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  • That uncoated kaowool layer between your furnace and its lid is a short road to severe lung disease.

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  • Looks great and the electronics give it that extra edge over the popularity of live edge epoxy river tables that there is right now. I think, though, that your $1200 price point seems a bit low; I've seen regular walnut live edge epoxy river tables about this size go for $2000.

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  • Wouldn't it be simpler to create a border around the area to be etched with putt, cut the bottom off of a sufficiently large disposable tupperware, and push it into the putty to make a watertight seal?

    Additionally, if you are using the battery method you can get multiple batteries, hook them up in a series or parallel to increase the voltage or amperage respectfully, and etch much quicker. I tried it both ways and didn't see any particular advantage in one over the other, but it certainly was quicker than a single battery. I recently did a battery etch with 4 9V batteries hooked up in parallel and was pleased with both the speed and efficiency given the size. I would also recommend using a pair of plier and a cotton ball rather than a Q-Tip and alligator clips as the coverage is much better. That said, you need to be very careful hooking up batteries in a series or parallel; not only could you easily short your batteries by being clumsy, this is also wandering into voltages that are da…

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    Additionally, if you are using the battery method you can get multiple batteries, hook them up in a series or parallel to increase the voltage or amperage respectfully, and etch much quicker. I tried it both ways and didn't see any particular advantage in one over the other, but it certainly was quicker than a single battery. I recently did a battery etch with 4 9V batteries hooked up in parallel and was pleased with both the speed and efficiency given the size. I would also recommend using a pair of plier and a cotton ball rather than a Q-Tip and alligator clips as the coverage is much better. That said, you need to be very careful hooking up batteries in a series or parallel; not only could you easily short your batteries by being clumsy, this is also wandering into voltages that are dangerous (assuming I did that 4 9V battery setup in a series that would be effectively a 36V battery). If you are going to be etching more than occasionally it is probably worth it to simply buy a portable jump starter/battery charger since you can set the voltage and amperage, not to mention that it doesn't run out of power like the batteries.

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  • I'm in the process of making a copper rose that I plan on giving the 'bud' of a red semi-matte patina using the cupric sulfate / ammonium chloride solution found here:https://www.sciencecompany.com/Patina-Formulas-for-Brass-Bronze-and-Copper.aspx#20They have solution formulas for pretty much any color of patina. If you choose to use them make sure to be careful.

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  • Using US coinage for this or any other purpose isn't illegal; in fact it is largely protected by the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment. It is, however, illegal to deface a coin with the intent of making it appear to be one of a higher denomination, for obvious reasons.

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  • You are using 20% tin? That is shockingly high; Neil Burridge uses 12.5% tin for his weapons and I am pretty sure he explains at length somewhere on his site that, beyond 10% tin the return you are getting in desirable traits drops off dramatically. Where did you get 20% from?

    Copper alloys, like every other metal aside from iron alloys, work-harden rather than heat-harden; the more you work them with a tool the harder they get. Coppersmiths will typically have to anneal their work several times while making something, which is where the copper is heated to a dull red and quenched; annealing softens copper, making it easy to work with again. I would strongly suggest using a bronze hammer to work-harden the edge since a regular steel hammer is going to mar the work pretty extensively; casting a fullering tool made specifically for the task the same time you cast the sword would be the easiest in the long run. Sharpening would work the same as with a steel blade, although you should be more careful when doing it.

    An aside, but I would recommend finding a different example video for the furnace; I think I've only seen one video done by the King of Random where he didn't make a serious safety error. I'd also recommend encouraging people to take a casting class at a local college if able; the safest way of learning this is with someone experienced. I wouldn't normally be so opinionated to the author, but casting has little to no room for mistakes while learning that doesn't leave scars or cripple.

    How is placing the tin in the crucible at the beginning working for you? I melt the copper first, then warm the tin and add it to the crucible with tongs. It seems to me that the alloying would happen cleaner with that procedure. All of the older material I've read strongly warn about 'boiling' the bronze once it is alloyed, implying there will be structural issues with the alloy after casting if allowed to stay in a liquid state for too long. Obstensibly, I would presume that it means that the density difference between the metals would cause the alloy to stratify into layers based on how much tin was bound to the copper in each layer, but that is just a guess. For your method, it seems to me that your liquid tin, being less dense, would float to the top as the copper slowly melts, makin…

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    How is placing the tin in the crucible at the beginning working for you? I melt the copper first, then warm the tin and add it to the crucible with tongs. It seems to me that the alloying would happen cleaner with that procedure. All of the older material I've read strongly warn about 'boiling' the bronze once it is alloyed, implying there will be structural issues with the alloy after casting if allowed to stay in a liquid state for too long. Obstensibly, I would presume that it means that the density difference between the metals would cause the alloy to stratify into layers based on how much tin was bound to the copper in each layer, but that is just a guess. For your method, it seems to me that your liquid tin, being less dense, would float to the top as the copper slowly melts, making me concerned a similar stratification.

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  • I had meant that you can use those helium tanks for the shell of the furnace; they are essentially the same thing as propane tanks without the danger of the propane. My reference to crucibles was simply a way of showing the relative size difference in the furnace you would have between the two tanks.

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  • I recently built a furnace for making and casting bronze; this is an interesting variant. If someone doesn't mind spending a little money, you can get a helium tank (intended for balloons) at a store like Target that makes a great shell. For $25 you can get one that'll work for a crucible up to a #8 and a larger one is available for $40. For my furnace, I used castable refractory for the bottom and lid; the wall is 1" kaowool.

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  • Hi, I'm going to ale a mold for a bronze casting and am torn about the medium to use. I am casting a finale, a pyramidal shape with a height of about 6 inches, as well as a base width of about 6 inches. I was originally going to cast it using sand, but this method seems far easier, all things considered. Do you think that this plaster method will work with that volume? I think I'll need to make it a three part mold to accommodate the void in it.

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