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Can someone suggest describe the minimum temperature that zinc will alloy with lead?
I just did a melt of ww's and kept the temperature down around 295-355c (563-671f) by my Harbor Freight meter.
I had a couple of ww's float to the top and skimmed them, but would like to know with a little more certitude the 'danger zone' for future melts.
05-25-2005, 10:37 PM
Eli, Out of about 700 lbs. of WW I smelted a couple of years ago I found about 30 suspicious looking weights. About half of them were steel or iron.(magnetic.) I attempted melting the rest separately to avoid contaminating
good alloy. Thirteen were just weird looking lead weights and melted readily.
One was plasic, it melted into nothing and gave off a strong solvent odor. The last one? Maybe zinc. It floated, did not melt, and was not magnetic. Now, to be on the safe side, I just toss all the funny looking weights, they don't amount to a handful in a five gallon bucket.
I have a note in my papers that says:
Do not go higher in temperature than 650 degF (343 degC) in your pot when melting the ww's.
It also says that the melting temp of zink is 787 degF (419 degC), which is in the range of our usual casting temperatures. So, I guess that 650 degF must be when the regular ww's melt but zink don't.
I think this information came from a member of this forum (or the "old" forum).
05-26-2005, 06:24 AM
Be careful with zinc and high percentage zinc-ed lead. It floats on melted lead, so when in doubt, melt and flux the good lead first. Put in questionable stuff in on top, very gently. If it does not look like it will melt in on its own, then scoop it back out and use for a doorstop. ... felix
05-26-2005, 11:13 AM
Now....after all of this has been said and done, zinc will work if you're dipping. It just tends to clog up bottom pour pots and cause you to learn new words.
There have been several experimenst with zinc in making bullets back during the war (WWII) and they eveidently were satisfactory but made really light bullets.
They do tend to make dross spots in the finished bullets./beagle
Thanks for the info. I am dipping and I flux often. I think I will keep using the electric plate, for its' low temperature, and relatively small melting capacity.
I can always use a larger, gas fired setup to make-up larger amounts of my final alloy/working stock.
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