Does fluxing with wax remove tin or antimony?

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shastaboat posted this 30 April 2019

So I'm in a discussion regarding fluxing materials.  Any feedback?

Because I said so!

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RicinYakima posted this 30 April 2019

If the metallic tin and antimony is in the liquidous lead, nothing you have will take it out. However, all fluxing will remove tin oxide and antimony oxide as you flux. Some materials will reduce the oxygen from the metal atoms better than others, but the basic process using the carbon in the flux. "Wax" can be anything, and if it has calcium or lithium greases in it, that will lower the flux ability to let the oxygen from being pulled off the metal atoms.

Also the metals would rather be combined with oxygen, than all alone flowing in the soup of lead. Newspapers and printers used a commercial flux with one ounce working for 2200 pounds of linotype. I find dried out cigar butts work as well as anything, and smell much better, a real manly aroma.

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Brodie posted this 30 April 2019

A lot of people use pine saw dust, and then leave the ash on the surface of the melted alloy.

A member (onongonga) a former supervisor and technician in the gold jewelry industry recommends that:  " the melt must be hot enough for the flux to burst into flame by itself or it won't work.  Then you can turn the pot temperature down after stirring and scraping the sides of the pot."  I haven't tried this, but I figure that it should probably work.  The advise of a paid trouble shooter in the casting industry should probably be listened to.

B.E.Brickey

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Ross Smith posted this 01 May 2019

As I under stand it, the flux drives(reduces) the oxides back into the melt, it does not remove them.

Not trying to steal the post, this is kinda the same thing. My new bottom pour lead pot gives me bullets with lots of pits and "inclusions". Taking the alloy from the bottom pour pot and putting it in my old gas fired lead pot and ladle pouring, no pits and good bullets.

So is this a fluxing problem? I've tried sawdust and beeswax and many different temperatures.

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Brodie posted this 01 May 2019

Ross,

I don't think that is a fluxing problem because my bottom pour pot doesn't give me inclusions, pits and what not as long as I have it hot enough (about 725"F), and my mould hot enough.

B.E.Brickey

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RicinYakima posted this 01 May 2019

As I under stand it, the flux drives(reduces) the oxides back into the melt, it does not remove them.

Not trying to steal the post, this is kinda the same thing. My new bottom pour lead pot gives me bullets with lots of pits and "inclusions". Taking the alloy from the bottom pour pot and putting it in my old gas fired lead pot and ladle pouring, no pits and good bullets.

So is this a fluxing problem? I've tried sawdust and beeswax and many different temperatures.

 

Fluxes vary in efficiency. Commercial stuff does about  90%, but our home recipe is lucky to do 25%. Bottom pour pots are a pain to work with because you can't get all the flux, reduced slag and dirt out of them. How can you scrap the sides around the pin?.

In working with new casters, they try to save too much melt. After one flux, if it floats throw it out. I discard about 10% to 15% of the volume of scrap lead. While you may get some of tri-metal oxides back into solution for a few minutes, they will clump up again rapidly. It is not worth the trouble to me.

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shastaboat posted this 01 May 2019

Pretty much my experience as well, except the response regarding bottom pour.

Because I said so!

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BigMan54 posted this 01 May 2019

I never had "pits & inclusions" when I was young and poor and dipper cast out of a propane fired cast iron pot. Used pieces of broken candles.

When I got my first bottom pour electric pot. Lots of problems, a real learning process. Finally learned (DAD said turn up the pot, cast faster) hotter lead and preheat molds. 

Amazing what you forget while serving Uncle Sam. A 4cav mold started a new learning curve.

But since starting up casting after a 10yr hiatus I've learned to:

Cast Hotter, especially with Lee 6cav 32cal molds.

Try sawdust as a flux and cover the top of the melt to prevent oxidation. That didn't work for me. Just went back to a home made mix of cheese wrapper wax, 50/50 lube & beeswax. 

Change my rock hard thoughts on casting alloy selection.  

Learn to Powder Coat Bullets. BOY HOWDY !!!  That was something I never dreamed of.

All these new things I learned here. 

Can't thank you guys enough.

Got wordy and off subject again. Mind wanders, too many concussions. 

Sorry

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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MarkinEllensburg posted this 02 May 2019

 I use a bottom pour. I have since I first started. I ladle poured a few but never found that to be a productive way of casting. Different strokes for different folks.

For flux I have tried candle wax, 50/50 NRA formula bullet lube, softwood shavings, hardwood shavings, marvelflux, and NEI flux. All have worked to help impurities to float to the top. Candle wax is my favored flux.

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Ross Smith posted this 03 May 2019

Thanks all. I really suspected a dirty pot. Things are getting better the more I use it. 

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 03 May 2019

Thanks all. I really suspected a dirty pot. Things are getting better the more I use it. 

 

Bottom pour.  I use two things.  Sprinkle a little borax on top & stir; then use wood (a piece ripped from a 3/4" thick board about 3/8" thick) 'stick' to stir AND scrape the sides/bottom. 

It keeps it clean.  Cheap, easy.  (have to watch the moisture content of the wood piece for obvious reasons)

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Ross Smith posted this 03 May 2019

Shasta boat: sorry about highjacking your post, felt it was part of the same subject.

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shastaboat posted this 03 May 2019

Ross, no problem.  I started this post for confirmation of what I've been doing for 50 years.  I use paraffin from a large block that I've been whittling on for years.  Had a newer caster on Facebook site, who read From Ingot To Bullet and tried to tell me using wax of any kind as a flux would remove the tin and antimony from a pot.  Obviously he didn't read it right.  It removes the oxides but does not remove the element metals.  I think most of us want to remove the oxides as I find by doing so gives good casts.  Nothing beats experience.

Because I said so!

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Ross Smith posted this 05 May 2019

well if you say so!

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shastaboat posted this 07 May 2019

lol...

Because I said so!

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