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cturpin,

Be very careful with Marvelux. The used flux, and that includes that which sticks to your ladle, is hygroscopic (that means it absorbe ambient water vapor) to such an extent that if you were to plunge your ladle into hot metal this could result in an explosion. Always heat your ladle by floating it on top of the molten metal for a few seconds to vaporize this water. If you are in a high humidity area even a few minutes will allow the residue to gather enough water to be hazardous. When you do place the ladle in the metal, dip it only 1/4" or so at first, if you hear or feel any sizzling then let the ladle heat more before submerging it any deeper.

I live in Utah, where it is so dry that you don't even need to worry about cleaning blackpowder guns immediately, and I still have enough concern for the water issue with Marvelux that I don't use it anymore even though it is an excellent flux.
 

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cturpin,

I use several things which, as mentioned in the last post, all smoke. The smoke can be alleviated to a large extent by lighting the fumes, the flames consume the smoke without effect on the efficacy of the flux. Look in your yellow pages for honey producers, You can usually buy raw beeswax from them for a good price, and a couple of pounds will last a long time unless you are casting commercially.

You can use beeswax, parafin, synthetic lubes, crisco, or just about anything greasy. Many years I bought some synthetic beeswax at an army surplus store and found it is of no use other than as a casting flux. I also keep bullets which were sized and lubed and found to have defects, there is enough lube in the grooves of 3-4 of them to adequately flux a pot.

Contrary to another post, there is absolutely no hazard in introducing something cold into the pot of molten metal. That is precisely what we do every time we add another ingot to the pot! The hazard is introducing water below the surface of the melt, it will flash off as steam nearly instantaneously and cause an explosion.

For my purposes I didn't find anything with Marvelux which gave me offsetting benefits to the disadvantages I have found with it, including cost.
 
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