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Thread: Pre melt cleaning of rust off of lead?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    TheDoctor's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    Pre melt cleaning of rust off of lead?

    Was given a steel coffee can full of what used to cast net weights. Not sure how many decades these sat in the can, but the can quit holding water when the bottom eventually rusted through. The rest of the can is heavily rusted, and some of these weights have so much rust on them they almost look glazed. Was wondering if there is a recommended way to kind of clean them before melting. Not sure how much of a mess it will make if I melt them as is. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Calamity Jake's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Just melt them as they are the rust will float to the top so you can skim it off.
    Don't use your casting pot.
    Calamity Jake

    NRA Life Member
    SASS 15704
    Shoot straight, keepem in the ten ring.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Jul 2008
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    My first bucket of WW's was clip-ons in a 5 gal bucket full of rain water runoff from a garage roof. Poured the water off and let them dry for a while. Stuck them in the pot and let the heat come up slow. Skimmed and stirred and fluxed and stirred and scraped till clean shiny alloy. Ladled into ingot molds and it's been on every since.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Dec 2017
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    Farmerville,Louisiana
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    A guy in town gave me what he called a 1/2 bucket of wheel weights, when i went to get them i was looking for a bucket. Couldn’t find a bucket, just a pile of rust over the bottom of a plastic bucket. Scooped up with flat shovel into newer bucket, dumpted onto 1/4 ‘ screen to sift dirt and what rust would fall off then melted and skimmed fluxed and skimmed and fluxed till all was good. They were so old there was no zinc. Just good stuff very soft about 30#.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    You can wash them if you want to but like the others have said, all of the crud will float to the top. Just don't put them in your casting pot. I recently melted some weights that were in a 5 gallon bucket that had water in it. Some of the clips were mostly gone. The bottom several inches was mixed with a rust colored mud with the weights mixed in. I did lay them out and hose them off. If you do wash them do not add them to a pot of molten lead! Put them in the pot while its cold and bring it up to temp.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Oct 2014
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    california
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    I just did a few hundred pounds of the same kind of stuff into ingots. Fluxed with pine shavings and stirred with a paint stick.
    Nice pretty pile but can't pick up the crate.

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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