Brass is a product of copper and zinc alloy which is commonly used as a decorative metal. The metal is also used in doorknobs, industrial valves, mechanical gears and other devices which require low friction for proper function. Steel is composed primarily of iron and is the first choice when structural rigidity is necessary. Though welding is the common approach when connecting two metals, a two-part metal epoxy can also be used for a secure, long-lasting bond.
Things You'll Need
- Steel wool
- Penetrating oil
- Metal epoxy
- Plastic spreader tool
- C-clamp vise
Remove any rust or corrosion from both metal surfaces using a steel wool pad. For stubborn rust stains, apply a light amount of penetrating oil to the steel wool and continue cleaning the area. Wipe the area dry once all corrosion is removed.
Saturate a towel with a solvent, such as denatured alcohol or mineral spirits. Wipe each metal surface thoroughly to remove any grease or other residue which may compromise the epoxy's bond strength. Allow both surfaces to dry completely.
Mix your epoxy according the instructions printed on the container. Some epoxies can be purchased pre-mixed, while others require you to combine the resin and hardener yourself. Follow the instructions carefully to avoid mixing a weak batch of epoxy.
Spread a thin layer of epoxy onto the bonding surfaces of the brass and steel items. Avoid applying too thick a layer; this will result in a poor bond.
Bring the two bonding surfaces together and hold them firmly in place for several minutes. Open a C-clamp vise, insert the two pieces of metal between the jaws of the vise and close it. The grip of the vise should be strong enough to prevent the metal from slipping but not so tight that it squeezes the epoxy away from the bonding surfaces.
Allow the epoxy to cure for the time suggested on the container, which is typically 24 hours.
Tips & Warnings
- Heat can be applied to the metal to quicken epoxy cure time. A hair dryer or heat lamp works well for this purpose.
- Work in a well-ventilated area. Some epoxies can emit irritating or harmful fumes.
- Do not allow children or pets near your open container of epoxy.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images