How to melt scrap metal

Written by allison melman
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Scrap metal accumulates in the workshop of any metal worker, whether you make jewellery, fix cars or build with metal. If you are patient and scrupulous in maintaining your scraps, you can build up a large enough collection to turn the useless scraps back into a productive piece of metal. You can do this by melting down the scrap metal and combining all of the small parts into a large amount of molten metal, which can then be shaped it into a new, more helpful form.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Crucible
  • Baking soda
  • Butane torch
  • Gloves
  • Ingot or other mould
  • Crucible tongs

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Separate the scraps of metal by type, and try to identify each of them. Different metals melt at different temperatures, so knowing which metals you have can help you adjust the heat accordingly.

  2. 2

    Put all of the scraps of one type into the crucible, and apply a layer of baking soda over the metal.

  3. 3

    Raise the flame on the torch according to the type of metal you need to melt. Copper, brass and gold will all melt between 926 and 1,093 degrees C, while iron and steel will not melt until nearly 1,537 degrees C.

  4. 4

    Put on gloves and apply the torch flame to the crucible and wait for the metal to melt completely into liquid. If you want the process to speed up, have a friend hold a second torch to the crucible.

  5. 5

    Pour out the melted scraps into an ingot or other mould to form them into whatever shape you want them to harden into. Use crucible tongs to lift and tip the crucible, which will allow the melted metal to pour out.

  6. 6

    Repeat the melting procedure for each type of scrap metal you have.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep scrap metal in separate containers to make sorting it out at melting time easier.
  • Never touch the crucible if it is still coloured from heating, or you will sustain a serious burn.

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