Inline FabricationLee PrecisionStainLess Steel MediaRotoMetals2
Titan ReloadingADvertise hereGraf & Sons

Page 2 of 9 FirstFirst 123456789 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 161

Thread: fluxing technique

  1. #21
    Boolit Master



    cbrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Kalifornia Escapee
    Posts
    8,040
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Ah, I see, we disagree, we don't like what was before so we rewrite..........makes perfect sense.........I shall continue to flux with some waxes as they flux perfectly..........but then so does some sawdust........ Larry Gibson
    That makes no sense. Rewritten? What was rewritten?

    Please feel free to feel that your fluxing with wax, changes nothing. In the mean while I'll get hold of the metals industry and let them know they have it all wrong.

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

    "Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack on our liberty, we encourage it." Samuel Adams

    NRA Benefactor Life Member
    CRPA Life Member

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    986
    The only thing I know is when I use sawdust and leave it there the oxidation is keep down to a dull roar. When smelting sawdust and and wax at the end seems to work just fine. The time it takes to do both is minimal so I do both.
    Lead bullets Matter

    There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves. - Will Rodgers

  3. #23
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    15,800
    cbrick

    Please do tell us what the "metals industry" definition of a flux is (not what they use because it is the definition under discussion now) for lead, antimony and tin binary and ternary alloys. You have stated emphatically that wax is not a flux, have you not? Yet you give no reason of definition as to why. All of the casting manuals from 100+ years ago to today plus about every casting article or book say to use beeswax, paraffin or bullet lube to flux the alloy with. I suppose everyone of those were wrong? It is the 100 years of such that suddenly you and a couple others say are wrong and now rewrite that wax is not a flux but a "reducer" now. You make a statement that goes against 100+ years of knowledge by "experts" far more renowned than you. Perhaps you should provide a little proof of what you say? Then if it is proven we can all agree on the new terminology can't we. However, that will still not make wax not be a flux and it will not turn it into a reducer because wax will still flux the binary and ternary alloy and it will not reduce that alloy to it's basic metals..........

    So shall we continue to beat the dead horse............

    Larry Gibson

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Canukistan near Detroit
    Posts
    250
    Quote Originally Posted by RED333 View Post
    Yall just stop, ya got my head hurting, flux, reduce, tin, alloys, and stuff.
    I just melt down WW, make ingots and cast boolits to shoot.
    I do put stuff in my smelt pot, stuff comes out, I do melt wax in my pour pot and stuff comes out.
    WW come with flux attached to it! Melt it down, no need to add any flux because its covered in all kinds of hydrocarbons.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    Posts
    8,145
    Quote Originally Posted by Forgetful View Post
    WW come with flux attached to it! Melt it down, no need to add any flux because its covered in all kinds of hydrocarbons.

    If ANYTHING needs 3x flux with sawdust it is old dirty WW's! That is the main venue we use fluxing for. And that is the ONLY form of lead I flux heavily. Pretty much every other form of lead and alloy is clean and pure already. Most of the lead/alloy I get goes right into ingots with only a touch of beeswax to give a shiny clean surface. There IS nothing to flux/reduce.

    Back in the day when I used to actually find and get WW's, all I ever got were dirty, filthy, grimy ones. But there sure was not enough grease on them to correctly clean/flux them the way I demand it be done.

    Either your area has very greasy roads, or you do not mind having unwanted garbage in your ingots. I would recommend you seriously consider using saw dust flux to insure you burn out the unwanted stuff from your melt.

    Sawdust is everywhere and can be had for little to no cost. I have 2) 55 gallon drums full of it from my shop. Easy to make if you are not a woodworker. Or buy WalMArt Pet Bedding which will last for a loooooooooooong time. Heck, you can even use dried leaves....fall is coming!!!!!

    I am glad your method works for you, but I feel it is not acceptable to most of the rest of us.

    bangerjim

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So. Orygun
    Posts
    4,937
    As you can see from all the above posts, fluxing (or whatever you wanna call it) it a hotly discussed topic. Some will say yea, some will say nay. So, take all the info available here, digest it and break it down to it's simplest form, and try it (dump some sawdust in yer pot and stir. One time leave it in, another time take it out). When you feel all your alloy is clean and all the components are completely mixed in, you have found the method that works for you. I like experimenting/fiddling so it isn't a problem for me.If you want perfection right outta the gate, I don't think you will find a single, definitive answer here on a forum, experience is a better teacher...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  7. #27
    Boolit Master



    cbrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Kalifornia Escapee
    Posts
    8,040
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    cbrick

    Please do tell us what the "metals industry" definition of a flux is (not what they use because it is the definition under discussion now) for lead, antimony and tin binary and ternary alloys. You have stated emphatically that wax is not a flux, have you not? Yet you give no reason of definition as to why. All of the casting manuals from 100+ years ago to today plus about every casting article or book say to use beeswax, paraffin or bullet lube to flux the alloy with. I suppose everyone of those were wrong? It is the 100 years of such that suddenly you and a couple others say are wrong and now rewrite that wax is not a flux but a "reducer" now. You make a statement that goes against 100+ years of knowledge by "experts" far more renowned than you. Perhaps you should provide a little proof of what you say? Then if it is proven we can all agree on the new terminology can't we. However, that will still not make wax not be a flux and it will not turn it into a reducer because wax will still flux the binary and ternary alloy and it will not reduce that alloy to it's basic metals..........

    So shall we continue to beat the dead horse............

    Larry Gibson
    Nope, you can define fluxing any way you wish, I'm discussing what a flux does, what we want it to do and which of the common "fluxes" do this. 100 years ago? Really? Nothing been learned since then huh? To a bullet caster with bullet casting alloy the definition of FLUX is pretty much universally accepted as "to remove impurities, to remove contaminants and clean the alloy". I have rewritten nothing.

    Here is a cut & paste from Ingot To Target, written by Glen E. Fryxell, a PhD chemist that works with heavy metals.

    Various waxes have also been used to clean bullet metal. Most commonly these have been paraffin, beeswax, various forms of tallow, or even lard. These have the advantage of being cheap, universally available, and working reasonably well (depending on the alloy). These materials are very good at satisfying two out of the three selection criteria for bullet metal flux in that they are excellent reductants and can reduce any oxidized tin present, and they can be used in sufficient quantity to form an excellent barrier layer, thereby preventing any subsequent oxidation of the alloy. Unfortunately, they offer no means for removing any Ca, Zn or Al impurities. If one is working with a relatively clean source of bullet metal (e.g. linotype or foundry metal), then the waxes can serve admirably in this capacity. However, if one is using a dirtier source of lead (e.g. range scrap, battery plates, or WW alloy), then there are probably better choices.

    Here is a link to the whole book, you might want to read it. (Bold and underlined enhancements in quote are mine).

    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_textonly2.pdf

    Glen's description of bullet alloy FLUXES perfectly describes metals industry papers that I have read. Seems your PROOF that wax fluxes is that 100 years ago that's what they used.

    Rick


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

    "Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack on our liberty, we encourage it." Samuel Adams

    NRA Benefactor Life Member
    CRPA Life Member

  8. #28
    Boolit Master



    snuffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Oshkosh Wi.
    Posts
    1,728
    Quote Originally Posted by cbrick View Post
    We've beat this to death for years on this forum and it seams little progress has been made. The simple truth of the metallurgy of lead alloys is that wax is not flux, wax cannot flux. Wax is and can be used as a reducer but flux it won't/can't.
    Ah but I have learned, been willing to admit I was using the wrong stuff to flux with(waxes). Where's gearnasher when we need him. Between gear and Rick, I've converted to using only sawdust to get alloy ready to cast with.

    Yes, it's true that in purely scientific definition boolit casters and printers in the old days use the term "reducer" incorrectly but that's not likely to change and besides, it works perfectly for us. For us and our lead alloys reduce means to return oxidized tin and antimony back into the alloy.

    The terms smelting and fluxing probably aren't being used correctly in pure scientific definition either but so what, to any boolit caster "fluxing" means to remove impurities. Wax cannot remove impurities so saying that you flux with wax isn't correct even in boolit casters lingo.
    Yes arguing that making scrap lead into useable ingots that fit into the pot, being referred to as "smelting" is an incorrect term.

    Sawdust is a flux in that it does remove several impurities that we don't want in our boolit alloys. Sawdust is also every bit as good a reducer as is wax. Using both as some seem to think is necessary can't hurt anything, a bit redundant but if it makes you feel better . . .

    Yup impurities like aluminum, zinc, other metals.

    Rick[/QUOTE]

    I predominately am a bottom pour caster. Most of my 6 cav molds are for handgun boolits, while you could/can pour those with a ladle, it's not necessary. SooOO, I leave a good layer of chared pine bedding on top of the melt AFTER it's been stirred into the melt with a spoon. I tried a paint stirring stick, it would flame up and then had to sit and smoke afterwards.
    He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
    You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
    You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."

    “At the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat”--Theodore Roosevelt

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    Posts
    8,145
    Quote Originally Posted by mdi View Post
    As you can see from all the above posts, fluxing (or whatever you wanna call it) it a hotly discussed topic. Some will say yea, some will say nay. So, take all the info available here, digest it and break it down to it's simplest form, and try it (dump some sawdust in yer pot and stir. One time leave it in, another time take it out). When you feel all your alloy is clean and all the components are completely mixed in, you have found the method that works for you. I like experimenting/fiddling so it isn't a problem for me.If you want perfection right outta the gate, I don't think you will find a single, definitive answer here on a forum, experience is a better teacher...
    I have done EXACTLY that.......tried everything and arrived at what works best for me.

    3X "smelting" dirty filthy grimy WW's with sawdust works perfectly. A bit of wax on the 3rd.

    Add beeswax ONLY into casting pot when Sn starts to oxidize on surface. It restores the shiny surface like magic. No need for sawdust because all my ingots are 110% pure and clean!

    But people need to try everything and arrive at what they feel is best for their needs.

    "Whatever floats your boat!"

    banger

  10. #30
    Boolit Master edadmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    colorado springs CO
    Posts
    194
    love it "put stuff in,stuff comes out go shoot" Perfect.
    "Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler" Albert Einstien

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Canukistan near Detroit
    Posts
    250
    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    Either your area has very greasy roads, or you do not mind having unwanted garbage in your ingots. I would recommend you seriously consider using saw dust flux to insure you burn out the unwanted stuff from your melt.
    I heavily flux when I prepare my casting alloy. The lead is melted three times.. First with WW and seems to not need any fluxing. Sure there will be some impurities (<1%) but I deal with it later, I just want to clean the lead a little and remove the steel clips.. I'll leave all the dust in there and remove most of the clips so there is less surface area, and my 1.5lb ladle has a bottom pour so the garbage doesn't get into my ingots. And then keep adding more weights. I never get any Sb on the surface during this phase, so I'm convinced it doesn't need any reducing agent.

    Second melt I'll weigh the lead, and add tin and antimony, flux it well and reduce everything into the alloy. Third melt is in the electric pot for ladling, which gets fluxed every time I add more alloy.

    I can't say for sure if the roads are greasy, but nearly every vehicle here gets "undercoating" for winter driving so the road salts don't chew our vehicles. So, I guess our roads are fairly greasy..? Every bucket of WW I get smells like it came from a truck garage and everything seems heavily coated in diesel exhaust. I don't wash them first, they just go into the pot.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    Posts
    8,145
    Greasy roads.........!

    I lived in the Detroit area for 10 years and drove a ton every day all over the metro area. Between the undercoating, oil, tire wear, POTHOLES!!!!!!!!, and other "stuff", I know there is a lot of petroleum-based gunk on those weights!

    Glad you have success! I gave up on WW's almost 2 years ago due to high Zn and Fe content and tire stores "recycle" them and do not give/sell them to private people. I mix all my alloys to the custom mixes I want.

    Have fun! And hope you can keep finding those weights that are NOT Zn/Fe!

    banger

  13. #33
    Boolit Master

    goodsteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    6,996
    I honestly don't think there is any solid scientific proof either way. BNE and myself tried to prove this, as we have access to XRF testing equipment. We could not prove anything even with all that state of the art equipment, so this boils down to what the Boolits look like, and how the alloy behaves (which is a test of sorts in and of itself, but not accurate enough to prove anything, as you must be able to measure 5 time more accurately than your target result, in order to define anything.)
    So, given my personal experience, wax is useless, with beeswax being the wild card. I wonder if beeswax only feigns positive effect because it takes longer to evaporate/burn off, and while it is on the surface of the melt. I do believe that it does more than just momentarily protect the surface of the melt from oxidization but that's only based on what I think I see.
    Sawdust on the other hand, has reduced alloy for me that just wouldn't cooperate with any other flux. Sometimes after building an alloy from several different alloys, you get this oatmeal soup like consistency, that will only disappear after many beatings and coolings. (This has often been misdiagnosed by noobs as zinc contamination, but I have tested samples of this "oatmeal" and it contained the typical trifecta of lead tin and antimony, and there was just no explanation why it would not mix into the main body of alloy) In this situation, sawdust has proven to quickly dissolve this trimetal oatmeal into the melt very quickly, while beeswax doesn't do jack.
    This is what I know, what I think I know, and what I believe, and I make no attempt to merge the lines of these three categories.

    An old forester told me once that people used to think that when a tree quit producing nuts, it was suffering from an iron deficiency. The cure was to hammer a bunch of nails into the trunk of the tree which would result in a huge yield of nuts next year. Because the solution worked, people thought the diagnosis was accurate. Later they were told that all they were doing was stressing the tree like pruning. Basically, they halfway killed the tree, and it tried to reproduce itself, thus, the impressive crop of nuts.
    I truly believe that as boolit casters, dealing with things we have difficulty measuring, we spend a lot of time hammering nails into trees.
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

    "He who is enslaved by the compass has freedom of the seas"

  14. #34
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    15,800
    cbrick

    I am not defining what a flux is or what it does. That has already been defined for many, many years. Look up the definition which also explains what they do of a flux and a reducer.

    It is you who are changing the meaning. If we allow the meanings to change on whims and notions then nothing will mean anything any more will it? No it won't because then you're 4" moa certainly won't be the same as goodsteel's 1" moa. I have 2 Webster's dictionaries; on a few years old and one 40+ years older. The definitions of flux and reducer are the same in each and they both differ from your use and now goodsteel's use.

    If we don't have consistent stands of what "is" then it "is" just all BS. That is the point. You are incorrect in your definition and usage of flux and reducer. Look it up.

    I have no problem with Fryxell's definition as it is basically correct except you misinterpret his use of "reductants". He is referring to separating the tin from the oxygen and mixing the tin back into the lead/antimony solution. read the next sentence (Unfortunately, they offer no means for removing any Ca, Zn or Al impurities.) and you find the meaning of a "redutant". Read the definitions in the dictionary.

    I have Fryxell's book BTW. Since you quoted it you should also take notice of the last part of the quote; "If one is working with a relatively clean source of bullet metal (e.g. linotype or foundry metal), then the waxes can serve admirably in this capacity. However, if one is using a dirtier source of lead (e.g. range scrap, battery plates, or WW alloy), then there are probably better choices".

    So as numerous of us have pointed out in this thread; waxes do "admirably" work. Some have also pointed out other means to "admirably" flux the COWWs. As has been used for probably a hundred+ years "bullet lube" is also very good for fluxing COWWs as are many other materials.

    Read Fryxell's definition and understand what he says by cross referencing with the actual definition in respected dictionaries. Then read your own definition as mentioned in this thread. You will see where you are incorrect. Then let's quit beating the dead horse.

    Larry Gibson

  15. #35
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    15,800
    Perhaps this whole thread and discussion has become "reductio ad absurdum"..........

    Larry Gibson

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Canukistan near Detroit
    Posts
    250
    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    And hope you can keep finding those weights that are NOT Zn/Fe!
    It's getting harder to find them. I posted the other day I found a bucket of WW from 30 years ago, score! 100% lead. When I go get buckets from the scrap yard, they've been anywhere from 50% lead to 95% lead. I went in to Kal Tire near where I work on my lunch, and they told me they only install steel weights nowadays, and most of the vehicles that come in are the same ones they've used steel on, so they only get the odd lead from time to time. Having KT supply me lead would have been awesome because they're so close to the office, and they're always very busy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Unfortunately, they offer no means for removing any Ca, Zn or Al impurities.
    I had moderate success using Magnesium Sulfate (epsom salt) to remove zinc but I may have been adding magnesium. It was reacting to something in the lead and turning black, and it did seem to clean it up after I accidentally melted zinc in my very first batch of smelting. It got rid of the oatmeal, anyway.

    edit: logically the epsom salt shouldn't take zinc since Mg is more reactive than Zn. Copper sulfate might be a better zinc flux, sold in plumbing departments as Root Kill. Also adds copper in the mix, and whatever doesn't stay aqueous would float out. This sound right?
    Last edited by Forgetful; 09-16-2014 at 05:15 PM.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master



    cbrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Kalifornia Escapee
    Posts
    8,040
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    I have no problem with Fryxell's definition as it is basically correct except you misinterpret his use of "reductants". He is referring to separating the tin from the oxygen and mixing the tin back into the lead/antimony solution. read the next sentence (Unfortunately, they offer no means for removing any Ca, Zn or Al impurities.) and you find the meaning of a "redutant". Read the definitions in the dictionary.
    I can't even figure out what your trying to say here. What Glen wrote is the same thing I said in my posts. By reductant Glen and myself are referring to reducing oxidized tin back into the melt, that's why I quoted him. Nothing misinterpreted. What your trying to turn that into I can't imagine. Glen said that waxes offer no means for removing Ca, Zn or Al and that is the same thing I said so how is that misinterpreted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    I have Fryxell's book BTW. Since you quoted it you should also take notice of the last part of the quote; "If one is working with a relatively clean source of bullet metal (e.g. linotype or foundry metal), then the waxes can serve admirably in this capacity. However, if one is using a dirtier source of lead (e.g. range scrap, battery plates, or WW alloy), then there are probably better choices".

    Larry Gibson
    That's right but again we are talking about fluxing bullet alloy. Remember, cleaning the alloy, removing contaminants? So if your using "clean" alloy what are you trying to remove? You do still have the need of reducing oxidized tin and antimony back into the melt and just as Glen and I both said (I didn't say otherwise) . . . Yes, waxes can serve admirably for this.

    So tell me, what is misinterpreted? Waxes work well at reducing oxidized Sb/Sn back into the melt. Waxes do not remove many of the contaminates in bullet alloy. That's what Glen wrote in his book. That's what I said in this and many other threads. You say you "have no problem with Fryxell's definition as it is basically correct" but if I post the same thing I'm wrong, misinterpreting and rewriting. Huh?

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

    "Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack on our liberty, we encourage it." Samuel Adams

    NRA Benefactor Life Member
    CRPA Life Member

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    Posts
    8,145
    Copper sulphate and sulfur are the only two things I have used (an know of) to remove Zn from intentionally contaminated melts (to actually test the methods). Sulfur is horrible! Sulfate works well. When it turns white, just stir it around (moisture gone).

    It also removes all the Sn, and Sb, so you end up with nearly pure Pb with (mabe) a little Cu in there.

    Best thing is to sort your WW's B4 melting and keep the temp below Zn liquidus temp!

    banger

  19. #39
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    15,800
    Here's the problem; Fryxell took literary license and put in print a word out of it's defined context. "Reductant" is a reducing agent. A reducing agent is "a substance that reduces a chemical compound by donating electrons." The alloys we use are not chemical compounds, they are metals. In reference to metals the proper term is "reducer" and it is; " used to "separate, as pure metal, from a metallic ore." or used to separate the individual selected metals from the others. A "reducer" is not used, as is a flux, to blend the individual metals together in solution but to separate them.

    Also most fluxes do not remove "contaminants", as is commonly believed. IMost often it is the temperature of the alloy and the stirring that cause the "contaminants" to float to the surface as they are lighter than the melted alloy. However, some fluxes can act as a reductant as Fryxell mentions (which you don't apparently understand) and can remove some of those chemical "contaminants". However when used as a flux most often the metals are what are simply into solution.

    Obviously bangerjim understands the difference between a flux and a reducer as he is using reducers (copper sulfate and sulfur) to separate the metals.

    Larry Gibson

  20. #40
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    15,800
    Bottom line; waxes are fluxes just a Fryxell says.

    Larry Gibson

Page 2 of 9 FirstFirst 123456789 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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