Dictionarium polygraphicum. Copper.

Dictionarium Polygraphicum:
Or, The Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested.
Vol I.
London: Printed for C. Hitch and C. Davis in Pater-noster Row, and S. Austen in St. Paul's Church Yard. MDCCXXXV.
COPPER, a hard, dry, heavy, ductile metal, found in mines in several parts of Europe; but most abundantly in Sweden.

Copper is of all metals the most ductile and malleable, after gold and silver.

By an analysis it appears to be compos'd of a sulphur ill digested, a yellowish mercury and a red salt.

It is found both in dust and in stones; each of which are first well wash'd, to separate them from the earth, wherewith they are mixt. In this state ’tis call'd Virgin Copper.

After it has been wash'd, 'tis melted, and the melted matter is run into a kind of moulds, to form large blocks, by some call'd Salmons, and by others Pigs of Copper.

In order to render it more pure and beautiful, they melt it again once or twice; some of its coarse, earthy parts being left each fusion, and a quantity of tin and antimony added in each. In this state it is call'd Rose Copper.

Of a mixture of this and lapis calaminaris is form'd brass.

Copper melted together with twenty two or twenty three pounds of fine tin per quintal makes bell metal.

Copper melted with calamine quantity for quantity makes brass.

Copper and brass melted in equal quantities make what the French call Bronze, us’d for figures, statues, &c.

Copper turns white by an unction of spirit of wine and orpiment.

Pliny says there is a Copper naturally white, found underneath the silver mines.

The use of Copper is very extensive; among other works of Copper may be reckon'd those of brass, bell metal, pot metal, &c. which are all compositions where Copper makes the prevailing ingredient.

To blanch COPPER.
Take arsenick eight ounces, sal-nitre and white tartar, of each two ounces, borax one ounce, reduce them to fine powder, cement the Copper there with, by laying thin plates, layer upon layer, after forty eight hours of a cementing heat, (the crucible being strong, well stopt, cover'd and strongly luted) encrease the fire and cause it to melt all down together.

Another way to do the same.
Take white wine vinegar, strong lye made of wood ashes so strong as to bear an egg, of each four pounds, sulphur and hog's blood of each one pound, powder the sulphur and mix all together, and digest in an earthen pot close covered for eight days, then strain it.
2. Take eight pounds of Copper, melt it and quench it in the aforesaid lye, do this four times, and then will the Copper be in measure prepar’d.
3. Take white arsenick, sheeps suet tied up of each a pound, white lead four ounces, put them all together in a kettle keeping continually stirring them till they boil to a powder which keep for use.
4. Take the Copper before prepar’d, and melt it again a fifth time, to which put a little of your prepar’d powder of arsenick by little and fittle at a time (the Copper being first melted) stirring it with a wooden stick till it is dislolv’d in the metal, then cast it into an ingot.
The former powder will serve for eight pounds of Copper.

Another way.
Take sublim’d arsenick two ounces, common salt two ounces, sublime them together three times, then is it fixed.
2. Take fine silver in filings or leaves half an ounce, mercury sublimate a sufficient quantity, grind them well upon a marble stone, to which add the former prepar'd arsenick with some fixed sal armoniac.
3. Grind them well together with wine vinegar distill'd, in which some borax has been dissolv’d; then let them dry, when they are dry wet them again with the said vinegar, and dry them again upon a soft fire, do so five times.
4. Take fine silver one ounce, and as much of the aforesaid composition, of the prepar’d Copper eight ounces, mix and melt them together, and it will be in appearance next to perfect.

To fix SAL ARMONIAC for this work.
Take sal armoniac sublim'd to a perfect whiteness, put it into a glass alembick with head and receiver, casting upon the sal Armoniac some good distill'd vinegar, so as to cover it a hand's breadth, and distil it with a soft fire.
2. Then put upon it more fresh vinegar and distil again, repeat this till the sal Armoniac remains in the bottom, afterwards let the fire go out of itself, and keep the oil close stopt for use.
3. If you take mercury two ounces, and make it hot in the fire, then drop on it three drops of the oil, and the mercury will be congeal’d into a pure metal; of this one part will make ten parts of Copper, as fair as silver; the ten parts of Copper being first melted and the mercury one part being cast upon it.

Take a strong lye of ashes and quick lime, filter it and dissolve Arsenick with it, then evaporate the humidity by boiling, and the Arsenick will be prepar'd and fixt.

To whiten COPPER or BRASS superficially.
Take sal armoniac, alum, nitre of each alike quantity, put to them a little filings of silver refin'd or leaf silver; mix them well together, and put it into the fire till it be red hot in a crucible, and till it has done smoaking. Then moisten this powder with spittle, and rub either Copper or Bras, with it, and it will be white.

To whiten COPPER or IRON.
Take calx of silver, grind it with two parts of calcin'd precipitate of arsenick, and one part of white precipitate mercury, imbibe them with water made of sal nitre, sal armoniac, and litharge of each equal parts, and this till they have drunk up their weight of the water, put one part of it on four parts of prepar'd Copper or Iron.

Another way to do the same.
Take calcin’d silver, tin calcin'd . and dissolv'd of each a like quantity, mix, dry and cover it with twice as much sublimed arsenick.

Another way.
Take calcin'd silver, arsenick, sulphur sublim'd and ground, sal armoniac of each a like quantity, mix and sub lime all three times, and cast one part upon fix parts of prepar'd Iron or Copper.

Take realgar one ounce, quicksilver sublim'd three ounces, tartar calcin'd one ounce, grind and incorporate them, and put them into a vial with a neck twelve inches long, and its orifice so wide that two fingers may enter; lute it and set it over a fire cover'd with a cloth.
First make a gentle fire for a quarter of an hour; afterwards augment the fire underneath, and round about till the furnace be very hot and red; when all is cold, break the vessel and take out the metalline matter. This may easily be brought to perfection.

Another for the same purpose.
Upon tutia sublime one part of mercury sublimate, and two parts of arsenick sublim’d until it shall have ingress. This clearly and very speciously sublimes Copper.

The way to calcine little plates of COPPER to tinge glass of a blue colour.
We have shewn the way to make crocus martis for colouring glass, and now we will shew that of copper, which is very near in nature to the other, and which dissolves in the same acids and corrosives. Venus as well as Mars (or copper as well as iron) give us different colours, which proceed from different ways of preparing them.

Merret pretends that brass gives us a finer blue than copper, by reason of the lapis calaminaris, which is mixt with it, and partly causes the colour.

Of all metals, Copper is only used (as allay) to give malleability to gold and silver in coin; it melts easy in an indifferent heat, but it is calcined into powder with difficulty. There are several ways of calcining copper; here follows five of them, by help of fire. The first is of Copper alone, without any addi tion; the second, by the addition of sulphur; the third, by vitriol; the fourth, of bras, alone divers ways; the fifth, by a preparation of vitriol of Venus. These preparations are the best; and of more value than those prepared by spirits and corrosives.

The little plates or leaves, whereof we are now to shew the preparation, afe a sort of copper or brass exceeding thin, approaching the colour of gold called festoons; these plates are made of this colour by lapis calaminaris, which does not only colour the Copper, but augments its weight. This brass being well calcin'd, tinges glass of a blue and sea green; the way to calcine it is thus.

To avoid the expence of buying new, you may make use of those leaves which have been already used and work'd, they being good, and cut them with scissars into little pieces, and put them into a crucible covered and luted in the mouth of a furnace to calcine, and let them stand there four days, at a coal fire, so that the leaves may not melt, for then they would be unfit for this use. The four days being expired, the whole will be calcined; beat them on a porphyry stone, and searce them through a fine sieve, and you will have a blackish powder, which you must spread on tiles, and put it into the same furnace for four days longer; then take it off, and blow off the ashes that may be fallen on it; then reduce it again into powder, searcing it through a fine sieve as before, and keep it for use.

You may know when it is well calcined, if the glass rises and swells when you put it upon it; if it does not, you must calcine other leaves, those being not serviceable, by reason they are burnt in the calcination.

Another way of calcining these leaves of COPPER, to make a very transparent red, yellow and chalcedony.
Take the same leaves as before-mentioned, cut them into small pieces, and stratify them with sulphur pulverized in a crucible, covered and luted; then set them on burning coals at the mouth of the oven to calcine for twenty four hours; then take it out, and grind it small; then put it into an earthen vessel in a reverberatory furnace, where leaving it ten hours, take it out and powder it, then keep it for use.

COPPER, to calcine to a red powder, which serves in several processes for colouring glass.
Altho' copper be of the same nature as brass, which serves to colour glass blue, yet there is some difference between them; for the latter will tinge it of several colours, which proceeds from the lapis calaminaris, and some other mixtures in the preparation.
To make this powder, take copper in thin plates, what quantity you please, put it in a large crucible, and set it into a furnace, ’till it be calcin'd, without melting; then being cool’d, reduce it into powder, which will be very red, and searce it; of this divers uses may be made, as will be shewn in many placess.

To calcine COPPER thrice for colouring glass.
The same red powder in the preceding chapter serves here.
Lay that powder on tiles, and calcine it again in the furnace for four days, and it will become black, and coagulated into one mass.
Reduce it to powder and searce it, and calcine it again for five or six days in the same furnace, and it will become grey, without coagulating any more, or running into lumps, and will be in a condition fit to be dissolv’d.
This powder the Italians call ramina di trecotte, and of it is made a sky colour’d blue, the colour of turkois, the green of emerald, and several other colours.
It must not be calcin’d above three times, because it would no longer colour glass.
It may be known whether it be calcin'd well, by casting some of it into a pot of boiling glass; if it swells, it is enough; if not, it must be set again into the furnace for twenty four hours, or rather begin a new process.

An easier and left chargeable way of making thrice calcin'd COPPER.
This, as it is less expensive, will also be almost equal in beauty.
Take scales made by braziers in making pots, kettles, and other works of brass, which is cheaper by far then new copper.
These scales need not be stratified, like the copper before mentioned, which is troublesome; there is no need of any thing but to wash them from all filth, to dry them well, and to put them into one or more crucibles, and to set them into the mouth of a reverberatory furnace for the space of four days. Then being at length cool’d, they are to be pounded or ground and searc’d.
Then the powder is to be set a second time into the same furnace to reverberate for four days more, and you will have little balls of a black colour, which must be pounded and searc'd again, and then put the third time into the reverberatory; then after four other days, reduce them to powder as before.
Thus will it be prepar'd with less expence, and as good for colouring of glass; which may be known very easily, by making a trial of it on melted glass; for if it makes it rise when you cast it on, it is right.

To tinge COPPER of a gold colour.
Take copper and lapis calaminaris, of each eight drams, of tutty four drams. Heat the copper red hot twice, quenching it in urine, doing the like by the lapis and the tutty. Take of the dissolv’d copper an ounce, adding to it two ounces of honey; boil them till the honey look black, and is so dry, that it may be powdered, when beat with the lapis and tutty; then boil them again till the copper is melted, and it is done.

Another way.
Take the gall of a goat and arsenick of each a sufficient quantity, and distil them; then wash the copper, being first made bright in this water, and it will change into the colour of gold.

Another way.
Melt Copper, and put in a little zink in fileings, and the Copper will have a glorious golden colour.

To make COPPER of a white colour.
Take sublimate and sal armoniack of each a like quantity, boil them in vinegar, in which quench the copper, having first been made red hot, and it will be like silver.

Another way.
Heat copper red hot divers times, and quench it in oil of tartar per deliquium, and it will be white.

Another way.
Take arsenick an ounce and a half, mercury sublimate an ounce, of azure half an ounce; mix them with good and pure grease like an ointment, and with this anoint any copper vessel; then put that vessel into another, and set it into a digestive heat, letting it stand for two months; after which, cleanse it with a brush and water, and it is done.

Another way.
Take calcin’d arsenick with salt-petre, and mercury sublimate, which cast upon melted copper, and it wil be white like silver.

To soften COPPER.
Melt burnt brass in a crucible with borax, quench it in linseed oil, and then beat it gently on an anvil; then boil it again, and quench it in oil as before; doing this five or six times till it is soft enough, and this will neat 1y unite with gold, of which you may put in more by half than you can of other brass.

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