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Best Lead Melt Flux?

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If the problem is zinc contamination some bullet casters have managed to remove it with sulfur. The zinc forms zinc sulfide and can be scraped off the top. I question whether it would be worth the trouble or expense.

I’m sorry if you said and I missed it, but did the lead act funny when you were making the ingots?

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I want to thank you guys for the help today , I have obtained the MSDS sheet for the lead lined wallboard and found that the lead on the wallboard is 99.90 %  pure and very soft .  It does have some Zinc and copper in it but not enough to cause any problems , so I am going to start fresh with 0 lead in the pot and try a complete new batch of lead and see what happens. If this works out well I will not loose to much lead and get to use my wallboard lead . If it does not I can try the fluxing with the sulfur . I will let you know how it goes , thanks a bunch !

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It does not act funny or show any sign that something is wrong  when pouring into a large ingot , good color and flow, its when I melt it in the small pot that I pour from that it looks wrong and  pours strange and the jigs come out rough . The pot is full and I flux it about once every 30 min. and also when I put more lead in the pot . The pot is clean I dumped it out a few days ago and cleaned it all out inside and out. Temp looks good ,I don't think I am getting it too hot . according to my heat gun it is around 625- 650 to 700 and the pot cools down when I turn it down so the pot is acting like it is suppose to act.  

     When I melt an ingot I get a big new bunch of slag on top

      I don't see the clear silver color it is always a gold color on top of the pot  both when cleaning and pouring

      The pot does not flow very well and clogs up every few jigs.

      When the jigs is taken out of the mold it is rough and has rough places on the jig itself and on the spur as well.

    

   

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I have several 4x8 sheets of this same lead that I have used and processed. It’s very pure and soft but will have to be cleaned and fluxed. The first thing I do is roll it out on my driveway, flatten it as best I can and power wash it with an industrial soap and remove all the old glue and left over sheet rock remains. You must let the lead completely dry before you process it after cleaning with water. After that, I cut into strips and roll those strips up so I can get it into my fluxing pot. I flux it outside in my fluxing pot and use paraffin as flux. Never put dirty lead in your pouring pot. Flux it until it’s clean, the mix should be hot enough to catch the flux on fire. Be careful. No kids observing or close by. Stay upwind. Dip off impurities and continue to flux until you get good clean lead. Yes, it will still have some dross after it’s reheated in your pouring pot but just spoon it off top when you see some buildup. I have good success with it. 

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Speaking of releasing from the mould; we reloaders use mold release that we get from any reloading source.  Try Midway USA, or Graf and Sons in Missouri.  I use it on my jig and spinner bait molds to get them to release easily.  BE Careful using a knife, scraper, or abrasives on your molds because a deep scratch will make the release problem even larger.  Use very fine wet or dry sandpaper and be careful with it.  Then use mold release.

I have taught metals and casting at the secondary and university levels and have a masters in metallurgical sciences including hot metals tech, plus spent a lifetime making bullets and now going into making shotgun shot.  Fluxing the crucible or casting furnace is the way to go no matter what common flux that you use..  It keeps the crud out of your lead ingots and consequently keeps voids from happening in your lures.  Good luck with your casting and be safe!

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On 8/26/2019 at 9:26 PM, Dr. Gary WAner said:

I have taught metals and casting at the secondary and university levels and have a masters in metallurgical sciences including hot metals tech, plus spent a lifetime making bullets and now going into making shotgun shot.  Fluxing the crucible or casting furnace is the way to go no matter what common flux that you use..  It keeps the crud out of your lead ingots and consequently keeps voids from happening in your lures.  Good luck with your casting and be safe!

Maybe I'm reading into this too much.  Can you explain fluxing the crucible or casting furnace?  I'm having some problems with my Lee pot clogging up.  I'm not sure if I contaminated it with zinc (I purchase "pure" lead from the local metal recycling place and melt it down into ingots) or am at a too low temperature.  Thanks for the info,

Joe

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I run thousands of items yearly through both a Lyman and a RCBS bottom pour pot and have never had either clog up on me. LED is melted in a cast iron pot, fluxed 3 times and poured into 1 lb ingot molds. It is fluxed again when remelted in the pouring pot and every time ingots are added. I have used Marvelux, paraffin, crayons, and beeswax to flux and love to keep a layer of aromatic red cedar on top of the melt to prevent oxidation. It smells superb!

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1 hour ago, Big A said:

I run thousands of items yearly through both a Lyman and a RCBS bottom pour pot and have never had either clog up on me. LED is melted in a cast iron pot, fluxed 3 times and poured into 1 lb ingot molds. It is fluxed again when remelted in the pouring pot and every time ingots are added. I have used Marvelux, paraffin, crayons, and beeswax to flux and love to keep a layer of aromatic red cedar on top of the melt to prevent oxidation. It smells superb!

How does Red Cedar on top prevent oxidation? Any idea? Maybe this is what I need to do too. My melt will still oxidize after fluxing and cleaning but I don’t use a “topper”.

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9 minutes ago, Apdriver said:

How does Red Cedar on top prevent oxidation? Any idea? Maybe this is what I need to do too. My melt will still oxidize after fluxing and cleaning but I don’t use a “topper”.

From what I understand the carbohydrates in cedar or pine donate electrons to reduce the lead. Cheap hydrogenated shortening will do the same thing and smells a little bit like French fries.

The only downside to using a surface layer is that you can’t drop your bad casts or cutoff sprues back into the pot because the stuff floating on top will get dragged down into the melt. If you decide to use a topper you just have to pour until empty and then refill the pot.

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