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 Post subject: Alloying the five metals
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:59 pm 
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In Tibetan Buddhism (as in Hinduism), the five metals (pancholoha) are corrolated with the five elements. Alloys of the five metals are used to cast statues, make bells and bowls, and other ritual items.

A. Does anyone know for sure what the Tibetan five metals are (as opposed to various Hindu lists)?
B. Does anyone know anything about the process of alloying them?

The issue is that iron (a ferrous metal), does not easily alloy with non-ferrous metals, such as copper, silver, and gold. If anyone knows how this is/can be done, I'd much appreciate hearing about it.

(P.S. For 5-6 years I was a craft jeweler and for another 3-4 years I did a lot of welding and fabrication with iron/steel. So I'm reasonably adept at working with metals, both in terms of fabrication and casting. IOW, don't hesitate to get technical.)

Thanks :anjali:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:57 am 
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I read parts of this before, try pp. 41-.. & 71-.. From the online archives of Heidelberg University translated from German original:
http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/savi ... /Chakzampa

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:14 am 
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''The five were copper, tin, zinc, iron and a fifth metal that was left up to the bowlmaker's discretion. These could include gold, silver, nickel or metal from meteorites. ''

Read more: What Are Buddhist Singing Bowls Made Of? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5067669_buddh ... z23mDFtsFX

The author mentions research but doesn't link to it, sadly. Perhaps she may be able to point you to an authoritative source:
http://www.demandstudios.com/profile-32 ... -Sherwood/

Creating the sheet metal may not be a matter of making much attempt at an alloy, or if there is then may be the case that minute quantities of some metals may be used.

I have some old thogchags and some have rust spots in them, so it may that including the iron was a pretty crude affair. Some modern fakes also seem to include bits of iron and claim it to be from meteorites. Chinese sellers also have miraculous meteorites which contain 'sky iron' which is already in the form of bronze. LOL :)

I think you should ask for a research grant and go there to find out for sure! ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:02 pm 
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I noticed the Dzogchen Community 'Shang Shung Institute' shop sells melongs made in this way, with their symbol, so they must commission them and can probably put you in touch with the maker:

http://www.ssi-austria.at/shop/shope20.php

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:50 pm 
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Blue Garuda,

Thanks for the suggestion about the Shang Shung Institute. That's a good lead. I've exhausted pretty much everything I could find on the Internet.

:anjali:

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