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Melting Nickel

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Downunder Bob

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Yes Fully submerged just about does it. We tried putting out the VW block using one hose then two and finally four and finally got i9t cool enough to subdue it.

Also be careful with Aluminium, it can burn quite fiercely. A little harder to ignite than Magnesium , but once she's going very hard to stop.

The british found this out during the falklands war, losing one of their ships with Aluminium superstructure when hit by an exocet missile.
 

Firstgear

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I have a small 1x2x6 metal collection. See snapshot.

It is really quite interesting how different these materials are. Copper has an incredible color. Tungsten makes lead feel light. Magnesium makes aluminum feel heavy. Titanium feels warm (5% of the thermal conductivity of copper). Bismuth has very sparkly crystal planes. I have managed to find inexpensive off-pieces--can't afford commercial prices.

There are many more safe elements that in principle are affordable.

What is a challenge is finding large enough pieces that I can mill down to 1x2x6. Zinc and Lead I was was able to melt myself. Tin and Bismuth I have the material, but need still to melt them (given they are more expensive materials I want to do so with less waste than the bread pan molds I have been using. But I'll get these done in a month or two.)

At times I come across an affordable source of the material, but it is in too small of a form factor. For some of the materials I can remelt them myself (though that is more of a challenge than one might think--I'll tell about my lead experience sometime--a lead brick is harder than you would think (as is true in all machining it seems)) And simply hitting copper with a propane torch simply oxidizes it in funny ways--does not melt it (would need to figure out how to limit the oxygen exposure I guess)

I came across a source of affordable nickel pellets. I just figured someone may have the furnace/mold equipment and be able to reform it for me not too expensively. At least, I want to find out what the cost might be.

From the outside all hobbies are pretty silly. So, I do know that working to acquire macro-sized and human experience-able chunks of elements is silly. It is a small way I connect to the real, tangible, physical world.

Elements I am am gently keeping my eyes open for now include:
Vanadium
Chromium
Manganese
Cobalt
Nickel
Zirconium
Niobium
Molybdenum
Antimony
Neodymium
Tantalum
Indium

If I can find a re-melter/molder the process becomes much easier--there are funny suppliers of scrap all over. But when a single piece is 1x2x6 it often has more than remnant value and so is no longer affordable to a hobbyist collector.

-Bill
You forgot UNOBTANIUM,....now back to your regular scheduled program!
 

Flyinfool

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In a quick google search for nickle I found several suppliers. You can always call, plead your case, and ask if they ever have drops that you can get cheap. Or they may be able to point you to a customer that may have drops they would sell.

 

Bill Kahn

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Possibly a strange request but could you post some photos of that ruler. I grew up in Oakland, CA and that appears to be an interesting piece of local history that has made it all the way across the country.
My father-in-law worked in banking in Oakland in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. But my wife says not at this bank. Her guess is this was just some freebie the bank must have been giving away. She has had it since a child. It is really a very nice ruler—sits in our kitchen. Looks like someone else has already put its picture onto the internet at https://localwiki.org/oakland/Oakland_Bank_of_Commerce if you want to see both sides. If anyone happens to know the provenance we’d love to hear.
 

Aaron_W

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My father-in-law worked in banking in Oakland in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. But my wife says not at this bank. Her guess is this was just some freebie the bank must have been giving away. She has had it since a child. It is really a very nice ruler—sits in our kitchen. Looks like someone else has already put its picture onto the internet at https://localwiki.org/oakland/Oakland_Bank_of_Commerce if you want to see both sides. If anyone happens to know the provenance we’d love to hear.

Interesting, the only thing I had found was this blurb on the Oakland Bank from 1928. I wonder if the name change was due to a merger or two completely separate banks.

The Oakland Bank

I'm pretty sure the triangular building shown in your link is still standing, but there are a number of similar buildings in Downtown Oakland, so I can't say for sure without specifically going to that location and looking for it.
 

RobertB

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I'm pretty sure the triangular building shown in your link is still standing, but there are a number of similar buildings in Downtown Oakland, so I can't say for sure without specifically going to that location and looking for it.
You can go there with google street view, and it's for sale (or was when google was there):
building.jpg
 
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