What to do with copper rods?

Discussion in 'General Engine Discussion' started by winklmj, Aug 3, 2010.

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  1. Aug 3, 2010 #1

    winklmj

    winklmj

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    At the scrapyard I grabbed up a few 1/8 to 1" round copper rods anywhere from 6 to 12" long--at the time I thought they were brass (newb mistake). Copper any good for anything other than plumbing fittings? I know they're machineable because some of them have obvious signs of being turned on a lathe (bored on the ends, center-drilled, etc...). Copper durable enough to be used in place of brass or too soft?
     
  2. Aug 3, 2010 #2

    kcmillin

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    I have seen copper used in 90% of boilers made on this website.

    Just a thought.

    Kel
     
  3. Aug 3, 2010 #3

    mklotz

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    Copper with signs of machining? Sounds strange given the fact that copper is such a bear to machine. Are you certain they are copper? Some of the marine brasses/bronzes have a reddish color close to copper.
     
  4. Aug 3, 2010 #4

    winklmj

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    Hmmmm, they do have a reddish tint to them--very obvious when I got them home and compared them to some brass I had. Hopefully they are more brass/bronze than just copper.
     
  5. Aug 3, 2010 #5

    Troutsqueezer

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    Seems like solid copper in 1" round and 12" in length would be worth quite a bit of money.

    -T
     
  6. Aug 3, 2010 #6

    Jasonb

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    Bronze would be worth more :)
     
  7. Aug 3, 2010 #7

    Noitoen

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    Copper used in spot welding electrodes machines quite well, at least it's what I see at a friends machine shop. They make all kinds of electrodes for the auto industry.
     
  8. Aug 3, 2010 #8

    Deanofid

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    Most copper does not machine well at all. It's usually quite miserable to make a nice finish. Like
    trying to turn chewing gum. That doesn't mean it can't be done, since it's accomplished every day
    in industry. We used to get a job turning copper now and then in a shop where I worked. I've forgotten
    tool geometry now, but remember we used whole milk as a lube.

    Hopefully, what you got was some kind of bronze, like Marv says. You could actually use that for
    something in regular model making chores. Copper has kind of a limited use for most of us. Rivets,
    boiler stays, and stuff like that, but I wouldn't want to make a piston or cylinder from it.

    If what you got was copper, trade it to someone for some nice brass.

    Dean
     
  9. Aug 3, 2010 #9

    Kermit

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    The cutting properties of copper can be improved significantly by creating an alloy with half a percent of tellurium. This produces only a slight alteration in the electrical and thermal conductivity and ductility of the free machining copper. Copper telluride precipitations in the microstructure break up the turnings into chips and enable a much higher machining speed than is possible with pure copper. On a machinability rating scale with 100 being for free cutting brass and 20 for copper, tellurium copper is rated at 90.

    Alloy 145


    Kermit

     
  10. Aug 3, 2010 #10

    Deanofid

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    So, how do you add tellurium to your copper rods? Just rub a little in, like lotion?
    ;D ;D
     
  11. Aug 3, 2010 #11

    doc1955

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    Lotion Rof} Rof} Rof} Rof} :big: :big:

    We use to have a spot welder where I worked which too I believe .5 rods but I do know I've also machined pure copper for electrode racks for our process line. They are used for hard coat anodize and electro polishing. Those rods where 1.0 dia and 6 feet long. The racks we built were about 10 feet long by 5 feet tall, basically a big picture frame. And yes copper is not an enjoyable material to machine.
     
  12. Aug 3, 2010 #12

    GWRdriver

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    Otherwise known locally as Unobtanium.
    ;D
     
  13. Aug 4, 2010 #13

    Kermit

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    NO. Nothing so difficult as that. Just increase the amount of paper money paid and let the 'jokers' at the foundry do it for you.

    8)

    My point being that a copper rod that is 'easy' to machine has a higher than average chance of being just such an alloy. Silly boys.
     

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