Smelting wheel weights

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Bfh_auto, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I use a cast iron pot and heat it. Obvious zn ones get dumped before pouring them in the pot. The others get dipped out as soon as the lead starts to melt.
     
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  2. Hooda Thunkit

    Hooda Thunkit Member

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    I use 'render' instead.

    As in rendering fat. Melt it down and remove impurities.

    It fits perfectly.
     
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  3. Show Me

    Show Me Member

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    I have cww ingots that are dull in color and sww ingots that are shiny. Black marker for the 30-1 i make and the finished bullet lead.
     
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  4. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

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    Since I figured out hardness is the leaser of the issues facing bullet casters I haven't checked hardness in 20 years. Maybe I'm lucky to have a consistent source of lead from the local indoor range. I do add a little tin if I think it needs it.
    I look for hardness around 10BHN which is close to what I get from the range lead. But most important is bullet to barrel fit. I cast .002 over and size .001 over and use a fairly soft lube. The fastest I shoot lead is 1050 fps in 135 grain, 9mm. Full disclosure I cast for pistol only!

    Since wheel weights are pretty hard I'd probably start with a ratio of around 2:1 two parts sheeting and one part WW. Cast a few and see how they perform!

    Smiles,
     
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  5. whughett

    whughett Member

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    The first time I used wheel weights around 2008, a small bucket from a local Tire Kingdom, I just filled the mag 20 full and turned it on. Steel clips float right. I was total unaware of the amount of rubber dust or bits that were in that batch. :( Dang what a stench. After that I started wet washing the stuff. No long after the crude started building up on the sides and bottom of the pot. I gave up.
    This was at my vacation home where I didn’t have any but basic casting equipment. At home I would have most likely smelted down the wheel weights as I do range lead in a cast iron pot over a propane furnace.
     
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  6. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I'd just use a Sharpie for the ones you've already poured.
    But the simple solution is to use one of the molds for WWs and the other for pure lead.
     
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  7. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    The corn cob tin was gone when I went back:(
     
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  8. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I'm primarily running this in rifles. I plan to start with wheel weights and gain experience. Then move into mixing tin and antimony with the plumbing lead.
     
  9. kcofohio
    • Contributing Member

    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    About this time last year I bought 25 lbs of Superhard from Rotometals for $100 with free shipping. That seemed to me to be the simplest way of adding antimony. Not sure when this craziness will end. Last I looked, the same would cost about $125. Some times you can catch someone reputable on ebay that sells ingots of pewter or Britannia, which has a high content of tin.
     
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  10. lightman

    lightman Member

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    Thats true! The older weights that I have had tested had about .5% to 1% more tin than the newer ones do. Test of clip-on weights that I have had done have shown that they are remarkably consistent.

    It seems like I have always had a good source for weights. My local store is good for about a bucket every 6 to 8 weeks and they are still running near 70% lead. Thats much better that other parts of the country.

    My favorite alloy comes from the larger Isotope containers but I don't have a good or reliable source for them. It sure is clean lead!
     
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  11. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I started marking WW ingots with a marking pen (I had access to a lot of wheel weight and used that as my main alloy for a few years). But marking pen faded and some became illegible so I used a 1/2" cold chisel and just marked an X on the pucks, muffin ingots. When I started alloying and testing hardness I got out my number stamps and easily mark the BHN on my ingots. For a while I used a conn bread/cob shaped pan for certain alloys but like the number stamps better...
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  12. Pivot Dr

    Pivot Dr Member

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    That’s a good term, render.
     
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  13. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    I made little "W" and "L" stamps from square stock and just stamp lead with the "L" and wheel weights with the "W". Works great and has for years.

    Another note - lead will "thud" and wheel weights will "ring" when struck.
     
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  14. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I read that on here in an old thread. It definitely works. I use a metal spoon and tap on the weights as I go along.
    The amount of knowledge passed along on here is awesome.
     
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  15. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Regarding the term "smelting". I have heard the correction posts for several years of forum cruising. Perhaps to a College English Professor the "correct" term is not smelting but rendering, cleaning, etc., but every forum I have attended that has bullet casters in their membership, everyone reading gets the full meaning of the post when the poster typed "smelting". It's no big deal. I don't carry my thesaurus with me checking on words and terms and as long as I understand the intent of the poster, it's all well and good. If you want to get the "Grammar Nazis" out of their library use the term Boolits...
     
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  16. Pivot Dr

    Pivot Dr Member

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    i suppose you and me could care less because it’s just a mute point anyway
     
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  17. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    Pour a mold w it & weigh the bullet compared to designed weight. You can get a good idea of hardness that way.
     
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