Casting Flux?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by steve4102, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    What do you guys use to flux your lead? I have read everything from wood to wax to commercial fluxes. Help me narrow it down please.
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    green wood with natural oils and waxes is very good baking soda will also draw impurities and bind with them and make slag , you have to mix all fluxes through for them to work and thats what a lot of folks mix, they toss it in and give a little stir , its got to meet as much metal as possible to get all the junk out especially mercury or cadmium , so stir well for best results
  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I use old used birthday candles. When we have a grandchild's birthday and we put candles on the cake, after they are blown out, I take them and keep them for flux. I will use 1/3 to 1/2 of the candle per pot. Seems to work pretty good for me. I have 6 grandchildren from 2 to 18 so there are always candles available.
  4. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    I have a few 5 gal buckets of wheel weights. Most are lead, some are not. What is the best/quickest way to weed out the non-lead weights? So far I have been pinching them with a diagonal cutter checking for softness, what a PIA.
  5. gun-nut

    gun-nut Member

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    Grab a magnet that will find the steel ones. Most have the type marked on them useing the table of elements abreviation on them like the zinc weights.
  6. gun-nut

    gun-nut Member

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    I have used a mix of bees wax, candle wax and the Lee's Alox. Mix it 50/50 and just a few drops of the Alox. Then make into pea sized balls. Then i put them in a jar and use as needed for the melting pot. That Alox is some good stuff to use.
  7. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

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    I have an old hunk of beeswax I use when I get down to clean lead but at first I use a handful of dry sawdust. I use an old fish scaler to dig out the dross.
  8. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    I've tried just about everything, up to and including picking pine resin off of neighborhood trees. The best I've found is plain old sawdust/chips. Rouse it, let it smoke up and leave on the melt. It turns into activated charcoal and absorbs impurities while protecting the top of the melt.

    Sorting wheel weights IS a pain. I never can get a magnet to work, and it only works on the steel weights; not the zinc and aluminum ones. Also, the stick-on weights need to come out too. I just eyeball the good ones after spreading 'em out on the garage floor and trash the rest.
  9. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I just put all of the wheel weights and other stuff in the pot. The non-lead stuff will either melt or float to the top. Skim the crap off the top every once in a while and pretty soon will have good bullet making material.
  10. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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  11. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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  12. RustyFN

    RustyFN New Member

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    I just fill up a six quart dutch oven and heat it on a turkey fryer. I keep a thermometer in and when it gets to 650 degrees I scoop out the clips and any unmelted weights. Then I flux with old candles or saw dust. I also stir it with an old broken wooden shovel habdle.
  13. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    WW's are no longer lead here in WA, sucks.

    I have not had any issues with the flux compound, it was pretty cheap and I'm still on my first container after several years.
    I've not had any film and my pot is fairly rusty around the edges but was like that long before the FA flux. I leave my pot completely full when I'm done also.

    Rusty, did almost the same thing when I bought the last 500# of lead (WW's from a shop), I used the coleman stove and a cheap dutch oven I bought (now dedicated lead smelter...) to melt it all down; used a slotted serving spoon to skim off all the clips and dross, I've still got a 5 gal bucket of nothing but clips to dispose of. I've got two Lee ingot molds, a 4 cavity 1lb-er and a combo one that can do 1/2lb ingots, poured all my lead into those and stacked them on the floor in a corner of the garage. my little 'lead depot'

    When I'm casting, I use a large table spoon to flux and put the sprue trimmings or bad bullets back into the pot, also to skim off the dross. I have an old ball peen hammer handle that I use backwards to strike my molds open with. Used to flux with beeswax or parrafin also; didn't like it cause sometimes it would catch fire if I wasn't fast enough.
  14. dbach

    dbach Member

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    I flux with sawdust from the tasblesaw. Most of it is pine. Works great! and the price is right.

    I did use wax, but I got tired of the fire.

    The sawdust does not flame up, it smoulders then turns to carbon. Stir it in well, wait a few seconds then remove the dross. Keep it stirred.
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Make you a wax and sawdust slurry and pour it into a 1/2" thick block and cut it into chunks about 1/2"X1/2". Perfect fluxing material.
  16. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    Sawdust for me as well. Stirred in with a hardwood dowel.

    As far as sorting goes, I'm with Rusty. The almost pure stuk-ons are easy it's the zinc that can be a pain. It takes a lot more heat to melt zinc, steel or aluminum (which I've never seen). Just dump them in and scrape off the garbage that floats. But watch your temp, 650 ° is good.
  17. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Not just good Howln, but ideal 650-670 is the ideal range for making ingots. Lead and everything compatible melts at roughly 660 and below, Zinc melts considerably higher and will float in a 670 degree pot of molten lead alloy. But it is possible to melt your alloy too hot and the zinc will melt and alloy with your mix. Once melted in its there forever. All youll ever get is brittle frosty lookin bullets that wont fill the mold right.
  18. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    I'm smelting with a Dutch oven and a Turkey fryer. I do have a casting thermometer, but It might be tough for me to keep this bad boy at 600-650*.

    I'll give it a try with known lead weights and see if I can control it. If I can, I'll just dump and skim..
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