Synopses & Reviews
From 1893 comes this interesting little British book which is essentially a compilation of three smaller collections of magazine articles from such periodicals as Everyman his Own Mechanic and Amateur Work.
Part One covers brazing and soldering. This is how it was done with simple tools. One example shows how a broken brass key is aligned and repaired by brazing. You get six small chapters on soft soldering; soldering tin, zinc, and composite metal; soldering copper, brass, bronze, silver, etc; soldering jewelry; brazing heavy joints; and autogenous soldering or welding (the welding commonly performed by blacksmiths). You get great drawings of different torches, blasts, a forge, charts, formulas and more.
Part Two covers practical gas-fitting. I don't know what practical value this has, although I find it interesting to learn how you could plumb your house for gas lights in the days of Queen Victoria. Three sections discuss how to blow a joint, gas brackets and pendants; iron tubes and fittings, chandeliers, gas fires; and cast nose-pieces, screwing and cutting iron tubes, making pendants, etc. In this age of electricity, details on how to secure a gas-fired chandelier to the ceiling is really fascinating.
Part Three is brass casting at home. You get discussions on how patterns and molds are made, the crucible, melting metal and making castings; and turned work and cores. You don't get details on a furnace, but you do get interesting details on difficulty in pouring small brass castings, guides for sliding-bar, how the pattern was made, wax dressing for core, material for mould, steel bar as core, pouring plaster into mold, extraction of mold, smoking mould and tying it together, the crucible, melting the metal, fuel and brass for casting, heating the mould, and much more. Like Dave Gingery has said, knowing how the big industrial boys pour brass is important so that you can scale the technology down to your own needs. But this is how amateurs in England were pouring small brass castings in their home shops over a hundred years ago.