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Hey all,

I'm melting some lead to make my own ammo and for the mould i have just got a piece of wood with holes drilled in. So I have made a few lead cylinders for ammo but when i knock the lead out a lot of it breaks in half into a kind of crumbly type thing. So I am wondering if I am doing something wrong?

Cheers
Andy
 

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Hey all,

I'm melting some lead to make my own ammo and for the mould i have just got a piece of wood with holes drilled in. So I have made a few lead cylinders for ammo but when i knock the lead out a lot of it breaks in half into a kind of crumbly type thing. So I am wondering if I am doing something wrong?

Cheers
Andy
Are you cleaning the lead before casting? Are you pouring each cast in one pour? Freshly melted and cooled lead does not crumble. The wood mold should work just fine. Several members use wooden molds and I'm sure one of them will be along shortly to help you out.
 

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Here is how I do it:

http://slingshotforum.com/topic/13778-cast-hunting-ammo-with-simple-wooden-mold/

Without knowing more details about what you are doing, there may be two problems with your technique.

First, you might not be getting the lead hot enough. If it is not hot enough, it cools too quickly as you pour, resulting in gaps, voids, and seams. The slugs will come apart at these weak points.

Second, as suggested above, your lead might not be clean enough. If you are pouring trash into your mold, the slugs will crumble because of the trash. Scoop any junk floating on top of your lead pot before you make your pour.

It sounds like you are using a single block of wood. I think you will find it easier and you will get better results if you make a two part mold as shown in the tutorial.

Cheers ...... Charles
 

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Some of that "crap floating on top" when the lead is freshly melted is the valuable antimony and tin that hardens the lead and makes it cast cleanly. You should flux your lead after it's fully melted by either dropping in a bean sized piece of (VERY DRY) wax or just dip the end of a candle in for a second. It may flame up, no biggie, just stir the lead carefully but thoroughly, dunking the stuff floating on top back under the melted lead till what's left on top is either solid bits of trash, or just a dry powdery residue. then skim off anything that didn't redissolve back into your alloy. Do that every so often while casting as well. Correctly fluxed and mixed alloy is critical to good pours. You do want the lead hot enough to stay melted till it completely fills the mold. You can tell if you are there because the center of the puddle on the top of your chamber will sink down a little bit when the center hardens. But, if you get it too hot, it will throw off a whole lot more of those nasty toxic lead fumes, (You are casting outside and with a good breeze or a fan blowing the fumes AWAY from you, Right?) and also will generate a lot of yucky looking brownish crap floating on top, that will not flux back into the mix.

It's not brain surgery, but it helps to know the process.
 
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