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Thread: Guide to Hand Sorting Wheel Weights

  1. #61
    Boolit Mold Sledster's Avatar
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    My first post here.

    Thanks Junker for the detailed description that you gave.

    I spent a half day sorting WW's with a friend last weekend.
    Of the roughly 120 lbs of WW's we were only rewarded with 20 or so lbs of lead WW's.
    That was a bit disappointing, but I still have a few hundred lbs left to sort, so not a total loss.

    Is this the same kind of results everyone else has? Maybe I am going to the wrong places.

    I have a question...Does anyone simply augment their purchased Lyman #2 with WW material to adjust hardness? What proportions are used?

    Thanks to all for this fine forum.

    Sledster

  2. #62
    Boolit Buddy
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    My WW still run about 85-90% lead. Picked up another 200lbs this weekend for $40...

  3. #63
    You can scratch them on an old piece of wood and the lead will leave a nice lead line and a shiny spot on the weight. Be careful though because I have had zincs leave a line also but it is much fainter and doesn't leave a shiny spot on the WW.

  4. #64
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dRok View Post
    My WW still run about 85-90% lead. Picked up another 200lbs this weekend for $40...
    It's funny; If you hit the small country service stations you get a good yield of lead COWW however get the city & town tire centers & it's a **** shoot! More often the not it's 50/50 or less ( lead) You can really see by the volume the industry is trying to go green
    " Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation: for it is better to be alone than in bad company. " George Washington

  5. #65
    Boolit Bub Neo's Avatar
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    Great post I have gained allot of useful information now I have to do some sorting.

  6. #66
    Boolit Mold
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    What happens if you accidentally melt ZINC into your lead?
    I have no idea how hot my pot is as I use a camp stove with unleaded gas to melt lead. Kinda ironic aint it.

  7. #67
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the guide. Got 80% yield

  8. #68
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know if it was this thread or another, but someone had mentioned if the markings are embossed and not engraved it is lead. I just went through a new bucket and there do was definitely some embossed zinc. I checked and older bucket that was alreasy sorted, same findings. Definitely very few zin prices that have their markings embossed.

  9. #69
    Boolit Master
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    Side nippers tell the truth...the only sure path!
    " Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation: for it is better to be alone than in bad company. " George Washington

  10. #70
    Boolit Master 40Super's Avatar
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    Yep, the snippers easily and quickly tell you which are lead and which are zinc .
    sent via hammer and chisel

    need oversized powder funnels , PTX's or expanders ? just ask, I make 'em for most brands plus my own styles.

  11. #71
    Boolit Master

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    Was glad to see the pic of the white stick on zinc. I had put some in my questionable pile.
    "Failure to prepare is preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin

  12. #72
    Boolit Master Cowboy T's Avatar
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    I just processed two full 5-gal buckets. When I was done, I had maybe five muffin ingots.

    Yeah. Five ingots.

    I just started picking them out by hand. It was faster that way and uses way less propane.

    From now on, it's reclaimed range lead. Good thing I got mine while I could.
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  13. #73
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    Great thread. I icked up a 5 gal bucket today, felt like it weigh at least 100lb. Sorted and casted about 22 lb of ingots. The pictures and side cutter test was very helpful. The few that contained zinc were pretty obvious when you tried to cut it. Had a lot with a coating of what I'd assume was paint, to make then look better on wheels I suppose?

  14. #74
    Boolit Master

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    I should say that's about 22 lb so far. There' a lot to smelt yet. I appear to have gotten a high percentage of PB WW.

  15. #75
    Boolit Buddy Larry D.'s Avatar
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    Great guide.
    Sitting here sorting at 9PM.......
    I'm scratch testing with the handle of a tablespoon, and it seems to be working.
    No Excreta Taures

  16. #76
    Boolit Master Airman Basic's Avatar
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    Just now perusing threads at Castboolits concerning whys and wherefores of wheelweights. I have several 5 gallon buckets of wheelweights which I regularly mix with my pretty much inexhaustible supply of linotype and monotype. (used to be in the newspaper business) Was wondering when the wheelweights started being adulterated with zinc, plastic, et al. The last time I scrounged for WW metal was 20 years ago, so my supply is at least that old. Should I be worried about my WWs?

  17. #77
    Boolit Master

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    My guess is that you can rest easy. I cleaned up my first 15-20 buckets of WW about 20 years ago before I knew anything about zinc contamination. I didn't have a thermometer either and just jacked up the heat until everything melted and then turned it down so I didn't run out of propane. Those ingots are what I have been using so far with a little addition of range scrap. Most of the problems I have are cold mold and possibly oil in the mold. So far I have been able to fix those problems by going back to square one.
    John
    W.TN

  18. #78
    Boolit Buddy
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    Scored my first batch of ww tonite and came here and searched "sorting lead wheelweights"
    Found this thread, and I'm happy that I did. I'm already familiar with some of the author's videos, and saying thanks for sharing.
    Started sorting them tonite, and I'm seeing mostly lead....small lead ones...most of the larger ones are marked Zn and Fe

  19. #79
    Boolit Mold
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    Excellent post, thank you, and very useful to newbie me, who has a big box of wheelweights and must now sort out the wheat from the (I fear very plentiful) chaff. I had considered a hammer test for the unlabelled ones (most of them!). My logic: if it deforms easily, it's lead; if not, it's zinc or steel. If it smashes, it's plastic.

    Has anyone else tried this? If it doesn't work, why not, and I'll go out and buy the cutters.

  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy T View Post
    I just processed two full 5-gal buckets. When I was done, I had maybe five muffin ingots.

    Yeah. Five ingots.

    I just started picking them out by hand. It was faster that way and uses way less propane.

    From now on, it's reclaimed range lead. Good thing I got mine while I could.
    I'm in SLC and when I pick up a bucket of WW's they average 70% lead vs Zinc/Steel. I think it may vary from state to state considering states like California and Florida are bent on going green with everything. Here's another factor to consider, I'm hearing guys are sorting through buckets taking out most of the lead, leaving SOME and then selling em for WW value n keeping the lead for themselves or someone else they know. I'm also hearing guys that have multiple hook ups at tire shops will ask the shop owners to spread rumors that the lead is pretty much depleted so folk won't bother hunting for lead, this does 2 things: 1.) Gets people to leave tire shops alone 2.) Allows the guys who want lead to horde it for themselves. Here's my evidence, I went to two independent tire shops, 1 told me this "You can go back there if you want, there's two 5 gallon buckets full for ya to sort through, but the last guy who did that only walked out with a handful of lead" and after searching it, he was right, I later on found out the guy deliberately did that to keep people from bugging em while he had his mechanics trained to discern the lead from zinc/steel and they were throwing the lead in a different bucket. The second shop I went to just down the street let me have dibs on all theirs (the owner knows me anyways, I keep him hooked up with boolits), and so far I'm finding plenty of lead ones. Here's another one to consider, I went to multiple car dealerships and looked at their brand new WW's, they were all lead. So lead is still in the market, but that market may very from state to state. My 2 cents.

    Steven

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check