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Old January 22, 2001, 07:32 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: August 7, 2000
Location: Floating down the James River in VA
Posts: 2,599
Yes I'm too cheap and poor to buy the Lyman casting manual right now...
1.) I'm casting using a dipper and aluminum pot over a propane burner. The surface of the molten lead skims over with dross. After I remove this, it skims over again. Eventually it seems that I am taking out more lead than dross. How do you know when to stop skimming and removing the dross??? (I'm seeing the wisdom of a bottom pour setup)
2.) I'm casting for muzzleloader so I'm trying to get pure unalloyed lead. I use a rudimentary hardness test for lead scrap of unknown composition. Occasionally some alloy will get by me. I tried melting one scrap that should have been pure lead (very thin x-ray sheeting). A thin skin of dark colored dross formed on top of the pot. Skimming away any amount temporarily exposed the silver color of lead, but it swiftly faded through almost the entire spectrum till it settled as a black/purple color. I tried skimming it away, but it seemed permanently mixed in with the lead. Any idea what the heck this was? I tried casting with it, but it refused to harden(stayed viscous) and gummed up my mould. Odd part was that it wasn't that hot when it was still viscous! Lesson learned: This taught me to use lead that I KNOW is pure, but I'm still curious about what it was.
3.) How important is an even temperature to the casting process? I fiddled around with the temperature so the lead would pour evenly.
4.) Can you get the mould too hot? (I'm using an aluminum Lee mould). I rested mine on the edge of the burner while it wasn't in use, to keep it up to temperature.

Thanks for any advice y'all may have.
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