The hobbyist jewellery-maker can save money on materials by recycling metal filings and scraps. Plus, learning how to melt copper into bars is a skill in itself. Copper melts at 1981F, so a hot flame, such as one created with an oxyacetylene torch, is required. Butane and propane torches do not get hot enough. Copper is a base metal so unlike precious metals such as gold and silver, it oxidises quickly.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Copper scraps
- Oxyacetylene torch
- Flint striker
- Crucible or heatproof cup
- Wooden or metal bar mould
Put copper scraps into a crucible -- a vessel that is lined with ceramic so that it can be heated to liquefy metals at high temperatures.
Turn on the torch. Create a spark with the flint striker to light the gas.
Hold the torch over the crucible, moving it back and forth to melt the copper.
Drop approximately 1 tsp of powdered borax into the metal when it has already begun to melt. Borax helps keep oxidisation away (copper oxidises very easily.)
Heat the copper for about 5 minutes until it is molten.
Pour the molten copper into the bar mould. Let cool.
Tips and warnings
- Copper oxidises quickly so try to melt small quantities of copper scrap and pour smaller bars rather than melting large quantities.
- Melt metal outdoors or in a well-ventilated room.
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