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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may fall under the “Hey Stupid” category but here goes. I have access through my biggest client (OK, my only client!!) to get an infinite amount of lead wheel weights. Since it seems that casting ones own bullets is the cheaper and more entertaining way to go I asked him if he could arrange it for me to have first dibs on the throw away lead. Yesterday I had a box delivered to my office that must weigh close to 50 pounds full of dirty lead. Most of the weights have what appears to be a piece of steel that is used to attach the weight to the wheel. Here’s the question….how do you remove the steel before melting the lead? Or, do you just throw the whole weight in the furnace and fish out the steel piece after the lead has melted off? Don’t want to screw up my new furnace so any advice would be welcome.
 

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Now that is the way to get your lead. I do not reload, but I seem to remember that steel clip might be hard to separate from the lead, and you already know about the amount of dirt, grease and junk mixed in with those. I would be interested in the responses, as I also have a couple sources that would let me haul away, for a small cost old wheel weights. If I get into loading that could be a savings over purchase of already cast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You know Robby, that brings up another question worth asking. Is it necessary to clean the wieghts prior to melting or do you throw them in the furance dirty, flux and then skim the crap off the top?
 

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Throw the wheel weight in the melting pot. The clip and dirt will float to the top. Just skim it off with your ladel and discard. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[
Smokewagon said:
Throw the wheel weight in the melting pot. The clip and dirt will float to the top. Just skim it off with your ladel and discard. :thumb:
Thank you Smokewagon!! I was hoping it was going to be easy. I had nasty thoughts of having to cut the lead off and then clean it before melting. My new furance should be here by the end of the week and I want to fire it up and start saving a few dollars as quiclky as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rwcreigh said:
maybe you can post up some pictures of it and some of the steps.becareful.
I'll do that. It may be more like a "what not to do" instructional but I'll post some pics. For those guys that have been reloading forever it might at least bring a few grins and giggles. rrarms say they'd ship the furnace on Thursday so hopefully I'll have it figured out bu this time next week. Oh and Robby, Ahmen brother on the molten lead. If I'm nothing, I'm careful.
 

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Robby said:
+1 on the be careful. I have been burnt years ago by hot lead, but not casting bullets.
+1 again. I still have a slight scar from molten lead 30 years ago. And Smokewagon is correct about just throwing the whole works into the pot and letting the melting pot do the separation for you.

And at the risk of stating the obvious, do your melting and casting in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors. You don't want to be breathing in lead vapors.

http://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/safety/pdf/leadwkwith.pdf
 

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Yes, the clip is less dense and floats. Also, toss in a little alox after you get the clips out to help coagulate all the slag. I use a bottom pour Lee lead pot I've had for over 20 years and it's still going strong, think I gave 50 bucks for it from midwayusa.com. Well, I bought it from midway, they didn't have a dot com back then.

I mostly have Lee molds. Ask me a caliber and I may have a favorite mold for it. I don't load for a few calibers like .40/10mm. I get my lead out of the backstop at the range. Free bullets means all you pay for is a little powder and a primer. Keeps things REAL cheap. :D
 

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Be careful when melting your WW that you don't melt any zinc WW in your mix. Lead will melt at around 650 F. and zinc WW will melt around 780 F so the zinc and steel WW will float and can be skimmed off the top. It is fine to melt zinc with metal to use as fishing sinkers but in bullet metal it will not allow your mold to fill out properly. I have been getting more iron WW lately and less zinc but I still get some. Zinc will have a "Z" on most weights and iron will have "Fe" and the clip will be riveted to the weight.
 

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Remember when melting/casting lead, THROW is just a figure of speech!

Also never let even a drop of water go into the melt, not even a drop of sweat.
 

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I had an appointment at the VA today and thought I would try to pick up some WW from some of the tire shops along the way home that I have never asked before. I'm usually pretty good with people but it must be the moon phase or something. Three of the places I asked said "HELL NO" and really became beligerant about it. Rather than get into an argument with an idiot, I just walked off but I really can't figure out why the attitude. I only ask once and offer to pay for the WW and will furnish them a new clean 5 gal. bucket.
 

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.452dia said:
I had an appointment at the VA today and thought I would try to pick up some WW from some of the tire shops along the way home that I have never asked before. I'm usually pretty good with people but it must be the moon phase or something. Three of the places I asked said "HELL NO" and really became beligerant about it. Rather than get into an argument with an idiot, I just walked off but I really can't figure out why the attitude. I only ask once and offer to pay for the WW and will furnish them a new clean 5 gal. bucket.

UPDATE:
WOW, I tried again today at some different shops and couldn't believe the difference in attitudes. I was given a 5 gal. bucket and half another for free. The guy would not take anything for it and I tried to pay him. He even offered to save me some weights in the future. The next shop sold me 2, 5 gallon buckets for $30 and they were full. Now I'm convinced that there is something to Moon Phases effecting people.
 

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.452dia said:
UPDATE:
WOW, I tried again today at some different shops and couldn't believe the difference in attitudes. I was given a 5 gal. bucket and half another for free. The guy would not take anything for it and I tried to pay him. He even offered to save me some weights in the future. The next shop sold me 2, 5 gallon buckets for $30 and they were full. Now I'm convinced that there is something to Moon Phases effecting people.
One would think that a business whose only product is selling tires, something that everyone needs sooner or later, might be a little friendlier in their rejection of a reasonable request. Well, it worked to give you a good idea of who YOU want to do business with in the future.
 
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