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Suggestions for manganese bronze

Greetings, All -

Some friends of mine gifted me with stuff from their late father’s
jewelry-making operations. One part of it was lots of 'merlins gold’
casting grain, and a box with about 245g of a metal marked “manganese
bronze”. (Yellow ingots about 1"x1/2".)

I have searched the archives for manganese bronze, and didn’t like
what I found about it. (Zinc fuming off during melt operations.) Can
anyone suggest a use for this stuff? I haven’t learned to cast yet; I
can always set it aside until I develop needed skills.

For those of you who have or do use it, what do you do with it?

Thanks for your ideas,
Kelley Dragon

make tools, or melt it and roll it to use to create textured plates
for the rolling mill for jewelry use. It can’t be alloyed with
precious metals and it will contaminate your buffs, tooling, and in
general the studio. If you want to learn casting, isolate off the
area as cross contamination is a very real issue when ferrous metals
are introduced to your jewelry making equipment) and learn direct or
spin casting with the stuff.

It is good for sculptural casting as well as tool making or unusual
pursuits (i know a guy in N. Georgia that pours it down ant hills
and makes unique sculptures that he sells annually at a crafts fair
and sells out I might add!) as every ant hill is unique…( though he
then treats them with coloured " rub-n-buff " waxes to add some gaudy
colorization to some of the pieces and has been known to spray on
some adhesive and sprinkle glitter on a few too! nonetheless, they
ALL sell!!!) so perhaps you too could find some ant colony you want
to eliminate to learn the properties of casting with non-precious
metals- be sure to isolate the crucibles though.

Merlin’s gold was sold as a sort of practice alloy as they claimed
it had/has similar working properties to 14kt gold…it is somewhat
true but after the colour and hardness the similarities end there…I
wouldn’t mix it with precious metals even as accent elements but I am
personally concerned with contamination from ferrous metals in my
studios. If i absolutely needed to make a model of something to send
off and wax wouldn’t do your alloy may be a thing I would use for a
production run of something I needed the model to hold up for a very
long time or be reusable… or if I needed a tool cast for a specific
repetitive task the bronze alloy may be a good choice if I had
nothing else available ( like tool steel)… rer