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Thread: What Did I Just Get From My Dross?

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master



    jonp's Avatar
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    What Did I Just Get From My Dross?

    I have a large stainless bowl that I use when I melt wheelweights, scrap etc to hold the dross. I was looking at it and noticed metal so I decided to remelt and pour some ingots assuming I wasn't paying close enough attention or stirring in enough sawdust. I got 4 bright and shiney ingots and nothing but dust left over on this secong attempt.

    When I put my Lee tester on one it came out
    7.7 BHN.

    Lead is 5, tin 7 bhn and antimony 50 bhn or so. I expect them to harden a little more and with this in mind anyone care to take a guess?

    Tin with a little antimony? I just cast some boolits from 2 containers. 1 COWW and one PB for a 50/50. After 2 weeks their BHN is 14.7 so obviously something not right there.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I'm guessing tin and a little antimony, like you guessed. I would keep those ingots separate and melt them into the next big batch that you do. Fluxed properly, all you should get is ash looking stuff and any lighter metals like wheel weight clips, bullet jackets or dirt.

  3. #3
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    I use and love pine sawdust for fluxing, but, I have found that my fluxing is never complete unless I do at least 1 flux with wax.

    Wax gets/does something the pine sawdust alone doesn't do.

    I haven't seen much difference between paraffin and beeswax so now I just stick a candle in the molten lead and wait for the desired sized puddle to form.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    +1 on pine sawdust ( the real stuff with lots of rosin)and paraffin!!! Multiple times sawdust, then 2 times with wax, I agree wax does something sawdust doesn’t. Boy, that sawdust smells sooooooo good! Just my opinion
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy

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    I use aspen pet bedding along with a good chunk of wax or bullet lube that I no longer use. I will throw a healthy bunch of the pet bedding and then
    throw in the wax and then light it when it starts to melt. It burns like crazy and it seems to do what others above have written.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master



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    I normally do the pine bedding a couple of times to the raw coww or scrap followed by paraffin. I'm not sure what I did to the original. To the dross I used beeswax I had left from an order I put in to RandyRat that my wife made candles out of, lit it up then stirred. I can say it smelled much nicer than the pariffin.
    The metal went right into the melt and nothing but dust left on the top.

    Shiniest ingots I ever poured.

    I guess my point was that it pays to melt your dross one more time just in case you messed up like I did
    Last edited by jonp; 12-06-2018 at 07:43 PM.
    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

    Bastiat

    Non nobis Domine,
    non nobis,
    sed nomini tuo da gloriam

    Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux

    Tu Ne Cede Malis

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    A friend once melted a load of #9 shot for lead (back when shot was $6 a bag). We ended up with about three 3# coffee cans full of skimmed alloy off the top. I got several cans and used it to slightly harden WW alloy. Must have been pretty high antimony/tin alloy./beagle
    diplomacy is being able to say, "nice doggie" until you find a big rock.....

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    A while back, I smelted all my dross, mostly from WW. The resulting alloy was certainly different from WW. I got around 5 lbs of alloy from a gallon or so of dross. As suggested, I mixed it back into a 50 lb batch of WW. It'd be interesting to see what it tests out at.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master






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    you got oxidized lead, tin and antimony. Same thing that's. one or more of them may oxidize a bit more but if you tested it it would contain all of them
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  10. #10
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    If you got that much metal out of your collected dross, you're not doing your fluxing thoroughly enough. There shouldn't be ANY metal in your dross.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

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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
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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