Inline FabricationRepackboxTitan ReloadingRotoMetals2
MidSouth Shooters SupplyADvertise hereLee PrecisionWideners

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 45

Thread: When to flux while smelting?

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    England,Ar
    Posts
    5,990
    I'm jealous of you guys that have a source for isotope cores. Their alloy makes a good boolit and they were probably the cleanest lead that I ever smelted. They were clean enough that I only used wax to flux. But, I lost my source for them years ago.

    Wheel weights are still available here where I live. They are often dirty, greasy, painted, coated, mixed with junk and require sorting. Just about everything bad thats been said about them is true. But I've smelted a bunch of them. I hand sort all of mine. They have always made a good boolit for me. Occasionally I'll add a small percentage of tin to the pot but not very often.

    It looks like range scrap is going to be the source in the future. That has its challenges too.

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    kalif.
    Posts
    5,998
    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    fredj338 and Conditor22:

    When fluxing the clips, don't you worry about melting floating zinc WW's that might be hidden in the steel and trash? Or do you rely on careful sorting or some other method?
    Don't smelt above 750deg & the zinc ones float out, but I do try & sort.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    kalif.
    Posts
    5,998
    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    I guess my processing of source lead different from WW led me to a different fluxing process that wouldn't work for WW.

    Lead wheel weights are rare in my area; I've only processed a single batch, and that had every individual weight dike tested. I've done more range scrap, and most recently isotope containers. These last two sources of lead aren't likely to have any zinc, especially the iso lead, so I use higher heat to melt and during fluxing.

    My fluxing is done with sawdust and generous amounts of paraffin, which invariably ignites. The top of the melt is one big cauldron of fire, that I assume is well above the zinc melting point. Good for cleaning the jackets of residual lead, bad for WW processing if I miss a few zinkers.
    I doubt flaming was is above 750deg. IMO, the was burning is just annoying & not doing a great job fluxing. Sawdust seems to leave a cleaner alloy.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    1,248
    True that just the paraffin sometimes leaves a scummy film. And for the temp I was thinking of the threads I've read here where folks burn motor oil as a way of getting the last bits of lead out of clips and jackets; I just assumed the trick was more heat and thought that the hydrocarbons in the wax would do the same as the oil and for the same reason. I haven't gotten out of the habit even though I've move on to cleaner lead without the copper, steel or zinc.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
    Land Owner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mims, FL
    Posts
    672
    Yard sales and church flea markets are good places for finding CHEAP candles and candle wax. I have two or three moving boxes full. I flux with a gracious plenty of wax candles before the WW's are melted and set that wax on fire to help heat the whole pot. I keep adding wax about every 15 minutes as the 100# pot begins to heat and melt. Then I flux until I "feel like" stopping after the clips, dross, and soot are gone. Wax flux disappears in the heat. It's fun to set the wax on fire too...in a safe manner of course. I get pretty good ingots after that if I do say so myself...and who else should I be appeasing anyway?

    forgot to add, if you work with women - ASK THEM for their burned out candles, used wax, etc. They will fill a box in hardly any time at all and keep it coming for FREE.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    167
    Ok update. I remelted and fluxed with wax and sawdust. I got much better looking ingots this time. Iím also adding the dross back in that I skimmed off last time to make sure I get all the good stuff.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a warm .45

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    167
    final result


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a warm .45

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
    Land Owner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mims, FL
    Posts
    672
    Those look good. "C" is for?
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    167
    Clip on. I didnít want to get my clip on and stick on ingots confused


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a warm .45

  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    England,Ar
    Posts
    5,990
    Those look good. And marking them is a good idea. I wish I had started stamping mine years ago. I'll never get all of them marked now.

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    167
    Somebody in this group suggested it, I donít remember who.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a warm .45

  12. #32
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Cecilia, Kentucky
    Posts
    3,438
    Those are some good looking ingots.

  13. #33
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    1,641
    I mark mine with a Sharpie, normally wait 2 weeks to a month before I do the hardness test










    Last edited by Conditor22; 01-26-2020 at 03:25 PM.

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    167
    Man I hope to have that kind of supply some day. So far Iíve just got about 30lbs in ingots. I havenít tested them yet, going to let them sit a while before I do. There are like 4 tire shops in my little town though so as money allows Iím going to keep building.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a warm .45

  15. #35
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    659
    I'm one of the oddballs and don't flux at all during smelting. As I understand it the purpose of fluxing is to reduce tin oxide back to tin and capture other impurities. My scrap comes from a pistol bullet trap and has a goodly amount of target cardboard fragments and wood target stand splinters. Most of the bullets are lead or lead core so not much hardening alloy in them. By smelting in a covered pot the organics are reduced to carbon, carbon compounds, and carbon monoxide all of which accomplish the goals of fluxing. When the melt is ready the carbon compounds flash off when the lid is removed and I'm left with the inorganic debris floating on nice clean lead. We've never seen any improvement in ingots by fluxing the pot again so we stopped doing it.

  16. #36
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    167
    Idz If it works for you then thatís great. Unfortunately I donít have a shooting range close by to mine so all of my lead comes from wheel weights. Wheel weights are nasty and I figured out if I donít flux then properly I donít get good ingots.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a warm .45

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Pleasant Hope MO
    Posts
    1,111
    I always flux WW before and after I remove the clips or add other lead to the pot, I don't think one can flux to much.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
    sqlbullet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    1,378
    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    I'm jealous of you guys that have a source for isotope cores. Their alloy makes a good boolit and they were probably the cleanest lead that I ever smelted. They were clean enough that I only used wax to flux. But, I lost my source for them years ago.
    I have been lucky to have a good source of isotope lead for many years. And, as you point out, it is far cleaner for the most part than many other items. At least the 31.5 lb technitium cores.

    Most of the other containers are painted, and gas off some pretty bad smelling vapors during the melting process. This has lead me to use flux options that will readily burn, to burn off the paint as quickly as possible. There is also the issue of a covered pot having a build up of flammable vapors that burst into flame when you crack the lid a bit.

    But, the real sphincter squeezer is when you occasionally get something in the bottom of the pot that won't melt. Go ahead, check your periodic table for elements that have a high enough melting point to not melt in a 750į pot, and a high enough density that they won't float in liquid lead. Most of them are not elements you want to expose yourself to.

    First time it happened I waited a long time before I finally grew the courage to fish it out. It is tungsten, and I now have a fair collection of different tungsten shapes on my desk.

    But every time I still clench just a bit.
    My isotope lead page: http://fellingfamily.net/isolead/

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    1,248
    I got the other extreme. A glass ampule for radioactive xenon gas was left in one of the isotope containers I got. It would have floated if I had melted that container, but I found it before it got into my processing pot. The radiopharmacy took that one back really quick. Fortunately for all concerned, the short half life of the isotope meant that it had decayed to the point of having only a millionth of its original radioactivity. All the same, the ampule shouldn't have been there.

    You're right about the paint, sqlbullet. I also think the adhesive labels and foam rubber inserts I find in some containers are nasty when burning. That's how I found the ampule, removing those foam inserts.

    ETA: I also have a collection of tungsten. The local scrap yard isn't interested in it, but there might be a market for it somewhere.
    Last edited by kevin c; 01-27-2020 at 12:52 PM.

  20. #40
    Boolit Grand Master


    jonp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Planet Reality
    Posts
    6,239
    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    Those look good. And marking them is a good idea. I wish I had started stamping mine years ago. I'll never get all of them marked now.
    Me too. Now I've got mixed up lead that I have to put a bhn on to figure out which is which. I finally did get a clue and started marking them with a sharpie. Pb/COWW/SOWW/50/50 etc.
    I bought 60 or 70lbs of isotope from someone on this sight when he was getting it a few years ago. I melted the giant things down into ingots but still haven't cast any.
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

    We all do our duty when there is not cost to it, honor comes easier then. Sooner or later there comes a day in every man's life when it is not so easy, a day when he must choose and live with it for the rest of his days.

    The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it
    George Orwell

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 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