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Old April 20, 2012, 03:00 PM   #1
Saltydog235
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Melting Down Wheel Weights

Anyone got any tips.

Haven't done it in about 25 years and was young the last time so I don't remember everything I once may have learned.

I have: welding gloves, heavy cast iron pan, burner, respirator, a plywood mold lined with foil (I'm making flat lead sheets for some counter weight for my boat), skimmer and ladle.

Any tips or things to be careful of?
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Old April 20, 2012, 03:35 PM   #2
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Keep any and and all kinds of liquid away from the molten lead. Don't even let your sweat drip into it. It will create a steam explosion and spatter molten lead everywhere.
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Old April 20, 2012, 03:49 PM   #3
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I guess I better dump the weights out of the buckets they are in and turn a fan on them overnight to get any water that may be in there out.
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Old April 20, 2012, 04:09 PM   #4
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Moving over to the Handloading subforum of bullet casting....
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Old April 20, 2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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If you put wet wheeweights in a cold pot & heat it up, no problem. If you add wet wheelweights to molten lead, BIG problem.
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Old April 20, 2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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Old April 20, 2012, 08:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Keep any and and all kinds of liquid away from the molten lead. Don't even let your sweat drip into it. It will create a steam explosion and spatter molten lead everywhere.
Sweat dripping into the pot is a non-issue.
Sweat dripping into the mold you're pouring molten lead into is a serious issue.

Water dripping on molten lead is not a problem. It's when you get water inside or under molten lead, that the tinsel fairy comes to visit (such as pouring into a wet mold, or adding a wet WW to the pot).


Saltydog, don't be surprised if your plywood catches fire.
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Old April 20, 2012, 10:43 PM   #8
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You think it would catch fire covered in a couple of layers of tin foil? Its just a throw away mold anyway. I need it to last long enough to make about 200lbs worth of sheets.
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Old April 21, 2012, 07:14 AM   #9
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Just make sure you melt them down outside. I once melted down a whole bucket inside my apartment smelled like burnt tires for over a week.
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Old April 21, 2012, 08:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
(I'm making flat lead sheets for some counter weight for my boat)
SACRILEGE! The only legitimate use for lead is for casting bullets. A pox on ye for such a waste.
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Old April 21, 2012, 10:31 AM   #11
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Recommend a thermometer such as lyman, RCBS, from Rotometals etc. If it has been 25 years since you last smelted lead and are like many of us going to use any clip on wheel weights you will need to monitor your melt temp so as to melt the good weights and allow you to skim off any ZINC weights or run the risk of ruining the entire melt batch. The last batch of weights I got from a tire shop was only 60% good weights and the rest were zinc and iron. The thermometer is great as well to control the actual casting temp during your boolit making for optimum bullet quality and reduced culls from too cold (wrinkled) boolits or on the frosty side from too hot . Happy casting...

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Old April 21, 2012, 06:13 PM   #12
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Moisture of any kind trapped under molten lead will cause steam to form ,the trapped steam will find the quickest way out, if that means blowing the cover of molten lead off to escape, well you get the picture.

Moisture dropped onto molten lead will sizzle and evaporate quickly,it will not explode because there is no lid on the pot to cause any pressure,and the steam generated has an escape route.

I also think the tin foil plywood lined mold will smoke it may not ignite but it will generate plenty of smoke.
If you are just looking for weight, what zinc you encounter won't make any difference, but you will need some way of skimming the steel weights and clips off the melt.

May I suggest some cheap stamped steel cookie sheets from Wally World for molds they are about 1/2" deep with a nice lip and 18"X10".
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Old April 23, 2012, 06:24 AM   #13
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SACRILEGE! The only legitimate use for lead is for casting bullets. A pox on ye for such a waste.
Boat gets about 1.5 to 2 miles per gallon depending on seas because I have to use so much trim tab. Weighting the bow will raise the stern and take off tab which in turn in decreases fuel burn. Gas if $4.00/gal, a typical offshore run burns 120-150 gallons of fuel, if I decrease that by 15-20 gallons that's $80.00/trip. Plus lead is good for fishing weights too.

Bought some cookie sheets and cheap skimmers. It rained like crazy all weekend so I didn't even attempt it. I need to find more weights, all the tire shops have been hit hard by people looking to cast sinkers.
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Old April 23, 2012, 08:58 AM   #14
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Comment was meant tongue-in-cheek. Up where I was from, Ludington, MI, I had to compete for wheel weights with salmon fishermen casting their own "cannon ball" down rigger weights.
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