Copper refining part 2
Last Friday I finally got around to melting down a bunch of old scrap copper that I'd had lying around for months. I've now got enough copper and tin to cast my bronze sword!
My technique has really come on since I built my bucket furnace. I borrowed a friend's leaf blower for the air induction and it's way better than Kat's old hairdryer.
I've discovered that it works much better with real charcoal than charcoal briquettes, which leave a lot of claggy residue in the furnace and stop it getting hot enough.
Here's a quick video showing the refining of the scrap copper into pretty little ingots. It takes about two hours to get hot enough to melt the copper at 1084 °C, but then it's so hot that it melts down the next batch in a couple of minutes.
The molten copper is indescribably beautiful and quite took my breath away. It's a pale shimmery metallic salmon colour with a strong orange glow. I think I'm a little bit in love with it. I watched a Youtube video of a guy pouring gold a while ago, he said that after you see your first pour the metal takes up a little piece of your heart forever. I think I know what he means.
At the end of the video are the wooden model sword that I carved, and a test aluminium version that I cast last year. Can't wait to cast the bronze one!
In ten days we're leaving the UK for new adventures in Spain...Read more
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