Lot's of different pics of this sign.

Lot's of different pics of this sign.
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Monday, September 04, 2017

How I Spent Labor Day Weekend

Pigging out.
But I hardly ate anything because it was so hot. Let me back up a bit:
Thursday afternoon I e-mailed the company I'd ordered brass from a week prior. They'd confirmed my order but never wrote that it had shipped. Turns out - oops. Thought we had those yellow brass ingots but...
A full-on "brass-tastrophe" which caused me to wake up Friday in full-panic mode.


Pictured above: The end of my panic and the beginning of misery. I might be overstating it. "Misery" consists of just standing around in hundred degree heat next to a propane furnace.
One payoff was the nice atmospherics caused by the world currently burning down around us. That's the origin of that nice, sunsetty, trump glow (I've decided that the new synonym for "orange" - the color not the fruit - should be the name-that-shall-not-be-uttered. Uncapitalized. Complaints about trying to rhyme with "orange" - not any more. You're welcome).

Whine, whine, whine. Anyway, I woke up all in a lather but a quick trip to the scrap yard ("Metal Recyclers") soon put things right.
"Quick trip" kinda - although the trip itself was quick, both to and fro. Hell, the place is like six miles away.
I got there fifteen minutes after they'd opened but seemingly had to reinvent the wheel. The nice lady the afternoon before had assured me that they do sell scrap brass - kinda - sometimes.
But next morning, I had three people in succession ask me: "You want to buy brass? People come to sell scrap not buy it." or words to that effect.

Everyone was nice as could be but this apparently caught them flat-footed. After ten minutes or so, the lady who knew things was contacted and she said: "What do you want it for?"
Fair question. "Casting" says I.
"Do you have a license?" Yes. She asked me that. I allowed that I was likely a small enough consumer to sneak under the radar. Next time the answer will be "Of course I have a license! What idiot would melt metal without one?"
She was nice, just a bit officious. Then she'd told me things were cool and the price was three bucks per pound.
My late, never-arriving stuff - with shipping - would have come at in around seven.
She did stand and watch a bit while I sorted through stuff. Apparently I'm a strange beast indeed. "He comes and he buys scrap!"

Ater I'd made my selection, the bucket the gentleman had given me to load into was weighed; Twenty-eight pounds.
Because they seemed to be unused to buying customers and are apparently lacking in internal communication, I was undercharged at two dollars per.
A good man would have pointed out the error but I'd been such a pain in the ass already...
And I scored the bucket pictured above.
The bread pan perched on the edge of same? That contained my entire supply prior to this rodeo. Around two and a half pounds. Sad.

You've lost weight!

Aaaaand the bucket's back. The little brass turds pictured weigh around twenty-one pounds all together. Which means there's seven pounds or so, from my original purchase, that aren't present.
Why?:
A. There was plumbing brass, fittings with springs and seals and the like.
B. The silver-plate "serve ware" you could see in the first bucket had a very high copper content which means it melts at a higher temperature and therefore has more time to oxidize on the way to molten. Also there's lots of surface area. More of that = more oxidation. Oxidation is, of course: your metal running away with that slut, oxygen - and becoming useless - and ugly.
Not fair actually. Aluminum oxide is a kick-ass abrasive, zinc oxide keeps lifeguard's noses from burning away, iron oxide is what makes thermite work and is a pigment. as is titanium oxide.
Copper oxide... I don't fucking know. I skim it off the top and sling it down next to the furnace. You'll see the pile of it to the left of my beautiful pigs.
That gray, ugly shit probably has at least a pound of metal lurking therein and I'll pig it out when the present crucible is on its last legs and I have another one on site. Pigging out slag is hard on them.

Let me conclude that I will welcome scrap brass as trade against a purchase at four dollars a pound.
Reloaders, plumbers...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very cool Mr. Brock, and speaking of brass will there be another run of Knuckles coming up? I sure hope so. I reached out on your email address last week. I'm not sure I have the right one, so please advise when you get a chance thanks!

Dan brock said...

Knuckles are produced always. If I haven't responded, yell louder.
plowshareforge@gmail.com

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