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Thread: Help!!! lol Stuck ingots

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Swamprat1052's Avatar
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    Help!!! lol Stuck ingots

    OK, I smelted down my first wheel weights today. I used an old cast iron dutch oven and a turkey frier. Man it melted em just fine. Used an aluminum muffin pan for my ingots and only one problem now. I cant get the ingots out. I let it cool for a couple of hours and thought it was cool enough. Couldnt budge em, ran water over bottom of pan to cool more, still nothing. I did manage to get the cups of the pan to come loose, lol. Now I have ingots, but they are still in the aluminum.

    Where did I go wrong?

    Swamprat

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    cbrick's Avatar
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    Swamprat, interesting. I've never used aluminum cup cake pans but the only SWAG I can come up with sounds like the aluminum was too thin and when the hot alloy filled the cup it stretched with the heat. When the alloy cooled off and shrank (lead shrinks when cooled) the aluminum just shrank with it so the ingot didn't come loose. This is just a SWAG for lack of thinking of anything else. You might try freezing them, that might shrink'em enough to get'em out.

    Let us know the outcome, there are probably several folks that have had similair experiences.

    Rick
    "The people never give up their freedom . . . Except under some delusion." Edmund Burke

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    I don't know where you went wrong, but I'd spray the next muffin pan with Franklin arsenal mold release maybe!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Swamprat1052's Avatar
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    Cbrick, thanks for the info. I am trying the freezer but so far to no avail. I am old enough to remember changing sleeves on the old truck and tractor engines, we always froze the sleeves to get em into the block. I know that guys use these pans for molds, but I thought when it cooled off the lead would contract and fall out, WRONG!!!

    I guess if the freezer dont do it, I can melt it again, the pan should turn loose then and float like the clips shouldnt they. I may have to invest in some ingot molds. I was afraid that the non stick surface on the the no stick pans would melt at these temps. Maybe thats what they use?

    Thanks again guys.

    Swamprat

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Are the holes in your muffin pan tapered? They need to be. You should only need to let them cool for a few minutes before dumping them out. Just so they are solid.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    muffin pan

    You may have got your lead a little too hot and melted your aluminum a bit.
    I did that off of my turkey fryer (I use it for processing mass batches of WW's into ingots). I would suggest re-melting your lead and before you pour into your aluminum pans - set them on the ground rather than a bench or such. I found they will dissipate heat quicker if you set them on the cold ground - frozen ground works the best. As soon as they are set - not peanut-buttery in consistency dump them out. Try not to run your fryer wide-open either - just enough to melt and flux as needed.

    Hope that helps
    Eric

  7. #7
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    Swamprat,

    Are your aluminum muffin tins bright and shiny silver colored? If they are, the lead should drop right out. I usually empty mine after the lead has pretty much solidified (don't know about the middle of the muffin) but before they are cool. The only reason I dump them when I do is so that I can use the mold again! The lead should not stick to the aluminum.

    The more common muffin tins now available have some type of coating on them. They are not bright and shiny, generally dull and dark. These don't work well with lead and I am guessing that these are what you have. People have had success using these after they leave them outside for a while to rust.

    John

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    rmb721 brought up a very good point that I didn't think of. Are the aluminum pan cups tapered? If not you may have to re-melt the alloy to get it out.

    I have no idea what temp teflon would melt at. You could probably Google it and find out.

    I use the RCBS 10 pound cast iron pots as ingot moulds. They make flat top and bottom 5 pound ingots when filled half full or 2 1/2 pound ingots when filled 1/4 full. They will make 10 pound ingots but at 10 pounds they WILL NOT fit into the RCBS 22 pound casting pot for re-melting.



    Rick
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Are you absolutely certain your muffin pans are aluminum? There are a lot of steel pans on the market now with some kind of non-stick coating and they have separate "cups" crimped into them - which kinda sounds like what you describe. Bullet alloy will solder itself to the inserts very nicely - don't ask me how I know.

    Check your pans with a magnet - I'm guessing they aren't really aluminum. If they're steel you might be best off to melt the whole mess down again, skim the "cups" and pour into ingots from something else.
    Good luck!
    Uncle R.

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master Swamprat1052's Avatar
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    WOW!!! You guys are great. Thanks for all the tips. The pans are aluminum but I left the lead in it too long. I melted them back down and did a redo. This time I just let the lead get set as you guys said and they dumped right out. I didnt do a whole bunch at once (only about 25 lbs.) so it wasnt a big deal. I figured it would be easier to redo a smaller amt. than a whole bunch.

    I still dont think I have the fluxing down just right but my ingots arent gritty feeling and are pretty clean. I did another pot full after I got the first one redone and they look a lot better. I fluxed more and let it burn longer and the liquid was a lot cleaner. I guess maybe an old dog can learn a new trick. Or is it that a blind sow finds an acorn once in a while? lol.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Swamprat

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    not knowing any reason not too I bought steel muffin tins with a teflon coating. I took them home and started out burning the teflon off with the pan set over the turkey frier. That worked but was a smokey mess.

    I decided just to pour the ingots and not wory about any teflon that stuck to them. That seems to have worked just fine and I have no issues with sticking ingots. FWIW my muffin tins taper at a pretty shallow angle so that probably helps with release.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    You don't have to let steel pans rust for good release-Smoke 'em. I like an acetylene torch with the oxygen off. soot up those new steel pans and they'll drop right out.
    Cast is an adjective, a noun and a verb. Cast works as both imperative and past tense without any additional letters or helping verbs.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    I haven't checked it out, but I'm pretty sure teflon won't take over about 450-475 degrees... I used some teflon sleeves for bearings on a conveyor oven, and they worked ok, but our temps were only about 275-300 or so.
    Most plastics won't go much over 400-500 degrees, except some of the new polymers, like Ultem... I think it's up around 650-700.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master handyrandyrc's Avatar
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    This is what you want!!! I had the same problem, and ended up denting/ruining the tins -- the cups ended up coming free from the main tin. They were cheap multi-piece tins... Luckily I only had poured 6 before this happened, and used some mould release...


  16. #16
    Boolit Master Goatlips's Avatar
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    The mold release does the job as Randy said but do not do not try to "save" money and use PAM, it just don't work on lead muffins, and contains a lot of moisture - my first ingots looked like Manuel Noriega's face and smelled even worse.

    Goatlips

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    Smile

    I tried plated steel muffin pans. Ended up with ingots soldered to the plated steel firmly, and the pan was ruined. Black oil-seasoned cast iron corn stick moulds have worked very well.
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Swamprat1052's Avatar
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    OK, they look like aluminum, they feel like aluminum and the tag on them said aluminum, but a magnet will stick to em. I managed to get it done but it was a mess. I am gonna go a different route. I may take the 2 pans I have left and see if they'll rust. Thanks.

    Swamprat

  19. #19
    Boolit Master wills's Avatar
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    I seem to recall someone saying teflon gives off toxic gas if you heat it hot enough to burn it off the pan.
    Have mercy.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    Smile

    That's true. My wife burned up a Teflon pan in the kitchen once. We had to leave the house. I opened the doors and let it air out for a good while before we came back in. I was coughing terribly for days, with a lingering mild cough for a good while afterward. That was some nasty gas!
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

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