Titan ReloadingLee PrecisionMidSouth Shooters SupplyInline Fabrication
WidenersRepackboxRotoMetals2ADvertise here

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Bright idea; bad outcome.

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Tazlaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    168

    Bright idea; bad outcome.

    So I had a bright idea about adding tin/pewter to range scrap lead. I had about 10lbs of pewter and melted it into 1lb ingots. Kinda cool-has a gold tint to it! I was thinking about making boolits out of the pewter and adding them to casting pot with the ingots of range lead. 2-3 50 cal balls should allow for a 1% pewter mix in my 10lbs casting pot. Math—7000 grains to lb, 70,000grains for 10lbs. 700 grains for 1%. 2-3 50cal balls of pewter should be very close to give 1% tin added to the mix. Please correct me if I’m wrong so far.

    Anyway, when I tried casting the pewter balls, I couldn’t get the sprue plate to cut hardly at all. Hard stuff? So I then diluted it to 20% pewter. 1-1lb pewter Ingot to 4 lead ingots. Still had trouble getting the sprue to cut off. Hmmmm? So I cast some lead balls and even they were hard to cut off the sprue. I’m thinking now the mold is worn out. The mold is new to me and doesn’t appear to be very sharp on the sprue plate (after further inspection of course). I chose that mold because it’s the one I will use least and it gives a pretty big sized boolit/pewter micro ingot.

    My thoughts were to be able to mix tin into the pot on a consistent basis. Say every time you add a pound of lead, add 70 grains of tin, or one ball per necessary charge of lead. I would weight everything out first to be sure of the size needed.

    Question: does anyone else do anything like this? Is a pure tin/pewter sprue hard to cut? Do you think it could be the mold?

    I just think it would be cool to have a box of pewter micro ingots/boolits to mix into range scrap alloy as you go, instead of trying to mix a large batch at once. I might want to mix it differently on the next small batch.

    Taz
    Just knowing enough to do it, is not enough to do it right! -Taz

  2. #2
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    El Dorado County, N. Ca.
    Posts
    4,861
    Works good...



    or make them into a little larger mini ingots, weigh them and metal stamp the weight.

    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

    Be a Patriot . . . expose their lies!

    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” G. Orwell

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    253
    Sounds like you are letting it cool down too much before cutting the sprue.
    Don't do that!

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    137
    I cast straight pewter into a six cavity Lee 452-255 RF mold and have not had problems. I preheat the mold and open the sprue plate rather quickly, maybe 5 to 7 seconds after pouring.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Franklin, TN
    Posts
    1,033
    I wouldn't think Tin would be that hard to cut. I cast some Monotype once into 44 cal 300 grain bullets with a Lee mold. I didn't have any trouble cutting the sprues on those that I recall.
    My guess is a dull sprue plate.
    Good Luck,
    Rick

  6. #6
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lebanon, NY
    Posts
    746
    Your sprue plate could be dull. If you look close at the hole in the plate, A magnifier of some sort helps, It should taper all the way to the bottom of the hole. If there is any straight edge at the bottom you need to sharpen it some. I use my chamfering tool. The Chamfer tool my not cut the exact same taper as you sprue plate has but you only need to cut enough to eliminate the straight bit.
    Leo

  7. #7
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    648
    Tazlaw Leave the sprue plate open. You’re making Ingots now not bullets to be shot.
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    1,384
    Ask any of your buddies if they have a lathe or drill press. Sharp all the way down is what you want. I have both so use some older center drills to recut the sprue holes.Could never understand why the shoulder on some manufacturers sprue plates. After cutting the new sprue hole, I run a fine stone on the underside of the plate to knock off any burrs and protect the mold especially aluminum ones and brass. Even with a new mold I made it a practice to check out the sprue holes. Then run a straight edge on the plate to check for straightness. If not stoning and lapping gets done. Frank

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    1,395
    I tried the same thing with a brand new Lee six banger and the pewter I got even before I got any lead. First boolits I ever cast. Beeyooteeful! And I almost got a hernia trying to cut the sprue.

    With a 450 degree solidus and a cold mold and sprue plate, the sprue went solid fast. It took a hammer to cut it, and that was banging on the cam type lever that already had extra leverage.

    Now I tend to mix big batches of alloy where the tin added is measured to the nearest couple ounces rather than grains. I cast pewter into coins and mini cupcake ingots (more recently into the CB or Redneck Gold ingots). I used to weigh and mark each one, but with the large batch approach, now I just weigh a pile on a small scale, adding or subtracting to get what I want. I have spools of 95% tin solder from which I can add lengths cut to weight if I really want to be dead on.
    Last edited by kevin c; 03-12-2020 at 01:37 AM.

  10. #10
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    1,796
    I cast pewter boolits just like I cast regular boolits --- easy-peasy



    I have 1/2 oz pewter boolits for alloying or sweetening the pot


  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ball Ground, GA
    Posts
    124
    I cast pure tin in a Lee 6c 45-200tl mold. pure tin is hard to cut if too cool. Once it warms up it is fine. I would think that your mix should be a little softer than pure tin. FYI a 45/200 pure tin is .02 pounds each. Until the mold and sprue plate warms up I cast three and cut the sprue and then 3 more.
    Tony

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    NE Kansas
    Posts
    1,280
    The common factor with the members reporting good luck is that they use bullet not ball molds. When the alloy gets hard, it tends to try to roll with the cutting motion. If you are using an aluminum mold, you probably will notice that the hole formed with the blocks closed is now distorted and the ball will start sticking.

    Lube the bottom of the sprue plate and top of the mold to prevent lead sticking to those surfaces, cut quickly while still sort of mushy and your problem will be reduced. As already stated, you are not making bullets. A heavy bullet mold will be easier to work with but use what ya got.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    England,Ar
    Posts
    6,184
    The idea of using a bullet as a way to add tin to your alloy is a good one. Like the others have said, your sprue cutter may be dull. A friend does the same thing with linotype.

    Once you get a mix that you like you can mix larger batches.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    187
    I go for volume and cast pewter in old lyman 1/2# iron mould, as well as standard ingots. also, You don't need to fill the ingot mould if you want smaller sizes. l also dip larger bars into the pot until l get enough to melt off. Pliers are your friend

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Burnt Fingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Tejas
    Posts
    761
    Tin is a LOT harder than lead. I use a sinker mold for casting my tin drops.

    A basic bank sinker mold that has 2-5 ounce bank sinkers
    NRA Benefactor.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    5,629
    What I did was measured out exactly 1.6 ounces (1% of ten pounds) of 95/5 solder, which I figured was pure tin for all intents and purposes, then melted that in a mini muffin pan. When it cooled, I took that slug and put it in each cavity of the mini muffin pan and scribed a line around the top of it. Now, I just melt a batch of pewter or tin and pour a dozen 1.6 ounce ingots by carefully ladeling to that fill line. Woks well and I can add 1% tin at a time.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lebanon, NY
    Posts
    746
    I have a Lee ingot mold. I had about 25 lbs. of a mix of 50/50 and 40/60 bar solder along with 7 lbs. of solder I had from previously. I melted it all down into one batch.
    I then used just the center two mold cavities of the Lee ingot mold that are 1/2 size. This gave me ingots that averaged out to 6 ounces. For blending purposes I just consider it all 50/50. So with each ingot I add I add 3 ounces of tin.
    You could do the same with pewter.
    Leo
    Last edited by 44magLeo; 03-14-2020 at 10:58 AM. Reason: spelling

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Burnt Fingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Tejas
    Posts
    761
    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    What I did was measured out exactly 1.6 ounces (1% of ten pounds) of 95/5 solder, which I figured was pure tin for all intents and purposes, then melted that in a mini muffin pan. When it cooled, I took that slug and put it in each cavity of the mini muffin pan and scribed a line around the top of it. Now, I just melt a batch of pewter or tin and pour a dozen 1.6 ounce ingots by carefully ladeling to that fill line. Woks well and I can add 1% tin at a time.
    A 2 ounce sinker mold will produce a 1.6 ounce pewter chunk.
    NRA Benefactor.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man Castaway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dade City, Fl
    Posts
    82
    For what it’s worth, the mass of a 50 cal tin ball (0.490”) would be close to 128 grains, not 200 as is a lead ball.

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    5,629
    Quote Originally Posted by Burnt Fingers View Post
    A 2 ounce sinker mold will produce a 1.6 ounce pewter chunk.
    Ingots from a muffin pan are easier. I have some sinker molds around somewhere, can't see me wasting lead for fishing sinkers now, might have to try them with zinc wheel weights one day.

Page 1 of 2 12 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