). It
casts very well, forges easily and consistently, can be formed-- even
raised-- is a pleasing color, takes patina and welds beauitfuly to
itself and to some other metals such as silver and gold.

Take care, Andy Cooperman
coopermanjewelry.com


#5

Sam, you might post this question to Artmetal.com. You can post a
question without joining the email list.

Marilyn Smith


#6

Dear Sam,

To have a malleable bronze, the alloy element of Sn may not be over
8% above this you get brittle CuSn particles in your bronze. Also
elements such as lead, and aluminium phosphor are nice to make
bearings. But a problem if you want to a malleable alloy. A good and
obtainable alloy is CuSn6. In the early days a bronze sword is casted
and than the blade is hammered out to get more strengt. Also where
these blades not longer than 55 cm.

Good luck

Martin Niemeijer

Ndesign
Cultuurwerkplaats R10
Rieteweg 10
8041 AK, Zwolle
The Netherlands
info@ndesign.nl ;www.ndesign.nl
Phone +31 (0)38 7501258
Mobile phone +31 (0)651831576


#7

A lot of the early (and later) copper alloys were all over the map,
metallurgically. Lead was a common addition to the Copper-Tin to
alter the casting behavior and malleability. I know that in many
medieval items that have been analyzed, the lead content runs 2 to 8
%.

According to the book Swords and Hilt Weapons by Michael Coe, et.
al. (ISBN 1-56619-249-8),

Swords and Hilt Weapons
Hardcover
http://www.ganoksin.com/jewelry-books/us/product/1566192498.htm

early bronze weapons were cast, and likely finished out by stock
removal, there was little evidence of either hot or cold forging
except for possible work hardening of the edges.

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR afn03234@afn.org


#8

That was probably beryllium copper. I have some AMPCO marked non
spark tools that are beryllium copper. It makes tough tools but the
beryllium is not nice stuff to melt and the dust is equaly bad
stuff.

jesse


#9
       That was probably beryllium copper. I have some AMPCO
marked non spark tools that are  beryllium copper. It makes tough
tools but the beryllium is not nice stuff to melt  and the dust is
equaly bad stuff. 

I made a mistake on the AMPCO wrenches I have – I believe they are
aluminum bronze not beryllium copper— but beryllium copper is
also used for non sparking and non magnetic tools.

jesse


#10

I’m not 100% certain, but I think there’s probably a good reason that
bronze age weapons and tools were cast rather than forged. I
recommend researching the topic of bronze age tools and how they
were made.


#11

Thanks for all the great responses. Yes, I did mean malleable. I
think I will cast and then forge a bit to give it strength. I will
not be put to hard use so that should be fine.

Ta
Sam