[quote=akasnowmaaan]As far as managing heat with the bronze, Yamaguchi had us spend the better part of a week building ‘bronze towers’.
Basically, literally see how tall you could stack a bead of bronze. The trick was to get it to be taller, thicker, and more stable each time. He’d also wait until they were cool then whack them on the table to see how strong they were, to see if we kept the temperature consistent so it set as one separate piece without any weak transition points.
This was the total Karate Kid ‘wax on wax off’ thing. After building a few dozen of those towers, I had a much better sense of how the bronze would look when it was just right. Too hot, the bronze flowed like water down and the tower fell apart as you tried to add more. Too cool, the new bronze wouldn’t stick and it would break off at that point. I got to where I just ‘felt’ the right temperature, and I could just pile on the bronze in a relatively thick bead straight up that cooled to be rock solid.
If you haven’t done this, you might want to try it. After 20-30 hours my confidence with the bronze increased immensely, and I didn’t stress about the temps so much.[/quote]I got a plate of 4130 and made a big garden of towers. Spent my evenings for ~2 weeks doing this. I built a few before my most recent bike just to get back into the swing of it.