Graf & SonsRotoMetals2StainLess Steel MediaMidSouth Shooters Supply
ADvertise hereLee PrecisionInline FabricationTitan Reloading

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: Do you save your dross?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master PBaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    166

    Do you save your dross?

    Well, I do as it's full of lead!

    I skim off my dross, but before I save it, I put it in a pot and hit it with a propane torch. I bounce it around the pot, and pour off any pure metal that puddles for my next melt. What I end up with is powdery dirt, which I save.

    The other day I was trying to decide what to do with the dirt, so I stuck it in a 5 gallon bucket and flushed it with my garden hose. A lot of lighter stuff floated out, and I just let the hose run for a while. I poured off the water, and rinsed what was left some more, and let the lighter stuff spill out. What I was left with was a heavy, dark, chunky substance.

    I use an electric hot plate (with the thermostat bypassed) to melt my alloys, so I just stuck it all in the pot, and plugged it in. 2 hours later I looked at it, and there was a lot of lead alloy in the bottom. I poured off 5 pounds of lead, and let it cook some more and got a few more pounds before I gave up on it.

    This alloy measured much harder than my normal alloy, but some of the dross was from my pewter smelting.

    Anyone else remelt their dross?
    Last edited by PBaholic; 09-18-2017 at 12:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Bookworm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Central Oklahoma, on a dirt road.
    Posts
    511
    When I render, I do scrape the gunk off the top, and throw it in a coffee can. When the can is full, I have remelted it, and gotten 8-10 pounds of alloy out. I usually throw out what's left from that, which is a powdery, heavy dirt.

    After reading your account, maybe I need to process it further. I never thought to wash and remelt again.
    "Varium et mutabile semper femina." - Virgil
    Man, ain't it the truth....

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    England,Ar
    Posts
    2,580
    I don't. I smelt in batches of about 400# and I dump the wheelweight clips, bullet jackets, sawdust ashes and dross all in the same container. There is no doubt lead and tin being scrapped off but it hardly seems to be worth the trouble to me. Maybe I should consider it?

    I have a couple of buddies that come over and we cast together and in the interest of saving them the effort of loading and hauling so much gear I will furnish things like stirring spoons, a hot plate and a can for the dross. I may dump that into my next smelt.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Goodhue County, Minnesota
    Posts
    619
    I have been saving mine, but what is left over after reheating will be used for fishing jigs & sinkers I make. I suppose I could use it for casting bullets, but being an "unknown" in regard to content/alloy makeup, I would just as soon use it for those fishing items, rather than use them for boolits. I am lucky enough right now to have a pretty decent supply of pure lead & WW right now for my shooting needs.

    Of course, to each their own... but , yes I do save mine to try to squeeze the last cent out of the stuff.

    "If ya don't like my gate, ya don't have to swing on the hinges..." - L. Ackerman ( RIP)

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    3,004
    I re-melt but not to the degree of effort you do. I get lead back out and toss the second generation of dross.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,691
    If I get just powdery ash type residue no. Lately though it has been what to my untrained eye looks like antimony not going in to the mix so I have a few lbs piled up. When I do my next large (s)melting batch on the turkey fryer I will dump it back in and flux the tar out of it and see if some goes back into suspension. Some of my ingots are on the high side for antimony (95/5) so I mix it with the range scrap I purchase off the forum and have had good success with all my castings.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    445
    Honestly, I never considered it. I just disposed of it and continued to smelt. I will looked closer at it the next time.
    Thanks, PB!

  8. #8
    Boolit Man Hammerlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    93
    I have a hole cut in the side of my wind break and place the cast iron ladle right on top of the burner and super heat it. pour of the lead on the bottom and toss out the ash and dirt.
    I would rather fish. Can you shoot fish ?
    ><((((Ί>`•.ΈΈ.•΄―`•...Έ><((((Ί>`• .ΈΈ.•΄―[_____]””””””

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Tidewater VA
    Posts
    1,056
    I save mine until I have a 5 gallon can (I use metal paint/deck coating/roofing compound buckets) about 2/3 full. Then give it a wash of used motor oil and a toping to full of sawdust. Then put a cover on and put it in a fire of yard waste with a brick under 1 side to cant it. When your waste burned and can cool dump out the smelted dross and I have a great big cookie wedge of lead/tin/antimony alloy in the bottom. Whatever is left goes in the metal scrap pile into some old refridg/AC or whatever and to the scrap yard. The "rendering" is a tough alloy and I remelt and make ingots for adding to make soft lead harder and better flow. My experience, yours may be different. 10
    10 gauge: as per Robert Ruark, "use enough gun"

    MOLON LABE

    "I have a list, and am prepared for widespread civil disorder!" 10 ga

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    white eagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    from the land of sky blue waters
    Posts
    4,430
    skim it off the melt put it next to my pot while casting and throw out
    way to much effort for the minuscule gain for my liking
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  11. #11
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    El Dorado County, N. Ca.
    Posts
    3,681

    Recycle, recycle and recycle again...I'ma Pb Monger!


    I save this that comes off the pour pot...then run it back through in an ingot smelt when running COWW's or Range scrap from the backstop. My batches amount to 40 lbs., I don't have a huge pot so this minuscule looking amount of dross actually will enrich a batch.
    I wouldn't run it in a soft Pb batch.
    This pour pot dross is rich in Sn and Sb.
    Whatever dross and steel scraps that comes off the ingot smelt gets trashed.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

    Be a Patriot . . . expose their lies!

    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” G. Orwell

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Oklahoma Rebel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    outside of Sand Springs, N.E. OK
    Posts
    1,887
    I save mine, I have at least 4 gallons of it, with some clips in there, 10ga has a good idea, and I am going to do that sometime. I will use my stainless frying pot, since I don't have a metal paint bucket, and I use a half propane tank for smelting now.
    Norinco SKS
    mosin nagant est 1937
    S&W 15-2 combat masterpiece
    Remington 597 22lr w/30 rnd clip
    12ga NEF single shot
    heritage 22lr/22mag

  13. #13
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Michigan Thumb Area
    Posts
    5,350
    I collect the skimmed dross in old metal coffee cans over the year. Usually in the Spring I dump the can into a smelt pot and see what I can use again.Robert

  14. #14
    Boolit Master




    EMC45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    East TN Mountains...Thanks be to God!
    Posts
    3,576
    I have never saved it. I usually double flux my melt (wooden paint stir stick and beeswax or an old lubed bullet) so when it comes time to skim the dross, it consists of powdery "dirt". Never see any metal make it's way to scrap bucket.
    You can miss fast & you can miss a lot, but only hits count.

  15. #15
    Moderator


    MaryB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    SW Minnesota
    Posts
    7,068
    I save and resmelt it when I have enough(enough to end with 10-15 pounds), lot of sawdust or bedding pine, chunk in a candle piece or two...

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    207
    dross with obvious metal in it gets put back into the last load of a smelt to be run through again, then trashed.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,691
    So this has me curious and I've got a 3 day weekend coming up thanks to overtime this last weekend. I'm going to run a pot of fresh range scrap ingots on my turkey fryer and see how much of my "dross" will come back out. Mine is definitely the metal looking type as I just flux with beeswax and scrape the top layer off my casting pot. The only time I get the ash type residue is if I use a ton of sawdust or corncob media when making ingots. I'll take before and after pics and see how much I salvage. Probably have a few lbs of dross at this point, I'd been throwing it out for awhile but got cheap again when my wife put a 'lead embargo' on the house and I wasn't allowed to order any more .
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Goodhue County, Minnesota
    Posts
    619
    I know all about the "lead embargo" on the house, as per the missus.. But I have "friends"...

    LOL


    G'Luck!
    "If ya don't like my gate, ya don't have to swing on the hinges..." - L. Ackerman ( RIP)

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

    alamogunr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,040
    I don't. I tried it one time but the yield wasn't enough to fool with it. I've got more lead than I can use in my lifetime and I'm a little short on time, so I don't want to waste it on unproductive activities.
    John
    W.TN

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by alamogunr View Post
    I don't. I tried it one time but the yield wasn't enough to fool with it. I've got more lead than I can use in my lifetime and I'm a little short on time, so I don't want to waste it on unproductive activities.
    *shrug* its a fun and interesting hobby that keeps me out of trouble. If I spent the same amount of time watching sports no one would blink twice at it. I'll be outside scrubbing rust off some equipment anyways so I'll do double duty and fire up the ol' melter and see what I get.

    My plan is to weigh the dross before hand, and weigh what I scrape off afterwards. I'll need a trip to home depot for some fresh sawdust too but that's on the agenda already.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

Page 1 of 2 12 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