new to casting making a start

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:55 pm

i sure hope i dont have any of them! so if zinc does melt in my WW mix what will happen??
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Mohunter on Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:03 pm

It won't cast a boolit for shit if it has zinc in it. They won't fill out and won't engage the riflings as well when fired. They make a really crappy looking boolit and it's hard to melt and pour. Trust me, you don't want any zinc in there. It's way too hard.

Once I get some lead melting in the bottom of my pot, I start dropping WW's in 5-6 at a time, let those melt and then add more. That way if there is one that floats and all the others have melted I can catch the bad one and dip it out rather than leave it in there to get covered up by more WW's and not see it.
Luckily I haven't got ahold of a zinc one yet, but I keep my heat turned down to where the lead melts but it's not smoking hot. You don't want it that hot anyway cause that's when it starts to vaporize and you could get lead contamination by breathing it. As long as you don't have it cranked up super hot then it won't vaporize and it's fairly harmless as long as you don't have your face right over the pot and fresh air moving. Open up windows and doors if your in the garage or have a fan blowing nearby but not directly on you or your pot, just a passing breeze will do it.

Or smelt outdoors if it's a decent day and not so windy that it cools your melting pot down too much.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Waldoone on Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:29 am

Another good flux is saw dust. Just drop a good size pinch into your pot, wait till it turns dark( you want the carbon, it's what makes the flux, also it makes sure that there is no moisture in it ) then stir it in. Then you can leave it float on top to help hold in the heat or skim it off. At the moment I'm using cherry. Smells great. If you use it in a bottom pour, don't let it get too low before you skim it off. This also keeps you from fluxing all the tin out of your allow. Works good for me.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:09 pm

thanks guys i plan on doing mine out side just cause i dont have enough room in my shop and my reloading stuff is down in the basement with no ventilation! i got me some gulf wax so im ready to start i do need to get some muffin pans to make ingots but other than that im ready i gotta work the next 4 days but then im off for 6 so i should have plenty of time to make some ingots thanks for your help guys il keep you posted on how my ingots turn out!!
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:27 pm

i dont know if you have a dollar tree close by you but thats where i got my cheap bread and cake pans for pan lubing they probably have cheap muffin pans too.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Daywalker on Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:36 pm

Dartfreak, word of advice. I learned this the hard way last year. The way the temprature is outside right now, believe it or not, that lead will be harder to melt. I had my turkey fryer set almost on hi and the best I could get was sludge. I literally had to wait till the outside temp came up a bit before I could get a good smelting session going on. I believe it is suppose to hit the 40's around friday??

Also, I don't know if there is a magic mart there in wythville, however there is one in Pulaski. That is where I bought my cast iron corncob to make my lead ingots from. They were like 7 bucks, not real expensive...

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:46 pm

another thing you may want to do if your outside is get some sheet metal and put it around your pot to block the wind off of it it will help alot.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:40 pm

good idea thats where i got my laddel i check in there
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:45 pm

well i got a phone call a couple hours ago and my overtime got canceled so i when up to my shop to try to smelt down some wheel weights im gonna have to get a coleman stove or a lee pot my stove eye what get hot enough! it started melting a little bit but them it just stoped i let it set for and 1 1/2 hours and it still didnt melt them down they got really soft where i could break them up with my spoon but they never melted!! dang that sucks im gonna run to walmart and see how much them coleman camp stoves are il let yall know if i get one!!
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:46 pm

Daywalker wrote:Dartfreak, word of advice. I learned this the hard way last year. The way the temprature is outside right now, believe it or not, that lead will be harder to melt. I had my turkey fryer set almost on hi and the best I could get was sludge. I literally had to wait till the outside temp came up a bit before I could get a good smelting session going on. I believe it is suppose to hit the 40's around friday??

Also, I don't know if there is a magic mart there in wythville, however there is one in Pulaski. That is where I bought my cast iron corncob to make my lead ingots from. They were like 7 bucks, not real expensive...
i didnt see this post maybe thats what was wrong maybe its not my stove eye!!
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Daywalker on Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:41 pm

you also may have been overloading it. I had a friend using a stove eye to melt his. I never was around while he did nor did I every accept his invite to eat. He lived by himself and felt it was ok to smelt in the kitchen on his stove!! I think that is why he wasn't very bright. I do remember him saying that he did not think it would hurt cause on the eye stove, he could not to do very large batches. He never did say how much he had done. I believe to be honest, he would smelt enough to pour directly into a mould. So maybe a handful? Then he would pick the skillet up and used that to pour into the mould?

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:18 pm

lol just to clairify im not doing this on my kitchen stove its a portable stove eye its just a little electric burner it looks like a single stove eye i would never smelt inside my home lol i dont think i over done it i only has about 7 WW in the pan they got soft a couple even melted down enough that i could remove the clips but then i just quit i dont know if it wasnt hot enough or if it was just to cold for them to melt il try again on a warmer day and il take some pics so you can see what my burnner looks like! il problaby just get one of the camp grills i found one at wal mart for 30 bucks!!
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Daywalker on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:22 pm

Yea I knew you weren't doing it inside. I am not sure about those little electric eyes. They may be hot enough not sure tho...


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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by billarrington on Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:17 pm

i use a coleman type propane stove to do my fresh wheel weights in, it works really good i also just use a cast iron skillet to melt them in. its kinda slow melting them but less of a chance melting a zinc one imho ! while melting my ww i keep scraping the bottom and sides till my arms get tired !!! the more junk u get out of the lead now the better off u are later... then i flux it and pour into ingots....

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Reload3006 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:08 am

if you have a fish / turkey fryer one of those that they sell from wally-world they get pretty hot you could do those outside pretty good but you will want to shield the cooker pot from the wind it will rob lots of your heat and also makes it pretty uncomfortable to be near to drag the dross off of. I obviously haven't done much more smelting than you. but lol believe it or not i use my turkey fryer to i guess Blanch beet skins off for canning. it works great but i learned I had to shield the burner from the wind or it wouldn't even get hot enough to boil water. You need to be considerably hotter than that for smelting lead also i suppose it would be advantageous to be cooler because as bill said it helps keep the zinc and other stuff out of your lead. I had a bunch of aluminum roof flashing that i happened to have laying around that i used and it helped tremendously. You can also make yourself a good "smelting furnace" from an old gas hot water heater. rob the burner out of it and just get a regulator from wally-world for propane appliances in the patio section. and if you have a welder make you a good frame to hang it all in and set your smelting pot on. you should be able to do it all for under 50 bucks including the propane tank. Good Luck
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by DanRickard on Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:39 am

i did smelting on a propane burner from walmart for awhile, then after the 10th bottle of propane it got expensive for me.. i then noticed at the local fishing shop they had a small hand held smelter for $40 brand new. it was 110 electric, and well, thats what i use now.. and it works great.

check fishing shops or any large fishing outfit for jig smelters.. they carry ingit stuff as well for jigs.

also, the Zink WW's will be marked with a ZN on them. i used a magnet to test WW's for Zink.. but the lead ones will stick to a magnet because of the steel strip in them. just toutch the edge of the WW to a magnet, if it sticks its zink..

i'm using Wax to flux my lead, i tried using borax which worked out ok.. but wax is much less of a hassle.. just gotta deal with smoke..

also, dont bother with pan lubing, its a pain in the arse. use Liquid Alox tumble lube.. its the best, and way easy as well.. i've had great results with liquid alox.. you'll get some when you buy your sizing die kit..
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by DanRickard on Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:43 am

oh yea.. i've also melted down old car batteries before.. its nasty work.. the lead in them is mostly oxidized, so it doesn't melt, and ends up being nothing but dross. only the terminals are worth smelting.. if you got a bunch of old car batteries which you dont care for, cut the terminals off at the top, and use them.. they will be pure lead, but considering there's only a pound of lead there, its not worth the effort.

i melted down 2 batteries and i got maybe 5 pounds of usable lead out of them.. i drained all the battery acid out of them, drilled holes in the bases, then let the hose wash through them for a good 2 hours before i did anything with them.. and even then, there was still lots of acid left in them.. enough to screw up my cloths.. also when i smelted them i did it outside, with a breather mask.. so way too much effort for lead.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by hawcer on Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:06 pm

Also, just a hint....

alloy that has already been melted in the pot and left there will melt faster than a pile of wheel weights....always leave your pot at least 1/4 full when done casting,so the next time it doesn't take as long to get the lead to melt.... then once that melts , start adding your wheel weights.

The heat escapes around the wheel weights, plus it takes more heat to get them to melt through the oxidation layer and paint. But when you drop them in a already molten mix, they are completely surrounded buy heat and melt really fast.

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:35 pm

thanks for the advice guys yea i kinda what to do a propane stove for melting down WW and casting ingots but after i get the ingots form and i start casting bullets id like to have a lee bottom pour production pot for pouring into my bullet molds!! i think it would be easier and would get better mold fill than a laddel but it will be a while before i can afford all that im gonna just buy one piece at a time till i get everything i want! im gonna order the 401 lee sizer luber im gonna slug my barrel but i think id rather size them and lube them all in one motion!! also what are the advantages and disadvantages of quenching?? i was also wondering about hardness i know quenching makes them harder can they be too hard im just using straight WW im afraid there gonna be to soft and lead the barrel what can happen if there to hard? thanks guys!
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Daywalker on Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:48 pm

Wheel weights wether you water quench or not are plenty hard enough for casting bullets with. Do not worry at all about it if your using straight wheel weights. Be more concerned about your sizers. 401 is the right size for your 40 cal. Slugging your barrel will help determine that.

Water quenching does make the bullet harder as there is other alloy other than lead such as antimony and other metals that gets harder water quenching. The longer the bullets age, the harder they become as well. I may have that part backwards, I do not believe so... If I do, then someone will correct me....

The only time you have to worry about your bullets is if your using pure lead. Keep in mind, that clip on wheel weights are idea. The sitck on, with the sticky back, those are almost pure lead. Using those straight without mixing will be very soft. You can do a 50/50 mix of wheel weights and pure lead and still have a decent hardness. Adding tin will also help with filling out your moulds and giving the bullets a shiny look. You can get the solder from walmart. Now and days they have no lead and almost plain tin. The last I looked it was like 95% tin and 5% antimony, in which the antimony will also help with hardening of the bullets...

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by hawcer on Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:49 pm

Wheel weights won't be too soft unless using magnum loads or in a rifle. Water quenching will make them harder...and they will get even harder after a week or two. I've water quenched my WW bullets and didn't have any leading problems in my 45acp with them.

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Reload3006 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:53 pm

LOL DONT DO PURE LEAD GIVE IT TO ME!!!!!! lol! JK
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by hawcer on Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:59 pm

Reload3006 wrote:LOL DONT DO PURE LEAD GIVE IT TO ME!!!!!! lol! JK

lol...yeah...swagers take offence to using pure lead to cast bullets with.

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Reload3006 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:01 pm

I swage pure lead bullets and they shoot fine. just cant push them as fast as ww cast bullets. also something i intend to try as soon as i get it is swaging a gas check on hope fully that will help some. but for the most part if you keep you bullets the right size and have good lube on them they wont be much of a problem. no matter the hardness.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Reload3006 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:08 pm

all lead bullets will lead foul your bore and I mean all no matter how much lube you use thats why Mo and ammosmith are talking about a brass screen cleaner for your bore. but as long as the leading isn't sugnificant it isnt a problem and just needs scrubbed out. if you want a PB bullet for hunting the softer the better because you want expansion. target work punching through what ever you want hardness. LOL someone else jump in here and explain better what i'm trying to say. Rolling Eyes
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