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Old January 27, 2013, 08:00 AM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,458
Some info on wheel weights....

....Not that we need a whole lot of additional comment on the topic.

Opening discussion

I read Fryxell and Applegate's book on casting bullets. The scientific approach they take prompted me to think in expanded terms.

I picked up about 70 pounds of weights yesterday. It was a combination of clip on, stick on, and cigarette butts.

I had heard (read) previously that stick on weights are generally made of purer lead than are clip on weights. So I separated the stick on weights and smelted them separately.

I learned something that everyone else probably already knows.

In this process I noted something I had not seen before. I encountered a very high percentage of weights that were marked "FE", "Fe", or "fe". Of course in chemical or metalurgical circles FE means ferrous. These weights did not melt and I am assuming these are the steel weights which are appearing with increasing frequency. I just had not seen the marking previously. They were both stick on and clip on and it got to point in my smelting operation that if I saw the FE on the weight I just tossed it into the trash.

Lets talk hardness

As I said I separated out the stick on weights on the arguement that they are made of higher purity lead. I reasoned that if this is true, it would be helpful to have a supply of bullet metal that is on the soft side and other metal that is harder. When I smelted and permitted the ingots to cool to room temperature, I got a hardness of the stick on weights right at 7. This is off the scale of the documentation supplied with the hardness tester that I use but I extended the scale in accordance with the progression in the existing scale. The Clip on weights measured 14 which is right in line with what others on this forum are saying (Hawg, Fingers, et al.) I retested the ingots this morning and the ingots from stick on weights had aged in the ten hours to a hardness of 8 while the clip on weights had not changed much at all.

Sawdust

Fryxell and Applegate recommend sawdust as a fluxing agent. I used to use my bore lube which is another agent mentioned in their book. I am not yet able to determine if I get better metal from sawdust fluxing than I got previously but at least it smells better.

Results

From the seventy pound of raw weights I got about 15 pounds of metal at a hardness of about 8 and 28 pounds of metal at a hardness of 14.
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