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Old December 27, 2011, 02:43 PM   #1
mkk41
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Lead-free wheel weights!

Be aware and sort thru your weights carefully before ya toss 'em in the pot. Some are made of really nasty stuff and will ruin a pot of good metal fast. Many states have regulated wheel weights and depending on the make , they have too much tin , antimony , zinc , and other nasty stuff. Some even contain powdered tungsten , which will ruin your barrel as well. There are several sights dealing with lead free wheelweights. Check them out and learn how to spot and identify them.

AAMOF , I'm not sure the good ol' lead weights ever had a specific mix.
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Old December 27, 2011, 03:50 PM   #2
snuffy
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Quote:
Be aware and sort thru your weights carefully before ya toss 'em in the pot. Some are made of really nasty stuff and will ruin a pot of good metal fast. Many states have regulated wheel weights and depending on the make , they have too much tin , antimony , zinc , and other nasty stuff. Some even contain powdered tungsten , which will ruin your barrel as well. There are several sights dealing with lead free wheelweights. Check them out and learn how to spot and identify them.

AAMOF , I'm not sure the good ol' lead weights ever had a specific mix.
Yes, BUT the only thing you have to be worried about is the pure zinc weights. Those other metals will not melt, and in fact will float on the top of the molten lead to be skimmed off with the dross.

As for the excessive tin, antimony thing, that's the first time I ever heard of that. In fact, if true, it would be a GOOD thing. Both are desirable for bullet making, causing the lead to make harder bullets.

It's real easy to avoid the zinc. One, don't heat to over 700 degrees, zinc melts at 787 degrees, it WILL float on the molten lead to be skimmed out.

Two, don't put them in the pot to start with. Cull them. A diagonal cutter will hardly dent a zinc weight, but will easily cut a lead weight.

Three, some zinc weights say right on them zinc or ZN. Some are painted, and some have the steel clip riveted onto the weight itself.
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Old December 27, 2011, 06:58 PM   #3
Stick_man
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+1 on what Snuffy said. However, you can also drop the weights on a concrete floor and the Zn and Fe ones will have a definitely different sound to them compared to the thud of lead weights. Any that are riveted will be Fe and they are easy to tell the difference on.

The stick-on type weights come in the different metal types as well. Most of them (the undesireable ones) are marked Zn or Fe or are of a very dense foam-like material. The lead stick-on weights are generally considered soft enough to use straight for muzzleloaders. A lot of casters will mix the stick-ons with clip-ons at 50/50 for use in handguns or light rifle loads.

I have not run into any bismuth yet but have heard about them. My guess is that they would be quite a bit more expensive to make than straight Fe or Zn.
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Old December 27, 2011, 07:11 PM   #4
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Here`s a few I picked out ,not a complete compilation by no means !!

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Old December 27, 2011, 08:56 PM   #5
Gerry
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Up here, those Zn clip-ons are really rare. I see more of the square stick-on Zn than I do them. But Fe weights in both forms seem to be getting more and more popular, likely due to more new cars having them. Most garages here still replace them with lead when it's winter tire change time, which is a good thing.

I don't bother sorting much before doing a big melt. But I keep my temperature low by always including a few lead stick-ons. If they refuse to melt, then my temperature is safe.
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Old December 28, 2011, 04:19 PM   #6
chris in va
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I've only seen the Zn and Fe weights that need to be sorted. I don't use the tape type as they are usually pure lead and won't melt in my absurdly cheap melting setup.
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