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Thread: Alloying with pure antimony

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Alloying with pure antimony

    Has anyone tried to make their own SuperHard (or similar) by alloying pure antimony with whatever other lead they have? I've seen that Rotometals are selling 99% pure antimony either as small pellets or ingots, and it seems like a Good Thing.

    I did read on http://lasc.us/SuperHard.htm that dealing with pure antimony was both difficult to alloy, and also potentially dangerous/toxic, but I have my reasons for asking.

    While I respect the expertise and understand that it might simpler/better to just order some SuperHard, I have some logistical problems/opportunities. I have not found any source of high-sb alloy in this country, and have thus started to look elsewhere. Transatlantic shipping is probably not cheap, though.

    However, I will be going to US for Christmas/New Year to visit my sister, and by coincidence she lives like a half hour drive from Rotometals in SanFrancisco. I could easily fit 5 lbs of Sb in my luggage, but 20 lbs of SuperHard will probably take up too much of my weight allowance.

    So I would like to hear from anyone who tried it, whether successful or not.

    Thanks in advance.

    /cmk

  2. #2
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Here are a couple old threads with suggestions

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-melt-antimony

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...n-instructions

    I think runfiverun's post is the best/concise advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    i hold the temp around 600* and flux it in. and stir. marvelux will do for a flux.
    just a dash of marvelux and a pinch of antimony at a time.

  3. #3
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    Dieselhorses's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Did it in my smelting pot (propane tank) over a turkey fryer. Put the antimony in the bottom and covered with a layer of the range lead I was alloying with. Once the antimony melted added the rest of the range lead and turned heat down to reduce oxidation and fluxed, added tin last and stirred and fluxed a second time. I put the layer of range lead on top to reduce oxidation and there was very little dross so don't think oxidation was an issue. Do this in an area with air flow and stay upwind or wear a respirator, and handle the antimony with a old pair of gloves you can discard as antimony is as toxic as arsenic.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    Put The superhard in your carryon, get a carryon with wheels [check with the airline about carrying metal alloy in your carryon] Much safer/easier than trying to ally SB. remember, they sell it to you in "rock form" and to alloy it easier you need to crush it.
    Last edited by Grmps; 10-12-2018 at 04:30 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for the replies, I was a bit surprised by the rather elaborate process described in one of the older threads. I figured it would be more like Rich/WIS described it; i.e. melt the Sb (with a blowtorch if needed) and throw in some lead until you're satisfied. The higher temp (initially at least) would perhaps result in more oxidation and evil fumes. But fluxing and saying upwind, respectively, would take care of that.

    I think I'll give it a try some time next year when the weather allows for outside activities like that.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    If you search here, using antimonyman you'll get all the posts. Basically, without the proprietary flux, it isn't worth the effort.
    Last edited by dbosman; 10-12-2018 at 10:09 PM.

  8. #8
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    I was given a bunch of antimony that was crushed. It was a royal pain to try to mix it in. If your going to add antimony buy anatomy that's already been mixed with lead at the foundry. smart thing is if your buying just buy the superhard which is the same.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  9. #9
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    farmerjim's Avatar
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    When I started scuba diving I lived in Canada. Scuba equipment was much cheaper in Florida. I bought my weight belt and lead weights down in the Keys. I wore the belt with 30 pounds of lead on to the plane. They do not count what you wear as part of your weight allowance. You can take it off and put it under your seat once you get on the plane.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Another alternative is foundry type from Rotometals, easier to smelt and mixed 3 range lead to one foundry type will produce an alloy very close to hardball. I use this mix in rifle bullets and it performs well, although I don't load much over 1600fps. It might work at higher velocity but have never needed to go faster to kill paper or steel plates. You need to compare prices of hardball and your mix to determine which is more cost effective.

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