Thoughts on casting...

Discussion in 'Shooting Accessories' started by smo, Apr 6, 2019.

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  1. Apr 6, 2019 #1

    smo

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    3143CEA0-2286-42BE-95D9-9BE070067CD3.png With all the talk of differences in lead purity , I thought I would see what you Guys make of this....

    Over the past 40 years I’ve cast many fishing jigs, sinkers and a few round ball’s along the way.

    I don’t own a lead tester, thermometer, until now I’ve never really had any issues being able to produce a few hundred shootable round ball’s in the past.

    Before now, once the mold got to temperature , the wrinkles disappeared and all was good....

    Then this happened.....

    Thoughts?

    FYI- The lead being used is soft, it can be scratched with your thumbnail.
     
  2. Apr 6, 2019 #2

    Eutycus

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    What is the caliber of the balls?
     
  3. Apr 6, 2019 #3

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    More info needed.

    What is your lead source?
    do you flux?
    what is your heat source?
    is your mold aluminum ?
     
  4. Apr 6, 2019 #4

    Tom A Hawk

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    I've seen that frosted appearance with wheel weight metal.
     
  5. Apr 6, 2019 #5

    Carbon 6

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    A person doesn't need a thermometer to cast, but you do need good heat control.
     
  6. Apr 6, 2019 #6

    Eutycus

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    Until some more info is exchanged all I can really do is guess. It appears you got a hold of a zinc wheelweight. It only takes one, you know?
     
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  7. Apr 6, 2019 #7

    smo

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    Sorry Gents, the Grandsons soccer match got in my Muzzleloading way ....

    The mold was a brass one from Tanner , or so I’m told. A Friend of mine loaned it too me to try a different sized ball in my smoothbore gun.

    The lead is from an unknown source , it is soft, but not as soft as what Hornady uses for their balls.

    I determined this using a spring loaded center punch.. the divot was not quite as deep as in the Hornady lead balls.
    Almost but not quite ....

    I did manage too get a handful of usable balls poured with the same material , then I dumped the pot and started using Hornady balls that I no longer have a need for.

    The melt pot is one of the small Lee models with thermostat control..
    Normally I run it on 4- 5 depending on the amount of lead in the pot..

    The balls above were cast from a clean pot.
     
  8. Apr 6, 2019 #8

    nhmoose

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    Looks like to hot mold and lead and mold opened to soon before the ball hardened.
     
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  9. Apr 6, 2019 #9

    Eutycus

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    I dont know, I've never used a brass mold before. What intrigues me is the "lead from an unknown source". If you've been melting lead for 40 years this should have been a very routine event.
     
  10. Apr 6, 2019 #10

    smo

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    That’s what I’m talking about, never have I seen anything like this and in the past I’ve used fishing sinkers, lead from drain pipes, roof flashing you name it and never had a problem.... even with wheel weights.
    Never an issue with anything, that’s why I ask so many questions in the other thread..

    As too the mold being hot...
    yes it was hot , can you get them too hot?
    I’ve never heard of anyone having too let the mold cool down.

    In my small pot it’s always been a problem keeping it hot while adding more lead.

    The puddle in the sprue never solidified , it kinda’ frosted over and loooked like grains of sand.

    However the metal did harden after a bit.

    As too the unknown source lead....
    It’s never made any difference in the past.

    However most of my lead I’ve had for years , except the lead that was used for theses balls.....

    Just for farts & giggles , I’ve got a Friend with a lead tester, I think I’ll get him to check this stuff out for me.

    Has anyone here ever checked the hardness of a Hornady round ball?
     
  11. Apr 7, 2019 #11

    Eutycus

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    Never had an issue with Hornadys products. They mainly do use pure lead. I think some of their swaged balls are a hardened alloy with a bit of antimony. But even then Antimony should not have been a factor as this metal is nothing like zinc. I may very well be wrong but I'd still guess a wheel weight containing Zinc somehow found its way into your batch of lead.
     
  12. Apr 7, 2019 #12

    waarp8nt

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    If the lead was not acting normal when cast then you likely have some impurity in it. Zinc is a common impurity. Frosting can be caused by excess temperature.

    Wheel weights are being made from zinc and steel, since lead is considered harmful. For the last couple years I have not been able to get lead wheel weights from the local shops, they have all been zinc and Steel.
     
  13. Apr 7, 2019 #13

    Eutycus

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    Then it is possible that the brass mold got overheated?
     
  14. Apr 7, 2019 #14

    The Crisco Kid

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    I have several brass molds for bullets, not balls. I don't think overheating is the problem smo is dealing with. I'd toss the alloy and start over with pure lead or at least an alloy of known composition.

    JS
     
  15. Apr 7, 2019 #15

    Eutycus

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    I have mentioned this on another thread. If the wheel weight has tbe letters ZN on then to just avoid them.
     
  16. Apr 7, 2019 #16

    smo

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    That’s what i did.

    I had some Hornday .535’s and nothing they would shoot well in, so I melted those and cast enough balls too test in my 16 gauge.

    Here’s the remains of what was left in the pot ....

    I did clean it out before melting the Hornady balls.
    D86AD28D-A92A-4FFB-BBF0-DE875772445D.jpeg
     
  17. Apr 7, 2019 #17

    smo

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    Can you scratch a zinc wheel weight with your thumbnail ?

    This material I was given, it had been poured into a rod 1 1/4” round , 5 lb rod.
     
  18. Apr 7, 2019 #18

    waarp8nt

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    I doubt you could scratch it with a thumbnail if it is zinc. I have a friend that checks his wheel weights with a side cutter. Lead smashes easily, zinc does not. I have a couple of 5 gal buckets that need checked, but I have not messed with them as of yet.
     
  19. Apr 7, 2019 #19

    Eutycus

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    You know I really cant say whether a zinc wheelweight is scratchable or not.I cant say I ever have "tested" one for softness. I do avoid zinc when I can. I think it is a soft metal but not that soft . And it just dont mix.That picture of the lead in the melting pot actuallty looks like a pretty good mix. I kind of think the old fingernail test is pretty much a thing of the past. Wheelweights are just not the same as they used to be. If there was zinc in the mix I dont think it would look that good. Maybe it is possible you got the mold too hot.
     
  20. Apr 7, 2019 #20

    Eutycus

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    There is a drop or thud test. Drop them on concrete and the lead ones go "thunk" and the zinc goes "clink". Real scientific huh?
     

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