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I melted a bunch of wheel weights and messed up.

4869 Views 20 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  plinker611
I have six hundred pounds of two pounds cubes and have since found out that I messed up. I included a bunch that I shouldn't have, like the stick on wheel weights as well as some that were of different materials. Can I just remelt the cubes and scoop the bad stuff of the top. Appreciate any help. Jackie B.
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I made a great deal of shot, and when the "good" lead wheel weights were about gone, I quit.(Well, that and two torn rotator cuff surgeries, and a bad back)

I found that some of the newer w/w are magnetic, and can be sorted out with a magnet to the weight, and not just the clip.

Others are not magnetic, but may contain materials that melt at a higher temp. than lead, so controlling the temp when melting or re-melting may help a great deal.

As stated, beeswax in the melted lead, and skimming the surface many times, may help separate the metals.

Good luck
 

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Keep your heat set to just a tad over the melting point of lead and the zinc and steel weights will float to the surface where you can easily remove them.

Get the temperature of the lead too hot and the zinc will melt, combine with the lead and contaminate the batch; you'll have to toss that batch of lead because the zinc can't be removed once it's combined and bonded to the lead.

Add a bit of flux (a pea-sized ball of paraffin wax will do the trick) and stir well, then remove the slag that forms.

Don't remove any slag until after fluxing, as you run the risk of removing any tin, antimony, arsenic or other metals that are wanted in your mix.

Kiv
 

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Go over to the 'castboolits.gunloads.com/forum.php' site and look around. I believe if you got the original melt temperature up high enough to actually melt any of the zinc weights you have problems.

I seem to recall reading that once you've got the zinc melted into the lead it's pretty much scrap metal and won't cast well.

Steel etc will slag out with no problem, but if the lead is contaminated with zinc it's a problem.

Zinc has a slightly higher melting temp than lead - but once you reach that temperature and the zinc melts, then the lead is contaminated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was hoping there was still some way to separate the Zinc. I had melted these cubes down a couple of years ago but know that some of them did get the zinc in them. Is it catastropic if I get zinc in my shotmaker? What is the temperature I should use when melting the lead as I have about 1500 pounds of wheel wights to melt down and I sure don't want any zinc in them? Jackie B.
 

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I believe lead is around 620f and Zinc is about 671f. Fairly narrow margin to deal with if you're planning on separating out weights that float but don't melt. You need to have a casting thermometer. These temps are well below good casting temps.

I did find a thread on cast boolits about separating out zinc that has contaminated the lead. I didn't read through it all to see how well it worked out.

'castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?62957-A-possible-way-to-remove-zinc-from-molten-lead'
 

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You've ruined the batch for shot making. Sell it on e-bay to cast bullet makers. Been there and done that. Keep your heat to around 600-650 degrees in the future. Do not let the lead bubble at the bottom of your pot. That is where the zinc combines with the lead. Buy a temperature gage.
 

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I didn't know any better and mixed a bunch of it too. Not knowing any better, I ran the batch and plugged up drippers. I got mad and smacked the ladle with a soup spoon and noticed the dripper started working again. Hummm.... everytime the drippers slowed down I tapped with the spoon, worked fine. You might try that before scrapping a batch.
 

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In response to 320090T, I also tried to run some through my set-up, and it started plugging up.

I also tapped the pot with a leather hammer, then slowly added PURE lead to the mix, as I tapped it.

Slowly, it started running better, and I was able to use most of it this way.

Be patient with it, remove and clean your drippers regularly, and you may get by!

Go slowly, but watch the heat!

Danny
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for your help. I might just set these cubes to the side for now and then try the sulphur trick. I do have around 100 lbs of pure lead that I could mix in though. Jackie B.
 

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thats why i sort all my w.w's prior to melt and keep my temp in the rite heat range,,if you have more w.w's sort & use them,the bad batch can be made into pistol bullets(as long as you size them & lube them),or sold on ebay for fishing weights for $1/per lb (look up lead ingots ).....but i wouldnt run it through my shot maker..ive taken the drippers out to clean them 4 times in the last 6-7 yrs,and will avoid it at all costs,,,even if i sell the load to the scrap yd for .30 per lb. mark jones
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have six or eight sinker molds that I can use them in I guess but sure wish I could clean it up some way. I haven't found the sulphur to use yet but will probably try it. Jackie B.
 

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Where have you people been the last several years??? It started with a ban on lead alloy wheel weights in the European union and spread to here. Lead weigths are marked Pb and zinc something else. Zinc weights are about half again the size of lead ones and are harder than hell. Keep the temp just as low as you can if you are too proud to look at what you are putting in the melting pot. It seems to me that the early stick on weights are pure lead. is Man oh man messing up that much wheel weights because you did not look at them and sort out! Shame on you is all I can say. The contaminated ones don't pour worth a shit for sinkers or bullets either!!!! I retired from Jeep in Toledo in Jan 2007 and they had been using zinc based weights for at least a few years before that. Not enough room on the tire line to have zinc and or lead weights in the same place. At the time only the exports needed zinc cause of the Europeans and it was easier to just go with zinc. Now all weights need to be other than lead as it is a EPA thing not a state thing. Can't have that nasty lead out there in the environment can we? Even though the relatively inert metal lead is not a problem in the environment it is the compound of lead such as tetra ethyl formerly used in gasoline and lead compounds formerly found in house paint that really was a problem. Keep it in mind when the pols go on a rampage about lead amunition. Sorry for the rant but the subject has been brought up here before. Anyone else out there=sort the goddamn things before you melt them!!! Just that fricking simple, don't imagine any of you are melting 500 pounds at a time in one pot so what the heck look them over.
 

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jack look up fishing sinkers on e bay,,,its not a total loss,,,your contaminated lead is still worth somthing,two other options on earlyer post,and you can ship(and i have) up to 70 lbs of lead in the usps flat rate box,across the country,for $12.and the buyer will pay shipping. i will help with packaging ideas that i use.and boxes are free.


you should get into the habit of sorting your weights,i take the junk to scrap yd,and the money i get from that pays for a 8lb jug of powder or some cheddites. if the weights say Zn or fe cast aside,i wont even use the soft strip weight in my mix also,i save them for black powder bullets,and them 700 gr,.69 cal. civil war musket bullets are paid for...,mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Plinker, can you use the Zn and Fe weights for sinkers? You are right, I need to sit down and separate the weights. I offered a friend the shot maker, which is brand new, to make me shot out of the 2000 pounds or so of wheel weights. No telling how many of them are zinc but I thought it was a pretty good deal for him. He hasn't replied yet though. Jackie B.
 

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jackie i wouldnt try to make sinkers out of them,fe-steel, takes too mutch heat,and the strait zink(zn)wouldnt cast well..i scrap them for .15-.20 cents per lb,1000 lbs per yr,$150-$200 componet money.the shot i sell pays for the rest and some targets...free shooting is the way to go.. thanks jim stewart...
mark
 
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