- Thursday, 05/10/01 20:22:41 GM
Non-Ferrous: Other than a few small articles in books like Dona Meilach's
Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork
there is little on non-ferrous forging other than industrial references.
There are MANY monels including some sold for architectural work. Monel 400 is one of the most
common and is the most forgeable. It is worked at 1700 to 2150 (max) F. and shouldn't be soaked for long
periods of time.
The most forgeable of the copper alloys is Forging Brass followed by Naval Brass. These are worked at
around 1300°F. In bronze the Mangananese-Aluminium bronze is the most forgeable being 75% as
forgeable as Forging Brass. Remember that brass and bronze is denser thus heavier than steel but it is not
as strong so sagging is a serious problem in gates.
The biggest problem with working both these materials is removal of the oxidized surface. This requires
pickling or sandblasting. It is a LOT of work if you want bright metal. This has to be done before polishing
(another expense) which is very labor intensive.
The second problem is temperature control. Brasses and bronzes melt just a few hundred degrees above
the forging temperature. It can be done in a coal forge but is very tricky. I always used a torch. You should
plan on a temperature control furnace.
Actual forging of these metals is like working hot butter. Much detail or final work is done cold (or warm)
the heat having annealed the metal.
I also recommend 304 stainless. It is a little more difficult to forge than mild steel but the resulting surface
looks just like fresh forged steel. It also has the cleaning problems above. However, I have had good luck
with out cleaning. You can use a combination of the black with polished highlights that works nicely for
Beware of bimetalic corrosion from attaching items made of these alloys to each other or to other metals.
Be especially careful not to use fasteners of dissimilar metals.
- guru - Saturday, 05/12/01 17:08:14 GMT
My question concerns the forging of brass, and since I'm certain you've at least touched on it before, I'll
just get to the quick.
I have purchased and found brass, and in both cases, it is neither particularly maleable nor ductile. The
rivets I have just keep muching, but the bar splits, cracks and crumbles.
It is both hot AND cold short...
Are there that many differences in brasses? And can anyone suggest a supplier, or type of brass to look
I've seen it done, but with the narrow forgeability window of the stuff I have, I am not certain it's something I
want to play with.
Greg Clasby - Saturday, 11/25/00 01:12:55 GMT
Brass: Greg, Brass has a very narrow forgability range but forges easily in that range. A lot of the brass bar
stock you find is leaded free machining stuff for screw machines. The lead separates if the brass is slightly
overheated and the brass crumbles. .
A good source for lead free forgeable brass is uncoated brazing rod. It comes in rounds up to 3/8" (9.5mm).
However it takes some searching to find a welding supplier that will sell part of a container.
McMaster-Carr sells Naval Brass (Alloy 474) which is one of the most forgeable copper alloys.
- guru - Saturday, 11/25/00 02:05:56 GMT
Brass: Here in Holland we have a series of different alloys of brass.If you want to hammer it you will have to
use an alloys with a larger percentage of copper in it.
(Cu63,3-65%); Fe 0,05%max; Pb 0,05%max; Zn fills the rest of the alloy.
This is the alloy I use for smithing cups, bowls and boxes (the raising technique).
There is and even softer alloy for spinning and die-stamping:
Cu 69-71%; Fe 0,05% max; Pb 0,05%max; Zn fills the rest.
We use it as sheet and as rod. The zinc is the metal that gives brass its hardness.
The paler the brass the harder it will probarbly be.
Flux: In reaction to your answers first a thank you and then a slap in my own face. In silversmithing I use
sulphuric-acid. The reason I didn't think of it,is because if I would use iron or steel in the acid and the use it
for my silver, it would colour my silver an ugly pink which is very hard to remove.
We use this acid also to remove our borax-residues. Borax is used for high-temperature soldering.
Dries Van de Voort - Saturday, 11/25/00 12:19:23 GMT
What is case hardening? can you case harden brass? Building black powder pistol, has brass frame. Can
I just torch it to get same look?
Dan Hale - Friday, 05/25/01 01:00:19 GMT
Brass: Dan, Case hardening is the result of iron or steel absorbing carbon to form a hard "case". Fancy
case hardening colors are the result of a very special case hardening process that both hardens the
surface AND produces those marbled temper colors.
No, brass doesn't case harden or flame color. It does WORK harden.
It CAN be colored dull greens via harsh chemicals but it is NOT recommended for guns.
Brass is used for places that are to be polished up real pretty in this type work.
- guru - Friday, 05/25/01 01:24:10 GMT
. . . in forging bronze, I know there are many things to consider; The most important being
what kind of brass/bronze to use. Some are pretty toxic when heated and worked. I forged
bronze years ago, but forgot what "kind" it was. Whats the most commonly used bronze?
noiseyforge - Thursday, 02/07/02
Avoid Beryllium bronze. Beryllium dust is very toxic and produces pneumonia like symptoms so
that it is rarely diagnosed until it is too late.
Beryllium bronze is used to make spark free wrenches, tools and springs.
- guru - Thursday, 02/07/02 18:21:38 GMT
I found these low percentage silver silver solder at the below web page.
Filler Metal name: Braze 090
Typical Applications: For copper base alloys such as in band instruments;
or joint brazing-cyanide case hardening of steels.
Max. Recom. Brazing Temp. 'F: 1665
Nominal Composition,%: 9Ag 53Cu 38Zn 18Cd
Joint Color as Brazed: Brass Yellow
Density Troy oz/cu in: 4.49
Filler Metal name: Braze 202
Typical Applications: For simultaneous brazing and heat treating of steels.
Max. Recom. Brazing Temp. 'F: 1650
Nominal Composition,%: 20Ag 45Cu 35Zn
Joint Color as Brazed: Brass Yellow
Density Troy oz/cu in: 4.58
Filler Metal name: Braze 450
Typical Applications: For ships' piping, band instruments, aircraft engine oil
coolers, brass lamps.
Max. Recom. Brazing Temp. 'F: 1550
Nominal Composition,%: 45Ag 30Cu 25Zn
Joint Color as Brazed: Yellow White
Density Troy oz/cu in: 4.80
terry l. ridder - Sunday, 12/01/02 01:15:00 GMT
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