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Thread: I actually turned down a bucket of wheel weights today

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    I actually turned down a bucket of wheel weights today

    Over the last two weeks I have been to all my old haunts looking for wheel weights. Nothing doin'. One guy told me to check back this week. I called today and he said he did have a bucket so I drove out there. One of the guys in the shop poured weights from several buckets into one and heaped it up over the top. After they loaded it on the truck for me one of the other guys asked how much I was paying for them. I told him that the agreed price was $25. He then asked how many buckets I wanted. I asked how many they had. He seemed not to want to answer my question and instead asked how many I wanted. I finally said that I was looking for two but would take three. It didn't take him long to come up with three and said he had enough to fill a fourth one if I wanted it. I remembered how long it took to sort three buckets before and I had a pretty good stash from that run so I decided three was enough. I guess if the lead percentage in these three is good, that will be plenty for now. If it is mostly zinc and steel then another bucket of the same wouldn't be much help.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I'm not so full of lead that I turn down buckets of wheel weights yet. However, I do look somewhat sideways at them now.

    The percentage of lead keeps dropping, in favor of steel.
    Even the zinc, which may be useful for something, doesn't show up as much as it once did.

    I've pretty much stopped actively looking for buckets of weights. Sometimes I still run across them, but I don't go looking.
    "Varium et mutabile semper femina." - Virgil
    Man, ain't it the truth....

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Scrap wheel weights are 13 cents a pound here in central Texas. I picked up 573 pounds with close to 70 per cent lead. And quite a few the big truck weights.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dg31872 View Post
    Scrap wheel weights are 13 cents a pound here in central Texas. I picked up 573 pounds with close to 70 per cent lead. And quite a few the big truck weights.
    Buying or selling?

    Where in Central Texas?

    My local scrap yard quit buying them as they lead % was too low to make it worth handling them. He was paying $0.10 a lb. Selling for $0.20.
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  5. #5
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    With my age and health issues I have stopped accepting weights from my friend that owns a car dealership. Besides the fact that the weights are becoming more zinc and other ferrous metals not lead and the fact I have 5 full to the top sorted lead weights unsmelted and another full unsorted pail of weights plus about 250 +/- ingoted weights I am set for my life. Then there are the +/- 500 lbs. of hospital shielding lead to be smelted.Robert

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    If I was in the market for weights, I would have taken that other bucket. My reasoning is that they are getting more and more scarce. Sorting is not that big of a deal, if you have the time or if you are not on a tight schedule. Its slow, dull, boring, dirty, ect;, all of the above. The smelting is the hard part for me. Where I used to fire up the pot and do it myself, I now wait on a buddy or two to help. It helps that I'm in no hurry.

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    If I was in the market for weights, I would have taken that other bucket. My reasoning is that they are getting more and more scarce. Sorting is not that big of a deal, if you have the time or if you are not on a tight schedule. Its slow, dull, boring, dirty, ect;, all of the above. The smelting is the hard part for me. Where I used to fire up the pot and do it myself, I now wait on a buddy or two to help. It helps that I'm in no hurry.
    I already had a fair amount here but I took note of how much I was using each time while molding 240 grain for the 300 BLK and 200 grain 45"s. I decided I would like to add a little "cushion" to my stash. On the other hand, I am going to be 67 this year and I have to consider what my wife would have to deal with in the event something should happen to me. I will get all of this stuff sorted out and cast into ingots. Then I will explain to her what clean lead is worth and instruct her on how to use Craigslist.

    The other reason I did not take the fourth bucket is because I wanted to see what ratio it is running now. I have sorted a small portion of each bucket (enough to lighten them enough to move them off the truck) and found less zinc and fewer stick on weights than last time. There has been a considerable amount of steel in what I have sorted to this point. I guess I will finish that job and see what the result is.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bookworm View Post
    I'm not so full of lead that I turn down buckets of wheel weights yet. However, I do look somewhat sideways at them now.

    The percentage of lead keeps dropping, in favor of steel.
    Even the zinc, which may be useful for something, doesn't show up as much as it once did.

    I've pretty much stopped actively looking for buckets of weights. Sometimes I still run across them, but I don't go looking.
    That is the result that I am looking at on this batch. I would not turn any down now if they were free but that is not the case. I just wanted to supplement what I had on hand. I will have to see what shows up in these buckets other than valve stems and chicken bones.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    If I was in the market for weights, I would have taken that other bucket. My reasoning is that they are getting more and more scarce. Sorting is not that big of a deal, if you have the time or if you are not on a tight schedule. Its slow, dull, boring, dirty, ect;, all of the above. The smelting is the hard part for me. Where I used to fire up the pot and do it myself, I now wait on a buddy or two to help. It helps that I'm in no hurry.
    As soon as I get these sorted I will start smelting. I have to get some of this stuff up out of the floor in the middle of my shop. If there is enough lesd to justify the cost of the bucket I may go back and see what they have at that time.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasGrunt View Post
    Buying or selling?

    Where in Central Texas?

    My local scrap yard quit buying them as they lead % was too low to make it worth handling them. He was paying $0.10 a lb. Selling for $0.20.
    Here they pay .20 for lead weights and sell for $.70

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by dg31872 View Post
    Scrap wheel weights are 13 cents a pound here in central Texas. I picked up 573 pounds with close to 70 per cent lead. And quite a few the big truck weights.
    This had to be close to 450 pounds so that would be about 16 cents a pound. The question is how much of it is useful in my lot. I would be very happy if it comes out to 70%.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master rondog's Avatar
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    I'm such a packrat that I'd haul home all the weights/lead I could nab, and I have. But realistically, I don't shoot nearly that often, and I've already got more dang ingots stashed than I'll likely ever use. Same with brass. And loaded ammo. But I still want more. It's a sickness.....

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Skipper's Avatar
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    I actually turned down a bucket of wheel weights today
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    Some people try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know why I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master 308Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotner View Post
    I remembered how long it took to sort three buckets before and I had a pretty good stash from that run so I decided three was enough.
    I hear ya. Those last 4 buckets I picked up took me 3 nights after work and a full weekend to get sorted. I still have 2 full sorted buckets to melt. That's why I didn't even try this week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skipper View Post
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    Hahaha!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    rondog, you're not alone in this. The volume I cast and shoot compared to the amount I add to the collection is rapidly changing. With tonnage on hand and several more buckets ready to smelt, it's apparent I have enough. The lifelong habit of adding to the stash still is like a siren's song calling to me.
    True the % is less and the work is more, but I can't stop.
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  16. #16
    Boolit Man Possum Lickaa's Avatar
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    Just picked up 3 buckets unsorted for $15. Grab it while you can boys!
    I say we try it... What's the worst that could happen?

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    WHAT A HAUL!! Make that down as your #1 place.
    May all your bullets find the Bullseye.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotner View Post
    I already had a fair amount here but I took note of how much I was using each time while molding 240 grain for the 300 BLK and 200 grain 45"s. I decided I would like to add a little "cushion" to my stash. On the other hand, I am going to be 67 this year and I have to consider what my wife would have to deal with in the event something should happen to me. I will get all of this stuff sorted out and cast into ingots. Then I will explain to her what clean lead is worth and instruct her on how to use Craigslist.

    The other reason I did not take the fourth bucket is because I wanted to see what ratio it is running now. I have sorted a small portion of each bucket (enough to lighten them enough to move them off the truck) and found less zinc and fewer stick on weights than last time. There has been a considerable amount of steel in what I have sorted to this point. I guess I will finish that job and see what the result is.
    All good reasons and I apologize if I sounded judgmental. I'm kinda like these other guys and don't know when to call it quits. My Wife and/or kids are going to hate me after I'm gone! Unless one of them takes up casting! I hope you get a good yield from that haul. I'm sitting on a good batch of sorted weights right now and I'm hoping me and my Buds can get together and smelt one day next week. They sure take up less room as ingots than as weights in a bucket!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    smelting in the city isnt so good my neighbor didnt like the smell , now i figure i will need to go to the public range to smelt , away from the shooters , around here not much lead left at the tire shops @ 10% is lead of some kind, the rest is garbage ...
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master quail4jake's Avatar
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    Lead is the staff of life! Right along with arsenic and mercury, I'll take that 4th bucket and sort it until my hands bleed...I really like sorting range scrap and wheelweights but I can understand the fatigue you must feel. Isn't it like having three beautiful lassies courting your favor but that fourth maiden, well, it's just one over the top. Yeah that's what casting boolits is like, like too many young lassies...OK, I'll shut the hell up at your request but best wishes on your alloy find!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check