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Thread: Zinc casting

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub Mad Mucus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Australia, SE Queensland

    Question Zinc casting

    I'm interested in casting 1" cannon balls from zinc.

    Anyone with experience have melt tips including recommended zinc alloy mixes and ratios for consistent pour and smooth finish, shrinkage % etc.
    "Outlaw firearms and only the outlaws will have them."

  2. #2
    Following. I save all my zinc WW for making ingots. Curious is the melting process is similar to lead. Not going to make bullets with it though.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Zinc melts at 850 deg F. A friend of mine casts 3lb ball for his Verbrugen cannon out of pure zinc.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Valornor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Somewhere, Utah
    Im kind of curious on this too. Would love to see how people do this and control the slag.

    Check out my website www.theballisticassistant.com

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Jacksonville, FL
    Melt your zinc wheel weights and add 1% aluminum and 1% tin. Just take some coke (or beer cans, pick your poison) cut them up and toss them in the molten zinc. They will dissolve in. Tin will lower the melt temp and help the allow flow. Aluminum also lower the melt temp and lowers the surface tension.

    Look up Zamak (I think that's the name) that's your best basic zinc casting alloy.

    For tools, use iron and cast iron. DO NOT use anything made of steel or aluminium. Zinc is a highly reactive metal and will dissolve steel and aluminum like sugar and water.

    For fluxing, borax works as well as our normal fluxes. This isnt rocket science. I think I heard someone mention aspirin once because it was a type of acid. Don't quote me, I just used my normal saw dust and pine stick. No problems.

    That's the most of my knowledge and experience with zinc. So far I only have made ingots with it. I don't have a cast iron molds so I can't cast anything with it.

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master bikerbeans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    There is a thread in the shotgun subforum about using Zamac to cast 12ga fullbore slugs. My search skills don't allow me to post a link.


  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Northwest Ohio
    Several things about zinc is It runs hotter than lead much closer to 1000*. low isn't the same as lead and may be grainy just pouring. Zinc and alloys of are normally ran in a die cast set up where a closed mould is filled under pressure with a shot tube, this pressure alleviates the graininess and gumminess of the castings. Flux is a borax based material, in the plant we had what looked like hot melt glue balls that were used to flux the pots. ( our pots were 2 40,000 lb and one 50,000 lb) Metal came in molten on a hot truck.

  8. #8
    Moderator Emeritus

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    typically Zinc wheel weights (in USA) are cast from Zamak 3
    Melt temp is 384C 50 (723F)
    Since there already is 3 to 4 percent aluminum in there,
    I'd just add 1 or 2 percent Tin for better fill-out...I'm not sure it will lower melt temp? but I think it will.
    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    Bookworm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Central Oklahoma, on a dirt road.
    I rendered all my Zn weights, and cast them into ingots. I didn't take any special steps, treated it just like Pb weights, but higher temp. I used the same sawdust to flux, but didn't bother with wax fluxing, as all I was doing was clearing out a bucket.

    When pouring the ingots the melt seemed somewhat thinner than Pb, easier to pour.

    The only use I have for the Zn, at least so far, is to use it to grease the skids when obtaining wheelweights.
    When I was at my regular place, one of the employees complained that if I got the weights he wouldn't have anything to use for fishing. I went home and fetched some Zn ingots and gave them to him.
    That freed up the bucket of lead weights for me.....
    "Varium et mutabile semper femina." - Virgil
    Man, ain't it the truth....

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