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Alternative to red brass?

Alternative to red brass?

Alternative to red brass?

I wanted to use solid red brass on a furniture project because of its color but I realized that its high density would create serious weight problems.  Is there a lighter alternative to red brass, but with the same redish color?  Can I use a light alloy like Aluminum as the base and lay a thin layer of red brass on it?
Also, is there an industrial product I can use to prevent or slow down the natural corrosion of brass so that it only needs to be polished once every couple of years?  
Finally, the brass element would be flush with wood.  Does anyone know how the polish to clean brass would affect the wood?  Thank you for your insight.  

RE: Alternative to red brass?

Be careful in your selection of a metal to be next to wood.  Wood is NOT  a passive element.  It gives off organic acids over time and the result can be devastating.  A "museum of bullets" made its display cabinets out of wood only to find that all the lead cartriges soon formed a white corrosion product (lead forms a plethora of metallo-organic compounds)and most of its brass cartridge cases developed stress corrosion cracks.

RE: Alternative to red brass?

Thank you bilge.  This was going to be my next question.  I have seen, on hunting knives for example, the inlay of wood on what I assume is yellow brass and there seem to be no problems there.  In the case of furniture, I'd like to know if common wood cleaners will corrode or otherwise affect the metal element (brass, copper, aluminum or stainless steel) or vise versa, if metal cleaners will affect the wood?  If so, will I need to layer either one or both with protective coatings?

RE: Alternative to red brass?

Have you thought about an anodized aluminum?  The anodized aluminum can be colored to give you a red color.  In the case of either aluminum or brass, I would suggest that you look at putting a urethane or varnish coating over the metal to help protect it against corrosion.  In the case of polished brass, copper, or aluminum, these metals can be tarnished (corroded) by the touch of a hand, depending on what you have been eating, handling, etc.  The urethane or varnish coating will prevent this tarnishing, preserve your polished finish, and help protect against the wood cleaning products, etc.

RE: Alternative to red brass?

Thanks "metengine".  "etch" gave me the same suggestion to red anodize Al, but I want to preserve the "natural" looking color of red brass.  Do you have urethane or varnish products in mind?  The most practical application method would be to dip the part in the protective solution, is that correct?  Wouldn't urethane (or varhish for that matter) lose its transparency after a few years?

RE: Alternative to red brass?


Aluminium anodzing allows a variety of colors, including strage things like wood grain.  You can get a red brass type color, so try this method.  Regarding polymer transparency, if you get the right one, then no, you won't lose transparency.  Look for UV stabilized - ultraviolet radiation is the most common source for surface degradation, including transparency loss.

RE: Alternative to red brass?

I would suggest a sheet inlay of red brass or bronze and just coat the entire project with 50/50 mix of boiled linseed/danish oil to protect the metal and the wood.

RE: Alternative to red brass?

Thank you all for your suggestions.  Will look into them.  Boiled linseed/danish oil?  This solution may be difficult as this will turn into a production project.  What is the mix's properties?  Can it be matched by industrial products?  I was suggested Incralac to protect copper, although I'm not sure how that will affect the wood.

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