Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Some Observations on Wood's Metal

I bought some Wood's metal recently. Interesting stuff. I put some in a 1 quart mini slow-cooker (crockpot). That did a very good job of melting it. I was able to ladle it out using a disposable plastic spoon and pour it into a mold made from Play-Doh. A bit sureal, handling molten metal with plastic tools.

I was also able to draw some up into a plastic syringe. That gave me the ability to apply it wherever I wanted. Also, if I let it cool in the syringe, I ended up with a nice cylindrical slug that was easier to melt than the original lump I had. A bit difficult to get the cooled metal out of the syringe but not impossible.

As for actually applying it, I did notice that it tends to drip and bead when molten. No big surprise there.

Where did you buy it and how much was it?
I bought it off ebay. About $40 for 5lb.
I think you got a bargain there. The best price I can find is £24.65 per kilo, the worst £106 for 200g.

Does it stick to tinned components like tin/lead solder does? I suppose you would need a flux to remove oxidation first. Do low enough temperature fluxes exist? Alternatively can wood's metal be heated to normal solder temperatures?
Maybe the liquid electronic flux sold in bottles would work at such a low temp?

BTW, since wood's metal is 13% lead, it can cause toxic contamination in very small amounts. After contact, objects shouldn't be used with food,(or just about anything else) but you might know that already!
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