Old fashioned metallurgy: metal compounds

Metals, in general, will unite with each other by fusion or amalgamation, and acquire new properties. Brass is a compound of copper and zinc; and possesses a different color to either of the component parts.

As metals fuse in different degrees of heat, care should be taken not to add those metals which fuse easily, to others which require a greater degree of heat, while they are too hot, because the former may evaporate and leave the compound imperfect. Or, if they are brought into fusion together, it should be under a flux to prevent the volatile metals from evaporating before the union is effected.

-Mosaic Gold._

Melt together equal parts of copper and zinc, at the lowest temperature that will fuse the former, stir them well to produce an intimate mixture of the metals, and add by degrees small quantities of zinc; the alloy first assumes a yellow color like brass; on adding a little more zinc it becomes purple, and lastly perfectly white, which is the proper appearance of the desired product when fused. The quantity of zinc to be used altogether, should be from 52 to 55 parts out of the hundred.

_Talmi Gold_

A beautiful gold-colored alloy, sold under the above name, gives on analysis: Copper, 86.4; zinc, 12.2; tin, 1.1; iron, 0.3. The presence of the iron was probably accidental.

_Queen's Metal._

Melt together 4 1/2 lbs. of tin, 1/2 lb. of bismuth, 1/2 lb. of antimony, and 1/2 lb. of lead. A very excellent alloy will be formed by using these proportions; it is used for making teapots and other vessels which are required to imitate silver. They retain their brilliancy to the last.

Another.--A very fine silver-looking metal is composed of 100 lbs. of tin, 8 of regulus of antimony, 1 of bismuth, and 4 of copper.


Melt together 16 lbs. of copper, 1 lb. of tin, and 1 lb. of zinc.

_Red Tombac._

Put into a crucible 5 1/2 lbs. of copper; when fused, add 1/2 lb. of zinc; these metals will combine, forming an alloy of a reddish color, but possessing more lustre than copper, and also greater durability.

_White Tombac._

When copper is combined with arsenic, by melting them together in a close crucible, and covering the surface with common salt to prevent oxidation, a white brittle alloy is formed.

_Common Pewter._

Melt in a crucible 7 lbs. of tin, and when fused throw in 1 lb. of lead, 6 oz. of copper and 2 oz. of zinc. This combination of metals will form an alloy of great durability and tenacity; also of considerable lustre.

_Best Pewter._

The best sort of pewter consists of 100 parts of tin, and 17 of regulus of antimony.

_Hard Pewter._

Melt together 12 lbs. of tin, 1 lb. of regulus of antimony, and 4 oz. of copper.

_Common Solder._

Put into a crucible 2 lbs. of lead, and when melted throw in 1 lb. of tin. This alloy is that generally known by the name of solder. When heated by a hot iron and applied to tinned iron with powdered rosin, it acts as a cement or solder; it is also used to join leaden pipes, etc.

_Hard Solder._

Melt together 2 lbs. of copper, and 1 lb of tin.

_Soft Solder._

Melt together 2 lbs. of tin, and 1 of lead. The lining of tea chests makes a good solder for tin ware, being made of tin and lead in about the proper proportions.

_Gold Solder_

Consists of 24 parts gold, 2 silver, and 1 of copper.

_Silver Solder._

Hard--4 parts of silver to 1 of copper. Soft--2 parts of silver to 1 of brass wire.

_Shot Metal._

Lead, 1000 parts; metallic arsenic, 3 parts.

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