fluxing lead?


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muzzleloader1
December 30, 2010, 01:34 PM
Hello all ...new member here ...sorry if i am posting this in the wrong spot.
I am new to muzzleloading and have started casting my own roundballs and sabots and would like to learn more about fluxing lead i have been reading other threads about it but cant find out why you do it..please help

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rcmodel
December 30, 2010, 01:40 PM
Fluxing helps separate impurities and oxidation from the pure lead. It also helps other metals like antimony & tin bond with the lead.

You can use bullet lube, bee's wax, candle wax, saw dust, etc.
Brownell's also sells a commercial casting flux called Marvelux that works great and doesn't create all the smoke, fumes & fire indoors.

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1132/Product/MARVELUX_reg__BULLET_CASTING_FLUX

Just drop whatever flux you use in the molten lead and stir until it all burns up.
Then skim off whatever floats to the top of the pot and throw it away.

rc

Shoot The Moon
December 30, 2010, 04:01 PM
As above.....

I use candle wax, chuck a lump into the pot and stand back... after the flames are gone, spoon the impurities off the top and dispose. I use roofing lead (used) so I get a lot of rubbish to remove.

muzzleloader1
December 30, 2010, 05:32 PM
thank you very much for the info...will try that on my next casting session!!

rcmodel
December 30, 2010, 05:34 PM
and stand back
You have to stir in the molten lead pot while it smokes off for it to do any good.

rc

Shoot The Moon
December 30, 2010, 08:03 PM
Indeed, thanks rcmodel - I stand corrected. I guess what I was thinking as I typed was getting out the way of the flames that come up when the wax goes in. No-one told me that would happen when I started casting and it was a surprise! Nearly lost my eyebrows..... ;)

Been a while since I did any casting, so the process was not 100% fresh in my mind. (will be acquiring a .454 mold soon so will be back out at the lead pot in a few weeks!)

J-Bar
December 30, 2010, 08:54 PM
I use canning paraffin wax. A box is $3 at the grocery store. Cut it into little chunks. It seems to work OK...I get nice clean ingots out of melted wheelweights.

Pops
December 31, 2010, 12:51 AM
I do not flux while Casting for muzzle loaders.
Fluxing does help keep alloys mixed.
However, I do not want an alloy..
Just about everything being basically lighter than lead..everything else will float to the top when you stir the pot.
I stir and skim frequently while casting

junkman_01
December 31, 2010, 10:52 AM
Pops,

I do as you do, but I also use a BOTTOM pour Lyman pot.

Noz
December 31, 2010, 11:12 AM
My main reason for fluxing is not to maintain an alloy but to remove crud from the salvaged lead I use. I found that not fluxing allows grit to remain in the mix and will rapidly wear the "pour hole" in the block of aluminum molds into a nasty egg shape with resulting bad sprue cut offs and casting flaws. I flux frequently now and have been using the same aluminum molds for quite a while. I also have a pile of useless molds that were ruined by dirty lead.

zxcvbob
December 31, 2010, 11:19 AM
Try using lard or Crisco. It works better than wax, and it doesn't flame up as much.

junkman_01
December 31, 2010, 12:12 PM
Noz,

You should be melting your scrap lead in a separate pot and pouring into ingots. That way you will avoid any grit in the mix to mess up your molds. I thought everybody knew that! :what:

Robert Wilson
December 31, 2010, 12:40 PM
I use paraffin when making alloys for cartridge guns. I don't flux when casting pure lead for roundballs. I just use a spoon to stir the melt and skim off any impurities. I also try to keep the melt relatively cool, in hopes of keeping non-lead metals in their solid state rather than melted into the mix. Almost anything solid will float to the top of molten lead when stirred.

R.Clem
December 31, 2010, 07:45 PM
Try sawdust.
It works just fine and is less mess than wax (paraffin), or the stuff Brownells and others sell. It does flash after a few minutes and is a more pleasant smell.

Ray

goon
January 1, 2011, 08:36 PM
I used candle wax when I smelted my lead down into ingots.
Because it was free... I also stirred with a thick paint-stirring sized slat of Red Oak firewood and used that to scrape the lead off the sides of my melting pot.
Can't say how it will work for bullets because I'm not at that point yet, but it did give me excellent clean ingots.

scrat
January 2, 2011, 02:10 PM
Flux. always do now when ever lead goes in the pot. Even its from a lead base that has been fluxed already. Years ago i made up a batch of bullets with lead that was not fluxed. I knew the lead was dirty. In fact the next time i did use that same lead i pulled a lot of junk dirt and all out of it. So those lead bullets i casted. That was the real reason. To try them out to see what would happen. My guess is that they are out of balance. They have to be i loaded up some 10 different types with various types of loads.. i took my 30-30 for the test rifle. Some of those bullets were down right dangerous. Shooting at a range that pretty much goes up into a side of a mountain. Aiming down range what about 4 feet off the ground at a target about the same the bullet actually went high to the right about 40feet on impact to hit the side of the mountain. Some guy next to me said "you flinched" "you gotta breath and ease into the trigger". I laughed and said thanks. Every bullet i fired gave different results but was all the same it was like shooting a bullet from a smooth bore with out and wad on the bullet. just amazing. Well anyhow when i went home. I took the remainder of those bullets and just threw them in the meliting lead pile. From that day on i knew the importance of fluxing. People will say you could get accuracy issues when not fluxing but they never say how bad. Well i am here to tell you. I have seen some amazingly messed up results. Bullets that totally curve to what ever way amost like throwing a curve ball or making a nice curved turn.

skipjack
January 2, 2011, 02:29 PM
I use bullet lube most of the time, but have also used paint sticks and
old cedar arrow shafts. The wood chars, and helps keep the alloy clean.
You can get paint sticks (stirrers) free from most of the Home Depot
type stores.

I have also used sawdust, to good effect. I normally flux every time I
add to the pot. My experience has been that there is almost always
some level of impurities in my ingots. I am mostly casting with range scrap.

mark_in_tx
January 2, 2011, 07:30 PM
Canning paraffin is what I used when I casted round balls for my 1851. I used marvelux when I started casting for my .50 frontier rifle. The marvelux had less smoke etc and seemed to get the lead impurities out better.

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