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Old June 5, 2012, 09:27 AM   #1
Marduk
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Flux and the Newbie.

My first time casting so be gentle....
I have seen YouTube people using shavings from soap instead of bees wax as a flux for the lead. Looks like some people use any kind of crap. My brother uses bees wax, but then he knows a bee keeper and he also makes his own rope and anything else you can think of.
Around here bees wax costs bookoo bucks, so what think you guys about an affordable alternative to bees wax?

Any issues with these alternatives?

Also, what do you use to lube the Lee aluminum mold?

Thanks in advance!
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Old June 5, 2012, 09:46 AM   #2
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Too many to track

I have seen or read about so many choices for fluxing, that it's hard to track. Like most, I stop looking when I find something that works or gives me good performance. I think you can use just about anything and it might work. ..
Parafin comes to mind and read where a fella used old broken crayons. I think a key point is to try and minimze the smoke. ..

I too have tried many things but lately I pretty much stick with Frankfort Arsenal's flux as well as their mold release. A little seems to go a long way and still working on my second jar. I would add that I smelt and cast at different times and use separate equipment/supplies. ....


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Old June 5, 2012, 10:50 AM   #3
mikld
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Most anything that will introduce carbon into the melt is used as flux. A whole bunch of guys use saw dust. Toss a half handful on the melt, wait 'till it's charrred and stir vigorously into the melt, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot. Most of the gunk will come to the surface to be skimmed off. At least that's what I do...

The only thing I lube on my alum. molds is the mating/locating "pins". A very light drop of Bullplate works wonders. (BTW, nothing goes in the cavities of any of my alum. molds, no "conditioner", no "release", nuttin'). Occationally I'll put a VERY thin dab on the underside of the sprue plate. Good stuff.
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Old June 5, 2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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I've tried soap and it didn't work very well. The two best fluxes I've found are sawdust, and lard (or Crisco). Used motor oil works but is too flammable.

If you have a chainsaw or a jointer, you can make a lot of sawdust in a hurry.

I use a tiny dab of high temperature lithium complex grease on a Qtip to lube mold alignment pins and the sprue-cutter pivots.
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Old June 5, 2012, 11:41 AM   #5
PawPaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marduk
Also, what do you use to lube the Lee aluminum mold?
I keep an old candle stub on my bench and use it to lube the mold if it starts sticking. On a hot mold, I rub the stub on the alignment pins and the alignment cut-out. I've been known to use grandkids crayons as well.

One trick I learned a long time ago was to use a carpenter's pencil to scribble over the top of the block, to coat it with graphite between the mold and sprue plate. That seems to prevent galling and gives the sprue plate something to slide on. One application lasts through several casting sessions.
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Old June 5, 2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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Makes sense !!!

Quote:
One trick I learned a long time ago was to use a carpenter's pencil to scribble over the top of the block, to coat it with graphite between the mold and sprue plate. That seems to prevent galling and gives the sprue plate something to slide on. One application lasts through several casting sessions.
Super idea and I thank you !! ....

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Old June 5, 2012, 06:34 PM   #7
GP100man
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Pencil graphite works as well as the spray mold release & The BullShop has closed so the next best alternative is sprue plate lub from Randy Rat over on the Castboolits site , he also has the best prices on bees wax &bullet lube making material.

I personally like pariffin wax to flux with seems to be not as messy (it does smoke until it flash ignites or ya can lite it with a match) after fluxing a bottom pour pot full of alloy I then sprinkle sawdust over it to form a oxygen barrier. I don`t add anything back to the pot until I remove it all then start over.

I clean lead alloys in a seperate pot from my bottom pours so I can extend the cleaning intervals & prevent leaking of the valves.But even then there`ll be dirt/crude in the bottom when clean out time comes as fluxing not only pushes impuritys up ,but out & down & once trapped under neath is hard to get it to the top.
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Old June 5, 2012, 08:05 PM   #8
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I use a dry pine stick about 3/4" in diameter 12 inches long and stir slowly with my Mag 20. DRY! NOT GREEN! You'll be able to feel the bubbling while you stir.
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Old June 5, 2012, 08:36 PM   #9
Cornbread
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Just plane ol sawdust has always worked about as good as anything for me. I have used shavings from wax candles the wooden stick that someone spoke of but always go back to sawdust. It works good.
I lube my molds with 2cycle oil and a Q-Tip . Don’t stick it down in the oil just barely wet the end . To much and it will get in the cavity’s. Just about anything you want to know about casting you can find here http://castboolits.gunloads.com/index.php?

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Old June 5, 2012, 11:07 PM   #10
Marduk
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Thanks for all the great information. Looks like sawdust is the preferred method. Just please don't tell me it has to be teak wood sawdust!
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Old June 6, 2012, 01:39 PM   #11
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Nope, no special, exotic wood. But it should be dry and not sawdust from pressure treated wood...
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Old June 7, 2012, 08:32 AM   #12
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I make a cake out of sawdust and beeswax (or paraffin or bullet lube). It's about 3/16" thick and I break off a pinch for the pot.
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