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Charcoal Flux for cast bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by grsjax, Dec 8, 2008.

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  1. grsjax

    grsjax Member

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    After reading everything I could find about different fluxes I have come to the conclusion that what is needed is carbon. Everything else is just window dressing. That being the case why not just use charcoal brikets? Cheap, easy to get and easy to use. Anyone done this? How did it work?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Why not just stir the pot with a #2 lead pencil? :D

    I have used saw-dust but it smokes like the devil and doesn't work any better then a ball of bullet lube or candle wax. Again a lot of smoke unless you light it on fire.

    I have been using MARVELUX® from Brownell's for some time now, and it works great without all the smoke, muss & fuss.

    rcmodel
     
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I too am a fan of Marvellux, but when I'm smelting large amounts of wheelweights into ingots, and doing it outside, I use sawdust. My smelting pot will hold almost 200 pounds of lead, and sawdust is much more economical than Marvellux. Sometimes, if I have overflow bullet lube, I'll use that when smelting, too. For the actual casting of bullets, Marvellux can't be beat, in my opinion.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  4. Pepper

    Pepper Member

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    I have been using Marvelux for over 15 years and like rcmodel said, it works great without all the smoke, muss & fuss. I would be careful with charcoal. There are binding agents in them that may not react well with lead.
     
  5. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    i use parrifin wax , left over smelly candles , cheap emergency candles .

    i don`t like the crust the marvalux leaves behind , i feel like i have to clean the pots out each time !!

    ReloaderFred i get nervous anything over 40 lbs melted at one time!!!!

    GP100man
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  6. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    GP100man,

    You gotta' stop working in small amounts. Think big!

    My shooting partner bought a Magma Master Caster and it has a 40 pound pot on it. It takes a lot of lead to feed that machine, so we're always scrounging lead whenever we can find it. We cast into one pound ingots, a five pound diver's weight mold, and a 22 pound linotype ingot mold. It makes the smelting go pretty quick, once we get things going.

    Fred
     
  7. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    too big a ladle for an old fat man!!!!!

    GP100man
     
  8. scrat

    scrat Member

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    just plain candle wax. i have used a lot of things. i once had some bullet lube. that i didnt care for so i ended up using it for flux. after using so many different things i found the best that works for me is just plain wax. just make sure its not the kind that burns up the type made with oil. if your not to sure of what im talking about. there are the old candles form when we were kids that would melt all over the place. and as a kid you would put your finger prints into. then there are those new candles that you light and a few hours later you look at the candle and think where did it go. The old stuff is the best.. doesnt smoke as much and does a really good job of getting out all the junk out of the mix.
     
  9. easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca

    easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca Member

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    Candle butts are free and works like a charm. Use ample amounts, mix thoroughly and scrape the sides and bottom of your melting pot. Smokes a lot and can flame, so smelt lead outdoors with plenty of ventilation, away from flameable materials like your house or dry leaves and keep a fire extinguisher close by.

    You'll know that you've fluxed sufficiently if all lead is melted off the wheel weight clips and all the dirt/crud is transformed into dust or black residue that is easy to skim off.
     
  10. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    I have some extra beeswax I have been using. Smokes a lot, but it works great. I heard that pine pitch is about the best thing to use, anyone know how to get it from a pine tree?
     
  11. janobles14

    janobles14 Member

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    ^^ use lighter knot. it has wood and pine pitch. handful of splinters works...use a hammer on a 1" piece.
     
  12. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I tried lump charcoal, and it didn't work very well at all. Ground to a coarse powder might work really well, I never tried that.

    Tallow seems to work better than candle wax. It flames up at first, but then the glycerin (I think) remains and takes a while to burn off. And the junk seems to stick to the burning glycerin so you can scoop it out easier.

    You also might try used motor oil, but be careful with it because it can really flare up on you, and it always contains traces of water.

    Soap shavings are good for fluxing your casting pot because they don't flame or smoke much (but they do stink) I woudn't use 'em for fluxing a scrap melt though.
     
  13. nicholst55

    nicholst55 Member

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    Several people I know of flux with a stick or piece of wood, and strongly recommend it. I tried it and failed to see any of it's advantages - besides, having a smoldering stick laying around is a PITA.

    Marvelux is hygroscopic, and will attract moisture. Be very careful if you leave any on your fluxing spoon, or you'll get a visit from the tinsel fairy. Besides, it leaves a mess on the sides of the pot.
     
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