View Full Version : Wheel Weight melt
04-23-2005, 07:36 PM
I got a bucket of WW, and want to melt it and put into igots. Will the alloys separate? I usually use pure pb with linotype, and WW is new to me. For flux I have candle wax, rosin, and midway's flux. Anything different to do besides fishing out the clips?
04-23-2005, 08:08 PM
................Ken, a warm welcome to the board! Your WW alloy will not seperate. Once in solution they stay that way. The way you will lose anything is through skimming off dross before fluxing. This is oxidized metal that has reacted with the oxygen in the air.
The fluxing materials you have on hand are fine. I basicly use candle wax as the wife buys it in candle form, uses'em until they get ugly and then I get them. A cheap alternative otherwise is canning parrafin. I like the waxes as when they melt and burn up they don't really leave any residue behind.
I don't know how you planned on rendering your WW's down, so I'll suggest that you NOT use your boolit casting furnace. The only thing that should go in that is good clean alloy.
WW alloy is the boolit caster's salvation. It's cheap, usually pleantifull, comes in handy sized bits, and is entirely suitable as-is for most any general rifle or pistol shooting. If it wasn't for the lowly WW, this boolit casting deal would be a lot different then it is.
BTW, you should NEVER EVER turn down any lead alloy in ANY form. You never have enough. Not ever. Besides the warm secure feeling you have with a mountainous pile, it's actually worth money as a commodity. If the war department begins to make disparaging remarks about your supply, show her the commodities index in the Wall Street Journal and suggest it's just like a savings account[smilie=l:
04-23-2005, 08:10 PM
Nothing special about them except they are dirty and will smoke and stink when melted. Best to do the deed out of doors. I melt them, toss in a candle stub to flux, scoop out the junk, flux again and then cast ingots.
04-23-2005, 08:43 PM
The plastic coated ones mixed in these days will give new meaning to the word "stink" and the rubber valve cores add a nice aroma too, but I think burning rubber is a decent flux.
Keep the heat as low as possible and remove any that do not readily melt as these may be zinc.
You can look online for picture of zinc weights to know what to look for, I'm not finding the page that had pics, somebody will have it.
04-23-2005, 09:01 PM
Another michigander,kool. Where at "up north"? Follow that advice of using seprate method for smelting. Coleman stove with a steel or cast iron pot works well. Some like the propane turkey fryer set up.
04-23-2005, 09:11 PM
Willbird, yes, any of the organics in the pot help flux. I mentioned this before that if you use a cover on your cooker use caution when taking it off. The fresh air will flare whatever is smouldering in the pot. Been hairless on the arms a couple times before I caught on. Even had it happen once on the MOAS when I was doing about a thousand pounds of range scrap and had the cover completely on in case there were errant rounds - and there were and they cooked off. Pull the cover back and get a big flare when the fresh air hits it. WWs are especially bad for doing this because of all the rubber and junk that come with them. Keep the safety glasses and other protective equipment in place! sundog
04-23-2005, 10:58 PM
I seperate the stick on wts as they are pure lead or zinc depending. Look for riveted clips as they are most likely zinc. I melted two 5 gal buckets down this evening, and found 6 zinc wts. ........ buck
04-24-2005, 06:56 AM
Thanks for the welcome, I used to post on the old board as "IceHoleKen" (advid icefisherman).
I do have separate melt pots, I use an old cast iron pan, but picked up a large stainless steel stock pot at a dollar store for 8 bucks, and am going to try that, I figure a larger melt might give a little more consistancy.
Using the old Arrow staple gun test, it looks like the WW are about 9 BHN, this looks like it should be hard enough without quenching for .45ACP at 900fps. or am I wrong here?
Good info here on the stick on strips, there is quite a few in my bucket, I will sort these out for making ML balls.
Thanks for all the info.
Shooter, I live about 20 miles SE of Kalkaska.
04-24-2005, 07:14 AM
Welcome, Ken O. Aircooled wheelweights are hard enough for all of my cast bullet purposes, from .45 ACP @ 750-900 fps to rifle loads @ 1400-1800 fps. I use CB for target shooting only. I don't know about casting controlled expansion boolits, preferring Noslers for hunting, and explosive hollowpoints of several makes for varmints. The addition of 1 or 2% tin improves castability and helps to produce more keepers per hour of casting. Easiest source of tin is lead-free solder, available at any hardware store. It is, for practical purposes, pure tin. HTH
04-24-2005, 07:27 AM
To get a lifetime supply of tin hunt down a radiator shop, I got 300 lbs of 60-40 for 10 cents an lb.
04-24-2005, 08:52 AM
You can "Never" have to much Bullets,Brass, AMMO, or lead on hand! :)
Ken O, welcome back. Maybe I am a little slower or less experienced than some here, but I must confess to a lack of familiarity with your staple test. Since recently trading off my LBT hardness tester for a Lyman turret press, thumbnail test has had to suffice for me. Could you elaborate a little on your staple test for those of us unfamiliar with it?
The turret press is lots more useful than the hardness tester, though Powder Burner might have a different take on that.
04-24-2005, 09:40 AM
Apparently you take an Arrow staple gun and shoot a staple into the alloy you want to test. Then you determine the hardness by how much of the staple is sticking up or is buried in the alloy, whichever way you want to look at it. Sticking up is easier to measure. Question is what size staple do you use? Probably don't make a difference along long as you stick to the same size all the time.
04-24-2005, 12:56 PM
The staple test uses a 3/8 staple out of a Arrow T-50 stapler. I copied it out of The Cast Bullet Journal No. 129 Sep/Oct 97 p.15 by David Berry. It has a chart, you use the end of your micrometer to get the amount still sticking out of the lead. Or you can make your own chart by stapleing in a couple known metals, like pure lead and linotype, ie... lead is about 5 Bhn and linotype is about 22 Bhn. then you can calculate between.
It is unscientific, but it does get you in the ball park.
The chart does several of each alloy and averages them, here is the averages: alloy, staple higth, BH
Lead .111 5 BHN
WW .188 9
2-6 alloy .212 15
linotype .245 22
Well, thanks to both Ken O and StarMetal. I guess I read that some years ago, since the whole thing gets read here, and forgot it. Need some work on the memory generator. I'll go into the old files and find the article and read it.
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