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Metalworking: Tools, Materials, and Processes for the Handyman
Metalworking: Tools, Materials, and Processes for the Handyman
Metalworking: Tools, Materials, and Processes for the Handyman
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Metalworking: Tools, Materials, and Processes for the Handyman

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With over 2,000 black-and-white illustrations and clear, practical instructions given by expert handyman and blacksmith Paul N. Hasluck, Metalworking offers everything you need to know to turn a chunk of metal into a useful and well-crafted product.

From building a blast furnace and polishing metals to forging iron and steel and spinning metals on a lathe, this comprehensive guidebook includes the tools, materials, and processes that are fundamental to the art of metalworking. Included here is information on working sheet metals, gold, and silver; building a dynamo and electric motor; making a vertical steam engine; and more!

This ultimate, do-it-yourself guide to metalworking is ideal for all handymen and women, do-it-yourself-types, and industry professionals—amateur and seasoned alike!
Release dateFeb 10, 2011
Metalworking: Tools, Materials, and Processes for the Handyman
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    METALWORKING is only limited in its subject matter to the extent that its processes are hand-wrought as distinguished from those for which machinery is employed, and that metal is the material worked upon. An idea of the wide scope of the book may be inferred from an outline of its contents. Metalworking in all branches of practical handicraft will be fully dealt with. First comes a concise though comprehensive table showing at a glance the physical qualities of all metals, their specific weights, their strength, their melting points, etc. This is followed by explanations of the first principles of metalworking in the foundry, at the forge, at the vice, and in the lathe. Then will be described in detail general processes employed in metalworking-such as jointing, soldering, drilling, polishing, and lacquering. Electro-metallurgy is included. Those elements of metalworking that are common to many handicrafts having been disposed of, the tools used in metalworking will be illustrated, and how to make them will be explained. Next will follow a large and varied collection of graded examples of work, each one clearly illustrated and described in minute detail. These examples will be typical of the specialised handicrafts of many widely different trades, including wireworking, lathe-building, gunsmithing. motor-building, electroplating, goldsmithing, art metalworking, cutlery, electric bell making, jewellers’ work, etc. The contents of this book range from the rudimentary teaching required by the tyro to the construction of high-class examples that will interest the adept craftsman.


    Metalwork of all kinds is readily divisible into two broad classes—cast and hammered. This distinction is sufficient for general purposes, although it does not entirely cover the field, because nearly all malleable iron made by modern processes, and all mild steel, are cast before they are puddled, hammered, or rolled. Neither does it include the method of electrotyping. Both casting and hammering were employed in prehistoric ages, and both methods have continued in use until the present time. Whilst it is comparatively easy to produce intricate forms by casting, the forging of similar forms taxes the very highest skill and patience of the hammerman. Most of the specimens of prehistoric art in metalworking which have been preserved to us are in the form of castings, but the more delicate hammered works are mostly of historic dates. The work of the blacksmith is of comparatively recent origin. Skill in the working of iron dates only from a few centuries before the Christian era. Previous to the introduction of iron, bronze was the metal employed for weapons of war and defence, and for articles of ornament and domestic service. The ancients had acquired very great skill in the composition and use of this alloy, as is proved by the vast number of cutting tools and utensils that have been brought to light by the researches of archaeologists.


    The origin of the age of bronze is lost in remote antiquity. No hard chronological line separates it from the preceding neolithic or new stone age. But the discovery of the use of copper and tin marked a most distinct advance in the history of civilisation ; and in this broad sense the bronzeusing period may be regarded as a very important age or era in the history of mankind. It is considered probable, and in some isolated districts it is a fact, that there was also a period when pure copper was employed, unalloyed with tin. But the advantages in increased hardness which were grained by alloying tin with copper were so evident, that in most cases bronze, and not pure copper, was used ; and as a matter of fact, nearly all the primitive implements of metal as yet found in the old world are made of alloys of copper and tin. The composition of the prehistoric bronzes varied extremely. A good bronze mixture, as used by modern engineers, contains about 88 or 89 of copper to 12 or 11 of tin respectively. Many of the ancient bronzes contained proportions approximating to these, but some contained a much less, some also a much greater proportion of copper. Very considerable traces of lead, nickel, silver, and iron also occur in the early bronzes, the modern art of separating copper from foreign ingredients present in the ores being unknown to the early smelters. In no essential did the earliest known methods of moulding and casting differ from those carried on at the present day. Yet relics have been found that date from a period long anterior to the Christian era ; probably many are from 2,000 to 4,000 years old. It has been thought that the bronze age began in England some 1,200 or 1,400 years B.C., and that it lasted about a thousand years, but the knowledge of copper and tin may have been much earlier.


    Iron is the most important of all the metals, though the least costly. It is more valuable than any of the precious metals in its usefulness to us. We are at the present time so dependent on iron that it is really difficult for us to imagine a time without iron. Cast-iron is the crude metal derived from the smelting furnace, and imperfectly freed from impurities. Wrought-iron, with which we are directly concerned, is the pure form of the metal, in colour a metallic, steely grey, but it rusts very rapidly on exposure to damp. In iron we possess a substance which is at once hard, malleable, able to bear a great strain, and yet can be made very brittle ; it is also inflexible, so that the most elastic springs can be formed from it. It can also be made to form the thick, heavy ribs and plating of the vessel of war, the slender blade of the surgeon’s knife, or the exquisitely artistic and beautiful scroll and leaf work of the chancel screen, the altar railing, or the grille. Iron possesses, in fact, qualities so varied, vast, and useful as at once to mark it out as the central figure amongst the productions of earth. It appears to be quite certain that so important a metal was known from the very earliest times—at least, as far as regards some of its uses. In the early books of the Bible we read continually of iron in various forms and for various uses-domestic and social ; also for weapons of war—as iron axes, iron swords, etc.


    There are certain qualities possessed by wrought-iron when hammered or rolled out which give it a great superiority over cast-iron for ornamental work and other work where there is no very considerable bulk. First, then, a fibrous texture, rendering it tough in working and able to be bent about in various shapes without cracking or breaking ; then again its malleability, enabling the bar of iron to be drawn out or flattened into the required forms ; again, its ductility, enabling a thick bar to be drawn out to the very thinnest of wire, or rolled out to the thinnest of sheet. Then again, and lastly, its most valuable quality for our purpose—the quality which we call welding, or the property of uniting together at a heat below the melting point, thus enabling ornamental effects to be produced with the metal alone without having patterns, etc.

    The combination of these various qualities in one substance enables the production of ornamental and other effects in iron which would be impossible in any other metal known to us, and without which the smith’s art and work would never have been brought into existence. The separate pieces, when they leave the forge, may be fastened together with straps of heated iron tried round them, with bolts, screws, and rivets, or, where really required, may be fixed together with brass or silver solder. These little details will show that wrought-iron is a material that can practically be used almost as fancy wills, to make either the strongest and most massive, or the finest and most beautiful, work.




    At this stage it will be well to note these leading characteristics of the metals :—Malleability is the capability of being extended without cracking or breaking, and for the various metals in general use is shown in the following list in order, the most malleable metal being placed first : Gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, zinc, iron, and nickel. Ductility is the property of being drawn into wire, and the metals are ranged in the following order: Gold, silver, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, tin, and lead. Tenacity, or tensile strength, is resistance to being pulled asunder; it is a variable quantity ; crystalline construction is often accompanied by brittleness. and fibrous construction by high tenacity, and these are generally diminished by a rise in the temperature of the metal, while the reverse is often the case with regard to malleability and ductility. Metals with feeble tenacity are known as brittle ; this quality may be due to hardness or to molecular construction. The following list places the metals in order of tensile strength: iron, nickel, copper, silver, gold, zinc, tin, and lead.


    The following list, which gives the weights of most ordinary metals and alloys, will be useful. Weights per cubic foot: Brass, 520 lb. ; copper, 549 lb. ; nickel. 518 lb. ; zinc, 429 lb. ; aluminium, 160 lb. ; lead, 710 lb. ; antimony, 420 lb.; tin, 456 lb. ; gunmetal, 544 lb. ; and magnoha, 650 lb. Weights per cubic inch: Brass, ˙3 lb. ; copper, ˙318 lb. ; nickel, ˙318 lb. ; zinc, ˙248 lb. ; aluminium, ˙093 lb. ; lead, ˙41 lb. ; antimony, ˙242 lb. ; tin, ˙264 lb. ; gunmetal, ˙315 lb. ; and magnolia, 376 lb.


    On p. 3 is given, in tabulated form, the most useful particulars of all known metals. Some of the metals tabulated are known only in the restricted field of scientific research. It is, however, useful for the metalworker to have a complete list for reference, and extended particulars of metals and alloys of general use in the arts are given in later pages of this book.



    The work of the foundry falls naturally under two principal heads—the metal, and the moulds. In large shops these are two distinct classes of work, performed by different sets of men. In small shops the moulder must often mix and melt his own metal. The metal may be bought ready prepared in ingots ; or the founder may prefer to make his own mixtures. Ingots are convenient, but mixing is cheaper, and the mixer knows what metal he has, which is more than can be said when ingots are bought. An experienced mixer can obtain any grade of metal needed for any class of work, and can use a good deal of waste stuff, together with runners and risers from previous casts.


    Aluminium bronze consists of aluminium and copper in varying proportions. A special hard alloy contains 11 per cent. aluminium, and others contain from 10 to 1¼ per cent. aluminium. The 10 per cent. alloy has a tenacity of about 100,000 lb. per square inch, but shrinks upwards of twice as much as brass. As the metal solidifies rapidly, it is necessary to pour with very large gates, and every precaution must be taken to prevent the metal setting in the gates before the casting has been completely poured. The great difficulty with large cored work is to prevent the metal cracking. This must be done by using baked cores consisting of sand and cinders ground together and just held with a little resin. Aluminium bronze of the above quality oxidises rapidly when poured from the crucible to the mould. If the film or skin of oxide passes into the mould, it will appear on the surface as dirt, and will probably spoil the casting. The scum may generally be kept back by the ordinary skimmer, if the pourer takes special care. As aluminium and copper volatilise only at very great heats, there is no appreciable loss in continued casting. Metal made simply by mixing aluminium and copper will most probably be brittle, and does not acquire its best properties till it has been remelted several times. If the casting is uniformly thin, it will generally come sharp, but, if there are thin and thick parts, it is necessary to put runners or offshoots from the thin parts to enable the metal to fill and soak back into the casting as it cools. This will overcome the difficulty often met of thumbing, or the formation of shallow places at the thick parts of the castings. A good bearing brass is an aluminium bronze containing 95 parts of copper and 5 of aluminium, to which is added 8 per cent. of tin. A good method is as follows :—In using a 140-lb. crucible, melt 124 lb. of copper under a good layer of charcoal; then add cautiously, bit by bit, 6½ lb. of ingot aluminium, or fairly heavy aluminium scrap. When the metal is quiet, add 10½ lb. of ordinary cake tin, thoroughly well stir in, an-d pour into ingots. When making brasses, take about half the weight of the casting required in scrap metal, and make up with the new ingot metal. This, when melted, must be well stirred and then poured. It is necessary to have large gates to allow proper shrinkage, as there is considerable liability to draw. The mould must be rather loosely rammed, and when poured the metal must not be touched for some time, as it remains liquid in the mould longer than the usual alloys.


    The metals that form anti-friction or bearing alloys are copper, tin, antimony, zinc, and lead, although more than three rarely enter into any one mixture. To reduce the friction at a journal, a bearing of brass, bronze, or gunmetal is made, and the bearing surface is lined with a white alloy of comparatively soft nature. On account of its low melting point, when the white bearing shows wear it may be melted out, and a fresh lining inserted, the bronze or other frame thus lasting a very considerable time. The metals are generally melted in an iron ladle, and if allowed to get too hot will volatilise, the nature of the alloy being altered, or will oxidise and form a scum that must on no account be allowed to run into the bearing. These white-metal bearings are used for very fastrunning machinery, to prevent the axles or shafts and the brasses heating and consequently binding. Two good anti-friction metals are Babbit’s metal and magnolia. Babbit recommended melting together 4 lb. copper, 8 lb. antimony, and 24 lb. tin. This he named hardening, and to every pound of it he added 2 lb. tin. Numerous varieties have from time to time been introduced. one being antimony 2 parts, tin 2 parts. lead 20 parts. Magnolia is a white metal composed approximately of lead 78 parts. antimony 21 parts, and iron 1 part; it does not appear to heat when subjected to intense pressure.


    Bell metal is the material used in the manufacture of bells, and it consists principally of copper and tin, although for the commoner classes other materials are often used, such as iron, lead, zinc, antimony, and manganese. Bell metal should be hard, compact, fine-grained, and strong, and should be cast in a manner similar to bronze. The copper is first melted, the tin is next added. and, after vigorous stirring, the metal is then poured.


    Brass may be considered the most common of the commercial alloys ; it is a compound of copper and zinc in very variable proportions. The commonly used yellow metal consists principally of 60 parts copper and 40 parts zinc, with such slight additions of other metals as are necessary to serve special purposes. This alloy, known as Muntz metal, makes sound castings, and compared to copper is less liable to discolour, is harder, closer in grain, more workable, and fuses at a much lower temperature. The impurities inherent in ordinary copper and zinc are not troublesome in brass foundry works, because it is a general practice to use common brass pigs. For turning work it is well to use 1 lb. of lead to each 100 lb. of molten metal. The molten metal containing the lead must be thoroughly mixed at each pouring, as the lead will liquate or separate out. Common brass used for ordinary bolts, nuts, and turnery work consists of the following mixture : 60 parts copper, 42 parts zinc, and 1 part in the 100 lead. This will work either hot or cold, and forms the usual French alloy. English naval brass, which is stronger than common brass, consists of two qualities, the one used in rolling sheets and rods, the other for making tubes. In the former the alloy is 62 parts copper, 37 parts zinc, and 1 part tin, while in the latter the alloy is 70 parts copper, 29 parts zinc, and 1 part tin. The metals must be thoroughly mixed and stirred before pouring.


    The art of mixing alloys for brass can be learned only by practice, but the following broad principles conduce to success. The mixing of the copper alloys becomes the more difficult with increase in the fusibility of the elements. Thus, it is easier to mix hard gun-metal than soft brass, because the zinc in the latter volatilises so rapidly that much of it is liable to be lost in fumes, with considerable diminution in the weight of the alloy, and resulting uncertainty in regard to the composition of the final product. But tin and copper will alloy with little waste, and yield practically certain results. When the soft brasses are required, it is better to mix a large proportion of brass with copper than to make the mixture directly with copper and zinc. When zinc is mixed with copper, the latter must be melted first and the zinc added in small quantities at a time, the surface of the copper being strewn with charcoal powder. Broken glass may be used instead of charcoal dust on the top of molten brass to prevent oxidation. When adding easily fusible metal in fragments to molten copper, they must be perfectly free from moisture, and hot; otherwise the addition will cause a blow up of the melted metal. When blue fumes are given off, that denotes oxidation of the zinc, and the pouring must not be delayed long after. It is better to melt metal at least once, and inget it, than pour it directly into the mould after a first mixing. For the same reason it is good practice to use a considerable proportion of old metal with new. A bit of borax put into the crucible on the addition of zinc diminishes the volatilisation of the latter. When brass turnings are melted up, it is essential that all iron turnings which become mixed with them in the machine shop shall be entirely removed. They would make the brass castings hard and pinny. These are therefore removed with a row of magnets passed repeatedly through the mixture until the magnets cease to take up any more iron.


    Aluminium, the lightest of the metals, is of white colour, soft, very malleable, ductile, with an elasticity and a tenacity about equal to silver. It is not volatile, even when strongly heated out of contact with air. It is practically unacted upon by acids, is unaltered in air, and is nonpoisonous. It is now obtained of 98 to 99¾ per cent. of purity, the impurities being silicon and iron. Antimony in its commercial state is often impure, containing iron, lead, arsenic, and sulphur. It is a bluish-white metal of crystalline structure, with fern-like markings on the surface. and is very brittle. It forms useful alloys in consequence of its hardening properties, but it acts very injuriously on the malleable metals, making them hard and brittle. Bismuth is a hard, greyish-white metal with a bright metallic lustre ; it is very useful in preparing fusible alloys on account of its low melting point. Copper is of a salmon-pink colour, is highly malleable, ductile, tough, and tenacious; it readily unites with oxygen when at a red heat, forming oxides. The cuprous oxide is soluble in the molten copper, and this makes the result brittle and spongy, thus forming the greatest obstacle to sound castings. Impurities, such as arsenic, antimony, nickel, and lead, have a very injurious action on copper, making it brittle and hard. Lead is of a bluish-grey colour. It is heavy, malleable, ductile, and tough, but has only a feeble tenacity. Commercial lead is often nearly pure, though it may contain a slight quantity of silver, copper, etc. Nickel has a brilliant white colour, and is malleable, ductile, weldable, and very tenacious. It is magnetic, and does not readily oxidise in air at ordinary temperatures. Commercial nickel, owing to recent improved methods of refining and toughening, contains but small quantities of impurities, and these are generally iron, sulphur, manganese, and cobalt. Tin is a white metal with a brilliant lustre, very soft and malleable. It is supplied in three qualities—common, refined, and grain. Commercial tin often contains small quantities of impurities. Zinc, also called spelter, is a white metal of a bluish shade and with a bright metallic lustre. Ordinary zinc is hard, brittle, and, when broken, exhibits a highly crystalline structure. The general method of testing zinc is by the fracture ; the fracture facets, if large, bright, and well formed, generally denote good quality. A tendency to bending instead of to breaking shows the presence of impurities. The lead present in ordinary commercial zinc varies from ˙45 to 1˙22 per cent., and generally amounts to about 1 per cent.


    Brass that is to be used for fine castings and that is to be easily turned and filed requires the quality of liquidity in a much higher degree than ordinary brass. It must not in any case be pasty, and its texture must be uniform and fine-grained throughout. Again, as these castings must be free from such defects as flaws, pinholes, etc., the brass must be capable of remaining liquid until the solidifying point is nearly reached, so that the metal may be poured at the lowest temperature. Generally, casters never think of using a flux to assist in clearing the metal before pouring, or to reduce the oxides or other impurities in the metal, but for this purpose soda, salt, borax, and charcoal, mixed to a paste with oil and used in small quantities, will be found excellent. For fine mosaic work and for castings of a filigree nature that will subsequently be gilded, it is necessary to use a comparatively rich alloy, because with a high percentage of copper the casting requires less gold in the gilding than would be necessary if the brass were yellower.


    Fusible alloys consist principally of tin, bismuth, lead, and cadmium ; they are used where a definite temperature is to be indicated, such as for fusible solders, safety cocks, and plugs for boilers and fire apparatus. In the latter case, the rooms are fitted so that the heat of the fire fuses parts of the apparatus and gives warning. These alloys may have much lower melting points as combinations than the metals singly. One alloy consists of 50 parts bismuth, 25 parts tin, and 25 parts lead, and melts at 202°. F. Occasionally cadmium is added to the alloy to counteract the crystalline formation caused by the bismuth ; the alloys are thus more malleable. An alloy, consisting of bismuth 15 parts, cadmium 3 parts, lead 8 parts, and tin 4 parts, is often used for soldering Britannia metal and similar materials, which cannot he highly heated, and which are of a white colour.


    German silver consists essentially of copper, zinc, and nickel. Various metals have been introduced under fanciful names, such as Brazilian and Nevada silver, Argentan, Potosi silver, silveroid, silvene, arguzoid, etc., but these consist of German silver with perhaps slight additions, as, for instance, of iron, manganese, lead, tin, silver, cobalt, and magnesium. German silver is noted for its whiteness, lustre, brilliance, tenacity, and toughness, and it3 power of resisting chemical influences. Although it is generally used in the rolled, drawn, or spun way, as for spoon and fork making, electro-plate working, etc., yet a considerable quantity is used in the foundry, in making cocks and other fittings for salt water. It is used also for upholstering, instead of brass, nickel, or silver-plated metal. For castings that are to be filed and turned, and where malleability is not of first importance, it is sufficient if the alloy has the requisite tenacity and toughness, and sufficient liquidity when melted to adapt it for ordinary moulding purposes. Where a fair percentage of zinc enters into the composition, it is as well first to melt copper and zinc together in equal proportions, allowing 2 lb. extra of zinc for the loss in volatilisation, and then to use this brass in right proportions instead of zinc. The mixture having been decided on, the metal is weighed out, generally allowing about one-half scrap metal. Put the nickel in the bottom of the crucible, the copper next, and if manganese and iron are being used, these must now be put in. The copper melts first. Keep the metal well covered with a layer of charcoal to prevent oxidation. After about an hour or an hour and ten minutes, the brass must be well melted and stirred in. Now add about 1 oz. of a mixture composed of charcoal, borax, and salt in equal quantities, to flux the metals. Next add the tin, lead, or other metal, and cover with a layer of powdered glass. This will run and effectually preserve the metal in the crucible. When small blue jets are seen emerging through the surface, it is time to pour, and here great care is necessary. As each mould is filled, throw a little charcoal into the crucible. The moulds and cores, if used, must be well dried. The greatest difficulty with casting nickel silver, as it is called, is in getting the metal to the right heat, as moulds are liable to be improperly filled, or, if the metal is too hot. to be porous. A teaspoonful of amorphous phosphorus per 100 lb. of metal will render the alloy more liquid, and will tend to reduce any oxides that may have formed, thus producing sounder castings. When alloys of German silver are required for casting purposes, a little lead is generally added. This causes freedom of working, and has a tendency to whiten the alloy. Iron is added when a harder alloy is required. It also has a whitening effect, since from 1 to 1½ per cent. will have the same effect as 4 per cent. of nickel on the colour. Manganese, which is used by some makers, has a very similar effect to that of iron. As German silver becomes altered in composition by repeated melting owing to the volatilisation of a larger percentage of zinc than of copper, it is absolutely necessary to add a quantity of metallic zinc, generally about 2 per cent. All windows, doors, and ventilations must be closed when pouring, as the metal chills very rapidly.


    Gunmetal is a term used in a general sense, and may be said to apply to alloys of copper and other metals which are hard and tough. It is generally used in the manufacture of bearings for machine construction, and for this purpose must be capable of resisting hard wear, must be easy to turn, file, and work, and must possess great strength. An excellent plan, in making the various brasses or bronzes, is to add, when just about to pour, a very small quantity of amorphous phosphorus —about a teaspoonful to every 100 lb. of molten metal. This increases the fluidity of the metal, and while it acts as a flux, if not used in larger quantities it has no detrimental effect on the work.


    Some particulars as to the iron used in foundry work will be useful. It is mostly pig iron, so called on account of its shape and method of pouring ; this is an impure iron, made in a blast furnace and containing more than 1½ per cent. of carbon and large quantities of other impurities, such as silicon, sulphur phosphorus, and manganese. The smallest quantity of carbon in pig iron is 1½ per cent., while the largest amount the iron can take up without the aid of other substances is 4½ per cent. Carbon is usually found either as a chemical combination or as flaked graphite. Flaked carbon weakens the metal, but otherwise it has little effect. The carbon in combination hardens the metal, and to some extent increases the strength of the iron. In amount it varies from about ¾ per cent. in what is known as No. 1 pig to as much as 1½ per cent., or even more in a white iron. Silicon has an effect in iron closely approaching carbon, and there appears to be no limit to the amount that iron can take up. If it is in excess, the iron becomes hard and brittle. The following amounts of silicon have been given as being the most beneficial for the particular results aimed at. For maximum hardness less than ˙8 per cent., for crushing strength about ˙8 per cent., for maximum modulus of elasticity about 1 per cent., for maximum density in mass 1 per cent., for maximum tensile strength 1˙8 per cent., and for maximum softness and working qualities 2½ per cent. Another ever-present element is phosphorus, which is found in quantities varying from a mere trace to as much as 3 per cent. It always increases the fluidity of the molten metal, but in quantities it has a hardening effect on the iron. Manganese, also always present in pig iron, has a double effect : on the one hand it hardens the iron directly ; on the other, it has an indirect softening action by which the sulphur is eliminated. Silicon has the same effect, and iron containing 2½ per cent. of silicon will be found to be hard to some extent, while the carbon will be thrown from the combined condition into that of the graphitic condition. Grey pig iron is usually high in silicon, while white iron is usually low in that element.


    Manganese bronze consists of copper, tin, zinc, manganese, and iron, in varying proportions. Manganese added to an alloy of copper and zinc increases the hardness. Ferro-manganese is used for additional hardness. An ordinary quality of manganese bronze consists of copper, 84 parts ; tin, 10 parts ; and ferro-manganese, 6 parts. The ferro-manganese can be used up to 12 per cent. by varying the qualities of the tin and copper. For special work, make a trial lot of about 5 lb., casting it under ordinary conditions and treating it as to turning, filing, etc., as the work may require ; then vary the constituents according to the result. It is an excellent plan, for future reference, to enter the results of all casting operations under a distinctive head, with any details which may be useful. This frequently saves much trouble. The difficulty in using ferro-manganese or cupro-manganese is the great heat necessary to melt this alloy. One plan is to place the scrap-metal and the manganese in the crucible, the manganese being lower, and to cover with a layer of charcoal. Then add the other ingredients, except the zinc, if any is to be used, and place in the furnace. The scrap will first melt, and this will assist in carrying down the manganese.


    Phosphor bronze consists of copper and tin, with a small amount of phosphorus. It is made by mixing and melting in a clean plumbago crucible copper and tin in varying proportions, according to requirements, and then adding a certain proportion of phosphorus in the form of phosphor tin or phosphor copper, or both. An old crucible, well scraped out and sweated over the furnace to remove all oxides, etc., might answer. Flour charcoal must be put on the top of the metal to prevent undue oxidation. The molten metal must be well stirred previous to pouring. In casting large brasses or bearings the moulds must be thoroughly dried, and covered with a mixture of charcoal and water and again dried, but for ordinary small castings the moulds may be used as in ordinary green sand. This alloy in solidifying passes directly from the liquid to the solid. If constantly remelted it will lose a small part of its phosphorus through volatilisation ; this loss must be made up, however, by the addition of phosphorus as at first. As there is always a tendency in bronzes to separate out when cooling, it is highly advisable to pour the molten metal just before solidification sets in. To determine the point, add the gates or runners or even small ingots to the molten metal; if the metal begins to adhere to these pieces it is ready for pouring. A good general alloy for phosphorbronze boiler fittings, pumps, and ornamental castings, consists of about 95 or 96 copper, 4 or 5 tin, with about e9781616081850_i0005.jpg per cent. phosphorus As phosphor copper or tin containing guaranteed qualities of phosphorus may be obtained, it is an easy matter to add the desired amount of phosphorus. For phosphor bronze to resist much wearing stress, or friction, a different alloy is generally used; and one commonly employed for axle bearings, bushes, cogs, etc., consists of about 90 to 91 per cent. copper, 8 to 9 per cent. tin, sand ¾ to 1 per cent. phosphorus. As the phosphorus increases, the alloys become harder and less malleable, and more than 3¼ per cent. of phosphorus renders the bronze useless. The percentage composition of a phosphor bronze used in American locomotive building is copper, 79‘70 ; tin, 10 ; lead, 9½ ; phosphorus, ‘80.


    The practical study of metallurgy, either in assaying or the preparation of alloys, involves the use of a furnace that will give a fairly high temperature, sufficient at least to melt copper or cast-iron. In metallurgical laboratories it is usual to have several kinds of furnaces, both for melting and for assay work, and it may be found that for a special purpose one form of furnace is more suitable than another. When, however, it is desired to study the metals, want of space or monetary reasons may compel the worker to limit himself to one, or at most two furnaces, which have to do all the work required. For the ordinary class of metallurgical work—such as the preparation and examination of the alloys—a melting furnace is required ; but for assaying, which is a distinct branch of metallurgical work, both a melting furnace and a muffle furnace are needed. The melting and muffle furnaces may be combined, so as to form only one furnace, but it is not advisable to do this, because the two functions cannot be carried on at the same time, and, also. combined furnaces seldom work as well as separate furnaces.


    A choice of furnaces is desirable, and most small foundries have two of different sizes. In large foundries there may be half a dozen, and often a reverberatory furnace in addition, for dealing with extra large quantities. The advantage of having more than one furnace, considered apart from the weight of work done and the number of hands employed, is that fuel is economised by using the small furnaces for light casts, as the smaller the furnace the less the fuel required. In melting there is always a certain amount of fuel consumed in merely heating up the furnace. Each furnace is intended to hold but one pot at a time, and the capacities of pots range from a few pounds to a hundredweight. The furnaces for the smallest pots measure 9 in. or 10 in. square inside, and those for the large ones up to 18 in. In laying down a foundry, it would be well to arrange a furnace of the smallest and one of the largest dimensions, even though the latter might be required for occasional use only. It is advantageous to have more than one furnace, even in a small shop. When heavy castings are to be made, the product of one furnace is insufficient, and then the melting must be done in two or more, because brass will not stand hot long in a crucible, though iron will do so in a ladle. Another advantage is that, when one furnace gets out of repair, another can be used, instead of work being stopped while repairing. In a regular foundry the furnaces are sunk below the floor level, and the top of the masonry on which the covers are laid is only from 9 in. to 12 in. above the floor level. A man standing on the floor can then look into the furnace, and he can stand over it and lower and lift the pots of metal in and out. Furnaces for occasional use are frequently constructed in a different way, with a sheet-iron casing, and portable, but they are inconvenient for foundry work.


    Fig. 1.—Home-made Small Furnace.


    Fig. 2.—Chinmey-box for Furnace.


    THE small furnace shown by Fig. 1 is suited for analytical and other metallurgical work; it is sufficiently large to melt 7 lb. of metal. The outer casing or frame is made of iron boiler plate about e9781616081850_i0008.jpg in. thick, and it carries at the back a cast-iron chimney box (Fig. 2). A rectangular hole A, equal to the inside dimensions of the box end—that is, 10 in. by 6 in.—is cut in the frame 3 in. from the top. The front of the frame is cut away at the bottom to admit air. Two pieces of angle iron, 2 in. by e9781616081850_i0009.jpg in., as shown in Fig. 3, or, preferably, cast-iron frames, are riveted, one on the front and another on the back, to carry the fire bars. At the top a 2-in. angle iron is riveted all round on the inside to carry the covering bricks. The framing is lined all round with slips of 2-in. firebrick well set in fireclay, sufficient room, say 1¼ in., being left above the inner angle bars to allow of the insertion and easy removal of the four or five wrought-iron firebars 1 in. square. This space is easily formed by laying flat pieces of wrought iron at a distance of 1¼ in. from the angle irons on the brickwork lining of the other two sides, and building on these with the firebrick. The cast-iron chimney piece has a flange by which it may be riveted to the frame. This casting must be lined with firebrick slips 1 in. thick, so that no part of the ironwork, except the firebars, comes in contact with the fire. This furnace requires a chimney about 20 ft. high, and usually the casting may be built into an existing chimney. Ordinary coke is used as fuel, and all descriptions of alloys, even bronzes and nickel, can be melted in this furnace, which would require to be relined occasionally according to the work done.


    Fig. 3.—Frame for Firebars.


    Fig. 4.—Portable Coke Furnace.


    Fig. 5.—Ring for Firebars.


    The fireclay required for lining furnaces of all kinds may usually be purchased at the clay-pits or from builders: about 1½ cwt. or 2 cwt. will be required. It should be mixed with just sufficient water to render it plastic, kneaded and beaten into a square block with a shovel, and then allowed to stand for about a week to temper.


    A furnace to burn coke can be made very readily with a piece of cast-iron piping A (Fig. 4), preferably about 14 in. in diameter by 2 ft. 6 in. long. This forms the casing proper. Two portions on opposite sides and ends of this pipe are cut away to form the air inlet and outlet respectively. The hole B at the back is 6 in. long by 4½ in. wide, and cut at a distance of 4 in. from the top, acts as the outlet. At the bottom a piece 10 in. long by 8 in. high is cut away, and forms the ash pit, allowing air to pass through the furnace. The pieces may be cut out by drilling a number of holes along the outlines, and then with a thin chisel severing the pieces, afterwards filing the edge to a finish. A cast-iron ring (Fig. 5), about 2 in. thick and of a diameter to fit the pipe, having in the centre a square hole, with two of its sides recessed 1 in. deep and 1 in. broad, to carry the small firebars, must be securely fastened to the inside of the pipe immediately above the bottom hole, and can be kept in place by about eight ½-in. bolts passed through the pipe, and screwed about 1 in. into the ring casting. For the flue, a piece of wrought-iron rectangular tubing, say 6 in. by 4½ in., and of sufficient length to connect to any ordinary chimney not less than 20 ft. high, must be stoutly built and flanged, and riveted to the top hole in the cast-iron pipe. This tube must be lined with firebrick slips about 1 in. thick, to prevent the fire burning the iron ; the inside of the cast-iron pipe also being lined with firebricks about 7 in. long by 2 in. square. The spaces between the bricks and iron should be well luted with fireclay. This furnace will readily melt any quantity up to 12 lb., and any metal having a melting point not exceeding that of cast-iron. The firebars may consist of four wrought-iron bars about 1 in. square by 7¾ in. long. They rest in the recess of the ring casting. A cover must be used, and may consist either of two or three firebricks or of a piece of cast-iron, and the ends of the flue must be well fixed and mortared into the chimney to cause a good draught.


    Fig. 6.—Faraday’s Blast Furnace.


    Fig. 6 shows a section of a very useful furnace that may be constructed without difficulty by anyone. It is made from two large plumbago melting pots ; partly used pots will do quite as well for the purpose. In the outer pot a hole of about 1 in. diameter is drilled in the side as near the bottom as possible. There will be found no difficulty in doing this with the ordinary brace and bit. The second pot is turned upside down and the bottom carefully removed with a hammer and chisel. If a hole is first made in the centre the remainder of the bottom may easily be chipped out in bits. An ordinary circular iron gulley trap grid (Fig. 9) is placed in this pot; the pot is put into the larger one, and the space between the two is filled with fine sand. The fuel used in this furnace is coke broken into pieces of about the size of a walnut. The fumes from a coke furnace are very unhealthy, and they should be prevented from coming into the room. An open shed would be a suitable place for such a furnace, or it could be placed in an open fireplace ; or a proper hood could be fitted which, being connected with a length of sheet-iron stove-pipe running through an opening in the roof or into a chimney, would carry the fumes away.


    Fig. 7.—Hood for Furnace, Closed.


    Fig. 8.—Hood for Furnace, Open.


    Fig. 9.—Grid for Furnace.


    Fig. 10.—Swinging Hood.


    The hood for a furnace, such as is shown by Fig. 7, may be made adjustable if required, so that it can be raised or pushed aside when a crucible has to be inserted or removed, and its efficiency thereby increased. The hood is made from a circular piece of sheet-iron, cut out as for a lamp shade, and it is fixed firmly upon the end of a loose piece of sheet iron, which should be about 2 ft. 6 in. long. Near to the hood a rivet is fixed in the stove-pipe. The stove-pipe running into the chimney is a trifle larger than the movable piece, so that the latter may slide up or down inside it. At the bottom of the fixed pipe is cut a notch in the shape of a bayonet catch (Fig. 8), and by lifting the movable pipe the rivet may be made to slide into the bayonet catch and the hood held about 2 ft. above the furnace until the crucible is removed, when the movable piece may be gently replaced. The handle for moving it is of wood, and it is fixed to the pipe by iron wire. Another method of moving the hood is to have a piece of stove-pipe about 1 ft. long fitted into the chimney, and into this a smaller elbow-piece is fitted (Fig. 10). The tube from the furnace is fitted to this elbow, and may easily be moved aside. The stove-pipe should be held by a hook and iron wire. The air supply for this furnace may be obtained from a double bellows or fan, and should be sent through a conical pipe placed an inch or two back from the opening.


    Fig. 11.—Gas Injector Furnace.


    The melting furnaces known as the Injector furnaces are extremely simple in their construction, consisting of a cylindrical body closed at the bottom, made of refractory fireclay ; and of a disc-shaped lid, also of fireclay, bound with iron, and provided with a handle for moving it. The heat is produced by a large blowpipe provided with legs, which support it in a horizontal position. The blowpipe is brought against a small hole in the side of the furnace through which the flame passes to the interior. The flames plays around the crucible, and then escapes through a hole in the lid. The blowpipes used with these furnaces are very simple, consisting of a large cast-iron tube provided with a wire gauze at the front and partly open at the back. The gas tube runs in at the side and the air tube at the back. The blast of air is furnished by foot-bellows, and is regulated by a screw on the burner. The amount of gas required for Injector furnaces varies with the size ; a furnace melting 6 oz. of metal uses 7 ft. to 30 ft. of gas per hour, and one for 28 lb. of metal 100 ft. to 300 ft. of gas. The hottest part of the furnace being directly in front of the burner, it is noticeable that the crucibles are rapidly eaten away at the side nearest the blowpipe, and therefore care should be taken that they are put down in a different position each time they are replaced. Injector furnaces are excellent for all classes of metallurgical work, but require constant work at the bellows, and for that reason working for a lengthened period with them may be found rather tedious, which is not the case when employing a draught furnace. There are several useful Injector furnaces that are intended either for petroleum or benzoline, or for carburetted air. These furnaces work very well with carburetted air, formed by passing a portion of the air through a generator containing benzoline or gasoline ; the air in passing through this generator becomes saturated with the hydrocarbon and forms an inflammable gas, which may be burnt in a similar way to coal gas. An ordinary paraffin oil burner may also be fitted to these furnaces ; it consists of a small reservoir for holding the oil, and a wick tube: Being only an ordinary wick flame, it is not likely to be as efficient as coal gas or carburetted air.


    At Fig. 11 is shown Fletcher’s injector