The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 30, 1999, 12:13 PM   #1
Jack Straw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 362
I recently read an article in which the author mentioned using a layer of kitty litter over the alloy in his pot as opposed to fluxing. Has anyone tried this method and what do you think of it? What are the pros and cons of each method?

This kind of brings up another question: What exactly is fluxing supposed to do? I have heard different answers from different people.

Jack
Jack Straw is offline  
Old August 30, 1999, 03:24 PM   #2
Walt Welch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 1998
Location: Alamo, CA
Posts: 424
Fluxing resuspends the alloy components which come to the surface, and at the same time removes the contaminants which have been formed or released by the melting process.

I have never heard of using kitty litter for this purpose, it is clay. This might bind the contaminants, but I don't see how it will resuspend separated alloy components.

I for many years just used a few reject bullets which had been lubed with the Alox-beeswax lube. Plain beeswax would work OK also, but is expensive. Toss in the bullets, stir, and skim off the contaminants. You should have a clean shiny molten alloy left.

Hope this helps, Walt
Walt Welch is offline  
Old August 30, 1999, 06:56 PM   #3
TEXAS LAWMAN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 27, 1999
Posts: 304
Likewise I've not used kitty litter for this purpose but have read of similar materials being used. I believe the thought is that a layer of something floating on top of the molten lead prevents oxidation (lead combining with oxygen to form lead oxide). Don't think it would put the antimony, arsenic and tin back into the lead mixture.

For cheap fluxing, I've used pieces of candles which my spouse was about to throw away. Sometimes at garage sales I see huge candles selling for a few cents. Parafin also works well.

TEXAS LAWMAN is offline  
Old August 31, 1999, 08:50 AM   #4
Jack Straw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 362
I can see where a flux might have an advantage where cleaning an alloy is concerned, but I have heard some say that the various elements don't actually fall out of suspension. Their point seems to be that the flux is to prevent oxidation, in which case kitty litter might have an advantage (no smoke to deal with). Are there any definitive sources out there on bullet casting that I could check into?

Jack
Jack Straw is offline  
Old August 31, 1999, 03:12 PM   #5
Walt Welch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 1998
Location: Alamo, CA
Posts: 424
Jack; I casted well over 150 lbs. of bullets. I am sure other posters have as much or more experience. WE are the definitive sources.

The idea of using some sort of gas barrier to prevent the oxidation of the surface of the alloy is interesting. However, I see some problems.

First, do you really think large pieces of clay are going to prevent atmosphere / lead interaction? Secondly, remember that Pb is a very inert metal. You don't really think all the crud that collects on the top is Pb oxide, do you? The alloy components DO separate out. Otherwise, fluxing wouldn't have ever came into being. Think about it. If the only problem is lead oxide accumulating on the surface, and you are pouring from the bottom of the crucible, WHY flux?

Thirdly, with kitty litter all over the top of the alloy, how the heck do you tell when all the gunk has accumulated on top and it is time to flux?

Trust me. Keep the kitty litter in the kitty box. Walt
Walt Welch is offline  
Old August 31, 1999, 04:02 PM   #6
Jack Straw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 362
I'm going to try to find that article; it was in Shooting Times a few months ago. Perhaps I misread something, but I don't think the author fluxed at all. If I am in fact remembering correctly, all he did was to stir his alloy, skim off the dirt, and pour a 1/2inch layer of litter on top before casting. Let me recheck my sources...

I apologize to any that might have been offended by my suggestion that there are any other "definitive" sources outside of TFL...really...I mean it...from the heart of my bottom.

Jack
Jack Straw is offline  
Old September 1, 1999, 09:16 AM   #7
Jack Straw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 362
Okay, I goofed. I found that article and the purpose of the layer of kitty litter was to minimize the need for adding more flux to the pot as the author continued to cast. It was not (as I was thinking) meant as a replacement for fluxing.

They say the memory is the first thing to go; now I'll have to watch for that commercial with Bob Dole.

Jack
Jack Straw is offline  
Old September 1, 1999, 06:01 PM   #8
Paul B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,633
The purpose of the kitty litter is to prevent, or at least radically slow down the oxidation process.
The ingredients of your alloy will seperate as time goes on, and fluxing is a necesary evil even with a bottom pour pot.
One of the best sources of casting information is the LYMAN CAST BULLET HANDBOOK. The NRA's book, CAST BULLETS, and it's supplement will top off the list. When you get through with those books, you will have a pretty darn good working knowledge of bullet casting.
Paul B.
Paul B. is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08658 seconds with 9 queries