Brass Casting and All About the Brass Foundry in your Backyard

By: Kent Klein

Brass is a great metal to cast with as it canprovide some really great looking results.? Many believe that brass, analloy of zinc and copper, has been around since our prehistoric ancestors.Today brass is used for a multitude of products from coins to trumpets not tomention a whole bunch of other musical instruments. The low melting point makes brass a really great material for metal castingsince even the smaller home grown furnaces can be used. By adding andsubtracting alloys from bronze one can successfully make hard or soft bronzes.Aluminum and tin are sometimes added to bronze to create a layer that is notcorrosive and very durable. Of course, for the home foundry users, playingalchemist isn't really an option or necessary and scrap brass is perfectlyacceptable in many cases. Locating scrap pieces of brass should be sufficientenough for whatever project you have in mind. Due to brass' gleam and yellowshine, many artists will use the alloy for sculptures, jewelry, and otherdecorative items. Other metal casters may choose to use brass for generalhardware needs or vintage car restoration, and of course, whatever else theymay choose.Generally there are three casting methods that prove to be suitable for brasscasting.

Metal casters may choose to experiment with different methods andshould not allow themselves to be limited.Lost Wax casting is usually associated with bronze casting but can also be usedfor brass and for really any other metal. By using a wax model and covering itwith a ceramic shell, artisans are able to inject the molten alloy whichreplaces the wax. Chipping away the shell will reveal the brass piece. Lost waxcasting is used when a high attention to detail is needed. Artists or metalcasters looking to create decorative brass pieces or sculptures will find thatthe lost wax casting technique will meet their needs far better than othertechniques and methods.Die casting is yet another method used for brass casting. Die casting isnormally used in commercial foundries since the initial start up cost isundesirable for the smaller home foundries. By using a reusable mold createdfrom steel, the caster will be able to create scores of identical products. Diecasting with brass should be used if the caster or artists is planning to makemultiples of one product and can find a viable market for those pieces.Sand casting is probably the oldest type of casting and is still a popularmethod especially for small foundries. The brass is poured into sand molds andcan create a unique look which may be preferred for the artisans. Sand castingtends to be the most economically sensible for small foundries and if thecasting does not have to be incredibly attractive then this method ispreferable for many.Whichever casting method is used for casting the brass really depends on theindividual. Many find that casting brass to be fun and easy since it does meltrather easily. A large expensive furnace is not a requirement when castingbrass so first timers using small home made furnaces will find this alloyattractive. Many have even been able to melt brass in small ceramic pots usingcharcoal!Some ideas of what to make with brass include candle holders, plumbingfixturesComputer Technology Articles, and even musical instruments.

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