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View Full Version : Is there such a thing as "scrap tin"?



Cayoot
05-24-2005, 10:18 AM
I have been searching for an inexpensive sourch for scrap tin. Any ideas?

I was also wondering if there is an easy way to identify tin from other metals?

I have tried using a propane torch to melt various metals (i.e. "so called" tin cans, various peices of metal and paint cans). Each time, the tourch fails to melt the metal. This would indicate to me that it is steel.

Another person I know offered me a pile of peices of "tin roof". I'm skeptical about this being tin or steel before I let him bring a couple of 50 gal drums of this stuff over.

Any input from the "Think Tank" on this forum?

Thank you in advance.

wills
05-24-2005, 10:29 AM
Tin roof is normally galvanized steel. I'd pass.

Cayoot
05-24-2005, 10:34 AM
Thanks on that note, if I remember right, isn't the main ingrediant of galvanizing zinc?

Bad news eh?

wills
05-24-2005, 10:38 AM
Apparently

"The application of zinc coatings on the surface of a metal, by hot dipping or electrodeposition. Also see cold galvanizing dry galvanizing electrolytic galvanizing high-build galvanizing mechanical galvanizing rack galvanizing spin galvanizing wet galvanizing
www.100megsfree4.com/dictionary/car-dicg.htm

The coating of metal with zinc for waterproofing.
www.nireland.com/bridgeman/Dictionary.htm

To coat steel with zinc or tin for protection against rust. Can either be done electrolytically (see electro-galvanizing) or by traditional dipping (see Hot Dipped Galvanizing).
www.mailleartisans.org/glossary/index.cgi

A corrosion protection technique applied only to mild steel, cast iron, and steel alloys in which workpieces are immersed in liquid zinc at 500 degrees Celsius. A zinc/iron alloy is formed at the surface of the workpiece giving it an adherent coating of zinc. Prior to galvanizing, the metal surface must be in a state of moderate cleanliness. This is generally accomplished by light acid pickling or blasting. Galvanized coatings are generally about 0.005 inches thick and can give protection for 10 to 20 years.
www.wmrc.uiuc.edu/main_sections/info_services/library_docs/manuals/finishing/appxa1.htm

A hot dip process for deposition of zinc for galvanic corrosion protection of steel. Gamma iron – The face-centered cubic form of pure iron, stable from 910 to 1400°C (1670 to 2550°F). Gas carburizing - See Carburizing. Gas cyaniding – A misnomer for carbonitriding. Gas flow rate - The flow rate of gas (eg liters per minute) through the spraying torch.
www.arvintd.com/td_glossary_terms3.asp"

I would stay away. Tin is in my humble opinion fairly expensive, about $4.00/Lb + I think, the last time I bought some.

felix
05-24-2005, 11:04 AM
Get your scrap tin at car radiator shops. Better hurry though, because these radiators are quickly being replaced with plastic ones. ... felix

Cayoot
05-24-2005, 11:52 AM
Get your scrap tin at car radiator shops. Better hurry though, because these radiators are quickly being replaced with plastic ones. ... felix

Ahhhh, Thanks Felix! What part of the radiator is tin?

wills
05-24-2005, 12:08 PM
Solder

carpetman
05-24-2005, 12:08 PM
Best I can figure tin gets misnomered a lot. Tin cans,tin roofs that aren't tin at all been told several times. They called old sheriff badges tin stars and I aint ever heard it said they weren't. Maybe a trip to Tombstone with a metal detector might produce some. I think Felix said the old metal tooth paste tubes were tin. Probably be easier to find old sheriff badges. I kept hearing all the fine virtues of adding some tin,so I broke down and bought some solder for the tin. Couldn't tell a bit of difference. So to my wheelweights,I add more wheelweights.

Bullshop
05-24-2005, 12:30 PM
I have been searching for an inexpensive sourch for scrap tin. Any ideas?

I was also wondering if there is an easy way to identify tin from other metals?

I have tried using a propane torch to melt various metals (i.e. "so called" tin cans, various peices of metal and paint cans). Each time, the tourch fails to melt the metal. This would indicate to me that it is steel.

Another person I know offered me a pile of peices of "tin roof". I'm skeptical about this being tin or steel before I let him bring a couple of 50 gal drums of this stuff over.

Any input from the "Think Tank" on this forum?

Thank you in advance.
I spent a number of years working a big junk yard when I was young. This job was considerd ecential to the war and exempt me from the draft. Thats not the reason I had it but it did. Anyway a junkies main tool is a magnet. Lite gauge steel is also refered to as tin but what you want is called block tin. Tin cans used to be coated on the inside but no longer. Tooth paist tubes and other containers of the like used to be tin. We had an old timer pick them from the dump and even then we paid $5.00 a LB. Beer cooler ciols were pure tin and they were always our main source. Truth is most people cant tell tin from lead and 99% of the tin we bought we bought as lead at .10 per lb. Put a magnet on it if it sticks its steel. If its zink its brittle and will show large dendrite formation,(snow flakes). Tin will bend but not brake, and if worked back and fourth quickly will give off a lemon odor if held to your nose. The radiator shop suggestion is the best source today. The reason they have scrap tin is the solder contains tin as does most solders.Radiators have quite a bit of solder that holds the tanks to the core. The tanks being brass and the core copper. So get yourself a good magnet and carry it arround your neck on a lanyard, keep a file in your pocket, and a small bottle of sulfiric acid, all tools of the trade of a junky.
BIC/**

Willbird
05-24-2005, 12:36 PM
I agree that 60/40 solder can be found at radiator shops, I picked up 300 (cleaned) lbs of it for.........drum roll..............$30.00 they seemed glad to get that, it is stuff they drag out of the dunk tank they test radiators in, and it looked like when they solder they put a bucket underneath to catch drips, sometimes for some unknown reason they just throw 8-10 feet of it in there too.

it was kind of nasty to clean what with the glycol in it but hey for 10 cents per lb after cleaning I was glad to get it.

Bill

LostCajun
05-24-2005, 12:39 PM
I found a clump of old tinsel, y'know, like for a Christmas tree, in the bottom of a planter in my living room. I'd come across strands of this stuff before, and figured it was some sort of metal. At first I thought it was lead, since it's fairly heavy, but it never got dull; it was always shiny.
The few ounces I found were also still bright, after who-knows-how-many-years of sitting there. It wasn't actually in the dirt, it was in the bottom of the planter under a layer of foam that held the dirt at the top.

Was tinsel ever made of tin at some point?

LostCajun

wills
05-24-2005, 01:20 PM
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary

Pronunciation: 'tin(t)-s&l also 'tin-z&l
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French estincelle, estancele, etincelle spark, glitter, spangle -- more at STENCIL
1 : a thread, strip, or sheet of metal, paper, or plastic used to produce a glittering and sparkling appearance in fabrics, yarns, or decorations
2 : something superficially attractive or glamorous but of little real worth <disfigured by no gaudy tinsel of rhetoric or declamation -- Thomas Jefferson>

http://www.leadtin.com/specs/gr506001.html

http://www.chain.org.uk/chain-theme/ind_pro7.html

http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/Sn/key.html

Pilgrim
05-24-2005, 02:44 PM
Tin is sometimes recycled as chunks of solder. At a metals dealer (new & used/recycled) near home (Washington State), I stumbled on some "solder" that turned out to be chunks (about the size of a large pea) of 95-5 solder (95% tin, 5% antimony). The metals dealer told me it was cut up chunks of solder. Why somebody would cut it into chunks is beyond my knowledge, but...I think it was $5 or $6 per pound. At that time pure tin was selling for $7 per pound, and I know it was less than pure tin. They had at least one 55 gal. drum full of the stuff. I bought $20 of it every time I went thru that area for two years or so. I weighed the chunks, and 8 of them weighed an ounce, so its easy to figure out how much of it to add to the pot for maintaining the alloy fairly consistent. My routine is to empty my 20 pound pot half-way, and then add WW to refill the pot. Ten # of WW is 160 ounces, and 1.5% of that is ~2.5 ounces, so I count out 20 chunks and add it to the pot. Presto, my alloy stays pretty much the same session to session. If I decide to heat treat or quench, I've got the ingredients already in the alloy to do so. As is, that alloy in my .358 Win. (RCBS 35-200, air cooled) is good up to 2400+ fps without leading or other problems. I don't know what the upper limit for velocity is as I've not reached it in any of my rifles/loads. The lube is either FWFL (thanks, ben!) or LBT Blue. I've probably got 15# or 20# or so of those chunks left, and that will last me a long long time. I haven't checked recently whether or not the dealer had any more of it available. I should probably do so one of these days. Pilgrim

David R
05-24-2005, 06:17 PM
I hate to say it, but Home Depot has 95/5 or 60/40 soldere for cheap. I buy a pound now and then, just add enough to make my molds fill out. DON'T buy it at an electrical supply house, they get double what the other stores do.

I just figure I am buying only the tin, so $8.00 for 95/5, or $4.00 for 50/50 is the same cost.

I have bought plumbers solder, m60/40 for the right price, but its hard for me to find.

OH YEAH, If you find some old pipes for lead, smelt it outside, cause it smells like a mens room in a bus station.

alamogunr
05-24-2005, 06:44 PM
I almost hesitate to post this. I have, within the last couple of years, salvaged about 1000 lbs of 50/50 and 40/60 solder where I work. The last haul, they were trying to reduce inventory and had accumulated about 700 lbs of wire solder. They were just going to throw it away. I saved them the trouble. With the recent increases in price of tin, I may try to find a vault to put it in. I haven't tried to separate the 50/50 from the 40/60, but I figure I have between 400 and 500 lbs of tin. If I'm careful, I probably won't live long enough to use it. Will have to educate my sons in its' use.
John

Leftoverdj
05-24-2005, 07:59 PM
Electronics assembly plants accumulate buckets full of solder spatters.

Shepherd2
05-24-2005, 11:31 PM
Those pieces of "tin roof" may actually have a tin coating. There was a tin coated steel roofing that I think was called tern metal. It had a heavy tin coating and had a life expectancy of about 100 years. It was still available about 20 years ago and was very expensive. I'd check that material out.

buck1
05-24-2005, 11:33 PM
Foundry type runs 15% tin ,antimony 23%, lead 62% when new. I bought 100 lbs a wile back for $70. It will take some mixing to get the full benifit out of it but I think cutting it 3 lb ww to 1 lb Foundry type will make some good magnum alloy?
Anyway my point.... 100 lbs of foundry type for $70. =12 -15 lb tin, 20-23 lbs of antimony, and 60-65 lb lead. the tin sells for about $10 a lb, antimony 3 or 4, and the lead is sold at all prices.
12-15 Lbs tin = $120 - $150.
20 Lb antimony=$70
Lead = no big deal..
not a bad investment for $70.

Also some Babbits have a lot of tin. Do you want to know how to tell wich is wich? ....ME TOO! I have no Idea.LOL

Organ pipes are sometimes tin, yard sales often have partial rolls of solder for .25 cents or so.
I mostly use lead free solder...
....Buck

beagle
05-25-2005, 08:57 AM
Several sources are pretty good.

The radiator shops as has been pointed out.

Then, there's the electrical "fab" shops that use SN62 which is a silver/tin/lead mix and does all right. IT comes in spatter form. With it sometimes comes the small "linotype" letter used to print numbers on wire or shrink tubing if they haven'y switched to laser lettering and most have.

One of my shooting partners is an industrial plumber. Right now, they're replacing 600 feet of 6" cast iron pipe at a college and there will be a bunch of "wiped" joints out of that that are 50/50 and we're anxiously awaiting that treasure trove.

Come cable sheathing joints are high in tin but it's hard to tell from looks until you cast a sample and measure it.

Several years ago, several of us bought pure tin from an outfit in Brooklyn, NY. It was about $5 a pound or so (the market fluctuates). Minimum order of 50 pounds but we split the order and I've been using it.

Plumbers are usually good for some 50/50 or 40/60 if they work for a contractor as it's issued against the job and they tend to be generous. Theirs is all different mixes but its still good for touching up a pot of metal.

Pewter is a good source of tin but you tend to get some sometimes unwanted components in the mix. Pewter ware on E-Bay is relatively cheap./beagle

shooter575
05-25-2005, 01:20 PM
Old junkie told me that pure tin will make the snap,crakle,pop noise when bent next to your ear. I have a few pieces that we identfied that way.
For ease of use and measuring solder is the only way to go.

Buckshot
05-25-2005, 02:16 PM
............The tin I have came mostly from a local friend of mine (Ken) who was the head of the physical plant at a local college. The old science building was being demolished. While watching the proceedings one day he noticed a big pile of pipe and walked over to check it out. In amongst the common galvanised and copper pipe was some silvery type with smooth soldered joints.

What it was was pure tin pipe that was used for transporting distilled water. He asked the foreman if it was okay to scrounge in the pile and got the go ahead. Whenever I went over to his house I always left with several bricks of the tin he'd ingotized in Lyman ingot moulds. I don't know how much he had but when I first met him, he had it in 5-6 50 cal ammo cans under the counter in his reloading room. It was all you could do to lift a can one handed, so I suspect maybe 80lbs in a can.

..............Buckshot

Newboy
05-25-2005, 04:03 PM
If you live close to a place that makes circuitboards, sometimes they will use a "wave soldering" machine. It is a big vat of molten solder they use to solder the boards on. They dump the vats every few months to put in new solder. The solder they use now is just about all tin (lead free). I got some at a place that had been paying Safety Kleen to haul it off as hazardous waste.