Identifying lead vs zinc wheel weights

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treebeard

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for years I would get wheel weights for casting balls— no worry till not all WW are lead.
Any tips on telling the lead from other? I find the world got off track when the changed the formula for WW— somebody did not have anything better to.
 

bang

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I've read and been told that the stick on weights are at or closest to pure lead. There are ways to heat to help separate alloys but not 100% effective. Alloys can harm the barrel but considering you use patched ball in rifle the issue is pretty much mute. If you use them use a size that allows the thickest patch. I would not advise using for minis, reals or revolver.
Depending on your area pure lead can be bit of chore to acquire. Some close to coast can find scrap pure used for keels. Sometimes you can find scrapped plumbers lead used in older buildings for shower lining and vents. I've heard of people getting it from old medical or hospitals that are being demolished. The xray rooms are shielded with it.
Some use the stick on even though they might be a bit harder than pure but soft enough they are safe to use. I have searched all recyclers and shops in my area and find robometals my best choice. I check their site till there is a sale and buy just enough to get free shipping. Amounts to 9, 5lb bars and it's 99 pure. My last amount totaled 90lbs over 2 months and at my age I probably won't need any more.
 

treebeard

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Thanks for the suggestions--when I postd this i thought i might wind up at the junk yard with a bucket full of WW wondering how many would be zinc or other trash. I have done robometals in the past and it does take the worry out of the process.
 

Eutycus

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I haven't done the wheelweight thing in a few years, are they no longer putting the "Zn" on them?
 

SDSmlf

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Zinc is not good for the lead pot (doesn’t mix well with lead or tin) and I just simply avoid it. I have seen where some claim it can be separated from lead by adding sulfur, but haven’t attempted it nor do I intend to try. Just an effort vs risk vs reward thing. Link to an entire article I bookmarked years ago on the subject is below a quote from that article, which suggests it may be possible.

‘zinc can be extracted by stirring in powdered sulphur when the solder is in a semi-molten condition, and then melting the whole, when the combined sulphur and zinc will rise to the surface, and can be taken off in the form of a cake, the solder being left in good condition for use’.

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

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That's a new one. I haven't heard that about extracting the zinc with sulfur .It used to be that once you had contamination with zinc in your lead, that was it. May as well throw that batch away. Oh by the way are we talking just Wheelweights or scrap lead in general?
 
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If you keep you pot the proper temp zinc won't melt. If it does melt it will float to the top and be yellow red green color, you can skim that off but no way to tell how much is mixed in. I have used lead that got some zinc mixed in for bullets I powder coat, or the become fishing sinkers.
 
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