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Thread: Lead free solder

  1. #1
    Boolit Man Tn Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    1000 miles east of where I should be

    Lead free solder

    I was gifted a full 1lb roll of solder over the weekend. The box says "Sterling premium quality lead free solid wire solder". Backside of the box says "contains tin, copper and selenium", but it doesn't give a percentage of anything. My question is can I cut a 3-4 inch piece of this and add it to my COWW to up the tin percentage without contaminating my alloy? I'm not even sure what selenium is.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    You have about a 99.99% chance its the new generation Lead free '95/5' plumbing solder.

    I'm as un-scientific and low tech as it gets and I use it like I would regular pure Tin.
    For the last 40-ish years, its always done a good job for me.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

    imashooter2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    5% of 2% is 0.1% of the total mass. Your COWW probably have more “contaminants” than that to start with. Use the solder with confidence.
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  4. #4
    Moderator Emeritus

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Google the part number to get the solder makeup.

    Bottom line:
    4" of wire solder ain't gonna do jack to a pot of boolit alloy.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Communist New Jersey
    Have you downloaded the alloy calculator from the site here? It will make a lot more sense of what you are trying to do with your alloys. AND save you a lot of work and waste of good lead.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    I'm guessing that your title, lead free solder, is correct. If so its 95% tin and the small amount of other stuff won't matter for the purpose that we use it for. Nice freebe gift!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Hudson Valley NY
    That is one of a few modern lead free solders. That one they replaced the antimony with 4-5% copper it has 91% tin with other trace metals. It's also $35lb.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    winelover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    North Central Arkansas
    I mix one full roll of 95/5 with twenty pounds of pure to get 20-1 bullet alloy. Close enough for my use.


  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    It's gonna take at least 1\2 of that roll to do anything to help a 20# casting pot mix. You can make a few good boolits with it. That's all. A 4" piece will do nothing for you.

    I would keep it around for doing sweat copper joints around the house and not waste it in a casting pot.

    Buy your PURE Sn on here or RotoMetals in quantities that actually mean something.


  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy MattOrgan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Paradise: Methow Valley Washington
    I pretty much use an alloy of about 20:1 for everything. I’ve been using scrap lead for 50 years. A free pound of lead free solder makes 20 pounds of pure lead more or less 20:1. Not insignificant. I generally add solder to unknown lead alloy until the surface tension looks right and the molds easily fill out. Solder is frequently very cheap at garage sales and thrift stores, each time I think I’ll use my last solder I’ll run across another pound or two. My favorite solder is rosin core. Doesn’t take much to flux your pot.

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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
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