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View Full Version : Follow Up to SCORE! of WW



FISH4BUGS
11-27-2006, 09:22 AM
I started smelting my score of 5 buckets of WW yesterday and came across way too many zinc wheel weights. These were just collected WW's from the shop, and were probably taken off cars in the last month or less.
Square ones marked Zn, long skinny tape backed ones NOT marked ZN, standard WW styles marked Zn, standard ones NOT marked Zn.....there were all kinds.
Two buckets got done yesterday, probably about 120 or so lbs net ingots. I came up with over 20 zinc WW's in those 2 buckets......way too many for my taste.
I did NOT have a thermometer, rather I just added a BUNCH of WW at a time (probably ten pounds or so at a pop) to the melt and those that didn't melt right away were zinc ones. As the temp started to come back up in the cast iron pot, the regular lead weights would melt before the zinc. You get this big ball of stuff, then slushy lead, then all except the zinc is melted. Skim and move quickly and you can get the zinc out of there before they melt. I think I'll get a thermometer some day to watch even closer.
Score another one for the tree huggers! They don't even know that we recycle the WW's! I even recycle the steel clips left over. Oh well......only 1300 lbs to go.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
11-27-2006, 02:40 PM
If I were you, I'd certainly get a thermometer. It saved me several times on my last smelt of wheel weights from various tire outfits. Much less stress than trying to keep up with melt cycles.

FISH4BUGS
11-27-2006, 05:12 PM
If I were you, I'd certainly get a thermometer. It saved me several times on my last smelt of wheel weights from various tire outfits. Much less stress than trying to keep up with melt cycles.

If I use a thermometer, how close can I hold the temperature? I have a 60,000 BTU burner (from Buffalo Arms - a great burner) and a cast iron pot. The temperatre seems to fluctute down with added materials and come back up as it sits there.
I noticed as I added more and more wheel weights to the melt, they would clump up and stay together. As the temerature came back up, they would melt partially and make this sludge, which quickly melted leaving just the zinc ones and the steel clips. If I paid attention, and kept up with it, I could easily keep the zinc from melting.
Any suggestions as to which thermometer?

robertbank
11-27-2006, 06:16 PM
I have yet to use a thermoeter when smelting WW. All you have to do is watch to see when the melt turnes liquid and start spooning out the clips, and **** that goes with it. Flux the metal thoroughly and pour your igots. Zinc WW are fairly easy to spot and if you pay attention when you are loading your pot you will catch 99% of them on the fill. The zinc WW won't start to melt. Zinc melting point is 785F so you have room to fish them out before your melt gets that far along. Just adjust your heat to the point where your WW are just melting. What I do is fill your pot with as much WW as you can, smelt them down, remove clips etc, flux and then pour them into ingots for later use.

Hope this helps.

Take Care

Bob

RayinNH
11-27-2006, 10:15 PM
Fish, when I smelt wheelweights, I pour some out into an old cookie sheet and paw through them. That way I can pull out the rubber stuff, bolts and razor blades, other debris and tape on weights. This also allows me to catch suspect weights like the iron ones but more importantly the zinc ones. None have gotten by me yet...Ray

Hunter
11-28-2006, 01:56 AM
I have had a few get by me so far but as Bob says I melt lead at low as I can so the few that did get by me just floated with the clips. I put them aside for whatever reason. I cannot imagine a use for them but then again last year this time I would of not had a use for 500 pounds of used wheel weights.