How to melt copper into bars

Written by janet lee-amies
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How to melt copper into bars
Copper scraps from jewellery, housewares, or even industrial wire can be melted and recycled. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

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:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Copper scraps
  • Oxyacetylene torch
  • Flint striker
  • Crucible or heatproof cup
  • Borax
  • Wooden or metal bar mould

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Instructions

  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    Turn on the torch. Create a spark with the flint striker to light the gas.

  3. 3

    Hold the torch over the crucible, moving it back and forth to melt the copper.

  4. 4

    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.)

  5. 5

    Heat the copper for about 5 minutes until it is molten.

  6. 6

    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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