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Clouser

Melting lead for jigs

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I have been casting heads with scrap lead from various sources such as pipe and what was described as old ex-ray shielding material, but who knows. When melting the lead should a fluxing material need to be added to separate the junk from the pure lead?

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When I melt lead such as that, I've found the impurities rise to the top so you can scoop out with a spoon very easily.

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When I melt lead such as that, I've found the impurities rise to the top so you can scoop out with a spoon very easily.

I have the same all unlead come to the surface. Which style melting pot do you have? I bought a large production pot, every so ofton it much be clean of the junk that builds up in the bottm and on the walls of the unit.

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Most of the impurities will float to the top and then just spoon it out. Another trick is to melt down all your lead and pour ingots. Once you get the pot empty, clean it out. After cleaned out, melt your ingots and you won't have all the junk floating in your pot.

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like they said it will float to the top, sometimes you might have to clean the bottom if you miss some at top but scoop it out and you should be good.

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Use a very small (tiny) piece of wax and stir it into the mix. Be very careful because it will smoke and possibly ignite. By using the wax as flux the dross(gunk that floats)that is still bound in the lead is released giving you cleaner castings. The best way is to start with precleaned ingots(fluxed with wax and most of the dross removed). Be very careful when you flux with wax though. When it ignites it will cause you to flinch. Be sure to have protective gear on. One more thing is you can not remove mixed metals from lead by fluxing. You need to go to a refinery for that. If you have tin and antimony in the lead(most common alloys for hardening) they will be there after you flux. Stick to soft lead for best results. Clip on wheel weight lead is the worst. Stick on wheel weights run about98% pure and work well for jigs. Pipe and sheet lead work well for jigs. Xray shielding depends on its use. The little piece of lead foil in a dental xray is very dirty when melted and too hard for small detailed castings.

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I had gotten a large strip from an X-ray room in a clinic. Melted nice but it did have wall paper glued to it in places. It just melted off Rather burned off.

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