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Thread: Something I learned last weekend, about temp

  1. #141
    Boolit Mold
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    Question about Frosting

    The timing on this post is way off as it looks like the last post was a couple of years ago. I'm going to ask anyway just in case someone is still looking this over. You certainly can get bad info from a lot of sources, but I was taught that frosting meant the boolit was too hot and that it would shatter on impact when shot. Now I'm seeing this post that the boolit should be frosted. Of course that causes me to ask....if the boolit is frosted will it maintain its integrity when it hits the target? I understand this also has to do with how much antimony is in the mix as I understand too much will also make the boolit fragment. Anyone still around that can set me straight on this?
    You can get much further with a kind word, and a gun, than you can with a kind word alone. Al Capone

  2. #142
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwlegal View Post
    The timing on this post is way off as it looks like the last post was a couple of years ago. I'm going to ask anyway just in case someone is still looking this over. You certainly can get bad info from a lot of sources, but I was taught that frosting meant the boolit was too hot and that it would shatter on impact when shot. Now I'm seeing this post that the boolit should be frosted. Of course that causes me to ask....if the boolit is frosted will it maintain its integrity when it hits the target? I understand this also has to do with how much antimony is in the mix as I understand too much will also make the boolit fragment. Anyone still around that can set me straight on this?
    Frosting happens when both your mold and alloy temp are fairly high when casting. It has nothing to do with hardness/brittleness. It will affect size/weight, though.
    Hardness is a result of alloy and time and boolits really only become brittle when VERY hard - you might be able to get this with pure linotype? Maybe pure monotype?
    WWG1WGA

  3. #143
    Boolit Man
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    Jan 2016
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    Something I learned last weekend, about temp



    This was a good thread. Thank you. Beginner here. Same pot, same session, different temperatures. These are the extremes. Most were in between.

    I spent my last two casting sessions experimenting with temperature, trying a variety of settings. I learned that turning down the pot temperature helps. Slightly frosted is better than very frosted looking bullets. Not above 6 on the Lee 20# pot dial. And slowing down the casting frequency. Casting with range lead.


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    Last edited by fn1889m; 04-12-2020 at 09:50 PM.

  4. #144
    Boolit Master
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    That boolit on the right is nigh on perfect. That very light matte frosting (or perhaps just a tiny bit more with my alloy, molds and technique) is what I want to see to get in the groove where it rains all perfect slugs. Congrats!

    ETA: you may find that the alloy temp varies even at the same setting. One reason is that as the pot emptys, the coil heats up the remaining alloy more. Another is adding ingots or a bunch of sprues all at once which drops the temp significantly.
    Last edited by kevin c; 04-13-2020 at 02:27 PM.

  5. #145
    Boolit Man
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    Something I learned last weekend, about temp

    I intentionally ran the temp dial up and down the range. I also slowed down my casting speed to lower the temperature of the mold. I am trying to identify the target temperature. Im just a beginner.


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  6. #146
    Boolit Master
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    You're learning fast!

    Lot of beginners hope to be taught or read about optimal technique, but conditions vary so much, even from session to session for the same caster, finding what works well takes experimenting.

    Carry on, and keep on having fun!

  7. #147
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrick View Post
    From "Ingot to Target" by Glen E. Fryxell - chapter 4.

    The benefits of sawdust are that its a sacrificial reductant that can reduce any oxidized tin back to the metallic state, and its cheap enough that the caster can use enough to form an effective barrier layer to protect the alloy from subsequent oxidation. Whats more, as the sawdust chars on top of the melt, it forms activated carbon, which is a high surface area, porous sorbent material that has a large number of binding sites capable of binding Lewis acid cations like Ca, Zn and Al. So it not only keeps the tin reduced and in solution, but it effectively scavenges those impurities that raise the surface tension and viscosity of the alloy (Al, Zn and Ca), keeping the alloy in top shape for making good bullets.


    Rick
    Hi Rick, from another Rick:

    Just browsing stickies this morning as it is raining hard enough out there that I'm not interested in going hunting. Always something new to learn (or at least think about) browsing stickies.

    WAAAAYYYY back in the days of Fidonet prior to the WWW, Ken Mollohan helped me get beyond the stage of just dumping something molten into a mould and believing whatever resulted was kind of what you get with bullet casting.

    Back then, Ken got me started fluxing with carnuba wax flakes. Along with a lot of other changes I made. I've been pretty happy with my bullets since Ken mentored me along until I was being thoughtful in my casting and expecting much more in what I got for results.

    So... that said: how does carnuba wax stack up against sawdust for fluxing. I have a lifetime supply of carnuba wax here, but if there's a chance that sawdust instead will result in better results, there's a sawmill out where I do a lot of my elk and moose hunting where I can go for sawdust. Or alternately, my wife the aggressive carpenter makes LOTS of fine sawdust versus the sawmill sawdust.

    And thanks for the informative posts on temperature that I've been scrolling through today.

    Rick

  8. #148
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Interesting comment on the effects of sawdust. Does the source of the sawdust make a difference, like pine versus other? On waxes, I have found stearic acid (a wax) to be a real good flux. When pine sawdust does nothing, stearic acid will release silver drops of metal. It also works as a solder flux. But the ability of sawdust to remove calcium zinc and aluminum is something I did not know about. On the other hand, stearic acid burns clean (but is not too cheap).
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

    ''Assume everything that moves is a human before identifying as otherwise''

  9. #149
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by 303Guy View Post
    Interesting comment on the effects of sawdust. Does the source of the sawdust make a difference, like pine versus other? On waxes, I have found stearic acid (a wax) to be a real good flux.
    I don't know whether flake carnuba wax is a flux, or a reducer, or whatever. Reducer, I'm thinking. I'll guess Ken Mollohan, with his chemistry background, would have pointed me at stearic acid instead of carnuba wax if he would have thought it better.

    But I did dive head first into that .pdf book written by Glen Frye. So I guess I've provided my own answer to the question I asked Rick - sawdust has the additional advantage of removing other metal contaminants that carnuba wax won't.

    As my alloy supply is pretty clean stuff, I won't worry too much for now about not using something that will also clean the alloy in the pot of contaminating metals. Once I've gone through the carnuba, then I guess I'll go bug my wife for her cedar sawdust.

  10. #150
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Carnauba wax is made up of acid and diesters of acid among other things so it makes sense that it would be a flux. I don't recall actually trying it in my melt pot or for soldering though. I'll give carnauba go when next I have an opportunity.

    I just tried stearic because I had some and didn't think I had a use for it and since wax is used as a flux in melting pots, I threw some in to see what would happen and it separated metal from the dross very well. Then when I had no soldering flux I thought I would give it a try and found it makes a great soldering flux too.
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

    ''Assume everything that moves is a human before identifying as otherwise''

  11. #151
    Boolit Mold
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    I had a similar experience and wish I had seen Gear's post years ago. I stopped worrying about the thermometer and cast close to maximum on the rheostat. In both my pots. My RCBS thermometer reads high and so does my genuine Chineseum thermometer I bought 20 years ago. The important temperature for any heat is the one that consistently gives you good boolits as Gear states. Thanks for the posting.

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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