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Old December 12, 2010, 10:20 AM   #1
alloy
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Quick test to sort WW Zinc vs lead?

Is there an easy test/way to cull zinc weights?
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Old December 12, 2010, 10:27 AM   #2
IllinoisCoyoteHunter
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The BEST and FASTEST way is to buy a thermometer and make sure your smelt does not get much over 700 degrees. IIRC, zinc melts at just under 800 degrees (787*????) Lead generally melts around 650 ish. The Zinc WWs will float to the top of the molten lead and can be scooped out. Easy. SURE beats going through all those WWs and testing their hardness. Some people will go through and use wire cutters and gouge the lead. If it gouges easily you know it is lead. If it is substantially harder to gouge or you cant gouge it at all then it is zinc or steel. Good luck!!
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Old December 12, 2010, 10:35 AM   #3
alloy
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Bookmarked thread, thanks!
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Old December 12, 2010, 10:42 AM   #4
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That works if you heat the lead slowly enough. If there's lots of steel and zinc and crap in the pot and you heat it too fast, you can get to 800 degrees at the bottom before the top is melted (zinc melts at about 780.) Don't ask me how I know that.
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Old December 12, 2010, 10:49 AM   #5
alloy
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Quote:
Don't ask me how I know that.
Ok...but how do you determine it now?
Slow heating/melt?
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Old December 12, 2010, 10:55 AM   #6
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I hand separate them somewhat; pull out the obvious Zn and Fe weights, put obvious lead weights at the very bottom. Heat slowly, and stir occasionally, and watch once there's a puddle of lead in the bottom.

The only time I got burned was when I was melting down stick-on weights and I assumed they were all soft lead. There were a *lot* of steel weights and zinc weights in there, so it just looked like it wasn't melting. Now I know better. And I have about 5 pounds of zincked lead -- too much to throw away and not enough to try to purify by fluxing with sulfur.
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Old December 12, 2010, 11:02 AM   #7
alloy
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Ok, I guess I can handle this. Now that it's cold and too rainy for the range, I'm getting back on track with the whole casting thang.

The guidance is appreciated.
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Old December 12, 2010, 07:20 PM   #8
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Melt slow & be there ready to flux as soon as possible ,the zinc will float .

Contrary to belief a few casters of pure target shooters prefer 2/3% zinc , it makes very hard shiney bullets, just the corners not filled out sharply !!
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Old December 12, 2010, 08:35 PM   #9
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Can I safely try my zinc-lead in a Lee bottom-pour furnace (to cast some hard lead balls) or will it clog up the spout? Or poison the melter for all future alloys?
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