Stick-on Wheel Weights

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Tic-Tac posted this 14 January 2008

I just received a 5 gallon bucket of wheel weights and a substantial percentage of the weights are the stick-on type.  Do I have to remove all or a majority of the sticky foam, or will it burn off in the molten lead without contaminating my mix?

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Ed Harris posted this 14 January 2008

It will burn off OK, but I would be careful to stay well below the 810 degree melting point of zinc die casting alloy in case some of them are...

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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JeffinNZ posted this 14 January 2008

Just remember that the stick on lead weights are almost pure lead and do not contain the usual goodies we casters like eg: Sb, Sn.

A real worry is Zn is becoming a great part of my wheel weight scrounging lately.  On Saturday I picked up about 40lb and bu volume they would have been 50% clip on lead, 25% stick on lead, 25% Zn. 

Takes a bit of sorting but well worth the effort.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Tic-Tac posted this 14 January 2008

Thanks, will watch the temps.  I did notice that some of the material floating in the molten lead along with the clips were wheel weights that did not melt.  I now presume those are the zinc weights to which you refer.  I skimmed them off with the clips, and now inspect my weights more closely to ensure they are lead before throwing them in the pot.

And....given the input that the stick-ons don't contain the “goodies” we casters like, I will test the hardness of those ingots before casting and add to it if the reading is too soft.  The only thing I have to add at the moment however is linotype and tin.

73

Steve

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Ed Harris posted this 15 January 2008

Save your tin and blend the linotype. Try only about 1 pound of linotype to 5 pounds of soft unknown scrap as a start.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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giorgio de galleani posted this 23 January 2008

Dear Ed,I have a bucket of wheel weights contaminated by zinc.

The surface of the molten alloy is covered by an indigo blue layer and the alloy is slowly flowing from the bottom pour spout,not filling the moulds precisely.Shall I lower the temperature and skim the surface of the melt to get rid of the zinc?

The next time I'll sort the WW before melting them.

I have a source of range backstop lead,most jacketed pistol bullets and hard cast commercial bullets, that should not contain contaminations.

Is range scrap susceptible to heat treating or shall I use carefully sorted WW?

I am sending to you some pictures of my boar hunting season by cartaceous mail.

Regards,Giorgio.

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Ed Harris posted this 23 January 2008

Giorgio,

You may try lowering the temperature and skimming off the zinc, but this probably will not remove it all.  If it doesn't cast better after skimming and fluxing it would probably be better to discard the contaminated alloy.  Then clean your pot very well, by sandblasting if possible, and start over with uncontaminated alloy.

Indoor range scrap here contains about 3% Sb and traces of As in the melt which heat treats well, similar to wheelweights. The indoor range I use durting the day is also used by police and military, so most scrap is from lead core 9mm NATO and .40 S&W handgun ammunition.  Police fire 12-ga. riot shotguns with slug, birdshot and buckshot ammunition. Birdshot used for training and gun functioning tests contains a traces (about 0.01%) arsenic in the alloy which increases surface tension of the lead so that it forms properly in the shot making machine. It takes very little to enhance the properties of the lead heat treatment.

Be sure to save the copper and gilding metal jacket material skimmed off the melt from recovering the lead range scrap. I save this, agitate it across a 1/4-inch wire mesh to remove much of the dirt, and then remove the clad-steel jackets with a magnet. The remainder I sell to a scrap dealer or trade for soft sheet lead or linotype metal.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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giorgio de galleani posted this 25 January 2008

Dear Ed,I was wondering why ,in your stories you passed from WW to range scrap .

That's why,while old WW were OK, newer acquisition are contaminated by zamac.

 I have followed your advice and have cast good bullets yesterday.

Regards,

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Ed Harris posted this 28 January 2008

Giorgio,

I am delighted to see that your diagnostic skills and logic have not diminished in your retirement 8-)

I'm glad that my advise was helpful and that newly cast bullets are better.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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chiefs50 posted this 31 January 2008

The pure lead stick on weights are prized like gold by those who cast round ball for muzzle loaders.  Most would willingly trade clip on type lead for the stick on type.

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devin1955 posted this 12 February 2008

chiefs50 wrote: The pure lead stick on weights are prized like gold by those who cast round ball for muzzle loaders.  Most would willingly trade clip on type lead for the stick on type. I've accumulated most of a 5 gallon paint pail full of stick on wheel weights. Was going to melt them down into ingots, tagged as such, but your comment made me wonder. Eventually I'd want to sell or trade this stuff. Would it be better for me to leave it as is so whoever gets it is assured that it is indeed pure lead? -Don

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chiefs50 posted this 12 February 2008

Don;

I guess I would just leave them as is.  That way when you go to trade/sell them you don't have to make any warranties - just market them for what they are, stick ons.   Roundball shooters/casters are always on the lookout for these.

Mike

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Retro Fit posted this 11 June 2009

What I've been doing to clean my clip-on wheel weights before I melt them is soak them in Castroil Super clean de-greaser over night. Simple green with a little lye mixed in works well to. I've noticed that the Super clean will also take the stick-on stuff off the stick-on weights as well, just rinse them real good and make sure their bone dry before you melt them.

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apbluebass posted this 13 June 2013

When I am looking at a wheel weight, how can I tell if it is zinc? I just got a load of blue goo in my pot last weekend and I am not looking forward to doing that again.

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Carbine Dave posted this 15 June 2013

Zinc w.w. will be marked(sometimes), “zn". But the best test is to wack them lightly,I use a steel work bench,3/8” thick, or wack them with a 4” screwdriver, they will ring, while lead alloy will not, also they are a lot harder than lead alloy, and will not scratch as deeply or as easy as lead. And as a final observation, they are larger than lead for a given weight, hope this helps out.

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tturner53 posted this 15 June 2013

Are you smelting wheel weights in your casting pot? If possible try doing the smelting in a cast iron pot on a Coleman stove. Keep the heat down to just barely melting, the zincs will be obvious and float. Skim 'em off and make ingots. If you haven't seen it already the smelting can be very smoky maybe be a little discreet about when and where you smelt.

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Goatwhiskers posted this 15 June 2013

The way I sort is a PITA but quite effective. I bite every one of them with electrician's side cutters, lead is soft, zinc is hard, you can hardly put a cut mark on them. Takes a little time but when you're retired it doesn't matter much. Goatwhiskers

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Eddie2002 posted this 16 June 2013

I'm with Goat on this one, I test all my wheel weights with a pair of dyke wire cutters. Soft lead cuts real easy, WW lead leaves a good gash but is harder to cut while zink weights won't cut at all, it leaves just a little nick in the surface. With steel weights all that happens is that you chip the paint. I've even come across some plastic coated steel and zink weights which is the last thing you would want to try to melt down in a pot. Can't just dump them all in the smelter and hope for the best, need to sort them before smelting them down.

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jhalcott posted this 17 June 2013

I heard(some years ago!) that bullet JACKETS contained Zinc and should NOT be smelted with COWW because the Zinc might bleed off and contaminate the alloy. No one has been able to verify thisfor me. I have a LOT of range scrap bullets on hand that have never given me a problem in several calibers. I am just wondering IF this could be true. At the time, I was smelting the range scrap with an Oxy acetylene torch at work.I used to “pay” the kids to recover the range scraps on the berms after a rain. Each coffee can of old bullets got an Ice cream cone. MY son figured BIG bullets filled the can quickly, so he got many ice cream treats.

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Carbine Dave posted this 18 June 2013

Another marking common to zinc wheel weights is “Fe", having installed a bijillion w.w., in the course of my ocupation as a fleet mechanic, I can usually pick out the lead alloy by sight, anything I question, I “ring” it or scratch it with a pocket screwdriver( a million and two uses)anyway, if you can round up lead w.w., do it now, auto makers are not using them anymore and I see a not to distant future where “Them People” won't like us using them in the aftermarket.

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JeffinNZ posted this 18 June 2013

Drop test is good. Dropped on concrete lead tends to go 'clunk', Zn more a 'chink'.

I used stick on WW as the base of my 40-1 and 20-1 alloy sweetened with some lead babbit I have. The 40-1 is 7.8 BHN generally and will oven heat treat to 12 BHN which is real handy.

Cheers from New Zealand

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