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Old December 31, 2011, 04:40 PM   #1
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Identifying Wheel Weight Types

I posted this on cast boolits but I figured I would toss it up here too in case it might help someone, and since this forum is where I got my start...

I set out some of the common types of wheel weights I have encountered, here is a picture that may help others differentiate between types.

Also a video but the picture is clearer:

Another video about hand sorting WW:

I'm fairly new to this stuff too but hopefully this info can help some people just starting out.

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Old January 1, 2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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Good pic !!!

& info !!
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Old January 1, 2012, 11:19 PM   #3
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Wow, quite the assortment. Not finding much zinc but more & more steel. Don't forget to recycle the zinc & steel!
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My favorite recipes start out with a handful of used wheelweights.
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Old May 6, 2012, 02:48 PM   #4
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How to ID zinc WW?

How can you tell the difference between lead and zinc ww? After seeing this it worries me Ive been using a ton of zinc!
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Old May 6, 2012, 02:55 PM   #5
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The lead is soft and can be nicked with wire cutters, zinc can't.

See this video for instructions...
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Old May 6, 2012, 03:27 PM   #6
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Also notice that Zinc is marked with "Zn" in most cases. As long as you run your smelt below about 750 degrees, the zinc will float rather than melt, and can be pulled off with all the clips. If you have contaminated a melt with zinc, there will be NO question--the skimmed melt will look and act like silver oatmeal--chunky.

Besides the side-cutter test, you can also give it the concrete floor "drop" test. Lead allow will be pretty flat when dropped on-end. Zinc will have a crisp ring to it. Special note--lead alloy WW's will ring a little if you drop it on the clip.

The easiest way I've found to handle a smelt is to sort clip-on from stick on--nothing more. Smelt at 700 degrees, and skim off everything that floats. Sorting individually is time consuming and redundant so long as you keep your smelt below the melting point of zinc. With literally thousands of pounds of lead alloy I've smelted over the years, the ONLY smelt I have ever contaminated was the one I did intentionally in order to see early-on exactly what it looked like and how it reacted.
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Last edited by Rangefinder; May 6, 2012 at 03:35 PM.
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Old May 7, 2012, 12:35 PM   #7
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Another thing, those lead stick on weights are close enough to pure lead to use in muzzle loaders. They have a BHN of 6 and pure lead is 5. The clip on weights will run around 12 BHN.
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Old May 7, 2012, 12:40 PM   #8
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"The clip on weights will run around 12 BHN. "


Your picture in the middle is deceptive. Those clip on weights (alloy) are perfect to use as is - at least that is what I do. The stick-on kind (in the middle) are lead.
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