I've been wanting to make some bolster material from a blend of copper and brass for some time. Studying a few web sites and watching some YouTube videos has prepared me for my experiment. But first a little background.
So we're going to squeeze some metals, heat them to near melting point and see how they stick together.
Apart from the heat, pressure and time factors, the surfaces of the metals need to be prepared for the fusing. This means cleaning them with sandpaper and removing any oil, dirt or grease and preferably not having any oxidization on the surfaces prior to clamping. The edges of the stack will be brushed with a flux made from Borax and distilled water to reduce oxygen from reaching the surfaces and cause the laminations to fuse improperly.
This is my first of two experiments I want to try. Copper and brass raindrop pattern mokume-gane. Pure copper melts at 1080°C (1976°F) and brass (which is copper and zinc) has a melting point around 930°C (1710°F).
The brass sheet I have is 0.015" K&S #252 and the copper is 0.025" K&S #259. I cut the sheets into 10 pieces of roughly 2" square.
First, I will prepare the materials by cutting them into the sizes that I want. I am looking to make a finished piece of raindrop pattern approximately 2" x 2" x 3/16"" thick.
If the metals you are using are oxidized/tarnished. Clean them bright with a Scotch-brite pad before cutting the squares. Once cut, de-burr and wipe with acetone.
Brush the borax paste on the outside of the stack.
DO NOT OVERHEAT. Brass melts before copper. You will see the brass starting to liquify a tiny bit.
This is where I got to before grinding.
The end result is 2-3/8" square by 3/16" thick. This piece should make four knife bolsters.
Thank you for stopping by.