View Full Version : Newbe lead question.

04-08-2008, 03:02 PM
I finally found some lead, got 170 lbs for $30, don't know whether that is a good price or not, problem is it was already melted and is in 25-35lb blocks made in a cast iron pot. Don't know what it was made from and thus don't know the make up...what do I need to watch for? The blocks are to big to fit in my little Lee melting pot and haven't yet figured out how i will get them broke down into usable size. But main concern is not knowing what type of lead was used. The lead was originally planned for making fishing weights, and it seems quite hard definety not soft stuff. Any suggestions on what I need to watch for would be appreciated.
Was thinking of trying to take an ax to the blocks to see if I could split of usable size pieces, actually have the iron pot that it was formed in but it is really rusty and I don't have a heat source that I could use.

04-08-2008, 03:20 PM
Got firewood?

Old Ironsights
04-08-2008, 03:22 PM
Rust on the pot is immaterial. Turkey Fryers are relatively cheap.

Melt it down, slowly enough to keep the temp below 700deg, and see if it will cast with a ladle.

If it does, ladle it off into ingots that will fit in your pot. If not, somebody here was askng for contaminated alloy. Cast it into ingots and ship it out in 50# increments in Flat Rate Boxes.

04-08-2008, 03:29 PM
If all else fails take a propane torch and try to melt off a corner of two into you lead pot. If you can whittle it down enough too cast a few boolits you can figure out content by weight of the finished boolit.
This will depend on your mold of course. Lyman figures weight using lino type, lee by wheel weights, I think Saeco uses Lyman number 2 (?)

Once again I'll agree with the other guys: beg, borrow, or steal a turkey fryer and slag the lot of it up and make ingots that will fit the Lee pot. Once melted you can pour a few for samples before doing the ingot thing and these will give you your starting poit!

Wayne Smith
04-08-2008, 03:55 PM
Forget the propane torch! It can heat lead past the boiling temp and get lead in the air if you have the right gas mix.

You should be able to get a turkey fryer or a fish fryer for less than $50. Given where you are, if you don't already have a fish fryer - almost shame on you. You could say the same for me, but I smoke them or grill them! If you don't it's a good reason to get one and melt the lead too.

04-08-2008, 05:42 PM
I used a turkey fryer for making up ingots. Big chunks don't melt well, it seems that 30 pound bar of lead is a great heat sink thus takes a lot of energy to melt.

I have cut up a large bar with my circular saw and carbide blade, but so this very slowly, because it will put lead dust in the air. Plus wear all protective devices.


04-08-2008, 11:29 PM
a band saw with a metal blade will cut lead up to a couple of inches thick
it cuts tin really nice, tight fitting dust mask is recommended.

04-09-2008, 12:35 AM
This question comes up a lot. Large chunks of lead can be a challenge, but until you know if this is even worth fooling with, you need to determine if it will make good boolits. I agree that melting off some edges so you can test cast a few boolits is a good idea. I wouldn't worry about their hardness, just whether or not they cast well. If the alloy turns out to be a good one, you can either invest in a large melter like a turkey cooker or rent one of those big propane weed burners to reduce it to more "user friendly" size ingots.

04-09-2008, 12:27 PM
Lead also cuts fairly well with a bow saw or crosscut saw. Most lead alloys are softer than some woods (ever cut aged locust?).