View Full Version : smelt?

January 16, 2010, 09:53 PM
I have been casting bullets for nearly forty years. ny on? Anyway, what's with all this smelting going on? You smelters getting lead out of galina? Just askin.

January 16, 2010, 10:10 PM
We say smelt when refering to melting down lead, fluxing, and pouring it into usable ingots. Smelting is the process of producing a metal from its ore. Are we misusing the word...yes. None of us are actually "smelting" lead. Hope that answers your question.

January 16, 2010, 11:09 PM
As long as I can still melt my wheel weights before making ingots, I'm happy.
BTW, I started fluxing with beeswax cause it smelt better than ear wax. Sorry, I tried not to do that.

Don H
January 17, 2010, 01:50 PM
Smelting: A metallurgical thermal processing operation in which the metal or matte is separated in fused form from nonmetallic materials or other undesired metals with which it is associated.

January 17, 2010, 06:39 PM
Smelt : small fish. They are dark olive green in color on their backs and silver on their undersides.

Sorry :D

January 18, 2010, 12:05 PM
You smelters getting lead out of galina? Just askin.
It's Galena, not galina. The folks up there might be sensitive.

I smelt my lead in the summer and cast my lead anytime. ... ;)
It's all called; "Running Lead" .... :D

Be Safe !!!

The Tourist
January 18, 2010, 12:22 PM
I had over 1,200 pounds of wheel weights. I had the opportunity to smelt them down with the help of a friend and one of those huge plumbers pots. It did take a few days and lots of cold drinks.

(Yikes, was that pot loud! Sounded like a small jet engine!)

I believe in the old canard that the more work you do on the "front end" the less you do one the "back end." And in my case it was true.

I always add a touch of tin or solder to my stuff to make the pour easy, and because I got a lot of that stuff free or at lower cost. But boy, was casting easy and clean up a breeze! No greasy wheel weight clips, no slag, no really bad smells.

I am not a metallurgist so I cannot tell you if this "double boil" did anything to my actual bullets--I drop them into a bucket of ice between my knees just to be sure.

I did it for ease.

January 18, 2010, 12:33 PM
I have been casting bullets for nearly forty years. ny on? Anyway, what's with all this smelting going on? You smelters getting lead out of galina? Just askin.Mostly it's a misuse of the word. But when I melt range scrap and other dirty lead, I do save all the heavy black sand and smelt it to convert back into usable lead. It's probably not cost effective, but I feel better about not sending the pounds of lead oxide to the landfill. I use sawdust and old motor oil for the reducing agent; heat it up almost red hot in a stainless steel saucepan with a tight lid and hold it at that temperature for a while.

January 18, 2010, 12:41 PM
After gettin the temp up on some of the oil, chaws & a missed valve stem or 2, it`s very close to the smeltin procedure!!!

But in the end it`s still just meltin alloys.


January 19, 2010, 03:16 AM
*sigh* I use to have access to a plumbers outfit, now its itsa pot at a time and then homogenizing six pots. It helps to not have a life.

January 19, 2010, 01:08 PM
I agree that smelt is NOT the proper word for re-claiming lead from various sources. It's just become the useful word to describe the process. I actually think it's sometimes used correctly, because introducing any carbon into the melt will reduce some oxides into metallic lead.

A lot of people re-run the dross with a lot of carbon, then cook it at very high temps to reclaim some lead, like zxcvbob does. I may try that sometime, I have a bunch of skimmings from the casting pot I could try it on. Rather than pollute the local landfill.:rolleyes:

January 20, 2010, 02:16 AM
I agree that smelt is NOT the proper word for re-claiming lead from various sources

True enough... To actually "smelt" would be more like burning down the black sands and heavy deposits with charcoal and a blower to extract the iron to turn into steel to work a good blade out of... That's too much like work these days. Fun and rewarding, but...

OK--"smelting" lead WW... I use the term to the point that I'm taking junk metal and melting it down, cleaning it, and reforming it into a base metal that I can later use. Kinda the same thing, only less digging involved and a whole lot more usable material left from the base product when I'm done. ;)

January 20, 2010, 04:42 PM
base metalS perhaps. I'm gonna run my ww thru a crusher before smelting and swaging bullets in my molds.

January 21, 2010, 01:54 AM
What are you trying to accomplish buy crushing the wheel weights? Seems to me like an extra step that isn't needed. Maybe I can learn something new here today?

chris in va
January 21, 2010, 04:54 AM
Maybe 'Refine' would work better for what we do.