Good uses for linoype supply

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  • Last Post 18 September 2020
JohnM posted this 11 April 2012

I just got 250#s of linotype, with about that much more if I want it. I came from a newspaper near here that got rid of the linotype machines a number of years ago.

Add it to pure lead to make alloy? Spice up WW alloy?

I recon I should get some good ideas here.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 11 April 2012

Get ALL you can while you can.

There are some applications for which it is optimal (where HARD bullets are needed) and others it blends well with pure lead. IF nothing else it's good for trading (limited only by postage).

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docbob posted this 11 April 2012

John, Grab all You can. Lie, steal, cheat, sell the kids, trade off the dog but get all You can...Just kiddin' about the dog.

DocBob

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onondaga posted this 11 April 2012

Lino is great for making good shooting alloys.  I buy Lino at $1.79/lb locally and I collect range scrap at my club. My scrap ingots measure at 7.4 BHN with my Lee hardness test kit.

I alloy 7 parts range scrap with 3 parts Lino and get a Lyman #2 clone at 15 BHN.

The lino I get comes in small letter blocks loose in boxes of 10 pounds. To a bullet caster, I prefer the loose letters and won't buy ingots unless I test them myself first. Linotype runs ~ 22 - 27 BHN from used letter blocks depending how well the print shop cared for their alloy.

I hope you enjoy your supply and I suggest you get a hardness test kit to make the most of it and get your alloys right in hardness for your shooting needs. The Lee 2nd edition loading manual has a lot on alloy strength in BHN relevant to ballistic pressures of your loads.

Gary

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JohnM posted this 11 April 2012

Some of this has letters mounted to the strips, a lot looks like it never got used, plus there's a lot of thin strips that must be spacers of some sort. I remember having seen some linotype machines long ago, but never paid any attention and so I really don't have any idea how they even functioned.

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raytear posted this 11 April 2012

The thin pieces are used for spacing between lines of type. That is the origin of the term in the printing trade for the space between lines of type known as “leading". pronounced “ledding"

Good shooting! RT

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JohnM posted this 11 April 2012

OK, this is good stuff, but how hard should it be? I thought all linotupe was really hard. I can dent an edge with a thumbnail and the Lee hardness tester I have says around BNH12? The strips do break rather than bend. I even found a piece with lettering on it and the indent was the same as anywhere else on a strip.

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 11 April 2012

John, since you have a hardness tester, you might gather up several similar strips and melt them in a large ladle and then cast some simple cylinder slugs for hardness testing.  The strips with letters,  the spacers and if you have them, the individual letters could be tested for hardness so you know where you are as to hardness.  They should age for 2-3 weeks (air cool) and then they should have reached max hardness.  That will tell you a lot better what you really have.  Lino when up to original formulation should test at BHN 22.  If it has been heavily used, it will lose some of the tin and antimony and may be softer.  Follow the instructions for your hardness tester to get a good sample and a good reliable test.  I have often heard that the spacers are softer than the letter strips, but have never taken the time to check it out.  So your results may be of interest to all of us.  Duane

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JohnM posted this 11 April 2012

I found this in a description of how a linotype machine worked. >Casting section The casting section receives completed lines from the assembler, and uses these to cast the type slugs that are the product of the Linotype machine. The casting section is automatic: once it is activated by the operator sending a completed line by raising the casting lever, a series of cams and levers move the matrices through the casting section and control the sequence of steps that produce the slug. The casting material is an alloy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead>lead (85%), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimony>antimony (11%), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin>tin (4%) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linotype_machine#cite_note-6><7>, and produces a one-piece casting slug capable of 300,000 impressions before the casting begins to develop deformities and imperfections, and the type must be cast again. The continuous heating of the molten alloy causes the tin and antimony in the mixture to rise to the top and oxidize along with other impurities into a substance called “dross” which has to be skimmed off. Excessive dross formation leads to the alloy softening as the proportion of lead increases. The mixture must then be assayed and tin and antimony added back (in the form of a specially proportioned alloy) to restore the original strength and properties of the alloy.< Makes sense. Still don't understand how the letters or whatever are formed on the edge of a blank strip.

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parkerhale1200 posted this 11 April 2012

If the strips rather brakes then bends, can it not be tin?? with some lead mixed?? Does it crackle before it breaks??? Best regards parkerhale

Ps you should keep the dog for guard watch anyway.(-:

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JohnM posted this 11 April 2012

Well, my hearing isn't all that great anymore, but I can't hear any crackling when bent. I'll get one of the longer thicker pieces and flex it around in a nice quiet spot and see what happens.

I sort of doubt it would be tin though. As I understand it now, these this strips form the space between lines of print when the ink is applied.

I just melted down a few pounds of them and poured some thinner wafer ingots. I'll let them air harden and check if they seem to harden over time.

I had heard linotype raises huge amounts of foamy dross. I just fluxed with wood chips and a dollop of paraffin and got no dross at all to speak of. Just the carbon left from the cooked wood chips.

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JohnM posted this 11 April 2012

As soon as those ingots I made were cool enough to handle, they were showing around BNH15+. When you break one of those strips, the broken edge is rough and full of air pockets and crystal like structure. Maybe the machine that makes them only gets the metal just barely hot enough to form into a strip and the step that forms the letters on the edge gets it hotter.

Next time I go to town I'm going to stop by and see if any of the old guys who used to run those linotype machines are still around. Maybe I can get some information on just how the things worked and how they treated the metal.

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onondaga posted this 11 April 2012

  Well you did hear wrong about Linotype raising huge amounts of foamy dross. That is just false. You can force something like that to happen by alloying incorrectly . I describe the correct way below.

Linotype  also melts at considerably lower temperature than pure lead.

If you get foamy anything on top of your melt you are going to need  pot temp adjustment hotter and most importantly read-up about reduction fluxing to get the tin you have separated back into your alloy.

Linotype melts very easily. when you are alloying it with anything softer like range scrap or clip-on wheel weights there is a simple step that really helps. Melt the softer stuff first because it melts at a higher temp. When the soft stuff is liquid then start adding Linotype slowly as it melts in and stir. Don't just dump it all in, your melt will freeze and then be harder to get your mix into alloy.

The standard procedure when alloying any lead alloys is to melt the higher temp melting  alloy first and flux it. Then melt the lower temp metal into it by feeding it in and stirring as it melts. If you do the opposite of that you will need a lot of heat to get the metals to alloy and you will lose much more tin and antimony, degrading your alloy a lot. So study the basics like that because you are new at this.

What I am saying is that if you melt the Linotype first and then try to add soft stuff to it you have made a basic error that will cause you grief and you will have to degrade your alloy to correct the error.. Melt the soft lead first and then add Linotype to it: that is the correct way..

When I make my #2 alloy I melt 7 lbs of range scrap ingots completely, flux,  and  then I start slowly adding the 3 lbs of Linotype pieces. Then I flux again and start casting bullets.

John , keep your Linotype pieces small like they are in strips. That makes makes weighing them precisely  to add to alloy much easier. Ingots of Linotype are only suitable when making huge alloy batches. I only alloy a total of 10-15 pounds in the pot before making bullets.

If you have a huge 50+ pound pot and want to make up ingots of , say #2 alloy, then  it  might be wise to get your Linotype into ingots first, but it really isn't necessary anyway.

Gary

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JohnM posted this 11 April 2012

I don't really want to waste the propane to melt down all that linotype. I made a few 1/2 pound or so ingots today to experiment with, that's enough.

I still have to move them again though. Tomorrow I need to clean out a corner in a shed and get it all moved in there. If I decide to get the rest, I'll have a tub with about 500 pounds in it and I want it somewhere dry and out of the way.

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max503 posted this 18 September 2020

Old thread here.  I have a good deal of linotype.  I'm also having leading issues with it.  I've run across several posts stating that if your bullet is too hard it won't obdurate properly and this will cause leading.  

I have some roof flashing to mix with the lino to soften it.  In Gary's post above he said he melted 3 lbs lino to 7 lbs of range scrap.  I recon I could do the same with the flashing. 

As a side note, I've been having leading issues with my 357 rifle so I tried some plated bullets.  They are 158 grain hollow points from Berry's Bullets.  I loaded them over 6.4 grains of Unique.  The distance was 50 yards, iron sights.  I got this 3 shot group yesterday. This was pure luck, but the gun shot better with the plated bullets.  At least I know the gun works good, now I need to work on my lead bullet loads.  And let me repeat I know this was just luck - but hey, I got to brag somewhere.

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RicinYakima posted this 18 September 2020

Leading with linotype bullets is usually because the bullet is too small. Even a thousandth of an inch can make a big difference. Which is why many of us size to throat diameter rather than bore diameter. It will be bore diameter when it gets there and is much softer than a jacketed bullet so wear isn't an issue.

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Larry Gibson posted this 18 September 2020

Sounds like some quality linotype.  I'd make Lyman #2 alloy with it;

4 lbs linotype

4 1/2 lbs lead

1/2 lb tin

#2 alloy is excellent as is for many bullet/cartridges or it can be cut by adding lead at 50/50 for a very suitable alloy for low to medium cartridge velocities and for almost all handgun bullets.  

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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max503 posted this 18 September 2020

"Leading with linotype bullets is usually because the bullet is too small. Even a thousandth of an inch can make a big difference. Which is why many of us size to throat diameter rather than bore diameter. It will be bore diameter when it gets there and is much softer than a jacketed bullet so wear isn't an issue."

This is where I get confused.  How do you size to Throat diameter???

Here's my Contender casting.  It goes from chamber diameter to bore diameter via a cone shape.  How do you size to that?  If I try a force fit I can't close the action.

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RicinYakima posted this 18 September 2020

This is where I get confused.  How do you size to Throat diameter???

Well, you have no throat! That is a ball seat designed for jacketed bullets and no you can not force a Contender closed. That is one of the reasons I sold all of my Contenders and barrels but one, a 30/20.

On this barrel I used a .308" rifle throating reamer with a 1 1/2 degree lead in angle. The neck is so big I size and lube the bullet .314" and then size the front band .308" with a taper. It ends up being an easy thumb press fit into the chamber.

Sorry, I'm not a Contender guy but there are others here who can help you.

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45 2.1 posted this 18 September 2020

This is where I get confused.  How do you size to Throat diameter??? This one doesn't have a typical throat per se.

Here's my Contender casting.  It goes from chamber diameter to bore diameter via a cone shape.  How do you size to that?  Fairly easily.... you don't use a semi wadcutter or truncated cone nosed bullets. There are several designs out there that have a flowing type round flat nose. An example is MP's 359640 or 360640 bullet designs. They well snug into the cone fine and engage the rifling straighter than most things out there and very accurate in a 357 Mag rifle.

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