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Old October 24, 2011, 03:32 PM   #1
Gitsum
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oh no... did I melt my zinc WW?

Im trying my first WW ingot session. I was on about my 3rd handful of WW and the melt started to look like it was clumping together. I stirred it around and it looked fine. I am using a stainless steel bucket that is kinda thin so Im trying to keep the heat low. The next handful of WW clumped immediately so I thought maybe the heat is too low? I turned the heat up a little and stirred again. It went away again but Im worried that the thin bucket is allowing too much heat transfer to melt the zinc WW's? Can anyone tell me whats going on?
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Old October 24, 2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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Not likely. More likely you're just above the melting point of the lead wheel weight alloy and when you tossed more in it cooled the mix below the top end of the frozen slush range. Zinc weights should float to the top of the melt under that low temperature circumstance.

Best advice is get a casting thermometer. It'll tell you how far above or below critical you are. Lead melts at around 620°F and its alloys usually melt below that. Zinc melts at about 787°F, though a flux or being alloyed with something can cause melting points to depress. Just quickly pick out any wheel weight that floats.
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Old October 24, 2011, 04:00 PM   #3
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ok. I have been looking for a thermometer at work (a lab) but have not gotten one yet. I put a rather large handful in to get started so the lead pooled for a few mins until there was enough to float the zincs. I didnt want to keep throwing in more and ruin my ww's. Thanks again Nick.
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Old October 24, 2011, 06:20 PM   #4
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Success! After a little initial concern, I managed to cast 46 "muffin" WW ingots and have about 25lbs left for tmrw. I learned that I definitely need to use more than one 10 muffin ingot mould!
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Old October 25, 2011, 06:16 AM   #5
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I think Unclenick hit ya problem Gitsum.

As I rarely use a thermometer for smelting(but should) ,but do stay rite there with it & if 1 floats just after the oatmeal looking stage it gets dipped out !!

Be very careful adding "cold" metel to the melt as ANY moisture or liquid that gets under the surface will be an explosion of sorts
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Old October 25, 2011, 07:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Be very careful adding "cold" metel to the melt as ANY moisture or liquid that gets under the surface will be an explosion of sorts
X10! Had some water in the bottom of a bucket of WW and did not realize it tell the water flashed to steam and blew molten lead out of the pot. Scared the heck out of me. I only got one small burn but it could have been a real disaster. I now dump the WW out on the garage floor and make sure they are dry.
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Old October 25, 2011, 06:34 PM   #7
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I have 2 pot made from 8" pipe with 1/4" plating welded to the bottom & when I pour ingot from 1 the other s on the heat, I let it cool enuff so it does`nt do that !!
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Old October 26, 2011, 03:30 PM   #8
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I put a lid on my cast iron skillet to keep the heat in. Melts the wheelweights faster.
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Old October 26, 2011, 08:39 PM   #9
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A lid sure comes in handy doing range lead with an arrant 22lr in it every onceinawhile !!!!!
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Old November 1, 2011, 06:01 PM   #10
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I finally got to finish casting my WW's tonight. Total take was 67 muffin ingots out of a full 5 gallon bucket. Im guessing about 2 lbs each? And just about half of a 5 gallon bucket of scrap left over. Next step... "BOOLITS"!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg boolit lead.jpg (51.9 KB, 28 views)
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Old November 10, 2011, 12:37 PM   #11
south.texas.dead.I
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Looking good looking good melting the lead is my favorite part about reloading. I think it's cool how heavy a spoonful of lead is


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