How many used antimony from Bill Ferguson?

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Eutectic posted this 04 December 2021

Did you use antimony and the direct alloying fluxes from Bill Ferguson?

Bill's business is closed and no one is selling the products.Is anyone interested is direct alloying of antimony into lead or lead alloys?

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 04 December 2021

This has been a back burner interest of mine for quite some time.  Other things keep getting in the way of further efforts. 

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BigMan54 posted this 06 December 2021

I was told by A Foundry operator that lead had to be heated to above 1100degrees for the antimony to alloy into it.

 

 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Lee Guthrie posted this 06 December 2021

I purchased a lot of "stuff" from Bill:  lead alloys, tools, and a few boxes of antimony fines and LETS flux.

I still have a large box (as heavy as you can mail) of antimony fines, a package or two of LETS flux, and directions on how to alloy it.  I will never use it as I have plenty of alloy on hand.  It is for sale.  How much $, I don't know.  I do know that I'd prefer that it be picked up as it is too heavy for me to mess with these days.

You do NOT have to heat to 1,100 F to get it into the lead alloy.  (It does work MUCH faster if you do.)  A lead tin alloy in the 800s with the LETS and a lot of stirring will get the job done, eventually.  LETS is nasty stuff to work with.  Bill gave me lots of warnings about doing this.

Does anyone know if Bill is still alive?  I know that he closed his business, and that the email and telephone numbers I had for him no longer work.

 

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RicinYakima posted this 06 December 2021

Bill passed away about several years ago at age 94(?). We used to email back and forth in the 1990's and we both had mornings free. He was an MIT graduate, class of 1937, and my chemistry professor and he were classmates. 

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Dale53 posted this 06 December 2021

Bill Ferguson was one of the Good Guys, for sure! I did business with him for years and was never disappointed!

he was a class act all the way!

 

Dale53

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Eutectic posted this 24 January 2022

I was dealing with Tom Novak at Leading Edge for Alloyer's flux and powdered antimony for years. Then Tom sold the business to Bill Fergusson in 1993 and I started buying from Bill. Bill was a great guy and wonderful to talk with, a one question phone call could last for an hour. I worked with Bill to develop a flux to replace Alloyer's Flux. I really should go back in my lab notes and write up what was done.

Bill developed Alzheimer's and slowly slipped away, a tragic loss to the casting community. There was heavy equipment and materials as well as casting tools at the warehouse. I was never able to get any information from his family about what happened to the business.  They did not want to talk and finally cut off the phone number.  

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Paul Pollard posted this 24 January 2022

I still have a box of antimony, but don't know if any of the flux is left. Haven't messed with it for quite some time. I'd be interested in learning how to do it correctly. Never seemed to work to fully take all the antimony into the mix. Yes, I did talk for an hour on a phone call "out of the blue."

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John Alexander posted this 25 January 2022

Bill was a great guy as others have testified. At least from the time I took on the VP job in 2000 Bill always sent a generous check to support the nationals.  Those of us at the 2009 nationals got to meet Bill in person when he showed up with several hundred pounds of various alloys which he donated as prizes at the match.

John

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Rich/WIS posted this 25 January 2022

 Have alloyed with antimony and it was not difficult.  spread the antimony in the bottom of my smelting pot (cut off propane tank) and stacked ingots of range lead on top and fired it up full blast.  After the whole mass was molten cut back the heat and added the remaining range lead needed for my alloy.  I haven't done it since as I now use foundry type from Roto-metals and  have enough hard alloy to last til I meet my maker.  

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Eutectic posted this 25 January 2022

Weigh out the amount of antimony required, add a heaping tablespoon of Alloyer’s Flux to every pound of pulverized antimony, and mix well. Melt the lead or low antimony alloy and flux with your casting flux to achieve a clean surface. Remove all dross and casting flux. Casting flux will inhibit the action of Alloyer’s Flux. Add tin if your alloy requires it, tin will increase the incorporation rate. The pot temperature should be 650F. Higher temperature will cause more rapid evaporation of the flux. Use a clean spoon with Alloyer’s Flux, do not use the casting ladle or the spoon used with casting flux. Sprinkle a teaspoon of Alloyer’s Flux on the metal surface. After it melts, pour the antimony/flux mixture onto the flux puddle. Wait 30 seconds for the mixture to heat up.  Use the clean spoon to gently turn the mixture into the molten metal. Do not stir vigorously, stirring will not speed the incorporation.  If all the antimony does not incorporate in 4 -5 minutes you may have to add a teaspoon of Alloyer’s Flux and continue to stir.  Excess Alloyer’s Flux can be removed with a piece of towel.

 Do this outdoors the flux vapor is corrosive and toxic. 

Cast the ingots, cool the pot and utensils, wash with water and coat with oil to prevent rust. Alloyer’s Flux is completely water soluble.

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Eutectic posted this 26 January 2022

Did anyone get a picture of Bill Ferguson at the 2009 Nationals? I am writing an article about him and have no pictures. There were none in the November - December 2009 Fouling Shot.

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RicinYakima posted this 26 January 2022

I might have one somewhere from his 1936 (?) graduation from MIT. Let me go back through my files. 

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RicinYakima posted this 26 January 2022

Nope, when lightening hit the transformer by my house and fried my computer in 2011, I lost all those pictures from the 1990's. Sorry.

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