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Thread: Can you mend cast bronze items with Bronze Metal Clay?

  1. #1
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    Default Can you mend cast bronze items with Bronze Metal Clay?

    Hi folks! First post here.

    Back when I was in college about twenty years ago I sculpted and cast a set of large Narnian chess pieces in bronze. But my instructor, when packing sand around our molds, dumped a shovelful right over mine. Consequently a number of pieces were ruined. I never had the heart to throw out the unfinished project, and now that metal clay is a thing, I was wondering: What would happen if I took one of those cast metal pieces and sculpted some metal clay over it to repair the missing head and such? I'm not sure I want to...I think my sculpting has improved since then, but on the other hand I couldn't afford to make such large pieces in metal clay and actual pouring is inconvenient just now.

    So...what do you think? I know there's a two-part process to bronze kiln firing, so just not sure how it would all work out. Anyone ever tried it?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Hi, this is a jewellery making forum, and metal clay experts are in short supply. If you don't get an answer here, you might be best to contact a metal clay supplier for advice, or find a metal clay forum. Dennis.

  3. #3
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    One word: Shrinkage.
    It won't adhere and the clay will pull away as it sinters.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps_bond View Post
    One word: Shrinkage.
    It won't adhere and the clay will pull away as it sinters.
    Yeah, that occurred to me, too. It wouldn't work for the pieces where I've got like, a half-cast head on a soldier, because I couldn't match the size. But I wonder if it would work if I removed the partial head entirely, created a new head that was slightly too large, and tried to sinter it to the top of the neck.

  5. #5
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    Still very unlikely to adhere - you'd be better off creating the new parts & firing them then getting them TIG welded in place. Not that I'm sure how well fired bronze clay TIG welds (I know that laser welding silver clay is truly horrible to do)...
    Or... Go with bronze-filled resin for the repair sections?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps_bond View Post
    Still very unlikely to adhere - you'd be better off creating the new parts & firing them then getting them TIG welded in place. Not that I'm sure how well fired bronze clay TIG welds (I know that laser welding silver clay is truly horrible to do)...
    Or... Go with bronze-filled resin for the repair sections?
    I think that's what another student recommended to me back when it happened. She said to use something called Epoxy-O to fill in the gaps. I didn't quite follow at the time.

    I did find a video where someone managed to attach a preexisting silver bezel to a metal clay ring they were making, so adhering basic joints between cast and clay items isn't impossible (at least for silver clay), but does seem to be pretty challenging in this case. I'll let you know if I make any tests, and how they go. Thank you for you responses. I appreciate it.

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