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Thread: Melting Brass

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    Melting Brass

    Has anyone melted and cast with brass? How easy or hard is it? Does it take much to get started ? I’ve started wondering about it, because of all the .22 cases just getting scrapped at my club. I thought it could be interesting to melt and sand cast a small cannon to be finished on a lathe. What are others thoughts on this. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    YouTube has a bunch of videos on home casting, and making a furnace to do it with that can run on propane or even charcoal.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
    EVERYONE!!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I was thinking about it also, because I've accumulated almost full 3lbs coffee can of spent primers, I don't know why I was saving them but now I'm kind of hesitant to just dump it in the trash

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    There is a commercial brass caster on the forum carolinafirearmsforum, he would probably have some thoughts worth considering.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    I sure would not want a live primer or 22 in a pot of molted brass.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    save the 22s for members here that swage bullets
    or scrap them for about $2.00 a lbs and buy more lead

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy pete501's Avatar
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    I have melted brass casings. The cases were from rifle and not 22s. I used a propane knife forge and a graphite crucible. It took a lot of heat and there was quite a bit of slag or crud in the crucible. The purpose for melting was to make a knife guard for a custom build. The mold I used was rcbs ingot mold (without a logo) to make a blank that was later shaped into the guard. I have made a few successfully.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master rondog's Avatar
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    I can only imagine it would take a LOT of heat and effort. I gather brass to sell to other shooters and the scrapyard, but I won't mess with the rimfires. Gotta have a generator and shopvac to suck 'em all up, and it takes, what - a bucketful to make $5 worth of scrap? Naw, hell naw.....

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Melting brass is on my list of things to learn. I attempted last year or 2 with my normal set up but couldnt get enough heat to melt down. Had some live primers and fired 22lr in there.
    ...
    I had a lid on it already just in case, as well as to trap more heat in.
    Next attempt will be this spring i hope.
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Brass is a lot hotter to melt. Borax can be used as a flux. Most use graphite or fired clay crucibles to melt in. Ive seen a lot do sand castings for projects, Im betting lost wax would work well also. Fire the clay on the pot when melting even. As with molten lead proper safety gear needs to be used and close attention to whats going on. Venting the mould is important also. I would try bullets in even an iron mould, The added heat would be hard on it not to mention cutting the sprue

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    So Borax is what normally used to flux with? Is it still easy to find in a grocery store or do you have to go to chemical supply place?

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    We used 20 mule team laundry soap. Borax is available in some laundry soaps

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Seems like I remember a video,maybe on here of a fellow that melted a bunch of brass and cast an AR reciever and then machined it out and the rifle worked just fine.
    Why?Just because he could.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    My cousin is a jeweler. I had him make a mold of 2 necklace sized badges of my fathers police shield. I then had him cast about 10 in silver & several in brass using lost wax. I was there for some of it, he used an oxy propane torch to melt the brass & silver. These were gifts to give to my nieces & nephews (his grandchildren) the young ones got the gold plated brass ones to use & the silver ones to save.

    Last edited by NyFirefighter357; 01-04-2020 at 08:00 AM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodbutcher View Post
    Seems like I remember a video,maybe on here of a fellow that melted a bunch of brass and cast an AR reciever and then machined it out and the rifle worked just fine.
    Why?Just because he could.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    Thanks for putting this idea in my head. I was just gonna do something simple and make a knife i could polish up and leave on my bench as decoration. Now i have to fight the urge to take on a significantly harder project.
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Hi BrutalAB.Ya`ll have fun now ya heah.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  17. #17

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    A friend had a furnace that he used to melt bronze with in a graphite crucible. He’d have everybody over for “casting parties” where we’d be pounding sand into wood frames around wood patterns and other models of the stuff we wanted to reproduce in metal.

    I brought a coffee can full of brass cases over one time. The level of heat that easily melted the bronze to a fluidity like water would only melt the brass to a kind of sluggish pouring syrupy liquid. It was hard to fill the mould cavities with the stuff.

    His furnace used propane and compressed air, IIRC. I would guess that something like MAPP gas might be needed for enough heat to melt the brass well enough to cast.

    He knew when one of those graphite crucibles was reaching the end of its service life, and might lose its bottom in the next melt. That would be a pretty unpleasant thing to have happen, when carrying the crucible to the moulds. I couldn’t see any difference between the retired crucible and a relatively new one, but he had that “foundry practice” down.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Hi NYFirefighter357.Thanks for finding those videos and posting the links.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayala View Post
    I was thinking about it also, because I've accumulated almost full 3lbs coffee can of spent primers, I don't know why I was saving them but now I'm kind of hesitant to just dump it in the trash
    I sell all of my spent primers to the recylcing outfit, per lb.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check