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Thread: WW question from new member?

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    N.E. Oklahoma

    Question WW question from new member?

    How can I seperate zinc from lead ww before melting?
    Also when did they start using zinc?
    I have a bunch of old ingots from 15 years ago or so, and about 50 gallons of newly collected ww's.
    It has been many years since I cast anything and am being forced back into it in a much bigger venture than everbefore. I am buying all new equipment, and am finding this forum very handy.
    I am OCD and when I start a project it's go big or go home, and I hate to waste a lot of good lead with a major screw up right out of the gate. So all help is much appreciated.
    If you can't tell before, the temp and melt way will do I guess?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Slow Elk 45/70's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Clear, AK
    Redneck, Hullo and welcome. Glad your back in the game.

    As for the wheel weights, I take them and control the temperature when melting them the first time. Lead will melt at about 550* the zinc melts at a higher temp. if you keep your temp just hot enough to melt the WW, the zinc & clips will be in the dross floating on the lead, skim it off and put it where you know what it is, if you want zinc for anything, I guess if you have enough, you might sell it to a junkie(salvage dealer)

    Then you should have WW metal without the junk. hope this helps.

    This is one way, I'm sure there are others with other ideas
    Slow Elk 45/70

    Praise the Lord & Pass the Ammo

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

    Bad Water Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Where our governors, congressmen AND THEIR WIVES make our license plates
    Welcome to our happy home.
    The way I check my new W W is if they are shiny scrape them as lead is softer than zinc. Also the lead melts at a lower temp. I am not sure when they started using zinc but the 15 year old ingots should be safe.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Nora's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Boontulie MN USA
    If you see clip on ww's that have the weight riveted on to the clip, chances are it's zinc. Normally I don't bother to look for them but will pull out those that I do see. Zinc melts at a higher temp than does the ww's. Start skimming of the clips when it is still in the slush stage. Any thing that is zinc will float with the clips and show no signs of being deformed. That's how I do it any way. Then with all the crud out, it will be ready to flux as soon as it is completely molten and ready to poor before the zinc would have a chance to reach it's melting point.


  5. #5
    Boolit Master Gunslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I just startet sorting ALL my weights... ohhh it's a pain to just sit there and go through all of them.

    After a few hours it gets a lot easier to recognize the zinc weights. The colour is a little different. I find it very easy to drop them on concrete from say 10" height... the zincs go ding and lead goes dong... pretty easy.
    The artist formerly known as Wiking

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Phenix City, Alabama
    Did anyone say that the lead will melt before the zinc, so keep your melting pot at a fairly low temp?

    Oh? Someone already said that?

    μολὼν λαβέ

    Did I ever mention that I hate to trim brass?

  7. #7
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    randyrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North West Wisconsin
    My method... Looking at most WWs you can tell they are a lead alloy. Others that are different i use a hand held wire cutter. Regular WWs will score others such as, Zinc,Steal won't score....
    As you get back into the ball game you'll be able to control your temp and just skim the zinc,steal turds off your melt.***** Remember the bottom of the pot is hotter than the top when melting so stir as the bottom starts to melt, to even the temp out.**** This is important****(the bottom WWs may reach over 700 degs before the top WWs reaches 500 degs)
    WWs beleive it or not melt at about 505 degs F, Zinc melts over 700 degs.... Unless you get that pot real hot it is tough to melt Zinc..
    Seprate clip ons from your stick ons. Stick ons are closer to pure lead which melts at over 600 degs. Too close to Zinc. Check your Stick on wws and melt them another day.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    N.E. Oklahoma
    Thanks everbody for the info. I will do a little trial and error on a small batch and hopefully it will not be as hard as I thougt. Used to I just tossed it all in, poured my stuff and all was good. The only thing I used back in the dark ages was a few cap and ball 44 rounds, and 50 no high tech stuff. I bought all my factory cast from hornady cause it was soo cheap.....oooh for the good ole days.
    I'm sure I'll have a bunch more questions as time goes on.
    Glad to meet you guys.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    snuffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Oshkosh Wi.
    To be specific, zinc melts at 787 degrees. Without a thermometer, you're just guessing. BUT, depending on your heat source, you can exceed that temp on the bottom of the pot before the top gets that hot. Ummm, oh I see Randy already said that! Anyway, my propane turkey fryer will certainly get a lot hotter on the bottom!

    Some zinc WW will even have a ZN on them somewhere. Other than that, welcome to the forum, lots of good info on here!

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    +1 to snuffy....

    I use the temp difference to sep mine as well. However, if your not stirring to equalize the heat then you can get in trouble.


  11. #11
    Boolit Bub Ancesthntr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    San Antonio, Texas
    Any idea what zinc sells for per pound?

    Edit: Nevermind, the price is here (and updated everyday): http://www.coinflation.com/coins/bas...it=+Calculate+

    Today it is at $0.60/pound. I'm sure that the scrap dealers pay on the order of $0.10 or less for it, but if you're separating them anyway, bringing a 5 gallon bucket of the things to a scrap yard will pay for some of the lead you buy.

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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
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