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Home > Video > Video Display > Bronze: Fabricate Crucible Tongs and Shank and Alloy at Home

Bronze: Fabricate Crucible Tongs and Shank and Alloy at Home

Fabrication of crucible tong and shanks for alloying Bronze alloy C932 while racing the kiln. I use 1/8"x3/4" hot rolled steel for the tongs and shank. For the shank handle I used some 1/2" square tube 16ga. thickness. I used these homemade tools to alloy my own (verified) C932 bronze. More details on the process below.

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__STUFF I USED__
Portable Foundry:  

Below you'll find my affiliate links.  If you click the link and make a purchase, I receive a commission.  You can read my full disclosure policy here- 
No. 8 Crucible: 
Silicon Carbide Sandpaper Assortment: 
Tin popcorn for alloying: 
Zin hex for alloying: 
Lead nuggets for alloying: 

__MORE DETAILS__
The crucible is a #8 which is larger than the #6 you have seen me use so many times...so I needed new tongs and shank. Fortunately, it isn't too difficult to whip these up with some hot rolled bar. Also fortunately, a #8 just barely squeezes into my portable propane foundry.

One of the interesting items I ran into in this project was the conservation voltage reduction (CVR) implemented by Georgia Power on the power line feeding my house. The first time I poured copper ingots for alloying, it was later in the day ~8:30pm. I estimate the voltage to be 120V which results in the kiln elements dissipating 2.37kW of power. That was sufficient to get the kiln to a temperature of 2070F for pouring. 

The second time I poured copper ingots, it was in the early afternoon. Because early afternoon is a peak power demand time, the voltage at my house was reduced to 116V. This reduced the power dissipated in my kiln by 7% which may not seem like a lot, but I was already pushing the kiln to its limit. It flat-lined at 1960F, so I broke out the portable propane foundry to bump it over the melting point. MAN! It performed like a champ!

It only takes about a half hour to get up to copper melting temperature. It is slick, small, and portable. I love it. The kiln still has its place though especially where precision is concerned.

I combined the tin, zinc, and lead into an ingot before trying to alloy. This is important because zinc vaporizes at a temperature below the melting point of copper. The addition of a cold ingot of Sn/Pb/Zn drops the temp of the copper enough to keep the zinc from vaporizing too much. It also drops the melting point of the molten bronze alloy enough to keep the zinc from vaporizing. I got this technique from the article: 

A local scrap yard used this tool to analyze my ingot. No amazon affiliate available dang ;) Apparently these are like $30k tools....please support me on patreon so I can get one. B)

In 1.3 seconds, I could tell I had successfully alloyed C932 bronze. The results were 83.28% Cu, 7.57% Sn, 6.42% Pb, 2.61% Zn. Pretty close to the 83%, 7%, 7%, 3% for which I was shooting. SUPER FUN! 

I plan to use this ingot to make replacement bearings for the lathe so I don't have to keep eating the shipping cost for special bearings. Plus I can get the dimensions dialed in.

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