For the clips, I have bought one of Bill's clip straining ladles. It has a 3" scoop on it with perforations. Handle is about 16 or so inches long 5/16" round iron. Really the nuts for scooping out the clibs when you are alloying. Glad I picked one up. Flux generously during your cleaning/alloying so you don't have to heavily flux later when you are casting. The cleaner your casting alloy the better.
I put all the clips/debri in empty metal paint cans with lids to keep the water out when until full.
Try water dropping your bullets into a 5 gallon bucket of water once you get a good rhythm going. Dump the water from the bucket and spread the bullets out on an old towel to dry overnite. By the next day they will be up to 6 or so BHN harder.
Marvelux is not like any "traditional" type of flux. I believe it is made out of a borax material or boric acid. It melts into a goo after it hits the melt.
The best way to use it is to put a half a spoon full into the pot and keep the gob in the center of the melt on the surface. Stir around the outside circumferance of the pot in a circular stir. This keeps the flux in the center. Carefully scrape all around with the ladle/spoon all the while keeping the melt swirling around. The Marvelux goo will trap all the dirt and junk in the melt as it's pulled up from the bottom to the center. It works real well with first cleanup of weights when you are pouring off into ingots. When done, scoop out the goo and dump it. It will stick somewhat to your tools but you can scrape most of it off if necessary.
I don't use it in my bottom pour pot when bullet casting though as there is too much chance of getting it stuck on the valve shaft and such.
Some guys are using kitty litter or sawdust on the top of the melt to prevent air contact from oxidizing the alloy surface on bottom pour pots.
Ladle casting is tougher to keep the oxidation at bay because you are constantly breaking the surface of the melt. Hence the use of a Rowell ladle to pour from beneath the surface.
Aluminum mini muffin molds make some nice little 1/4 lb ingots and they fall right out. Some guys also make ingot molds from angle iron turned up like a trough. They weld them together with dividers set at about 3" apart into a one piece unit of individual cavities.
My alloying furnace is one of those propane fish cooker stand burners that you can regulate. I set an old cast iron pot on it that holds about 50 lbs of alloy. Got it in Sam's Club for about 30 bucks. Hooks to a 20 pounder. Melts a load in about 20 minutes. Then I add to it. I then clean up the alloy and ladle it into ingot molds.
Keep an eye out for some of the old cast iron cooking molds that were used for cakes and muffins and such. They work great too!
For bullet sizing with hand lubed bullets, the Lee sizer dies are tough to beat. Screw right into your press. If I use a certain bullet in multiple guns, I'll get a sizing die for my lubesizer that is the biggest diameter I need. I'll size and lube in it. Then, if I need a quantity of these bullets sized smaller, I'll simply run them through a Lee sizing die. My Contender likes .358 bullets but I'll size the same bullets down again for my Smith 686 to .357 for example using the Lee die. Beats buying and changing lubesizer dies. Also allows you to experiment with different bullet sizes at less cost.
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