How to melt copper wire

Written by larry parr
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Melting copper wire seems as if it should be relatively easy, as the temperature required to melt copper (just slightly over 1,037 degrees C) can easily be reached by many home torches. The problem, however, is that copper is such a good conductor of heat that it conducts the heat of the torch away from the melt point faster than the torch can supply additional heat--and the copper refuses to melt. There is a relatively simple solution to this problem, however.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Torch with temperature of 1,648 degrees C or higher
  • Crucible
  • Copper wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Tongs
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Heavy clothing

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut pieces of copper wire and place them in the bottom of a crucible rated to at least 1,926 degrees C. Place the crucible on a cement slab.

  2. 2

    Light a torch with a flame-tip temperature of 2,260 to 1,926 degrees C.

  3. 3

    Direct the torch flame into the crucible with your copper wire. Wear protective clothing, heavy gloves and eye protection.

  4. 4

    Keep the full force of the flame on the copper wire until it melts. If pouring the copper, pick up the crucible with tongs designed for crucible work and carefully pour your liquid copper into your mould. Be sure that you are wearing heavy protective clothing, heavy gloves and eye protection whenever working with molten metal.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not breath fumes from the molten metal.
  • Always use extreme caution whenever working with molten metal.
  • Make sure your crucible is completely dry before melting copper or any other metal. Do not pour molten metal on damp surfaces.

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