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Old May 30, 2018, 03:28 PM   #26
maillemaker
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Also, in between pourings you should leave the ladle submerged/partially floating in the lead pot, so that it stays hot.

Steve
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Old May 30, 2018, 04:34 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maillemaker View Post
Also, in between pourings you should leave the ladle submerged/partially floating in the lead pot, so that it stays hot.

Steve
Very good tip !
Keep ladle in pot with lead in it so it doesn't float on top of the melt and make sure the spout stays submerged . The spout will cool and lead will clog it up...no flow into mould.
Gary
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Old June 1, 2018, 08:46 AM   #28
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right or wrong don't know
Fluxing pure clean lead really doesn't do much,
once the metals have been heated till they are thoroughly melted, they are pretty much bonded together.
Some impurities yes.
but I've noticed over the years, that most impurities will float to the top anyway, if you stir the pot now and then scraping the bottom and the sides of the pot
I quit fluxing 20 years or so ago. You also don't have to worry about a flash fire either.
I lay my moulds across the top of the pot to heat up with the lead handles resting on the bench. why use an extra heating device and more electricity
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Old June 1, 2018, 10:00 AM   #29
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Steve, and others. Yes, I do keep the ladle in the melting pot so it stays hot. I just though it odd that so much "crap" seemed to bind to it and it appeared to take on a sort of rusty appearance.

Will try hotter temp next time I cast. Just got in a Lyman Old Style 460 gr minie' ball mould yesterday. Need to clean it well with carburetor cleaner or Mass Air Flow sensor cleaner before starting. DOES the match/butane lighter/bees wax candle "smoke" on the inside help with it like the LEE molds? I also have some Hoppe's dry spray lubricant that does not contain silicone,etc. That might be a nice way to lubricate the mould for first time bullet casting as well.
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Old June 1, 2018, 10:04 AM   #30
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You have nothing to lose by fluxing.

Quote:
Fluxing pure clean lead really doesn't do much,
Mostly dictated by the pureness of the lead/product. But a good routine especially when it's not expensive or time consuming. In shot, you have nothing to lose and potentially, much to gain. I have fluxed what was labeled as pure lead and still skim or impurities. Another point is that a little bit o flux, goes a long way. My flux produces very little smoke. …..

Be Safe !!!
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Old June 1, 2018, 11:07 AM   #31
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My last comment on the fluxing is I think most of the "crap" that comes out when fluxing is just burnt up flux, mixed, of course, with the normal oxidized lead that forms on the surface of the melt.

Quote:
DOES the match/butane lighter/bees wax candle "smoke" on the inside help with it like the LEE molds?
According to the LEE literature, all the smoke does is make a light barrier of soot on the inside of the mold. This serves as a tiny insulator that serves as a thermal barrier between the molten lead and the mold. Since Aluminum is such a good conductor of heat, it can quickly leech the heat out of the molten lead, resulting in wrinkly bullets. By slowing down the heat transfer, the soot can help you get good bullets faster with an aluminum mold.

You'll notice the soot does not stay very long - it's mostly gone after 20 or so bullet drops.

Personally I do not bother sooting molds anymore and instead make sure I start with a hot mold to begin with so I get good bullet drops from drop one. I use a small backpacking stove to heat my molds.

The best mold lubricant I have found is Moose Juice, sold by Moose Moulds. It is, I believe (from the smell), simply a solution of alochol and powdered graphite. When you paint it on the mold, the alcohol quickly dries of, leaving a barrier of graphite. This works great to keep moving parts of the mold from galling, especially the sprue cutting plate and the mold block tops.

Graphite is said to corrode aluminum, which is why it is not allowed for aircraft. But I have had no problems with it on my molds. I do not coat the inside of the mold, only the outside wearing surfaces.

Steve
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Old June 3, 2018, 01:01 PM   #32
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Well, I increased the heat to the max. I do not know how much this little LEE electric melter puts out for heat, IE Don't know the temp. I put the dial near maximum. Lead took on golden sheen to it and had to skim it every few minutes, ending up with quite a pile to crud. RCBS ladle still plugged up even after heating on the stove initially (gas burner) and kept it in molten lead during casting and in between mould pours. Hole got to where it only Drip Drip out the lead and went back to the reliable, but a bit small, LEE dipper. I turned down the heat and the gold sheen went away and started to look more like melted lead, as in normal, at least to me. I stuck the RCBS ladle back and and boy was that a mistake. It filled with lead and inside and outside solidified with lead. Reminded me of when you dip an ice cream cone in melted chocolate. Dip again and more gets attached. I'd like to fill that RCBS mold with tannerite and shoot it with my .308 and put it out of it's misery, or MY misery.


I can post pictures of the "Gold" sheen and pile of crud if you want.
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Old June 3, 2018, 03:15 PM   #33
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- Forget about preheating the dipper/ladle. Just turn the pot on w/ the ladle in place** and let things heat/melt
- Keep the golden-sheen heat level for pure lead.
- FLUX !!!! (&@#$%^&) using the dipper upside down to repeatedly plunge into the lead taking the wax/flux down with it.
- I don't care what ANYbody else says... FLUX (!)
- Leave the RCBS dipper in the lead. Never take it out except to pour.**
- Flux when dipper crud builds up inside or out.
- Did I say Flux ?


** It doesn't have to look pretty.
.....Just never take it out... hot -OR- cold


Last edited by mehavey; June 3, 2018 at 03:27 PM.
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Old June 3, 2018, 06:59 PM   #34
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Maximum heat is too hot, your bullets will start getting a frosty appearance. go only about 5/8 of a full turn on control knob no more than 3/4
Once the lead and your mould and ladle are hot you can back down to about 1/2 a turn
Been doing it this way for years
I don't use a ladle. I use a metal table spoon. bent to an angle I like and attached a wood handle to it. Can usually fill two bullet cavities at a time.
I don't flux anymore and no longer soot or lube my moulds. Just make sure they don't get rusty, and are thoroughly heated before use.
A minor wrinkle in the bullet isn't going to hurt a thing in cap and ball.
Loading will swage almost all of them out anyway
If a minor wrinkle was going to affect accuracy, then we sure as heck wouldn't have hollow points think about it.
I also don't use aluminum moulds any more, just steel ones
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Old June 3, 2018, 07:10 PM   #35
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I don't flux or soot either. Wrinkles and frosted don't hurt anything but I prefer frosted to wrinkles just for aesthetic reasons.
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Old June 3, 2018, 07:26 PM   #36
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Saw Dust? Try it!

A loading buddy gave me a huge bag of dry saw dust. It was largely pine with some hardwood. Fluxing? Sucks up the nasty stuff and leaves the rest. Works great.
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Old June 3, 2018, 07:57 PM   #37
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- Gold-Sheen Heat for Pure Lead
- Candle and/or LubeWax Flux (Pea-sized) whenever any crud begins to manifest itself.
- Non-Contact pour ~¼" from sprue hole to allow air vent/prevent voids in hollow base



Believe me.
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Old June 3, 2018, 09:17 PM   #38
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All mehavey is doing is leaving a film of lube on the surface of the melt which will, for a while, keep oxidation from forming. But eventually it burns away and the surface of the melt will continue to oxidize again. His continued "fluxing" just skims away the oxide layer, replacing it with a thin lube film, until it burns away again and the process repeats. All he's doing is skimming away his lead as it oxidizes. There's no need for it.

Wrinkles in your bullets actually do appreciably affect bullet weight. I was astonished when I started weighing my bullets out that bullets that I would have passed visually actually deviated outside my +/- .05% tolerance. Frosted are better than wrinkled.

Steve
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Old June 4, 2018, 01:35 AM   #39
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No... I flux, crud carbons up at the surface, a spoon takes it off, and the lead/dipper is clean for 25 more Minnies.

Geeeez, guys. The OP is literally throwing in the towel because he can't control the crudded-up lead AND crudded-up dipper ....and you're worried about a Minnie's worth of waste skin in a 20-lb pot ?

Darth AkSarBen --> High Heat, Leave the dipper in the pot, and wax FLUX.
Quit thinking about it.
Do it.



.

Last edited by mehavey; June 4, 2018 at 01:41 AM.
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Old June 4, 2018, 07:38 AM   #40
Darth AkSarBen
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I made 20 really good Minie' balls last night, but I used the LEE dipper to pour. I also took off the sprue cutter and increased the hole diameter a few thousandth. Not a lot but just a little increase allows more fluid to pass faster than does a smaller hole. Fluid dynamics and viscosity is the same whether water, oil or molten lead. Everything has it's own viscosity and you can manage that to a degree on how small the hole/tube/plumbing, etc is that moves fluid. Anyway, worked very well at around 5/8 of the way around on that little LEE 4# lead pot melter.

I have a very little pot. Perhaps I should have mentioned that. It is LEE's smallest melting pot of about 4 pounds lnk: https://leeprecision.com/precision-melter.html
I think one of the problems is, unless the pot is near capacity, there is too much of that RCBS dipper that sticks above the lead. With the LEE dipper I can quickly removed crud after fluxing with beeswax I have and a light rap on my metal part of the mould handle releases the powdery residue and I'm back to ladling bullets.

I think (opinion) is that frosted is some crystallizing of the lead, changing it's hardness to some degree, and is opposite of annealing.

My Lyman mold that is suppose to be 460 grains throws bullets in the 508-510 grain range with one plug (one from my 405 grain mold) and around 490-493 grain from the bottom plug that came with it. I do not like the bottom plug that came with the 460 gr mold as it fits loosely in the bottom and causes just a small bit of leak by of lead at the base of the bullet.

Why would a mold that is 460 gr throw so much heavier bullets? They look great though and really shoot well. Last time out, it was 3 shots at around 1.200" centers at 90 yards.
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Old June 4, 2018, 08:57 AM   #41
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Would something like this.... -> https://leeprecision.com/production-pot-iv.html be a little better for less aggravation? My pot is small and holds about 4 pounds, whereas this pot is a bottom front spout pour and holds 10 lbs of lead.

Addendum: Or this one? https://www.amazon.com/Lyman-Big-Dip.../dp/B0037NA7ZA
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Old June 4, 2018, 09:18 AM   #42
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That larger pot will help with temperature control , but because it is a bottom pour type you won't be able to use your ladle.

Some folks prefer a bottom pour pot, I am not one of them.


Rich
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Old June 4, 2018, 10:12 AM   #43
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Bottom pour pots are great when they're new but it doesn't take long for them to start clogging up and they're just aggravating.
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Old June 4, 2018, 01:27 PM   #44
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manufacturers use wheel weight type lead when they give a weight in grains
Pure lead will weigh more
try to keep the gold hue to a minimum, that is a sign the lead is at maximum temperature.
I slowly turn temp down until It just goes away
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Old June 4, 2018, 03:23 PM   #45
44 Dave
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I have been using a bottom spout Lee pot for the last few years, but I cast pure lead for muzzle loaders and harder for cartridge. I dump out the pot to change lead and I think this helps keep the crud from plugging the spout.
I do flux my lead when smelting it in my gas plumbers pot, but not much in the electric.
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Old June 4, 2018, 04:08 PM   #46
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Something else to look at....

I do have a Lee Production pot that works very well with with a Lyman ladle. I'm not sure I understand all this problem with a ladle. I have never had a "golden sheen" on any lead with my pots turned to the max. A bottom pour has not been used here in this century. Also, the production pot is also made without bottom pour. Use both here. We get a curve ball at every turn in this thread. What! Your pot is too small for the RCBS ladle.
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Old June 5, 2018, 07:30 AM   #47
Darth AkSarBen
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The RCBS ladle is not too small for the LEE small 4 pound pot if you have it clear full. If there is only 1/2 full lead in there a lot of the ladle sticks out of the lead, and if you ever let it get cold, it collects lead on the outside and the little pour hole plugs up.

I think a SS Tablespoon would be a better choice for this small lead pot. Larger pots that hold 10 lbs or 20 lbs of lead would work a lot better for that ladle.

Did some casting last night and put out 12 of 12 pefect bullets with the heat setting set at 6. Any higher than that and I get a gold sheen back. I can actually melt the lead pretty quick at setting 5.

I am not having problems with light bullets, actually not a problem, but what the mold says is "lighter" than what I ended up with. 460 gr tranlated into my bullets weighing it at 508gr. (avg.) I have NO issues with pouring with the LEE ladle, only with the RCBS. I bought pure 100% lead from Roto Metals. Only other lead was lead fishing weight wire that is 1/4" in diameter and weighs 1 lbs (from Cabela's).
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Old June 5, 2018, 07:55 AM   #48
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When you run the lead pot very hot the oxide layer will often be gold and then purple in color.

Steve
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Old June 6, 2018, 11:16 AM   #49
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This is probably more than we need to know about FLUX, but it is interesting, see chapter four.

http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm

Rich
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Old June 6, 2018, 12:06 PM   #50
maillemaker
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Great link. And it shows that for pure lead, fluxing does nothing. The sawdust he mentions simply forms a physical barrier between the melt and the oxygen in the air. Of course having this layer of charcoal crust on top of your melt might be problematic if you are dipping.

I have considered making a circular "lid" out of sheet metal that will float on top of my melt when I do bottom-pour casting (which most of my casting is). However, if you just let an oxide layer form, it also forms a barrier against further oxidation.

Sounds like if you are working with a tin-lead alloy there are some fluxes which will reduce oxidized tin back to regular tin, thus keeping it in the melt.

But if you are working with known alloy sources, or known pure lead sources, there are no "impurities" to flux out of your melt.

Steve
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