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lets make some ingots

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by speedracer81, Sep 15, 2008.

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  1. speedracer81

    speedracer81 Member

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    ok guys. I've done some extensive searching and reading on this subject and I still have some questions so please no flaming. does anybody have a good write up on this? here's what I got
    -cast iron pot
    -propane burner
    -thermometer
    -200lbs of wheel weights (clip on)
    -a ladel
    -cast iron muffin pan
    -parafin wax for fluxing

    if there is anything else I need or some specific step-by-step instructions you guys would like to clue me in to, It would be greatly apreciated! thanks in advance
     
  2. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Nope start casting. make sure you do it outside plenty of ventalation when you go to flux it will smoke.


    Turn on the stove fill with wheel weights. If you have an old tin coffe can you need to get it. or go through the trash and get out some tin soup cans or something. Do this while the lead is starting to melt. There may be a little smoke. depending on how dirty they are. Once they start to liquify take your ladel and start taking out all the metal clips. you can start to fill up one of those soup cans now. ( use soup cans because the metal is hot avoid anything else). Once you are sure you have all the metal out. its time to flux. Fluxing will bring all the dirt up to the top even dirt you can not see yet. Take a good pea size amount of wax. Pure wax and just drop it in. it may produce a small flame. RElax thats a part of it. after the flame goes out. Stir the lead like crazy sides bottom everywhere. all the dirt will rise to the top. Take your ladel and scoop this up and pour it in the soup cans. Do it again. you should do this 3-4 times. Until you can do it and no dirt is present at all. otherwise keep stiring it up mixing the wax in the lead to bring up the dirt.

    Now put the muffin trays on either a concrete surface or on top of a good piece of plywood. All you need to do is pour in the lead. If you have some very big ladels this is what you should be using.


    As far as heat. it should be full power until the lead is melted then use medium.

    As far as the wax. you know those candels that dissapear when you light them kinda like they dissolve. JUNK DONT USE. you want the old style wax candles where the wax runs down the side. this is the good stuff.
     
  3. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    Pretty close to how I do it.

    Got two heavy duty aluminum "sauce pans" I use on a two burner Coleman stove, a metal Chinese style strainer for clips/crap, and I use muffin tins as well (great size for my needs).
     
  4. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    If you're using a high output burner, there's one more step. Sort thru your wheel weights and set aside any that don't look right. Do your first melt with weights that you *know* are lead and not zinc. Skim out the clips, then you can start adding the questionable weights (but make sure they are dry!) Skim any out that float instead of melt.

    If you were unlucky enough to start out with a zinc weight or two in the bottom of the bucket with all the other unmelted weights on top holding them down so they can't float out, you could contaminate the whole batch.
     
  5. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Stick on weights keep aside. these are normally pure lead. can be very helpfull later on. True though melt small amounts until you get enough melted down. if you have your temp on medium and you put in 4 wheel weights and 3 melt no problem but one just wont melt. Then pull it out. disgard it. not worth trying to figure out why
     
  6. hotwheelz

    hotwheelz Member

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    Very true Scrat , I have traded with some of the Black Powder shooters 1lbs of stick on for 2lbs of W.W. ..

    Also be careful with the cast iron pot once its good and hot do not nock it or hit it with anything hard , I have seen a pot crack and spill all the lead out onto the ground IM not the only one who has seen or had this happen to. If you decide this is something you want to stick with find a local fab shop to build you one out of steel. I made mine out a scrap 12" pipe and a flat plate bottom a couple handles and it works great...

    Picture288.jpg
     
  7. speedracer81

    speedracer81 Member

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    thanks guys, all that is great info. regarding the zink weights, i read somewhere that if you keep it under 475 the zink won't melt. don't know if thats true of not
     
  8. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I smelt around 700 degrees. You don't have to worry about zinc melting at 700 degrees either. When the pot looks like this and I'm around 700 degrees I start to scoop the clips.
    ry%3D320.jpg
    You can see the molten lead and all the clips floating on top. Once in a while there will be a weight with the clips. Like Scrat said, scoop it off and toss it it's not worth worrying about.
    Rusty
     
  9. scrat

    scrat Member

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    remember if it doesnt melt on a low temp pull it and junk it
     
  10. ants

    ants Member

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    Not that I think I'm a know it all or anything, but...

    You should flux and stir BEFORE you remove the steel clips.

    When you melt the wheel weights, much of the tin and antimony separate from the lead and float on top with the steel clips and other debris. If you scoop the clips now, you'll take a lot of good alloying metal with it. The purpose of flux is to mix the tin and antimony back into the lead and keep it there. The clips and debris (including zinc) will still float. Now you can scoop the clips and the rest of the black crap from the top of the molten alloy.

    If you pour the alloy into ingots and save them until later, be sure to flux again when you melt the ingots to mold bullets. Melting the ingots will separate tin and antimony again, which will appear as a gray film on top. Don't scoop it away. Flux it back into the molten lead, then scoop any remaining impurities after fluxing.

    Finally, if you have a dipper, use it to make bubbles in the molten lead while fluxing. Air bubbles help the alloy flux better.
     
  11. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Ants i actually use a pair of needle nose to pull out the metal clips. i do it right there as there are to many of them. it would be a total mess to try to flux. so i usually grab a piece and try to keep all the lead content in the pot
     
  12. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    That's why you skim the clips with a slotted spoon. :)
     
  13. Navy_Guns

    Navy_Guns Member

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    And then one day you will wake up and realize that you have a serious problem...

    Like I did this weekend when I had to move my processed ingots from their buckets under my porch. I counted them and realized that I have over 485 pounds of ingots plus another full bucket or two of wheel weights waiting their turn... That's over 3.5 MILLION GRAINS of lead! And it doesn't include the buckets of bullets I have that are cast and waiting to be lubed and loaded...

    It's a serious problem, but somehow I think I'll be OK. :neener:
     
  14. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    http://ezine.m1911.org/casting.htm

    A High Road member, Hunter0924, wrote this article for the m1911 ezine. It's about the most complete write up I've ever seen about it.
     
  15. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    No, that's a commonly held myth. Once alloyed, with lead, tin and antimony will NOT separate. What is seen on the surface of molten lead, is lead/tin/and antimony oxides. Fluxing with any carbon based fluxing agent will combine some of those oxides back to their original state. Any lead object that's exposed to the environment will have a layer of lead oxide on it. When melted, this oxide layer floats to the surface of the melt. If it's not fluxed enough, you will loose some lead and the amount of tin and antimony that's present in that oxidized lead.

    However, fluxing when the clips are still floating will remove any lead that's clinging to them at that time. It will START the fluxing/removal of dirt, and cleaning of the lead.

    When we re-claim lead from another form, we are not smelting, we are melting. Smelting is taking an ore, heating it, and adding carbon to make it into a pure form of metal.
     
  16. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I save the dross skimmings from casting and the "heavy black sand" skimmed from melting scrap lead, and when I have about 5 pounds of it I mix in a *little* dirty motor oil and I cook it in a covered pot for about 45 minutes. I usually get about 2 or 3 pounds of usable lead -- plus I feel better about throwing the ash away because I've reclaimed much of the lead and antimony oxides (and tin, but that one's not toxic.)
     
  17. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    One thing I've found really useful is a set of welding gloves for dumping the ingots out of the muffin trays and moving them around. Even with welding gloves if you pick up a muffin with in a few minutes of dumping it you'll be playing "hot potato". :)

    FWIW.
     
  18. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    you can stir with a wooden stick (paint stir sticks are my favorite) and it will help to flux the mix.

    some folks throw in sawdust....but I like to stir with the wooden stick, which will char up and slowly burn away.
     
  19. speedracer81

    speedracer81 Member

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    thats all great advice guys! also a very good article linked. sounds like its time to go burn some propane!
     
  20. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    We expect to see some pictures so you better bring a camera out with you.:D I just smelted four buckets tonight. This is what it will look like when you get close to 700 degrees.
    ry%3D320.jpg

    Here is my humble little setup.
    ry%3D320.jpg

    Ended up with around 300+ pounds.
    ry%3D320.jpg
     
  21. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Rusty nice set up.
     
  22. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    I gotta get my .02 in here!

    P7210033.jpg

    P7210032.jpg

    P7210031.jpg

    P7210030.jpg

    That's a turkey fryer base, with a 6 quart cast iron dutch oven.

    Stay away, far away from melting in anything aluminum. Especially over a flame heat source. I don't care how "heavy duty" it is, if you have the heat too high, it will melt/soften, and dump the molten lead all over. The melting point of aluminum is too close to that of lead to use it.
     
  23. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Al MP 1219 F
    Pb MP 620 F
    The Pb will likely be lower if it has tin or antimony added.


    You might soften a thin Al pot enough to cause a problem if it was large enough.
     
  24. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    I've heard of a few folks having their aluminum pot melt while cooking some WW's. Definitely not something I wanna be part of. Doesn't matter the reason(pot too thin, heat too high....) I'm not gonna use aluminum except to dump my melt into for muffins. :)
     
  25. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Uh-huh, but what's the temp of a properly mixed propane flame? Then concentrate that in the middle of an aluminum pan/pot with lots of volume! The heat can't escape, transfer fast enough, especially if the lead is not in contact with the bottom.

    A camp stove burning white gas, doesn't have the volume or top temp, so you may get away with it. Me, I just won't take the chance, and I want to go balls to the wall with a turkey fryer, so I don't spend all day over the heat.
     
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