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Angry John

JIG head casting

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I am about to get all my dads casting stuff, and when making bullets the harness of the mix is measured in a brn number.  I would think that very hard jig heads would transmit feeling a lot better, even if it is not quite as dense.  Anybody do both and can provide a recommendation.

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If you can feel the difference in lead hardness in a bait then you have better feeling than I have.  I have used soft lead, medium hard and very hard but I can only see the difference in the casting.  Softer lead is easier to work with and melts at lower temps.

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I've used some lead shot to pour some heads, it was pretty hard lead and tough to work with. Good for some heads like the herring head mold that has a problem with the blade wire pulling out of the head or smaller Midwest Finesse heads that the keepers fall out of sometimes. 

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15 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I've used some lead shot to pour some heads, it was pretty hard lead and tough to work with. Good for some heads like the herring head mold that has a problem with the blade wire pulling out of the head or smaller Midwest Finesse heads that the keepers fall out of sometimes. 

Do you mean that it did not pour well or what made it hard to work with?  I am learning a ton about casting and making good mixtures for casting and was wondering if people had a background in bullet casting.  There seems to be a bunch of good info about using tin to make the molds fill out better and places like rotometals for getting material for just the right mix.  I have yet to try so i am trying to do the background research to make this a smooth operation.

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8 hours ago, Angry John said:

Do you mean that it did not pour well or what made it hard to work with?  I am learning a ton about casting and making good mixtures for casting and was wondering if people had a background in bullet casting.  There seems to be a bunch of good info about using tin to make the molds fill out better and places like rotometals for getting material for just the right mix.  I have yet to try so i am trying to do the background research to make this a smooth operation.

It sets up really quickly, so it doesn't fill the mold out very well sometimes. It makes it harder to cut the excess off and smooth it out if you're going to go that far. I've also had issues with it occasionally disfiguring in the toaster oven when I'm baking the paint. I use a Hot Pot II, I imagine it would really be a bear with a spout pot. I still use it for certain things, I'm not passing up free lead. 

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The difference lead hardness is insignificant in feed back when fishing. You can't determine unpainted from painted lead for example. I have used everything from plumbers lead, tire weight lead and bullet lead, melt temps are very similar. 

Tom

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What you will find when you get into making jig heads is that some molds are harder to use than others even with soft lead.  For example when I bought the Poison Tail molds the 1/2 oz cavity was very hard to get a complete pour even with very soft lead.  I tried buffing out the cavity with my Dremel tool but that did not work.  I got in touch with Cad Man who advised me to get some Frankfort Arsenal Drop Out spray.  That fixed the problem.

 

Since then I use it to prep my molds when I get a new one and if one gets to making incomplete pours, I clean it with acetone and put on a new coat of drop out spray.  Like Clayton said, "I never pass up free lead."  I keep my lead separated into piles of approximate hardness even though with the drop out spray and my RCBS melting furnace set on 800° I am seeing very few problems these days.

 

The harder lead like good lead shot will have other stuff like antimony in it and will require more heat for it to flow well into the molds.

 

If you don't know about fluxing the lead then you should spend a little time researching it.  Fluxing is important when mixing different types of lead.  I try to flux when I add lead to the pot.

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If you are not familiar with using lead molds do some research on how to do it and safety issues. Mold release and fluxing are both good advice along with pre eating the mold. 

Good luck,

Tom

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I know bullet casters use a variety of alloys depending on what is needed for the bullet they are casting. That said, I'm guessing the BHN is at least 11 but more likely in the 18-22 range which is pretty hard. The difference is pure lead has a BHN of around 5 and pours fairly easy. I use a 70/30 mix of hard to soft lead by using antimony, the BHN of the alloy I cast with ranges from 14 to 17 and in my RCBS furnace it needs to be heated to 800 degrees in order to fill out most molds. The alloy melts at 750 degrees but if I pour a jig mold with a ring and barb collar the bottom of the collar never fills out and it is tough going until I bump that temp up. Once you use the higher temp the harder lead pours well and usually won't give you any problems.

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7 hours ago, smalljaw67 said:

I know bullet casters use a variety of alloys depending on what is needed for the bullet they are casting. That said, I'm guessing the BHN is at least 11 but more likely in the 18-22 range which is pretty hard. The difference is pure lead has a BHN of around 5 and pours fairly easy. I use a 70/30 mix of hard to soft lead by using antimony, the BHN of the alloy I cast with ranges from 14 to 17 and in my RCBS furnace it needs to be heated to 800 degrees in order to fill out most molds. The alloy melts at 750 degrees but if I pour a jig mold with a ring and barb collar the bottom of the collar never fills out and it is tough going until I bump that temp up. Once you use the higher temp the harder lead pours well and usually won't give you any problems.

Now that's some solid data.  Wonderful thank you

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Lyman and Lee bullet lead is usually 90% lead with 5% tin and 5% antimony alloy, great for jig molding if that is what you have.

I use what I so can find like 3 lb to 5 lb rock cod sinkers on clearance or garage sales. I just heat to where it flows good 800+ degrees or so with a simple Lee lead pot.

Tom

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