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New to melting lead

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    New to melting lead

    Hello friends. So well like the title says I'm new to all of this but very intrested and have taken action as far as buying supply's and so on. I've got endless amount of wheel weights and I fish ALOT. I purchased this small smelter that runs off of white gas. Minor sure exactly what it is due to there being no name or brand on it. I guess I'm just curious to know what to do and not to do while melting and maybe some tips would be much appreciated. I melted some last night and actually used some shredded paper I had and tossed it in to separate the clips and it worked out pretty well.


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    Make sure you have good ventilation. For melting wheel weights a wire spider like what you would use to get stuff out of a deep fryer works great for removing clips. Depending on what size sinkers you are wanting to pour you may find you need to blend in some soft lead to pour small size ones.

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    Ak04 started this thread.
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    I melted some down last night and made some ingots using a cupcake pan. I seen a video of a guy who put saw dust into his mix to separate the clips from the lead all tho I didn't have to do that. I did the melting outside and didn't stand close to it as it was cooking. Should I get a respirator? Or just be careful lol.

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    If you are doing it a lot I would get a respirator with a P100 filter. For limited use good ventilation should be fine.

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    Ak04 started this thread.
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    Ok perfect. Yea I got a mold last night for split shots and a lot of them didn't even mold correctly. The lead is way to hard to close them without cracking them. I had originally melted the lead down into the ingots and removed all of the slag. I melted the ingots down last night and there was a lot more. So I guess I will just have to get the lead hotter? Also is there is difference in using wood shavings vs say shredded paper to remove all of the slag and impurities?

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    I use an actual flux to clean mine. For about $10 you can buy enough flux to do thousands and thousands of lbs of lead. Stuff I get Frankford Arsenal CleanCast Lead Fluxing Compound 1 lb If you are wanting to pour split shots or other small stuff you will have to get some softer lead. No matter how clean wheel weight lead is not going to make good split shots it is just too hard.

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    I hear that lead flashing from roofs work good. So if there is a roofing company that does tear outs, they might be willing to part. FYI
    I also was thinking about range scrap but I don't know how soft that would be.

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    alot of your wheel weights are zinc, and it breaks instead of bending, you are going to need to sort them, or get a good source of soft lead, old cast iron pipe joints, or roof flashing are your two most likely candidates
    V/r HT1


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    I melted a lot of lead down over the years. I started out with a small cast iron pot that had a coil in it it. I have a larger electric pot now, that does great job. It has a spigot on the bottom, and the pot stays still. It also has a temperature control. Lead starts emitting toxic fumes at 1200 degrees. You really don't need it to be hotter than about 650, unless you are adding a lot to the pot and moving fast.
    I used to go pick up wheel weights by the bucket full at the local tire places. They were glad to get rid of them. Then over time, they asked me to buy them, then they started recycling them, themselves.
    I melted the wheel weights into ingots. Then over time I started selling Dive-weights on E-Bay. Basically, I was getting at least .99 cents a pound for lead that was being given to me. Sometimes they went as high as $2.00 a pound, if folks were fighting over the auction. Not a bad deal while it lasted. ;-)
    I used welding gloves, a spoon and a pair of needle nose pliers. I would grab the clip with the pliers, tap it on the side to keep all of the crap in the pot, toss it in a tin pail, and repeat. Once I had all of the clips out, and there wasn't any more room to add any more, I would use the spoon to stir the pot, and make sure everything was floating then scoop the dross off and toss that into the same bucket. Some of those clips are stainless, but it's a crap grade and my local recycler would only give me tin price. But that was for the dross and everything. If I remember correctly, two 5 gallon buckets full of dross and clips got me a check for $4 bucks. ;-) lol
    As for pouring into a mold, the best advice I've found is to pre-heat your mold.
    At first I placed the mold on top of the pot, but that was VERY time consuming, and didn't work very well. Then I would pour a warming cast, to get the mold hot, and then make the real cast. That worked, but the better was to buy a two burner electric hot plate, and the molds would sit on the burners and get very hot, while I melted lead. By pre-heating the molds, you get a very good finish on the lead, if it's poured into a hot mold and allowed to cool slowly. You'll be pleased with the difference. If the finish is still rough, you may need to polish the inside of the mold.
    As for flux, I never used any. Never used sawdust. The wheel weights were usually clean enough that I didn't get an incredible amount of crap that needed to be removed, but everything that DID need to come out, was floating, and I scooped it out with the old spoon.
    Bullets were doable too, but they are another story. ;-)
    Good luck. :-)

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    Helping a friend fill the keel on his newly built sailboat, cut a hot water tank in half then welded a pipe near the bottom hung this from the Hiab truck mounted crane then proceeded to melt a few thousand pounds of lead.

    Amazing sight when the spigot on the pipe was opened you never in your life seen two thousand pounds of molted lead disappear into the keel so fast as the home made melting pot did.

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    Try to find a lead shower pan.... Lots of soft lead.... Lots

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