View Full Version : Mystery Metal

Joe Mason
07-13-2003, 10:20 AM
I started engraving an old knife made by Bowen Knives that I thought had a nickel silver bolster. It had some light tarnishing on it. As I cut it started to crumble. Not the first curl came off of it, except for the pins. All the cuttings, or crumblings just stayed there in front of the graver and got pushed around. This stuff is real soft and easy to cut. The metal cuts were real smooth and look great. The engraving turned out good, but this crumbling were hard to deal with. Does anyone have any ideal was this stuff was? Thanks for your help.

Chuck Burrows
07-13-2003, 11:52 AM
Probably what is often called "pot or base" metal. Usually a zinc based alloy with tin, brass, and copper added. Supposedly the term pot metal came from metal workers keeping a pot into which they threw in all their scraps and then melted them down. Take it for what it's worth.

ron p. nott
07-13-2003, 07:58 PM
Hi Joe .. I ran into the same thing a couple of yrs ago ..I had trouble with nickle silver and brass . I asked around and the storie that i got is that it is cast metal and that is what makes it brittle i hope this will help ..

Joe Mason
07-14-2003, 07:28 PM
Thanks Chuck and Ron, that is a new one for me. Will be on guard for that from now on.
Joe Mason

Chuck Burrows
07-14-2003, 07:33 PM
Watch for cast pewter too.

Joe Mason
07-14-2003, 07:37 PM