Equipment and Materials
Working from home, industrial machinery is not available.
My list of equipment is as follows:
- Oxy-acetylene blow torch with a no. 1 tip
- Propane blow torch with a tip that is 1 inch or bigger
- Rolling mill with a wire grooving facility. The rollers must be minimum 2 inch diameter
- Small bearing press (i.e. press with a 200mm long handle is sufficient)
- Various punches for the press between 2mm and 10mm diameter
- Carbon steel planish block, 3”-4” square
- Pedestal drill
- Mini hand drill
- Dental carbon steel bullet profile cutter
- Bench grinder with a course wheel
- General tools (files and drills etc.)
Materials used and recommended are:
- CU (Copper)
- CU-ZN (Brass)
- NI (Nickel)
- AG (Silver)
- AU (Gold)
- AG-AU (Shibuichi)
- AU-CU (Shakudō)
- Pickle Solution (for colouring the metal): Copper Chloride + Copper Sulphate.
We are concerned with only small amounts of metal for small boxes such as I have made, i.e. 20 grams max.
Sheet brass, copper and silver is easily obtained from the internet or anywhere. I would recommend getting sheets that are between 0.5mm and 0.7mm thick if making Mokume gane using the soldering technique (1mm is used if fusing). German silver (Copper and Nickel mixed) and old EPNS (Electro-plated Nickle-Silver) trays/cups etc. are also useable metals. Avoid ferrous metal. The billet needs to be uniform in hardness.
Charcoal briquettes are ideal for making the solder and various alloys and this is more economical for creating the small quantities involved.
The Japanese alloys have to be made as described below (too expensive from the internet). Later they need to be rolled out into sheet & wire as needed.