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I agree, it's some of the tin near the surface beginning to oxidize.

Also you want to be VERY careful that you scoop out all the Zinc & Steel wheel weights before you start smelting. With a burner like this, the temperatures can easily rise above 750 degrees (melting temp of zinc), and if you melt some newer zinc wheel weights into your alloy - it's pretty much useless to you after that. At least for casting bullets - not sure about casting shott.

Buy a thermometer - they're pretty cheap. I have a similar smelting setup - it's a propane fish fryer...



It's incredibly easy to get that stuff too hot. Just run it full blast until the temp rises enough to start melting the weights, and then start dialing back the flame so you're running just under 700 degrees F. This will ensure that you don't melt any zinc into your alloy.

I personally use a cast iron dutch oven - but they were never really meant to handle temps much hotter than 500 to 600 degrees. They become very brittle at casting temperatures so you have to be careful not to clank / bang the pot while it's on the burner. They CAN crack & splash molten lead all over the place. I've not done it myself, but I've seen pictures of it - it's very dangerous.

I'm soon upgrading to a thicker steel smelting pot whenever I can get around to it.

Once you start seeing the blue coloration like that on the surface, turn down the heat ASAP, melt some more flux on top, and stir the blueish oxide in with a DRY paint stir stick (moisture is bad to put into molten lead as you know).

Hope this helps!
 
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