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Old July 27, 2011, 05:24 PM   #1
UtopiaTexasG19
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What Do You Use For Flux?

There appears to be a vast array of things folks use to flux their melted lead from commercial products to bees wax and parafin? What do you use and why? I am curious if there is any concensus on what works the best. Also, does anyone flux a first time when casting ingots or is that just wasting time when it can be done eventually at a pouring session? Thanks...
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Old July 27, 2011, 05:41 PM   #2
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Whatever is handy. I've used beeswax and sawdust. Last week one of the grainkids had left a crayon on my bench. Crayon seems to work too. I also used the crayon to lube the pins on my bullet mold, but it turned them a purple color. I'm sure it won't hurt, but it looks goofy.
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Old July 27, 2011, 05:56 PM   #3
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Bees wax, candles, sawdust, bullet lube, there’s a ton of different things you can use. I use bees wax because I have a relation that has bee hives, so it’s readily available. Yes, flux when casting ingots, it’s when you get the most trash out of your lead. Skim the trash off your batch and flux again, if you think it needs it. Then flux again when you toss the ingots in the casting pot.

Bees wax and bullet lube just smoke and smell. Sawdust smells like the house is on fire. Candles, if scented, smell great, like other days in other times......
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Old July 27, 2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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More ways to skin that cat !!!

As mentioned, there are many products you can us for fluxing. Guess it all depends on one's imagination. During the smelting process, I use the Frankford Arsenal powder flux. One advantage is minimal smoke. Again, only during the smelting process. I do not flux on casting. .....


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Old July 27, 2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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What ever I am using for bullet lube; lithium grease, gar-fola 50-50, Lbt blue.
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Old July 27, 2011, 08:37 PM   #6
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Beeswax, or a pine stick-DRY!
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Old July 27, 2011, 10:28 PM   #7
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How much flux do you use?

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Old July 28, 2011, 12:29 AM   #8
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If straight beeswax, about the size of a pea. For my sawdust/paraffin cake about the size of a sugar cube.
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Old July 28, 2011, 05:07 AM   #9
Shane Tuttle
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Depends on the size of your pot...

I use a 5 quart dutch oven over a Bayou Classic burner. I stir up the wheelweights with a big ax handle (no head, of course) and use it to scrape the edges/bottom. The charring of the handle during the process aids in some of the fluxing. I place about a cup of sawdust in and stir away. You'll know when you're finished fluxing when there isn't much dross left.
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Old July 28, 2011, 07:56 AM   #10
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I long ago came to the conclusion that putting anything in the pot, like wax, does nothing except make smoke and mess. I get, and keep, my lead clean just by frequent stirring. The unwanted 'stuff' comes to the surface and I skim off.
Think about it, whatever gunk you use for flux isn't going to sink and perform miracles. It will just float, smoke and look like a mess. Stirring alone separates lead and lead-alloy from unwanted dirt.
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Old July 28, 2011, 09:34 AM   #11
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What Rifleman said.
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Old July 28, 2011, 10:19 AM   #12
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I've tried a lot of the "recommended" types of flux, but have recently been stirring the pot with a hardwood stick. Whatever oils or carbons that are in the wood do an amazing job of fluxing. My melt looks better than it ever has, and no smoke/fire
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Old July 28, 2011, 10:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
I long ago came to the conclusion that putting anything in the pot, like wax, does nothing except make smoke and mess. I get, and keep, my lead clean just by frequent stirring. The unwanted 'stuff' comes to the surface and I skim off.
Think about it, whatever gunk you use for flux isn't going to sink and perform miracles. It will just float, smoke and look like a mess. Stirring alone separates lead and lead-alloy from unwanted dirt.
THEN YOUR CONCLUSION WAS WRONG!

Lets get down to the basics here. The reason for fluxing;

1. To get dirt, crap, and other stuff you don't want in your boolits OUT OF THE LEAD. Sand, grit and other harmful stuff can remain suspended in the lead, or be trapped against the sides and bottom of the pot. If it gets into the boolit and is in/on the driving band of the boolit, it can and will scratch your barrel! Flux will cause that stuff to float to the surface of the alloy to be skimmed off.

2. To recombine valuable metal with the alloy. Air contact with the melted alloy causes oxidation. Lead, tin, and antimony that you WANT in the alloy will oxidize on the surface of the melted lead. Any kind of carbon will flux those oxides back into solution with the lead. Sawdust chars to create carbon. Stirring the carbon into the lead and scraping the sides and bottom of the pot, brings crud to the top and re-combines the metals. Wax, oil, and beeswax all contain carbon when they burn. Just tossing it on the surface does nothing, it HAS to be stirred while it's smoking, or if it self ignites, or you light it with a lighter.

Any time you disturb the surface of the melt, you are causing more metal to oxidize. That's why bottom pour pots work better, you're not constantly dipping a ladle into the lead. Don't drop sprues or junk boolits back in until you are ready to add more lead to replenish. The alloy has to be hot enough to flux. If you toss wax in the pot and it does NOT self ignite, you're too cold to properly flux the lead. If you have a thermometer, that should be around 700 degrees.
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Old July 28, 2011, 10:52 AM   #14
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Oh and another thing---,,,

Here's what I use most for fluxing. One of these will last me a year, I cut slivers of it off to toss in the pot when I'm casting;

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=260495
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Old July 29, 2011, 12:51 PM   #15
okiefarmer
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Used Marvelux for umpteen years, than began using candles or whatever other wax I cabbaged for free. Recently tried Buck Beaver flux, and seem to like it well enough to use it instead of the smoky candles.
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Old July 29, 2011, 10:36 PM   #16
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i buy a 3/8" x 36" hardwood dowel at lowes for $1.10.

i cut it into 4 equal sections, each section last me 3-5 casting sessions.

i stir every 5 mins or so to keep my melt clean and properly alloyed.
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Old July 30, 2011, 08:46 AM   #17
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I used Marvelux, too, okie. That's until I was stupid and didnt' thoroughly clean out my dutch oven when finished. It caused rust spots on it. Wished I never used it....wished I wasn't lazy...
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