Best flux

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beagle6 posted this 23 January 2020

I have about 75 pounds of really dirty wheelweights Any suggestions as to the best flux to use to clean up to cast into ingots? Thanks

beagle6

 

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Rich/WIS posted this 23 January 2020

I use old bullet lube, candles and regular paraffin wax when fluxing.  Usually skim the clips as it melts and when most are gone toss in a good size chunk of whatever is available and when it flares up stir and when it burns off skim.  Best, don't know for sure, but it seems to work okay.

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JeffinNZ posted this 23 January 2020

Wood shavings.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 23 January 2020

... figuring wood chips were a good flux, i once dumped in a cup of the ground walnut shells we use for tumble polishing ... oops ... kinda nasty fumes ...

i now just use floor sweep, and throw away the weird scud that rises up out of the alloy.  

and yes, use ventilation to carry away those mysterious vapors ... lungs are expensive.

ken

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BudHyett posted this 23 January 2020

I smelt dirty wheelweights outdoors due to smoke and smell. I have a large cast iron pot and this is easily cleaned afterwards. Plenty of heat from scrap wood assisted by a column of air from the exhaust of a shop vacuum provides enough heat. 

I use Marvelux since I have a large supply that is free and it works well when following instructions. I do not like the mess it creates on the top of the melting plot as I cast.  

If I have several pot loads, I fully empty the pot before adding more dirty wheelweights to avoid explosions caused by hidden water or moisture. Adding new wheelweights to a slightly warm pot will drive off the moisture as the pot warms. 

In the casting pot I use corn meal. It works well when stirred into the lead and leaves a coating layer of carbon on the top. 

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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pisco posted this 24 January 2020

hi i use candle wax or bees wax as i have a supply of each

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Eutectic posted this 24 January 2020

 

For initial fluxing of wheel weights and other dirty scrap, I use a mixture of 25% Ivory bar soap (sodium stearate) and 75% lard, tallow or Crisco by weight. Use a grater to reduce the soap to small pieces. Melt the fat at as low a temperature as possible then pour it into a blender. While running the blender, slowly add the soap. Allow the mixture to cool, when partly solidified, mix to distribute the soap evenly.

 

Do not use Ivory detergent, it is not sodium stearate. Do not use butter flavor Crisco as it contains sodium chloride (table salt) and is corrosive.

This homemade fat and soap flux combines the low temperature melting of the fat with the high temperature fluxing action of the soap. It is inexpensive and very effective. Before heating I put two tablespoons in the bottom of the pot and add 40 pounds of WW. This coats the clips as the WWs melt making removal easy and entrains the dirt for easy removal.

Steve

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buckbrush posted this 4 weeks ago

I just use a stick ripped from a pine or spruce 2x4. Works great.

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afish4570 posted this 4 weeks ago

I used pine chips and candle wax to flux too . Yesterday I smelted a 100 # batch of range lead.After fluxing and skimming debris. I added a cup of sulphur and skimmed about 1 1/2 qts. of mush off. Did I remove my tin and antimony??? Or was this zinc type contaminates from all the plated, bullet jackets and powder coated  bullets??? afish4570

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Ed in North Texas posted this 4 weeks ago

I use candle stubs or sawdust from a local sawmill operation, mostly oak.  The sawdust is coarse and needs to be allowed to dry before use.  Works really well.

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max503 posted this 4 weeks ago

I used pine chips and candle wax to flux too . Yesterday I smelted a 100 # batch of range lead.After fluxing and skimming debris. I added a cup of sulphur and skimmed about 1 1/2 qts. of mush off. Did I remove my tin and antimony??? Or was this zinc type contaminates from all the plated, bullet jackets and powder coated  bullets??? afish4570

 

I never heard of using Sulphur.  Can someone elaborate?  I've got a bunch of Sulphur dust I use to repel chiggers.  

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BudHyett posted this 4 weeks ago

Sulfur is used to remove Zinc, not as a flux. 

 

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 4 weeks ago

.. as one who stupidly vaporized some delrin ( acetal )  on my kitchen stove and instantly terminated my little daughter's pet hamster from the vapors .... i remind us that vaporizing odd plastic stuff in our lead smelting might be dangerous .  

he was the cutest little thing, but even us ugly old casters deserve afore-thought.

ken 

 

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max503 posted this 4 weeks ago

Sulfur is used to remove Zinc, not as a flux. 

 

So.....is it ok to toss a spoonful of sulphur in your pot to clear out any zinc?

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BudHyett posted this 4 weeks ago

Sulfur is used to remove Zinc, not as a flux.

So.....is it okay to toss a spoonful of sulphur in your pot to clear out any zinc?

Yes. there are several reports online that discuss actual usage of sulfur to remove zinc. The formula appears to be one pound of sulfur to forty pounds of lead. Sulfur is used in gardening and is relatively cheap. I have yet to do this because I live near Seattle, the rains will not let up until July to where I feel safe in setting up to process a half ton of lead. 

One admonition is to be clear of any winds that move the smoke to you. Sulfur stinks and breathing in fumes in large quantities can injure your health.  Small lots and easy working conditions to minimize the odors. Slow and steady mixing from downwind will be the best approach. 

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?63082-Zinc-Removal-with-Sulfur-Report

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?62957-A-possible-way-to-remove-zinc-from-molten-lead

https://chestofbooks.com/home-improvement/construction/plumbing/Practical-Plumbing/How-To-Make-Solder.html

 

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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RicinYakima posted this 4 weeks ago

Please, if anyone tries this, have a before and after analysis done. My chemistry and engineering references says this doesn't work. Once dissolved in lead, zinc is there until electrolysis separates it. Anything above 478 degrees F simple oxidizes the sulfur into SO2. FWIW

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