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Is there an easy method for sorting out the zinc wheel weights? I have a heaping 5 gallon bucket and don’t want to look at every one individually. I can tell by the sound by tapping them on concrete, I can bend the long lead ww’s or cut them with just about anything, but, 5 gallon bucket, thousands of weights…

Should I get a pot of lead melted and start putting them in by the hand fulls and skim off what floats? I don’t have a thermometer for the lead so there is the danger of getting it too hot and melting the zinc. I’ve read that the zinc with ruin the lead for casting but could it be “fluxed” out?

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Once you melt the zinc into the lead, you are screwed. Zinc does melt at a little higher temp, but I have no desire to put zinc weights in a pot with lead.

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Originally Posted by Jon_In_Va
Once you melt the zinc into the lead, you are screwed. Zinc does melt at a little higher temp, but I have no desire to put zinc weights in a pot with lead.




This^^^^


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Thanks guys, I’ll do it the hard way and won’t risk ruining some lead, it’s getting too hard to get.

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Most zinc WW are marked "Z" or "Zn". Check the fine print....on the WW.


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Even the most trained eyes can miss an errant zinc weight or two, most certainly in a 5 gallon bucket worth of sorting.

A thermometer is the greatest tool, but lacking that, melting to "slump" (not liquid) and fluxing, then skimming dross and clips will harvest the ones you will most certainly miss if you process the scrap in any large quantity, which you should to obtain some modicum of consistency in weight, as cast diameter and hardness.

Dont be in a hurry sorting and dont hurry making clean ingots and the zinc disease is easily avoided.

Dan is pointing you correctly when sorting.

Last edited by HawkI; 04/06/22.


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I just take my time when sorting a bucket of weights.

It really is not that much work.

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I've melted several tons of lead with zinc weights mixed in. Just don't let your temp get too high and they float to the top with the clips. One you've got a decent pool of lead melted, they pop to the top right quick because they're so much lighter than the lead.


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I’m not sure I could get my pot hot enough to melt the zinc ww’s. I cut the top off a 20 lb propane tank for my pot and bought a propane replacement burner for my heat. I think it would take a long time to get to zinc melting temperature with this setup. I took a zinc and a lead weight and tried to melt the end with a propane torch, the lead melted, the zinc did not. But with that said, I don’t think I’ll fill the pot with weights and try to melt them all at once. I’m going sort what’s obvious, get 2 or 3 inches of melted lead and then put enough in to cover the top so I can see what’s happening. The big zinc ones are easy to spot, it’s the 1 inchers that will be a little tougher to see. I’ll get through them, it’s only 1 heaping 5 gallon bucket.

When I’m done with them, i have about 150 lbs of lead flashing and old lead pipe I’m going to melt into bars. I may try to make some harder bars from this because I know what I’m starting with.

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I hand sort all of my wheelweights. My burner will easily melt any Zinc weight trapped on the bottom. Also, its not a good idea to add anything to a pot of already molten lead. A small amount of moisture can empty a pot rather quickly. This is know as the Tinsel Fairy! On another note, one Zinc weight won't ruin a whole batch of lead. I strive for Zero.


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This bucket of weights has been in my heated shop for a couple of years so I know they’re dry. But with that said, I put some 1lb bars in my casting pot that was about half full. After a minute or so, there was a slight “pop” or burb which was enough to throw some lead out of the pot. Luckily I wasn’t standing next to it. It wasn’t moisture because those bars have been in the same heated shop for 6 or more years. Not sure what happened but I’m extra cautious now anytime I’m messing with molten lead.

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Zinc melts around 775 degrees, and lead melts around 625 degrees. You'd have to be really not paying attention to melt zinc by accident. I've tried to melt zinc on purpose without any luck.


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This ^^^

If anything in my pot is still solid @ approx 700 gets skimmed off & pitched.

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I've never seen this ask before but maybe it has been. Has anyone ever tried powder coating zinc? If so what was your results?

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Originally Posted by TrueGrit
Zinc melts around 775 degrees, and lead melts around 625 degrees. You'd have to be really not paying attention to melt zinc by accident. I've tried to melt zinc on purpose without any luck.

This is right


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A 6" pair of diagonal cutters/pliers in one's predominate hand-

the diagonal pliers will easily cut lead.

the diagonal pliers will NOT cut zinc.


Keep 'em in the X Ring,
DAN

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