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Old February 8, 2014, 10:16 AM   #26
Rifleman1776
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wood mixing stick

Lead melts at about 650 degrees, wood burns at about 450 degrees.
What am I missing?
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Old February 8, 2014, 01:45 PM   #27
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drip,drip,drip,

I add more weight to the pour rod. With a few try's a small vice grip works for me.hdbiker
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Old February 8, 2014, 11:20 PM   #28
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Lead melts at about 650 degrees, wood burns at about 450 degrees.
I don't do it, but from what I read, a lot of people get those free wooden paint stirring sticks from Lowes and HD and use it to scrape the side of their pot while fluxing. Apparently the charring of the stick also helps reduce the tin back into the melt while stirring. I take it that they don't stir for very long.
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Old February 9, 2014, 12:57 AM   #29
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Recommended by some casting books and sites. Fluxes alloys back in some, doesn't stick to the alloy at all. Exposure time is minimal. Still using the same stick I started with. When stirring it just doesn't sit in the pot long enough to burn... much.
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Old February 9, 2014, 11:16 AM   #30
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CARBON! That's what does the reduction of tin, lead and and antimony oxides to the metallic state. Every substance we use as flux results in carbon being created to do the fluxing. Wood is the best for fluxing.

I've been using wood shavings for the last year to flux my lead. I gathered the sawdust from around my last construction project, but that didn't last too long. I got a bag of cedar shavings sold for pet bedding. That stuff smells good when it burns and works great for fluxing. You can light the smoke produced to make it burn, then stir the ash/carbon into your molten alloy. But here's what most are doing, don't skim the top of the melt. Leave the layer of ash/carbon on top to insulate the lead from the air, that prevents further oxidation.


Yes, I do use a paint stirring stick , they made of pine and they char right up. Yeah, they can ignite and burn, just put them out. The charred surface is put where the carbon needs to be,,-- under the surface of the lead! The carbon should be in contact with all the lead to do the job of reducing the oxides to their metallic state.
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Old February 9, 2014, 01:23 PM   #31
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I gathered the sawdust from around my last construction project, but that didn't last too long
Does sawdust from non-treated wood perform better than from treated lumber? And is treated sawdust even recommended? I used some that was given to me recently, and it must have been treated, because I noticed a slight oil film on the surface.
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Old February 9, 2014, 04:21 PM   #32
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Does sawdust from non-treated wood perform better than from treated lumber? And is treated sawdust even recommended? I used some that was given to me recently, and it must have been treated, because I noticed a slight oil film on the surface.
Treated lumber is pressure soaked in a solution of creosote and arsenic of lead. The creosote is a wood preservative to prevent rotting, and the arsenic is an insecticide to kill termites or other bugs that eat wood. The arsenic is highly toxic, much more so than just the lead you're fluxing. I'd stay away from treated wood sawdust/shavings.
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Old February 9, 2014, 05:26 PM   #33
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Very strong +1 to snuffy. Pressure treated wood exposed to combustion temperatures releases PCB's and Dioxins which are HIGHLY (HIGHLY!!!!) toxic. They cause cumulative cirrhosis of the liver almost instantly and by the time you show symptoms significant permanent damage has already been done.

If by "treated" you mean like kiln dried milled 2x4's they are fine. DO NOT use the green pressure treated wood though. I can't stress this enough. Very very bad. The arsenic (which some pt wood no longer has) is the least of your concerns.

Some pressure treated is brown too. But all the PT wood I've seen has a pattern of incision marks (probably to help treatment penetrate) and is a much darker color than non PT wood.

BTW I use redwood sawdust for flux and would note that there are some woods that are naturally somewhat toxic when burned such as cypress. All wood smoke is a *little* toxic, but I would not use cypress sawdust for fluxing.
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