Remelting buttons and sprues

I have the Rio version of the Electromelt (which I love, btw) but
have a question about reusing sprues and buttons.

I’m relatively new to casting, and have been making sure that I use
a 50/50 mix of old and new metal for each pour. Until now I’ve always
cut up the sprues, and have had small buttons, so I did’nt worry
about putting them in the furnace to reuse. However, I’ve graduated
to doing larger flasks, with larger sprues and buttons, and can’t
figure out how to cut them down for melting. Is it necessary to have
them in small pieces in a furnace? How big of a chunk can I get away
with? Some of these sprues (bronze) are pretty hefty (50 grams) and
there is no way for me to saw them thru.

Any advice is much appreciated! :slight_smile:


If the piece will fit into the Electromelt, put it in a d go… If
it will not fit into the electromelt crucible, you “could” melt the
large button with a gas torch and make small “ingots” or pour the
molten metal into water bath then rest the rustling grain in the
over to drive any water off before remelting, or make smaller buttons
in the first place…

john dach

Becky- Re melt your metal in a crucible and then pour it in a steady
stream into a bucket of water from a couple of feet above the water
to get casting shot of a more manageable size. That’s what we do
when we alloy metals before weighing and casting.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

If they fit in the crucible then they are not too big. Larger pieces
take longer to melt but you get less oxidation so you gain as much as
you lose.

Nick Royall

How big of a chunk can I get away with? 

If it will fit in your crucible it will melt. It doesn’t take any
more or less energy to melt 50 grams in one chunk than in several
hundred pieces of casting grain.

Some casters have the idea that every casting should be measured out
in casting grain only. I have never understood why they think they
will come out ahead if they melt old sprues and buttons an extra time
to make them into grain first. I have seen it explained that the
smaller bits of metal will be liquid before the bigger chunks and
that elements of the alloys might be lost from that portion of the
metal before the bigger chunks melt. I would counter by showing that
sprues and buttons have already been melted once. If you make them
into shot before you recycle them for a casting you have melted the
material three times. Why isn’t it better to skip the shot and melt
it only twice? Less work and less time molten and exposed to the
risks of oxidation and evaporation.

I mix big chunks and casting grain all the time and have been doing
it for years. I cast ten flasks today and most of them had buttons
from previous casting in them. Some of the buttons were over 100
grams. I see not problem with that.

Stephen Walker