processing wheel weight to ingots

Shadowrider

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I have a question.
What happens if one lets the lead and zinc melt together for something like fishing sinkers not bullets? Will it layer? Sinkers will likely be lost over time so if the mix of zinc and lead will work, Could one just go that route?
IDK, I've never had it happen but I've heard it screws up your casting pot and is difficult and a PITA to get all of it out.
 

dennishoddy

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I have my new forge in operation now so looking for things to try.
Melted a beer bottle and a piece of .308 brass (y’all please don’t panic that I wasted a diamond, it had a split neck)yesterday on its first run, so certainly into experimenting with other things which was the basis of my question.

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Reloading Rod

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I have a question.
What happens if one lets the lead and zinc melt together for something like fishing sinkers not bullets? Will it layer? Sinkers will likely be lost over time so if the mix of zinc and lead will work, Could one just go that route?
It will layer from what I've heard, but stirring it will mix it back in, and the only problem with the fishing weights would be they might be a few grains lighter. People use the zinc ones and melt them into cannon projectiles, and I saw a guy at the range using bullets he made from zinc, they were lighter and I believe he finally got them to pattern pretty good.
 

Rayce

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I suggest using a thermometer to watch your tempature, if you get the lead to hot, it will splatter when pouring into ingots. Always wear long pants, sleeves, gloves and glasses. I used an old grill with cast iron pot for a long time. Then switched to the big propane fryer eye. It heated up a lot quicker, but got the lead to hot. So now I use a thermometer to keep at the right temp. Most of the weights will be marked in some way for content I use an old stainless steel spoon I drilled a bunch of small holes in it to retrieve all the clips and zinc weights out. I flux with bees wax ( hobby lobby has pure blocks available).
I like to finish a pot, pour it into ingots, then set to the side for a few minutes, then load it up with material and back to the fire.
 

EKing

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I have a question.
What happens if one lets the lead and zinc melt together for something like fishing sinkers not bullets? Will it layer? Sinkers will likely be lost over time so if the mix of zinc and lead will work, Could one just go that route?

The mix becomes a goopy mess. It won't pour, it won't set up right, it just ruins the pot.
Sure, if you control the temp carefully you can just dump it all in and scoop out all the steel and zinc. But let that heat get away from you and you will be skimming the pot for impurities for way longer than you should wondering why. I carefully sort out the steel and zinc before melting.
It's a good hobby, very satisfying seeing all those shiny new ingots.
 

dennishoddy

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It will layer from what I've heard, but stirring it will mix it back in, and the only problem with the fishing weights would be they might be a few grains lighter. People use the zinc ones and melt them into cannon projectiles, and I saw a guy at the range using bullets he made from zinc, they were lighter and I believe he finally got them to pattern pretty good.
Checked out your YouTube channel. Pretty cool!
 

dennishoddy

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I suggest using a thermometer to watch your temperature, if you get the lead to hot, it will splatter when pouring into ingots. Always wear long pants, sleeves, gloves and glasses. I used an old grill with cast iron pot for a long time. Then switched to the big propane fryer eye. It heated up a lot quicker, but got the lead to hot. So now I use a thermometer to keep at the right temp. Most of the weights will be marked in some way for content I use an old stainless steel spoon I drilled a bunch of small holes in it to retrieve all the clips and zinc weights out. I flux with bees wax ( hobby lobby has pure blocks available).
I like to finish a pot, pour it into ingots, then set to the side for a few minutes, then load it up with material and back to the fire.
Thanks for the advice. I have a thermocouple attached to an industrial temperature controller that will go up to 3000 degrees F. It will control any number of instruments to maintain temp, but I've opted to use the adjustable propane regulator manually. Keep it simple is my mantra. :D
Explain to me why I need flux? I understand the need for flux when soldering on circuit boards, but making ingots?
Still learning, lots of questions.
 

dennishoddy

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The mix becomes a goopy mess. It won't pour, it won't set up right, it just ruins the pot.
Sure, if you control the temp carefully you can just dump it all in and scoop out all the steel and zinc. But let that heat get away from you and you will be skimming the pot for impurities for way longer than you should wondering why. I carefully sort out the steel and zinc before melting.
It's a good hobby, very satisfying seeing all those shiny new ingots.
Answers that question!
 

rickm

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Flux causes the impurities (dirt and other small particules) to separate from the lead and float to the surface to be skimmed off , so you end up with clean lead which makes in the end makes pouring into the molds easier and have a uniformed bullet in the end.
Thanks for the advice. I have a thermocouple attached to an industrial temperature controller that will go up to 3000 degrees F. It will control any number of instruments to maintain temp, but I've opted to use the adjustable propane regulator manually. Keep it simple is my mantra. :D
Explain to me why I need flux? I understand the need for flux when soldering on circuit boards, but making ingots?
Still learning, lots of questions.
 

ok-22shooter

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did a bit of sorting over the weekend. There are obviously heavy weights that are lead. There are very light weights that I believe to be zinc. clip ons with square ends or powder coat paint appear to be zinc. Most of these are so hard that they do not cut with side cutters. Then there are those that seem fairly heavy but cut kind of funny. Much harder than WW lead but they do cut. Shinny on the inside like lead but they do not seem to be normal WW lead. Putting those in a separate stack. Will check next time to see if they have a ZN stamp. So far, the pure lead glue on and the for sure lead clip ons are about half of the sorted weight. I have some wrought aluminum and copper pipe to recycle so when I get thru my 2 five gallon buckets of WWs, I may end up with a bucket to take to salvage. maybe get my initial money back.
 
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