Inline FabricationADvertise hereMidSouth Shooters SupplyTitan Reloading
Lee PrecisionRepackboxRotoMetals2

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33

Thread: Alloy issues?

  1. #1

    Alloy issues?

    So I used the alloy calculator I found here, and mixed 1lb of 60/40 bar solder with 9lbs 12oz of stick-on WW, which should give me about 94% lead to 6% tin, with a BHN a little over 10.

    Mixed it up and poured ingots, and I was surprised by the obvious crystallization in the ingots (see photo), but I don't really know what I'm doing, I'm just following a recipe, so maybe that's what it should look like.



    But then I tried to cast with it. The first few bullets had a weird look to them, and when I knocked off a particularly long piece of sprue, it actually broke. It was brittle, and I could actually snap a long piece of sprue in half. The kicker was when a couple bullets dropped out and chipped. It seemed like there was no way that was a good lead for bullets; it seemed like they would shatter on impact.

    So I threw it all back in the pot, poured about half the pot off into ingot molds, and refilled with WW lead. Then it started dropping what I expected, and I cast about 280 slugs that I still need to inspect, weigh and size.

    So what happened? Is the crystallization expected with high tin content, or did I just add way too much tin? Why were they so brittle? Is 2% the ideal ratio for tin, and harder bullets require other metals to remain soft enough?

    New to this, just need some explanation of what I'm observing.
    Last edited by ryanmattes; 09-23-2020 at 01:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    kalif.
    Posts
    6,290
    1/2# of tin to 10# of pure isnt that hard, what 20-1, if my math is right? That is what I cast my LHP with for magnums.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
    1/2# of tin to 10# of pure isnt that hard, what 20-1, if my math is right? That is what I cast my LHP with for magnums.
    Right, it didn't seem like it was a crazy alloy I was making, right around 20:1. Could I have had the pot too hot or too cold or something? Contaminants, maybe? The tin not mixed well with the lead? Or maybe the bar solder I got wasn't as advertised, and had either way more tin or something else in it?

    I'll try to cast with those ingots again, to see if I get similar results. This time I'll take pictures if it does it again.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    1,983
    Maybe you didn't flux it well enough.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Posts
    5,856
    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    Maybe you didn't flux it well enough.
    My first thought also ... Did you flux and what did you flux with ?
    I would have fluxed the pot twice ... with pencil sharpener (wood) shavings and beeswax first then a little Marvelux for good measure .
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  6. #6
    I was using hardwood sawdust and candle wax, although I didn't flux heavily since I thought I was dealing with clean lead from ingots I cast, so I didn't need to.

    Ill throw some of this in the pot this evening and flux it twice with sawdust and wax, and see if that makes a difference.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Butler, MO
    Posts
    6,723
    Variation in the composition of your stick on wheelweights? I know they are supposed to be soft, and near pure lead, but the question is just how near they are to pure lead.

    My guess is not very close.

    Robert

  8. #8
    Moderator Emeritus


    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    13,397
    Some stick-on WW have antimony.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “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
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    755
    when I try to cast too hot I get bullets and ingots that look like your muffins, try turning the heat down a bit and see what it looks like, or use thermometer and keep pot of alloy at 720 degrees or so and see if they still have crystalized look when cooled. ive found change in outside temp has effect on lee pot thermostat . casting with dial set on 7 in summer time had to be turned down to about 5 yesterday when it was 47 degrees out I don't understand it but that's how it was for me

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by farmbif View Post
    when I try to cast too hot I get bullets and ingots that look like your muffins, try turning the heat down a bit and see what it looks like, or use thermometer and keep pot of alloy at 720 degrees or so and see if they still have crystalized look when cooled. ive found change in outside temp has effect on lee pot thermostat . casting with dial set on 7 in summer time had to be turned down to about 5 yesterday when it was 47 degrees out I don't understand it but that's how it was for me
    We did just have a cold front. It was 90 or so for several days, and then 68 yesterday.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    24
    What melting pot are you using? What you described Is what happens to my spure plate when I’ve been casting at a fast pace with a 6 cavity mold and the mold/spure plate get hot which means Its time to let it cool down. When the spure plate is too hot the spure becomes brittle if you do not give it ample time To cool/harden before breaking it apart. Check your pot temperature most people use a Lyman temp gauge in the pot.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    El Dorado County, N. Ca.
    Posts
    5,029
    You have something really crazy going on there that I can't explain for sure...

    Here's almost the same identical blending except that here is 5 1/2% tin, but it's close as close can be.

    Here's what those ingots and cast should look like...cast @ 715ºƒ . . . .

    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

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by jsanch03 View Post
    What melting pot are you using? What you described Is what happens to my spure plate when I’ve been casting at a fast pace with a 6 cavity mold and the mold/spure plate get hot which means Its time to let it cool down. When the spure plate is too hot the spure becomes brittle if you do not give it ample time To cool/harden before breaking it apart. Check your pot temperature most people use a Lyman temp gauge in the pot.
    It's a lyman 10lb dipper pot. After looking at the lot I cast yesterday, I definitely had some temp problems. I've got a thermometer on the way, should be here in the next day or two.

    I'll shoot them anyway, because why not. They're a little ugly, with some wrinkles and stuff, but on the pistol range they'll still be fun to shoot. I threw any that had problems in the base or bands back in with the ingots to remelt.

    I also didn't have time tonight to try again, but I will this weekend, this time with a thermometer in the lead. I'll cast another few hundred and watch the mould temp more carefully.

    And the end of the month is coming, so I should get another 20 or so lbs of WW from the tire shop down the street next week. Plenty of raw material to practice on in small batches.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Land Owner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mims, FL
    Posts
    878
    Constituents common in WW's include:
    Lead 93.0 – 99.9 %
    Antimony 0 – 6.0 %
    Arsenic 0 – 0.5 %
    Tin 0 – 0.5 %
    Copper 0 – 0.1

    No easy way to tell what is in any WW unless you know its pedigree, which they do not carry to the tire shop. BHN - IDK. Calculator probably predicts best. Ingots were and boolits are being cast TOO HOT.
    ...place the mold on a wet towel for 15-20 seconds after the surface has gone solid...
    Last edited by Land Owner; 09-24-2020 at 06:10 AM.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  15. #15
    Moderator Emeritus


    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    13,397
    Quote Originally Posted by OS OK View Post
    You have something really crazy going on there that I can't explain for sure...

    Here's almost the same identical blending except that here is 5 1/2% tin, but it's close as close can be.

    Here's what those ingots and cast should look like...cast @ 715ºƒ . . . .

    I believe it's easily explained
    Lead-tin-antimony, when cast hot will give a frosted/crystalized look.
    Lead-tin will not.

    OS OK, your image is exactly what my 20:1 casts like also.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “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

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SE Kentucky
    Posts
    798
    Always thought that the solder rating was lead/tin, 60/40 was 60% lead and 40% tin. Have I been reading this wrong?

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    18,538
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich/WIS View Post
    Always thought that the solder rating was lead/tin, 60/40 was 60% lead and 40% tin. Have I been reading this wrong?
    That is correct, or at least it's what I've been told and believed for many years.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    18,538
    ryanmattes

    I would say the WW (stick on) had some antimony in them. Did you actually smelt the stick ons or did you by them already smelted?
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    ryanmattes

    I would say the WW (stick on) had some antimony in them. Did you actually smelt the stick ons or did you by them already smelted?
    I melted them all down myself, I got about 40lbs from two different tire shops. By themselves they made pretty good pistol boolits, but they were in the 7-8 BHN range by the pencil test.



    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    El Dorado County, N. Ca.
    Posts
    5,029
    I think, in this case we need a new term to define this casters level of 'FROSTY' ...

    If I cast too hot and overheat the mould or if I cast too fast and overheat the mould I get what I've always called 'FROSTY' ...

    This is frosty...



    This is not frosty...



    If I hadn't read the type of lead he used, I would have sworn that he had some high antimonial type lead from the picture and the description of it's brittleness.

    Posts like this one with the question of . . . . "What did I do?" . . . . without more details, without pictures of everything involved including where the dial was set & the color of the melt in the pot are hard to answer, especially when they have no idea of the temperature.
    His pot should'a looked like burnt soft lead, 950ºƒ or higher...dark purplish to blackened surface, if he had watched it closer, it would'a gone through a rainbow of coloring before he got where he is now.
    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

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