cleaning lead?

Discussion in 'Sinker Making Institute' started by flathead_hunter, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. flathead_hunter

    flathead_hunter Well-Known Member

    nebraska city
    i melted down about 200 pounds of lead (all were wheel weights) and tried keeping it clean when i made ingots.. the lead is still dirty when ever i make weights.. is this normal? is there something i can use like a flux or something to keep it clean? i thought about taking some flux from work that we use in our aluminum to keep it clean.. i was just curious though
  2. Boomer

    Boomer New Member

    When it is melting, I scoop up the residue off the top, and dump it. I really dont mind dirty lead.....I use a lot of lead, so it being discolored is not a big concern, unless you are trying to sell it. If you do that then I would suggest you buy plumbers lead.

  3. ratkinson

    ratkinson New Member

    You all can still use lead for sinkers? (I assume thats's what we're talkin about) We have been switched over to steel. It'll work but I don't for it as much.

  4. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Little Rock, AR
    Having a skim of discoloration and slag is normal when using wheel weights, even if you've gotten a lot of the garbage out when making the ingots. Wheel weights aren't made of pure lead, but have other metals mixed with the lead for hardness. Generally, this other metal has a higher melting point than pure lead, so it's not unusual to have some of this come to the surface. Just use a big spoon to skim it off, just like when you made your ingots. It won't hurt a thing, unless you're trying to pour something like splitshot or small jigs. The mix of metals won't fill in the small crevices of the mold as well as pure lead will.
  5. whisker maniac

    whisker maniac New Member

    I use a piece of wire window screening to clean my lead with. Using the screen will clear out all the trash and leave all the lead better than a spoon will.
  6. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Try a piece of candle wax-It will flare up when you throw it in but it draws all the garbage to the top.My uncle does this when making works fairley well.Them weights are a pain in da bootey!
  7. 1mickymoo

    1mickymoo New Member

    Edgerton, Kansas
    Vibrate the pot and skim it, repeat, repeat etc........
  8. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Wax or Paraffin helps this problem.
  9. coach

    coach New Member

    Greenville , Ms
    so does a couple spoonfuls of bacon grease .............. gonna have a fire , but it burns a lot of the mess out of the lead .............................just skim off the black after the fire goes out ..................... and watch out for all the hungry dogs and cats running loose in the neighborhood !!!!:smile2:
  10. mikey823

    mikey823 Member

    I use one of those little scoops they use to makw melon balls to skim my lead, it works real well because there is a little hole in the bottom, the lead drains out and the dirty stuff stays in the scoop.
  11. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Saronville Ne.
    It seems like nothing ever gets all the crap out of wheel weights,I've tried wax fluxing etc,it helps but never gets it really clean,you'll never get that shiny pure lead look with wheel weights as there is too much tin in the mix to make them harder. I melted down some wheel weights here recently and can say for sure that they are a pain after working with plumbers lead for awhile,kind of forgot that they can be a pain. Get'em real hot and stir the pot well,then take something and tap all over the pot where you can reach to release any stuck stuff so it can float up,clean off the top junk with a spoon and stir again,keep doing this till most of the junk is gone,it helps. I really didn't see any advantage to fluxing the lead with wax or grease except for a stinking fire hazzard,some plumbers flux helps a little but really not worth it. fish don't care if it isn't perfect!
  12. rrssmith

    rrssmith New Member

    try putting a small piece of parafin wax(about the size of a marble) in it wait for it to ignite, then go out then skim the dirt and waste off the top...
  13. Fatman

    Fatman New Member

    Up until a year ago I'd have said fluxing your lead to clean it or help with flow was a joke!!!! Not anymore, not only does the flux clean the lead but you're also not losing so much just by skimming the dirt off the top.

    I will disagree about tire weight lead in small jig heads, I cast alot of them and I mark what molds will work with what type of lead. In 3 of them I can cast down to 1/48th with tire weight.

    For the NY guy make sure to check your law, you can still make and use jig heads and sinkers for your own use, you just can't sell them. I grew up in NY and I've cast many a sinker and jig there, I now live in Vermont and I'm still casting even with the VT laws, and NH is even worse but there are ways around it just by using a bigger hook.

    You reallly need to check your tire weights IF you can still get them and make sure you don't have any steel or Zinc, and when cleaning make sure to keep the temp down so the Zinc doesn't melt and contaminate your lead.

    The laws are really getting out of hand, a bunch of guys I know have switched to bismuth and tin, only problem there is it doesn't weigh as much as lead, and costs three times as much as lead.

  14. catman-j

    catman-j New Member

    Eastern Nebr
    I was just thinking about getting a tea strainer to filter out the crud.
  15. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    When cleaning lead from tire weights a small amount of candle wax or gulf wax or even bacon grease or cooking oil will help flux the impurities to the top . I think when it catches on fire it raises the temp of the lead just a bit more to let the impurities float better.