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About sagacious

  • Birthday 05/14/1971

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  1. Hawnjigs is correct that the alloy melting point is not usually proportional. Unfortunately, prediction of the melting point of alloys is not as straightforward as one might hope. It's not really a "melting-point" addition/subtraction situation. It's the chemical and thermodynamic properties of the mixture that determine the melting point. Sadly, one cannot just say, OK, it's 90% tin and 10% bismuth, so the melting point must equal to 90% of tin's melting point plus 10% of bismuth's melting point. Doesn't work that way with most metals. Why is the melting point of the alloy lower than one might otherwise suspect? Many metal combinations (alloys) that are even slightly miscible (mixable) have a eutectic point. The eutectic point is that exact ratio of the component metals that gives the lowest melting point. If there is a eutectic point, then there's a point where adding some of the higher melting point metal actually reduces the melting point of the lower melting-point metal. So, adding a tiny amount of copper to tin will actually drop the melting point to below that of pure tin. Here's an everyday example of how a mixture may have a lowered melting point. Consider that the melting/freezing point of water is 32*F. Consider also that the melting point of salt is way high. But mix salt into water and the melting/freezing point plummets to something like -6*F. Salt and water actually have a eutectic point, which is about 25% salt and 75% water. The same sort of thing commonly happens when metals are mixed, and results in a melting/freezing point lower than one might predict. Hope this sheds a little light on it. Regards, and good luck.
  2. That's a fairly personal reply, Pirkfan, and seems undeservedly unfriendly. Sorry to disagree with your impressions, since your reply was open guesses and criticism of my suggestions, but now it's all turned to personal experience. I'm glad to hear your spinners only get bent on snags, and not fish, as that implies some fantastic luck. I wish you the best with that. I lived in Portland, OR for 9 years, and have spent a lot of time in salmon water there. It's a nice place to live. As it happens, I don't usually offer guesses as suggestions myself. A quick review of my modest gallery here will uncover a photo I uploaded a while back, showing a barely-legal lingcod and a bent spinner-jig in its mouth. Note that no swivel is between the hook and wire frame. Probably it would have been wiser and less embarrassing to check that before suggesting my advice borders on the mythical, but c'est la vie. I learned that swivel trick a while back, those not wishing to learn that lesson the same way may wish to simply put a swivel between the hook and spinner. To each their own. No disrespect meant.
  3. I'm not guessing on any of the advice posted above. This is exactly what I do-- make and use spinners for large saltwater fish including chinook salmon. I had to learn it the hard way, as I initially made the same assumptions you have here. Over time, I have learned how to do it the right way, and the suggestions given above come from direct and actual experience and after having caught a lot of large fish on my lures. A standard large clevis will accommodate .050" wire. Get them here, or wherever you buy your components: FISHING TACKLE for bass fishing, crappie, walleye, trout.Fishing lures, fishing hooks, lead molds. BARLOWS FISHING TACKLE. I started with 0.37" wire. Let anyone who wishes to give that a go has been given fair warning lol! Salmon-- even smaller fish-- will twist a 0.37" wire spinner into, almost literally, a pretzel. Not just bent, but wrecked, and fish can easily be lost this way. Working with wire is like anything else, a little skill and practice goes a long way. Myself, I have no difficulties bending and forming .050" wire, and I dislike having my gear ruined on the first fish. It's even worse when someone else is fishing your gear, and it gets ruined on the first fish. There's no reason to allow that to happen when it's entirely preventable. If one uses swivels in a similar application, gear failure cannot be a rationale. This is hard-won information founded in on-the-water experience with using spinners for salmon, lingcod, and halibut. I use strong swivels because these are strong fish. If one does not use a swivel between the hook and spinner, the spinner will be predictably ruined. In addition to that, salmon are good at spitting hardware, and a swivel-to-hook markedly helps prevent the fish from throwing the hook. This is even more critical when barbless hooks are mandated. Just a head's-up based on my experience with this subject. Hope this helps, cheers all!
  4. Good advice as always, Hawnjigs. Lead oxide dust can become airborne, and fluxing smoke must surely contain some particulate lead and oxides. Forewarned is forearmed. Everyone should be aware of the primary and practical concerns with handling lead, and be sure read up on lead-handling safety if you're not checked-out 100% on it.
  5. Btw, Hawnjigs, I have recently heard that fluxing zinc-contaminated lead with ordinary elemental sulphur (get cheaply at a gardening/farming store) can successfully restore the fluidity of the lead by removing the zinc component as a sulfide. Fluxing procedure is slightly different than normal. Heat the lead to almost molten or partly molten, and smash it with a utensil to finely divide it into bits. Then sprinkle liberally with sulphur, and mash the sulphur into the subdivided lead. Once mashed/mixed with sulphur, heat the lead fully to liquidus, stirring continually. When liquid and stirred, skim off the crumbly dross. Pour into ingots, and flux normally with hydrocarbon flux upon the next melting. Test for 'pourability' in a quarantined vessel. Indications are that the lead can be salvaged by this simple method. Note that elemental sulphur can and will catch fire during fluxing, so take the normal fire precautions with this method. Hope this info comes in handy some day. Good luck, and stay safe!
  6. From your description, it appears that your mold and/or lead is not hot enough. The lead should not "peel off in layers" when you try to cut it off the hook. That, and the "dents" are a sure indication of inadequate heat. The problem likely lies with the pourer and his technique-- it sounds unlikely that it lies with the lead itself. CLEAN the mold with solvent once. Dry completely. Smoke the cavities with a lighter. FLUX the lead! If you don't know how to do this like a pro, read the sticky posts at the top of this page. This step is critical, it is basic, and it is missing from your description of your pouring process. Fluxing cannot be overlooked. Do not ignore that advice, or skip any one of these steps. PRE-HEAT the mold by pouring the cavities with no hooks. Keep pouring until the castings are perfect, then start pouring with hooks. Hope this helps, good luck.
  7. Good gravy! Molten lead does not give off lead vapor until heated WAY hotter than anyone is going to heat it to pour lures. It is a myth that molten lead gives off poisonous fumes at normal casting temps. Let's please not endlessly repeat the old wives-tales and myths we've heard at the campfire. The main vector of lead poisoning is ingestion of particulates and dust. Basic cleanliness and hygene, and common sense, will prevent that. Please read up on the basics of lead-handling safety in the sticky posts at the top of this page. Now, as far as cheaply melting lead, an old Coleman camp stove works very well, and is very cost efficient. A 1qt cast-iron (not aluminum) thriftstore pot will do very well for a melting pot. Find one at at garage sale, and you're set. Good luck, and be safe!
  8. Salmon won't break the wire, but big chinook can reliably be expected to bend the spinners into pretzels. I would suggest .050" wire if you're serious. It is critical that you be SURE to put a swivel between the spinner and the hook. A swivel attached to an open-eye 5/0 or 6/0 siwash works great for that, and holds salmon very well. Good luck, hope this helps.
  9. Yes, you can remedy this easily. Put a couple wraps of thin soft copper wire around the shank of the swivel eyelet that goes into the mold. Trim the wire ends close. That will seal-off the entrance to the inside of the swivel. Do not allow your swivels to become pre-warmed-- keep them at room temp. Hope this helps, good luck!
  10. Dhockey11, The fluxing or "cleaning" of lead that we're referring to here is the separation of lead from other non-alloying compounds and metals, such a carbon compounds or metallic oxides. What you're probably referring to is isotopic separation. Isotopic separation of lead species does not confront the foundry-worker or lead user. No lead specie presents a radioactive hazard to the lead-user, even 210Pb, since 210Pb decays by alpha-emission and thus poses no hazard. Fluxing produces "clean" lead because it removes extraneous material, but not by separating the lead isotopes. Lead fluxing residue doesn't contain any radioactive materials. "Pure" labratory-grade lead is expensive because it is very nearly pure lead. 99.9% pure lead is not pure enough for lab use, and super-pure lead is costly because it's expensive to purify and certify. That's not the level of purity we're dealing with here. By clean, we mean, "has hardly any dirt in it.";) Hope this clarifies it a bit. Good fishing, sagacious
  11. Looks good, Diemai. Keep on keepin' on! A stainless spoon like that, but about twice as long, and half as wide, would imitate our local saltwater baitfish species very well.
  12. I just put a jump ring on a #1 or 2 willowleaf blade, and attach that to the split ring next to the hook. It flutters and clicks against the hook during the retrieve. It's simple and very effective.
  13. When many metals are mixed together in the molten state, they combine chemically. That chemical reaction can produce a pourable, liquid, easy-to-use alloy. It can also produce an alloy with reduced pourability, and often it produces an alloy with much-reduced resistance to oxidation. The admixture of zinc and lead seems to exibit both of those deleterious characteristics, and when molten it forms dross aggressively. Soon the entire melt reacts chemically into a mass of slag or dross. At that point, the lead and zinc need to be separated by other means, and fluxing is of little help. It's very much like baking a cake. Once zinc and lead are melted together, it's difficult to unbake them. It would be a whole different world if we could mix any metal with another metal and expect to only combine the beneficial qualities of both. Hope this helps, good luck!
  14. If it's heavy, it's still got a lot of lead in it. If the residue from fluxing (dross) leaves a solid metallic mass, then you need to flux the metal again. Often the lead will need to be fluxed more than once, especially with "scrap" lead-- simply repeat the fluxing process. Fluxing twice will usually separate all the dross into pure metal and black powder (metallic oxides and carbon compounds), and you'll recover all the lead that can be recovered. Could be zinc contamination, or it could be an antimony sludge buildup. If it's the latter, then an additional fluxing at higher heat (be generous with the flux) should reduce the dross to a liquid metal and a bluish-gray or black powder. If it's zinc contamination, additional heat usually won't do anything useful (you probably won't recover zinc or anything else). You can call your municipal waste-management authority and ask what to do with residue and ash from foundry work. They should have some suggestions/answers for you. Hope this helps, good luck!
  15. Well you know what they say: Old tricks are the best tricks. Fluxing of lead alloys has been around since the Romans. Much of the info in the sticky on fluxing is a compilation of knowledge and practices gathered over a span of years-- some of it learned the hard way. Depending on your melting setup and production methods, one may wish to adjust the technique to suit conditions, but the main goal is to gain a solid understanding of the methods and benefits of fluxing your lead melt. For my application, paraffin wax chunks are still the most efficient fluxing medium for separating the dross from the lead. However, virtually any material that contains hydrocarbons will work to refine one's lead melt. Sawdust or used cooking oil will work as a fluxing agent, but present storage problems and aren't as convenient-- or safe-- in handling as a solid wax, such as beeswax. Good luck all, and stay safe!
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