What's your favorite Flux?

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  • Last Post 11 August 2012
cat1870 posted this 12 July 2007

I've tried Frankford Arsenal CleanCast and http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=1132&title=MARVELUX%7e+BULLET+CASTING+FLUX>MARVELUX.

Plus have used bullet lube a time or 2.

What's your favorite?

 

Cat

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RicinYakima posted this 12 July 2007

Basely anything with carbon in it, as long as it doesn't have a girly smell such as candles. One of my favorites is cigar butts. I save them in a can till they are dry and add some with beeswax/lard mixture. Very effective and adds a nice manly smell to the shop. Ric

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JeffinNZ posted this 15 July 2007

Didn't like the way MARVELUX spat at me.  I use beeswax now.  Drop, stir, flick the lighter, burn off the fumes, clean alloy.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Kodyak posted this 16 July 2007

I'm with Jeff on this one.

Marvelux leaves a scally residue on the inside of my lead-pot. Quit using it long ago.

Has anyone heard of using a certain kind of wood stick to stir their lead? I saw that somewhere, but can't find it again.

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CB posted this 17 July 2007

Rick,

Hey, what kinda cigar smoker are ya? You're suppose to chew them cigar butts up, that way you get a great smoke and a chew of a tabacca for one price. Have ya ever tried potpori for flux? It smells swell! :).............Dan

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CB posted this 17 July 2007

I have 2 or 3 jars of the Frankford arsenal flux, use it occassionally for real dirty range salvage lead.

For fluxing for the most part I use either beeswax or leftover candle stuff from my wife.

I have used sawdust soaked in used tranny fluid, but that smokes to beat the band.

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billwnr posted this 17 July 2007

Last year I bought something Bill Ferguson sells and it works better than Marvelux. No spitting.

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RicinYakima posted this 17 July 2007

Dan,

I usually buy A&C Grenadiers or Churchill's. The only time I eat the butts is when I am fishing for salmon in the Pacific. There isn't much to do while trolling for 12 hours.

I was serious about the fluxing with anything carbon. To me the best smelling is walnut sawdust and beeswax. My wife doesn't even make me go into the womens' stores anymore since I pucked all over one from the “scented herbs and candles” about 10 years ago. I'm allergic to most manufactured fragrances, but grew up on the farm. Manure just smells like money to me.

Bill and Kodyak,

I have used both Bill Fergeson's and NEI's fluxes. Both are very effective and don't have much oder for people that have that concern.

Ric

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sundog posted this 18 July 2007

Sawdust, old candles, about anything organic that burns when rendering WWs and range scrap. I've even used diesel fuel in my big smelting pot when doing hundreds of pounds at a time. Heat produced also helps bring the mix up to temp faster.

In the casting pot, lab paraffin (for sealing core samples) since I have a couple big slabs of it. I save my bees wax for lube.

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John Boy posted this 03 August 2007

Sawdust or rosin

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dromia posted this 04 August 2007

 I just stir with dowel offcuts does all fluxing I need.

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454PB posted this 05 August 2007

I must be one of the very few that like Marvelux and the Frankford Arsenal flux.

Yes, it is hygroscopic and needs special care and precautions, but it cleans the melt and it doesn't smoke.

The few times that I get to cast with good ventilation (I do 95% of my casting indoors in the winter) I use any and all of the previously mentioned carbon based fluxes, and anything works from sawdust to Ivory soap.

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CB posted this 05 August 2007

See you are never too old to learn something new!

I have gotta try the dowel rod for fluxing and it never occured to me to use ivory soap.

My main concern using the Frankfort Arsenal Flux is the residue that adheres to the pot after using it. But I guess that will be something I will have to learn to deal with.

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KenK posted this 05 August 2007

I have tried using the freebie paint stirrers, if you live in a humid area be very cautious.  The wood will soak up a lot of moisture causing the lead to hiss and spit.:shock:

What I have been using lately for flux is Darr lube.  I made up a two pound batch and it didn't work very well with my loads.  It is much easier to deal with than parrafin.

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delmarskid1 posted this 09 October 2007

I like 2cycle motor oil. It smokes but doesn't flash burn and I get a lot of stiring time. I used to use hamburger grease. Smelled like I had the grill going.

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Ed Harris posted this 09 October 2007

On the bottom pour pot I use crushed clay kitty litter as boundary layer oxidation protection on top of the melt.  

When reducing scrap alloy in the plumbers pot used motor oil works fine. I flare it off to reduce smoking.

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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delmarskid1 posted this 09 October 2007

I went overboard when I ordered motor mica. I may just try that for a barrier. It could help to hold the heat in also.

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30-30 Wesson posted this 10 October 2007

Any kind of clean Pine kindling is good for a stirring stick as it contains lots of resin. It's wot I use with a little 50:50 lube.

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vmwilson posted this 28 November 2007

I am real surprised nobody mentioned NEI's flux. A little dab will do you. I gave up on Marvelux years ago but I suspect I may have been using too much of it in retrospect.

Mike

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Mike H posted this 29 November 2007

Usually use beeswax. For large lots of dirty metal, such as wheel weights and scrap lead, I use mutton fat. Rosin was supposed to be the flux for typemetal,that is why pine is mentioned. Never used it, myself.

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CB posted this 29 November 2007

I use NEI's flux. I think it is Bee's wax and rosin cause it smells good kinda like pine. I'm about out but probably won't buy anymore as it seems just about anything will work for the casting pot. When I alloy in my big gas fired pot, I use Marvelux because a guy gave me a jar to try and it works. I like reading what the Antimony man has to say about flux and want to try the flux he has and recommends.

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lankenman posted this 30 November 2007

 I don't like using Marvelux because of the resulting residue.  Over time, I reduced the amount of Marvelux used until it was insignificant.  The Marvelux removed debris but even minimal amounts will leave a deposit on the sides of the pot.  This can easily be removed by filling the pot with water (after it cools), heat the pot and let it boil for a minute or two.  But why bother with this in the first place?  This article by Glen Fryxell states that fluxes based on boric acid derivatives will also remove oxidized tin from the melt.  Haven't found any other source to confirm this but here is the website:

 http://www.sixguns.com/crew/simplefluxing.htm>http://www.sixguns.com/crew/simplefluxing.htm

I save course grains of hardwood oak sawdust to use as flux.  This has worked well for me and the carbon remaining from fluxing acts as a good barrier to the atmosphere.  The smoke also imparts a good old wood fire smell to the smelting area.  Be careful though when first stirring sawdust into molten lead as the sawdust contains moisture.  It helps to let it sit on top of the melt until the heat drives off some of the moisture before stirring it in.

 

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CB posted this 30 November 2007

I have tried to flux with just about everything except for the kitchen sink..

Some general don'ts..

Dont use synthetic lube, smokes like the dickens, stinks and leaves a ton of hard to remove residue on the sides of the pot...

Beeswax is too expensive to use as flux, but it works good.

Old church candles or pieces of the same work very well, usually they are paraffin & beeswax mix. Toss a small piece in and light it, smokes somewhat, but you can use that oily smoke to smoke your ladle and oxidation and dross won't stick to it.

Sawdust works good, but it takes some time to flux, might work better in a bottom pour pot than a ladle pot.

Marvalux, Frankfort and the rest seem to leave a nasty residue sticking to the side of the pot I don't care for, so even though I have some, I rarely use except to show others the crud it leaves behind.

My vote is for old church candle pieces, just use ventilation.

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Muddy posted this 26 December 2007

I've always used dried pitch, mostly Doug. Fir, yellow pine works fine also-Muddy  

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mtgrs737 posted this 27 December 2007

I bought 10 pounds of Steric Acid for fluxing and lube making, it seems to work fine.

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linoww posted this 28 December 2007

Be careful if using Marvalux indoors,it will  rust anything the smoke gets near.Like my molds high over the pot on a shelf.It was a hard lesson.I was surprised as I had vent fan just behind the pot.Another CBA member had a similar problem and I would have never guessed it to be the flux.When I moved I accidentally left the jar in a wood box with some misc sizing dies. One year later when i opened it was a big rusty mess!! Just a little had fallen out of the thing when it was knocked over.I guess i didnt learn.

 

 

Geo.

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32ideal posted this 03 January 2008

I have used Bill Ferguson's (http://www.theantimonyman.com/>http://www.theantimonyman.com/)  LETS Casting Flux for the last 5-6yrs, you use very little and no smoke or mess, it is hydroscopic but does come with desiccant for storage!

One of the few products I have purchased over the years that actually works as advertised :shock:.

32ideal

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guido4198 posted this 28 January 2008

I was “smelting” a bunch of lead scrap yesterday..cleaning and converting to ingots, and tried used motor oil for the first time. WORKED GREAT...!! Don't know if I'll use it in my 20# bottom pour pot, but for the larger operation out in the open, it will be my choice. Cheers, Don

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Ed Harris posted this 28 January 2008

Ditto. Even used motor oil works fine for this.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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454PB posted this 01 February 2008

linoww wrote: Be careful if using Marvalux indoors,it will  rust anything the smoke gets near.Like my molds high over the pot on a shelf.It was a hard lesson.I was surprised as I had vent fan just behind the pot.Another CBA member had a similar problem and I would have never guessed it to be the flux.When I moved I accidentally left the jar in a wood box with some misc sizing dies. One year later when i opened it was a big rusty mess!! Just a little had fallen out of the thing when it was knocked over.I guess i didnt learn.

 

 

Geo. I don't know if humidity is different where I live, but I've not seen Marvelux cause rust. I've been using it in the same 30 year old Lee pot for 25 years, and there is no rust.

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RicinYakima posted this 02 February 2008

Marvalux's use by those of us who live in the desert has a rusting reputation. The reason is that one of the products of decomposition is hydrogen chloride, as gas, is liberated. This has a high affinity for water vapor in the air. With our low humidity it is absorbed and becomes hydrochloric acid. In areas of high humidity and lots of water vapor in the air, it is pretty dilute. But here it can be pretty concentrated. Also, we desert rats live in areas with high daily temperature swings, commonly in the 40 degree range. So when we close the shop at night after casting, the temperature drops as much as 50 degrees. This causes the drops of water and HCl to condense onto everything.

My thoughts are that those who live in areas of higher humidity and lower daily temperature swings have less problems. Sal ammonia and borax and other “glassing” fluxes also show these issues here in the desert.

Ric

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Wineman posted this 02 February 2008

I use the hardened grease from my gas grill and the melt is as clean as a mirror. Does smoke but smells good.

Wineman

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LoneStar posted this 20 February 2008

I started using a wood flake flux a few months ago. It's sold by PatMarlin over on the Cast Bullet Forum. I am very pleased with the results, and feel it does a better job of fluxong than the bullet lube I was using.

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Dew posted this 29 February 2008

I use Oak sawdust. Works fine.

All well,

D

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CB posted this 01 March 2008

I am gonna try the dowel rod method this week. I picked up some 1/2” poplar hardwood dowels on clearance for  a quarter a piece.. I will let everyone know how this works.

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CB posted this 01 March 2008

Darn, I just now thought of it thanks to you guys using saw dust. We have a hardwood sawmill near here. I know the guy that runs it and I should go get a couple of buckets. He also has a Lumber Shop with a commercial saw and planer with clean and real fine saw dust. I could get a lifetime supply of that stuff! :shock: ...........Dan

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Mauserman posted this 01 March 2008

Wife sells “Home Interiors"  she is always missing candles... And they even smell good!:) MM

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Molly posted this 02 March 2008

What's my favorite flux?  I don't use any.  I just skim the top of the melt and toss it in a can.  When the can gets close to full, I take it outside with an old Lee pot, and do all my fluxing at the same time, where the fumes and smoke do not put a valued domestic harmony at risk.  (BG)

(I just have to tell you that if you'd asked my grandpa that question, he'd have looked bewildered and replied something to the effect that while he didn't exactly consider it a favorite as such, something like a couple spoonfuls of cod liver oil would usually do the job for him!)  (ROFL)

Molly

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CB posted this 02 March 2008

Molly,

This winter I've been casting inside my shop, instead of the usual outside summer casting sessions. I find that works great, just skim to the top and keep casting. To misconceptions, you don't loose tin and antimony, but also lead, all in very small amounts. I'm adding fresh ingots faster than anything oxidises out! Yup, the heavy laden can will get dumped into my next range lead cleaning and fluxed into it the best as possible, but not much there really, mostly just oxide..................Dan

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CB posted this 02 March 2008

I flux once after I start the pot up for that session. I cast in the garage and generally go back to the warmth of the house for about an hour and play on the forum or do other chores. After that I skim and do the same as Dan and Molly. I find my weights are more consistant when I skim opposed to fluxing. Usually around 1.5 gr. opposed to 3 or better gr. when I flux. I save all of my sawdust from the table saw and other wood working equipment and use that on occassion, mostly when I batch and make ingots. Somtimes I will soak the sawdust with non-synthetic motor or trans oil, but although that works well, it sure smokes and I recomend only doing that outside. I use candle stubs on occassion, I find beeswax works the best, but those church candle stubs that are 50/50 beeswax/parrafin works very well. Do not ever use synthetic bullet lube, that makes more of a mess of your pot than you will want to clean up! Leave a black tar goo that the only fix is to let the pot cool down, pop out the lead and clean it. Heaven forbid you ever get any of that goo in a mold.

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Molly posted this 02 March 2008

Dan Willems wrote: Molly, This winter I've been casting inside my shop... I find that works great, just skim to the top and keep casting. ... you don't loose tin and antimony, but also lead, all in very small amounts. ...not much there really, mostly just oxide .................. DanYou're quite right Dan.  I fluxed religiously for decades, until it dawned on me that what I was really achieving was to let my mold cool down, and my wife heat up.  I started just skimming the top out of lazyness, and found it worked so well that I wouldn't go back to frequent fluxing now if I could. One little tip:  Get a long handled spoon and drill the bowl full of small holes (I think I used a 1/16” bit) to do the skimming with.  The holes allow easy drainage of the unoxidized alloy back into the pot, and guarantees that your idiot cousin won't buff it off and use it to feed his kids after you're gone.

Oh, one other little tip:  The spoon?  Buy it from a Goodwill store.  Don't take it from your wife's silver service. (VBG)

Molly

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CB posted this 02 March 2008

Another good place to look for a spoon is a commercial food sevice distributor, like here in MI we have Gordon Food Service. I got a SS spoon with a nice long handle for around 2 bucks brand new. Almost as cheap as the good will store and there is no plastic handle to melt.

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CB posted this 02 March 2008

You know, that was the 2nd thing I bought after I purchased my Lyman stove top 10lb pot back in the 70s. I never drilled holes in it, cause as I dragged the dross over to the side and tipped it sideways, the molten lead had all run out. One day casting out in the garage, frustrated to not finding the spoon, I grabbed my little metal fish scaler and have used it ever since. Those course teeth on the scaler automatically drains the molten lead while the scooping up the dross.

Two years ago after getting set up with the turkey fryer and 6qrt cast iron pot to clean wheel weights, I bought an old heavy plumbers' ladle at a flea market for $3 that holds about 6lbs of melt, plenty big for a 4-ingot mould. I also bought an old jelly skimmer seen in flea markets about the same price, about 4” across and full of holes. This has worked great for cleaning wheel weights and range lead...............Dan

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Ed Harris posted this 04 March 2008

RicinYakima wrote: I was serious about the fluxing with anything carbon...

 

According Frank Marshall the best and cheapest is mashed charcoal briquettes or plain old wood ashes from the stove.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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wbwizzard posted this 31 March 2008

I use Ney-Vita-N flux sold at Midway; sounds more expensive than what most of you use, but a little goes a long way. Don't like Marvelle flux; it seems to make more of a mess and I don't care what they say, I believe the fumes may be hazarous.  Just an added note on the Marvelle flux, I am always looking for containers to hold empty brass or the hundreds of loaded pistol ammo that I may have waiting for a trip to the range; one time I use an empty Marvelle flux container, didn't wash it out with soap and water, just gave it a good wipe with a clean rag and filled it with loaded 45 acp ammo.  About a week later I took that container to the range, and when I open it, noticed that all the brass had dark spots on them that appeared to be corrosion.   I didn't want to go home to get more ammo, so I tried it.  Needless to say, most of the brass that I fired split on the dark spots.  This was all good brass; it can't be good if accidently inhaled.

For you guys that melt your own wheel weights, you may have noticed that if there are a lot of the silver painted ones in the mix, the paint must act as a flux, as no additional flux is needed.

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CB posted this 31 March 2008

I tried the wooden dowel, well actually a trimming from the saw.. It actually worked very well, so well in fact I am going to start using it all the time now. Works very good scraping the sides of the pot and ZI dont mind the smell of buring wood at all. Makes the shop smell better than bullet lube.:cool:

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NORMSUTTON posted this 05 April 2008

I use this  

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Calehedron posted this 24 April 2008

I second the toilet bowl ring.  I buy the Oatey brand basic wax ring on a plastic collar from Wal-Mart for about a buck.  I also use small critter pine bedding they sell in the pet section.  I only use these when melting down the the weights into my muffin tins.

My Lee pot will be in Friday, got my .44 moulds today, and the 9mm/380 moulds should be here by the weekend also.  Another thing I grabbed for some coworkers is a few sinker molds, bell shape and drop shot.  One of the junkyards I go to is willing to trade a few pounds of sinkers for a bucket full of WW.. Fair trade if you ask me.

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cjoffroader posted this 22 May 2008

hey guys lots of good info here im pretty new to the game and was wondering about the saw dust thing for flux. i have access to sawdust thats mostly cedar with some pine and maybe cypress in it and was wondering if the type of wood mattered at all. thanks in advance for any info

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RugerBob posted this 17 August 2008

Good info all,  I have 2 different pots. One for smelting into ingots and  a bottom pour for making bullets. I use Marvalux or old B-day candles. I am interested in the saw dust and want to give it a try. How much should I use per pot?. I have a 10 pound Lyman pot that I use for melting ww, range lead and chimney flashing.  Thanks , Bob

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LeadHead posted this 17 August 2008

Plain old candle wax.....  Pure and Simple........... 

.

 

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cityboy posted this 17 August 2008

When I began casting back in the early 60s, I used beeswax. It fluxed OK but generated a lot of smoke. I generally used too much and the residue would foul the mold and dipper. Putting a match to the smoke reduced but did not reduce the skum.

Later I used rosin. This smoked, too, but did not leave a residue. The next flux was Marvelux; no smoke, little smell but a nasty hydroscopic skum. Someplace I read about using Ivory soap. I tried it and like it. Little or no residue, no smoke and just a faint pleasant odor. Another thing I like about it is it is CHEAP and readily available. I just use the small pieces left over in the house.

City boy

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Molly posted this 18 August 2008

Cityboy,

Just FYI, the very best flux I've ever used is sodium hydroxide, or ordinary lye.  It seems to actually reduce the slag oxides back to metal!  But it is NOT one I'd recommend for the average caster:  Lye is VERY dangerous!  It'll eat the skin (and underlying flesh) off of any contacted area quickly, even at room temperature.  You can imagine what it will be like at 600+ degrees.  It is also very hydroscopic, and will absorb water from the air very quickly.  Adding it to a hot melt is just asking for a steam explosion that will throw hot lye all over you and the rest of the room.  Not a good thing.

However, it is not without it's uses if you take these hazards into account.  I was once given a barrel of linotype slag from a print shop.  I recovered it quite nicely by placing some lye and the slag in a cold pot and allowing it to heat together.  The heat drove off the water long before any alloy melted.  Once the pot was up to temperature, the amount of alloy I recovered was phenomenal!  I then poured it into ingots in a normal manner.  When done, I rinsed EVERYTHING with vinegar to neutralize any remaining lye.  If anyone decides to give this a try despite these warnings, be bloody sure you have protective gloves, and a face mask and rubber apron at the very least!  I'd also recommend doing it outdoors, with a good fan to keep any vapors (actually, aerosol particles) away from you.  Notice:  You'll be the only one who is controlling what you do, or how you do it.  You will also be the only one responsible for the results!

I REALLY like the idea of using Ivory soap for a flux.  The main thing fluxing does is wet out metal oxides to release entrained alloy, and what would be better wetting than a soap?  I wouldn't have predicted the lack of residue and smoke you report,  but that's all to the better.  Gotta try this:  It's one of those “Duh!  Why didn't Ithink of that?” ideas.  Thanks!

A couple of other thoughts:  The slag on the top of the melt is mostly good alloy that is sorta mixed up in some metal alloy oxides.  You don't need to flux nearly as often if you don't form so much oxides.  And a good way to prevent forming the oxides is to keep air away from the melt.  (Personally, I think this is mostly what sawdust, etc does.)  I've had pretty good luck by cutting a thin steel disc to fit the top of the melt, with a cutout for the pour release rod of course.  Thread or weld an old machine screw to the center to make it easy to pick up with a pair of pliers if you want to add an ingot or two.  Once the melt is liquid, just set it on top. It'll keep the air away from the hot melt very nicely.  You'd be surprised at the difference it makes, particularly with something that needs a high temperature to pour well.

The other thought is that although the lid approach works, I find it more convenient to simply do away with the fluxing almost entirely:  Just scrape the slag off the top of the melt (I use an old, long handled spoon with a bunch of small holes drilled in it:  Sorta like a collander.) and knock it into an old soup can.  When you have a couple of can's full, run an extention cord OUTSIDE to power your pot, and fill it with your slag scrapings from the last year or so.  Heat, melt and flux THEN, and get a few ingots to go into your next batch of alloy.  This avoids all the smoke and odor, not to mention providing a dramatic improvement in domestic tranquility by avoiding annoying the wife too!

Molly

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cityboy posted this 18 August 2008

I forgot to include one fact.  Shave the soap into thin slivers for best results. Big chunks don't seem to work as well.

Cityboy

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copdills posted this 23 August 2008

I have tried candle wax and sawdust , I also got some wheel weights that were cover with oil they almost fluxed thier selves LOL;}

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hunterspistol posted this 30 September 2008

 I pick up Gulf canning wax at the grocery store and of course, candles.

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jimkim posted this 01 October 2008

I am new to this but so far I like extra virgin olive oil. I have tried candle wax, beeswax, and EVOO. I read about it on another forum. Another guy suggested borax I might try it too.  I will try Carter Hall pipe tobacco next. I read the cigar post and since I quit smoking I can use my melting pot to make my casting room(car port) smell like my favorite pipe tobacco.

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NoDakJak posted this 01 October 2008

I have switched from wax or candle stubs in my bottom pour pot to sawdust from my tablesaw.  I toss in a good handful and stir well.  I leave the residue on top to reduce oxidation.  Since I have began leaving it in place I have noticed that the melt evidently holds a more even temp as the thermostat cycles quite a bit less frequent.    When I fire up the turkey fryer to melt wheel weights and range lead I use salvaged deep fryer oil and lots of it.  Be advised!  It burns high and hot!    Neil

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chiefs50 posted this 18 October 2008

I like sawdust - red cedar is nice.  Sometimes I use little gobs of hardened pitch - kind of tree doesn't seem to matter.

 

mike

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j35nut posted this 20 October 2008

For the last few years when I flux I use Olive oil, keep it in one of those pump soft soap dispensers, has a pretty high flash point so stays around long enough to do some good, leaves a thin crust that is easy to pick up,so not much oxide dust to worry about breathing.  

Maybe other oils work the same? Better?   Down and dirty lead thermometer for me = Olive oil smoke won't hold a flame at 700, 750 it will just barely, 775* it will  ,800* it will flash . YMMV.   good fluxing 

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303PV posted this 20 October 2008

I recently started using Olive Oil . Like you said J35nut , it works fine but it does not burn off. I have used a small piece of candle wax to let it burn , but then of course the candle wax still stinks , but not as bad as when you only use candle wax for fluxing.

PV 

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primersp posted this 20 October 2008

i try last day pine rosin and some fresh pine shaving work fine and smelt

good ,before it'was bee wax or pieces of candel

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HollandNut posted this 03 October 2009

I use the fine dust you get in the collector bag of a portable sander , parrafin , and I have lots of wood scraps , I cut them into half inch or so squares and just hold em down in the pot with the ladle ..

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CB posted this 03 October 2009

Allot of what you guys use are oil based products. I use parrafin the last I bought was made by Gulf. Comes in blocks break off a piece and light up the pot. Candles work well too. Dump in a few lubed bullets they make good flux also.

Stephen Perry

Angeles BR:fire

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cityboy posted this 03 October 2009

I have tried several different fluxes over the years, and the one I use now is as good or better than any of them. I am using Ivory soap. Thin slivers are shaved of what's left of a leftover bar. Don't just toss a chunk of soap into the pot. Almost no smoke, a decent smell, and dirt cheap.

Jim

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jhrosier posted this 03 October 2009

I cast indoors and use a piece of 3/4” pine stick about 8” long for fluxing. It works as well as anything else I've ever tried and the small bit of smoke when it is first used is not enough to drive folks out of the house. I have a small exhaust fan over the pot that vents out of doors but won't handle the huge volumes of smoke from beeswax. Once it gets good and charred the stick doesn't smoke much at all and still works just fine. I stir the melt and scrape the side of the pot with the stick every 3 or 4 pours. Since I only bottom pour, I don't bother to remove the residue from the top of the mix unless I'm adding more alloy. I have a long handled teaspoon to get the bit of residue from the top of the melt (don't tell my wife.) I've been using the same stick for a couple of years. BTW, you can't leave a pine stick in the melt or  it will eventually catch fire. Just stir with it and then drop it in an old dawgfood can until you need it again.

Jack

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Red Sleep posted this 03 October 2009

i use dried pitch off pine trees that grow on the edge of my yard works great smells great

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Stubshaft posted this 04 October 2009

Pat Marlins california flake flux.

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Stubshaft posted this 04 October 2009

Pat Marlins California flake flux.

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CB posted this 04 October 2009

Since everybody likes being a little different in what they choose to flux with what do they feel they are gaining by fluxing with their home brew.

Stephen Perry

Angeles BR:fire

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Red Sleep posted this 06 October 2009

CLEAN METAL CHEAP AND EASY

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CB posted this 06 October 2009

All the flux methods given here will work. To me after melting whatever grunge alloy you start with after a good series of flux sessions what do your ingots look like. That is my way of testing a flux. If you don't flux properly your ingots will look dirty.  

Stephen Perry

Angeles BR:fire

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RicinYakima posted this 07 October 2009

Stephen Perry wrote: Since evrybody likes being a little different in what they choose to flux with what do they feel they are gaining by fluxing with their home brew.

Stephen Perry

Angeles BR:fire

I still like well chewed cigar butts. It gives a clean manly smell to the casting room, recycles a carbon product and adds carbon dioxide to the air, and keeps other people out of the area so I can enjoy my casting.

Ric

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CB posted this 07 October 2009

Ric

You and I should get together for a Cast-out. You on one side of the garage me on the other. I have something worse than your cigar butts but from fear of the Health Safety Board I can't expose it. One hint it used to have a tail and ran the alleys. Burns real good in the pot.

Stephen Perry

Angeles BR:fire

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codarnall posted this 08 October 2009

Well with carbon being the active ingredient for reducing the crap (fluxing) I often wondered why my favorite flux Matchlight Kingsford Charcoal left artifacts of being there on the barbie when your done bar-b-q-ing. Well I decided it must be some binder to keep the coals cube like. Probably dirt, silica, mud, etc. or else they would just fall apart. Anyway, I'm sure Albert Gore (my parakeet) can't stand the carbon monoxide so it a outdoor event anyway. Anyone have some old growth carbon 4B years old or is all the C 4B yrs. old. it remains my favorite cheap flux, upsets Al too I hope.

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JeffinNZ posted this 12 October 2009

codarnall wrote: Well with carbon being the active ingredient for reducing the crap (fluxing) I often wondered why my favorite flux Matchlight Kingsford Charcoal left artifacts of being there on the barbie when your done bar-b-q-ing. Well I decided it must be some binder to keep the coals cube like. Probably dirt, silica, mud, etc. or else they would just fall apart. Anyway, I'm sure Albert Gore (my parakeet) can't stand the carbon monoxide so it a outdoor event anyway. Anyone have some old growth carbon 4B years old or is all the C 4B yrs. old. it remains my favorite cheap flux, upsets Al too I hope. {Jeff faints at the thought of Charlie's carbon foot print.}  LOL.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Dew posted this 13 October 2009

My toast burned to a black “nothing” this morning. That got me to thinking (always dangerous for me) that I might try burnt toast as a flux and see what happens.

Dew

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Nrut posted this 13 October 2009

Coffee grinds when rendering WW and NEI flux in my bottom pour..I use a lath to stir..

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testhop posted this 04 December 2009

RicinYakima wrote: Basely anything with carbon in it, as long as it doesn't have a girly smell such as candles. One of my favorites is cigar butts. I save them in a can till they are dry and add some with beeswax/lard mixture. Very effective and adds a nice manly smell to the shop. Ric  i thought i was the only one to use cigar butts                                                                when i run out i use pine nettles .

 the smellis outdoorise. and it is cheep

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John Boy posted this 07 June 2010

Have tried many fluxes and determined the best so far is borax.  Double flux and can run the pot down to about 2 lbs of melt with no dross.  Also, I have never had cleaner pot walls using borax

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Steel 13 posted this 29 November 2010

I started casting like a lot do in a dutch oven over propane. I used lube and candle wax until my wife raised such a fuss over the smell. So I began my quest of finding a new flux. I had heard of some folks using 20 mule team Borax. I thought I would try that. So I wrote it on the shopping list so my wife would pick it up. Well like all good plans go awry, she picked up Sun dishwasher soap, not realizing I wanted the detergent for flux. Since we use liquid detergents because of the septic system, I either had to use it as flux, or go back to the store. So, WTH, I tried it. Wow. It's good flux gentlemen. Cant tell you why, it just is. Its active ingredients are sodium carbonate and sodium silicate. It does stick to the sides of the pot a bit, but I scrape that with a stick or my skimming spoon. Goes right back into powdery insulation. My lead is as clean as I'd ever want it. When I stir, I have mirror bright lead covered with a gray saw dust type of insulating cover, and more importantly for my wife, no stink.

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Pigslayer posted this 13 May 2012

Dan Willems wrote: Darn, I just now thought of it thanks to you guys using saw dust. We have a hardwood sawmill near here. I know the guy that runs it and I should go get a couple of buckets. He also has a Lumber Shop with a commercial saw and planer with clean and real fine saw dust. I could get a lifetime supply of that stuff! :shock: ...........Dan

Am I slow or what?? I have always used candlewax as it worked fine but I forgot to get some while at the store. So I thought, “I'll use sawdust” but didn't feel like sawing up or planing a bunch of good wood to get it. Then I remembered that under my jointer I have a container to catch all the sawdust. I must have enough to fill a five gallon bucket. Sssssshh!

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

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delmarskid1 posted this 11 August 2012

I tried something new. New for me at least. I've been using 2-cycle oil as a flux for a while and it works well for me. Today I remembered that some folks stir wood shavings into the melt to introduce carbon. What I did was pour the oil onto my wooden stirring stick and stir the melt. it worked very well. I was able to jam the oil and wood deep into the pot and scrape the sides and bottom at the same time. I'll try a paint stir stick next time. If you try this use good gloves as the oil will spatter like a deep fryer.

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