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Old November 15, 2010, 06:45 PM   #1
BarbreJ
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First Smelt

I know I should read more on this, so if this is just an utterly dumb question that can be answered by reading a manuel feel free to say so.

I melted down some wheel weights today on the gas burner on my grill. I had it set on high(No thermometer yet). Took about 20-30 minutes to melt. the pot was a 6qt cast iron dutch oven pot. It seemed to me that everything melted ok but it never really got completely liquid on the edges. I didn't notice any lingering WW that would make me think zinc, but the goop on the edges made me worry.

I scooped out all the clips and rusty trash. then threw in a chunk of Wax toilet ring, stirred drossed. did this three times wasn't sure of when to stop. It seemed like there was about 20 pounds of lead in the pot when starting. I haven't weighted yet but it seems like i got about 8-10 pounds of ingots.

Questions:

Whats the chances my gas burner on my grill could melt zinc?

Is the goop on the edges just lead thats not getting the heat being that far away from the flame, and I need to get a coleman stove. I only seen the two burner stove at walmart today...is that what I want?

When do you stop fluxing? how do you know if flux is working?

Thanks,
John
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Old November 15, 2010, 07:39 PM   #2
GP100man
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Get yaself a turkey frying rig !!!! it`s at least 85,000 btu

The slushy stuff is lead that`s cold , if this was happenin no worries of zinc contamination as zinc melts on the next notch higher heat .


To really clean the lead ya need it hot so contaminates can move to the top easier .

Be careful & not scoop off your alloys at lower temps , if ya had alot of fluffy stuff save it & flux it back in when ya get it hot enuff to melt good

I use pure paraffin to flux with it seems to make the alloys come off of the clips better & rust & dirt float better, it also seems to help mix the alloys better .

JMHO
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Old November 15, 2010, 11:07 PM   #3
BarbreJ
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Thanks GP. I will go pick one up tomorrow.
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Old November 16, 2010, 01:01 AM   #4
MrWesson
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Ive used a camp stove a few times and it works just fine and a turkey fryer is not needed for a small operation(under 50lbs at a time) but it sure makes it nice.
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Old November 16, 2010, 09:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Ive used a camp stove a few times and it works just fine and a turkey fryer is not needed for a small operation(under 50lbs at a time) but it sure makes it nice.
Who melts only 50lbs of WW at a time? Next thing you know you'll be telling me that there are people who only buy primers 100 ata time.
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Old November 16, 2010, 11:49 PM   #6
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I just bought a Turkey fryer for 45 bucks at Wal-mart and while it is obviously not a high end piece of equipment, it will be more than I need for the job. Actually for they money it is a nice unite. I can't wait to smelt some lead.
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Old November 17, 2010, 12:31 AM   #7
BarbreJ
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Grubby,

I just bought one for $45 at walmart also! it was the Backyard Classic 30 quart. I dont know how to make the burner stay on though. It didnt have any instructions with it. It has a timer and a button on top of the timer. Some kind of sensor or ignitor. I resorted to a piece of wood and string to keep the button pressed down so gas would flow.

It easily and quickly smelted the lead.

Everytime I would scope out some lead it would look like I needed to dross again...I didnt but I am pretty sure I should off\.

For ingot molds I bought a square muffin pan. works nicely. the ingots just drop out and stack well.
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Old November 17, 2010, 11:32 AM   #8
salvadore
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"Who melts only 50lbs of WW at a time? Next thing you know you'll be telling me that there are people who only buy primers 100 ata time."

Pretty cold Crosshair, particualrly to a guy who does six 20lb batches and then has to homogenize the whole mess. thanks for reminding me how nice it was to do 100lbs batches at a time.
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Old November 17, 2010, 12:42 PM   #9
grubbylabs
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BarbreJ you should only have to hold the button down till the sensor gets hot enough to keep the gas flowing. There is a tab with a whole in it that puts the tip of the sensor right at the edge of the burner, the sensor should have two nuts on it so you can lock it down. If you need me to I can post picks for you.

Grubby.
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Old November 17, 2010, 02:38 PM   #10
BarbreJ
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Grubby,

I had the sensor put through the hole and screwed in. I guess I didnt let it heat up enough. I had the burner going for about 15-20 seconds and it still kicked off.

I will try it again, but I was able to get it to work with the string/stick method so not too worried about it. i will try again tomorrow when I melt the rest of my lead down. Thanks again
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Old November 17, 2010, 02:46 PM   #11
grubbylabs
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Good deal, let me know how it works out for you.
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Old December 15, 2010, 10:17 AM   #12
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I haven't cast my own bullets yet, at least not since I was a teen and cast .45 balls for Dad's flintlock, but this discussion really reminds me of those times.

Back then, we used an old pot-bellied stove Dad had and melted in a 5 lb cast iron melting pot and then poured these into little 1 lb. ingot forms for use during bullet casting time. Prior to that we used to cast lead soldiers and ships and such to play with, as kids. Lol, this was well before we 'learned' how dangerous lead is for kids.

Anyway, since I don't have that old PB stove or any of the casting items anymore, it was nice to read this and put together a plan for when I do decide to get back into it. I have about 50# lead bits hanging around in cans and such. While I know that is a pittance compared to the volumes some of you deal with, it's a good start I think.
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