Beeswax

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  • Last Post 07 July 2010
Sierra Joe posted this 25 November 2009

I've used parafin and candle wax in the past but got a hold of a bunch of beeswax from a friend. We melted down about a 1000# of lead into one pound ingots today and used the beeswax as a flux. It seemed to work ok but is smoked more then other waxes and didn't ever ingnite. We melt about 150# in a pot ladling out about 30 # at a time adding a small amount of wax inbetween pouring to reduce oxidation while we wait for the ingots to cool. The first fluxing did a good job of removing dross but the second fluxing just seem to stay oily vs burning and crusting up.

Anyone have a similiar experience, anyone using beeswax for flux?

Any and all advice welcome,

Thanks,

Rick

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Dicko posted this 28 November 2009

Yeah, Rick, I've tried various things including some commercial flux.   That's before I learned that do no better than cheaper methods.   Lead foundries don't use fancy fluxes, they use what they call the dry drossing method which is sawdust and caustic soda.   Don't try it.   It needs some expertise and can be damn dangerous.   I use candle wax.   I buy cheap candles and cut them into one inch pieces which I store in a jar.   How much to use depends on the size of the melt.   I start by dropping one piece in and stirring.   I want it to flame and often the first piece doesn't do it.   The second usually does.    I have seen it written that it should not flame.    I found it works much better if it flames.   Needs a good bit of stirring, so I wear a welding glove for that job to prevent my hand from getting singed.   It burns for a few minutes, gives off a good bit of smoke, and the end result if it works right is a pile of fine dust on top of the melt.  Sometimes it is still sludgy, indicating that the much and dross has not fully separated.  Then you just have to do it again.

So my advice is stickto the cheap and effective candle wax.   Beeswax is no better and too expensive to waste as a flux.   If you can get beeswax inexpensively use it as bullet lube mixed with something suitable like Alox 2138F except that 2138F is no longer available.  That's a subject for a separate posting.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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boondocker posted this 28 November 2009

I keep it simple her old candles,old crayons ,wax from the canned jelly and have used sawdust ( make sure it is not moist).  I get alot of crayons taking the grandkids to diners ( freebees).;}  Boon

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raytear posted this 28 November 2009

I use candle wax/parafin. Garage sales, stubs of holiday candles, etc., are great sources besides the grand kids old crayons. Great and cheap are synonyms in this case. :-)

One of the best deals I ever got was paying 25 cents for a gallon jug of wax granules from a woman who decided to get out of the custom candle business. I bet I fluxed 500+# of wheel weights with it.

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Dollar Bill posted this 28 November 2009

Rick,

What you experienced is exactly why beeswax is a key ingredient in many bullet lubes. Many folks, using beeswax as a component of their lube, don't consider it to be a lubricant, just a carrier or stiffener for the lube they add to it. In fact, beeswax does have some good lubricant properties,(this is a non-scientific observation): beeswax was used as a lubricant in drilling because it doesn't evaperate at high temps and pressures at the point of contact; it's also one of the very few approved lubricants on oxygen systems (most lubes spontaneously combust in the presence of gaseous O2). My advice is to use old candles for fluxing and save the beeswax for the bullet lubes. If you don't need the beeswax, you can send it my way. I'll put it to good use! 

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KenK posted this 28 November 2009

You can't hardly beat free but before I bought the cheapest candles I would compare the price to my favorite flux.

1 pound gulf wax parrafin and 1 pound vaseline, melted together in a double boiler.

Mold it in whatever container you have. I use those plastic boxes that lunch meat comes in.

It will slice easily into whatever size cubes you want, even in cold weather.

Edit: speaking of burning, if anybody does this, bear in mind that two pounds of this concoction would make a hell of a fire if it reached the flash point on top of your stove.  Don't walk away from it, probably better to do it outside.

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chboats posted this 28 November 2009

I use mineral oil. It's cheap, available at any drug store, and easy to dispense with a pump oil can. It does smoke and will flame if the melt is over 750. But it works great. Carl

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454PB posted this 28 November 2009

If you're melting down wheelweights, they usually have enough grease and oil on them to flux just fine. If not, anything containing carbon will work.....used deepfryer oil works and doesn't smell too bad. Used motor oil also works, but smells worse.

Personally, I don't even flux when rendering WW's. I flux the ingots when they are used for casting, and then I use Marvelux or the Frankford Arsenal casting flux.

Beeswax is too valuable to be used for fluxing.

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wheezengeezer posted this 12 December 2009

I use parafin that is made for canning when melting down wheel weights.The clips come out oily and without anything hanging to them.

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RustyBullet posted this 07 February 2010

Has anywone tried the wax rings sold at hardware stores that are used to seat toilets? Very cheep for a good supply of wax. 2-3 dollars at most.   .>

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CB posted this 07 February 2010

I would kep the beeswax for making bullet lube, try saw using sawdust, it works for me. I also use 20 Mule Team Borax and Marvelux.

You can get Alox or Xlox and make a 50/50 lube from that.

Jerry

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mike morrison posted this 07 February 2010

toilet rings less than $1. ea at the plumbing store. paraffin for candles or for canning. mixed to suite stiffness is good lube for slow pistol bullets. it is a good flux also. a crayon to color it if ya want. a fellow shooter put me onto this some years ago and i tried it. then tried white label lube and quit making my own except for black powder ctg. my opinion is that beeswax is to expensive to use for flux. it will serve you better for bullet lube. just my $0.02. mike

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Fairshake posted this 06 July 2010

I have used what is not sawdust but long wood shavings. If you use a cedar type it smells so good while it is doing it's job. To me it works better than any of the others. I have been casting since 1970 and have used several things. The Marvelux sold by Brownel's will rust everything you own when you use it.Remember if using any candle or oil then you should light it as it burns. You want the carbon to use to make your alloy and clean your lead of it's Dross.

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Coydog posted this 07 July 2010

I have tried grounded corn cobs and it seem to work good. it draws the dirt to it after it is burnt. I had easy time getting the dirt out. I have use bees wax and now save it for lube.

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