The composition of bronze must be effected immediately before the casting, for bronze cannot be kept in store ready prepared. In forming the alloy, the refractory compound, copper, is first melted separately, the other metals, tin, zinc, etc., previously heated, being then added; the whole is then stirred and the casting carried out without loss of time. The process of forming the alloy must be effected quickly, so that there may be no loss of zinc, tin, or lead through oxidation, and also no interruption to the flow of metal, as metal added after an interval of time will not combine perfectly with the metal already poured in. It is important, therefore, to ascertain the specific weights of the metals, for the heavier metal will naturally tend to sink to the bottom and the lighter to collect at the top. Only in this way, and by vigorous stirring, can the complete blending of the two metals be secured. In adding the zinc, great care

must be taken that the latter sinks at once to the level of the copper, otherwise a considerable portion will be volatilized before reaching the copper. When the castings are made, they must be cooled as quickly as possible, for the components of bronze have a tendency to form separate alloys of various composition, thus producing the so-called tin spots. This is much more likely to occur with a slow than with a sudden cooling of the mass.