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Thread: Really big isotope containers

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oklahoma Rebel View Post
    dang,the chances of me scoring some of these don't look so good!
    Well, the radiopharmacy I am negotiating with is a multistate corporation, and I am dealing with their Northern California location. The owner has been selling the decommissioned containers to recyclers for some time, so perhaps local rules apply that are, of all things, more relaxed here in Calfornia than for Dragon in Pennsylvania, or maybe since he is the boss, he just does it his way.

    The radiopharmacies only deal with radioactive materials for medical uses like tracers, imaging and cancer therapy. They don't do regular prescription drugs, and only work with hospitals and other medical outfits, dispensing only the hot stuff and only by contract. The exact converse is true of pharmacies dispensing to the public, so your local CVS never sees the containers because they never deal in the materials they contain.

    I may have had my foot in the door with the radiopharmacy I am dealing with, since I have the letters M and D tacked after my name, but I really think it was being politely persistent over months, plus the regular donation of high calorie/high palatability nutritional supplements (aka, cookies, donuts and other pastries) that did it. I found them via Google search filtered to my geographic area, and only tried one (there is another company in town as well) I think most major population centers will have at least one close by (the isotopes don't travel well, mostly having short useful half lives).

    Don't give up yet!
    Last edited by kevin c; 11-21-2017 at 02:54 AM. Reason: Darn auto correct...Also found out who I was dealing with - the big boss, not a manager

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    Dragon that's a really nice pot there. I especially like the handles and the spouts. Just how big across is it that it can take two of the 32 #ers side by side? Can you tell me its capacity, and where I might buy one?
    Walmart. It's Lodge dutch oven.

  3. #23
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    Thanks! I'll go and have a gander, compare it to the Harbor Freight 10 quart job I am using now.

  4. #24
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    If pics are sideways, sorry, still new to this.

    These are the two iodine containers I picked up. The unpainted one weighs 58# with the hardware, is 5" in diameter and 7.25 " tall (without the hardware, which seems to be stainless steel). It opens into top and bottom halves at the middle groove. The green one is 37#, 4.5 " in diameter and 6" tall (dimensions without the hardware, which includes the stainless cap with an integral lead filled top plug that I melted out).

    Nice clean metal. I haven't had a chance to cast with it, but for each container I will make some bullets for hardness testing and get samples off to BNE eventually. The ingots ring so neither is pure lead.
    Last edited by kevin c; 10-27-2017 at 02:48 PM.

  5. #25
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    Those are the first of that type that I have seen. I hope they make good bullets for you. Thanks for posting the pictures.

  6. #26
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    Set them on fire
    I would rather fish. Can you shoot fish ?
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  7. #27
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    Update:

    Just got the Xrf back from BNE, and hats off to him for helping out and so quickly.

    The big 58# unpainted beast is about 4% Sb, the rest Pb, and the green 37# container is about 2% Sb and the rest Pb. Interestingly enough, no tin in either.

    Still worth 50 cents a pound to me - the only "free" lead I've found out my way is what I dig out of the berms, and my arms, back, blood lead level and the propane hit to my wallet beg to differ with that cost description.
    Last edited by kevin c; 12-18-2017 at 05:07 AM.

  8. #28
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    Well, the isotope containers keep getting bigger.

    The owner of the radiopharmacy that had the 58# and 37# wasn't kidding when he said he had 100# containers. They look very much like the smaller ones, with the same style hardware, just bigger. I will post pictures when I actually pick them up.

    Another radiopharmacy says they have 300# barrels of lead. Not barrels full of lead, and not lead lined barrels, but literally barrels made of lead. I will need to see this myself, and also figure out how to transport them and ingotize them. Pics if confirmed and if I buy.

  9. #29
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    Those 37# and 58# containers and maybe even the 100# containers will not be too hard to work with. If you get enough of them it may be worthwhile to build a custom heavy duty smelting set-up. But when you get over 100# it gets difficult to handle. It can be done, but it helps to have some lifting equipment or some way to cut them up. Big lead scores equal big work! Congratulations on finding a good source of lead in your local area! Now you need to search for a source of tin!

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    The large isotope cores are 96/3/1. And you wont be getting them from a pharmacy like CVS. They're now reusing them and the supply has dwindled. There are specific procedures that have to be followed beige they can be scrapped, such as cool down time. It's s great alloy for bullets. To bad a family member sold over a ton of mine for pennies on the dollar
    I would have 'gone off' like a NASA rocket for that & that 'family member' would still be hanging upside down by his heels in one of my Pine trees!
    Every time I rode past him on the mower I'd smack'em and whack'em a few times for good measure too!
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  11. #31
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    Easier said than done. It's far from being that simple.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerlane View Post
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    Set them on fire
    That is a REALLY big pot. I can only fit 2 of the isotopes that size in mine.

  13. #33
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    Small pickup crane(can weld one a lot cheaper than buying) and at home I use the engine hoist(cherry picker) to unload heavy stuff like buckets of wheel weights. Northern tool has the truck box hoists too pretty cheap, possibly Harbor Freight.

  14. #34
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    I think the three hundred pound barrels are a one time score. The manager who wants to sell them, along with some other scrap lead, is moving his operation. Cheaper to sell to me than take them with him to the new location.

    But he says he has 8 or 9 of them. That plus the scrap, he says, is 3000 pounds.

    I'm splitting it with my casting mentor. Three quarters of a ton each. If I sell half of it, I'll have 750 pounds for free, but I just might keep all of my share, greedy, covetous, lead hoarder that I am becoming.
    Last edited by kevin c; 12-19-2017 at 01:41 AM.

  15. #35
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    I would keep it. If you sell some of it now you will someday be wishing that you had it back. Thats been my experience anyway.

  16. #36
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    Now the fun part.. finding somewhere to put it all

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by sargenv View Post
    Now the fun part.. finding somewhere to put it all
    I've got plenty of room, rent's cheap too!
    It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years (Abe Lincoln)

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  18. #38
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    Well, I really shouldn't count my chickens...etc, etc. but I'm hopeful the deals go through.

    I got the dimensions on the barrels: cylinders two feet high and a foot and a half across, half inch thick. I'm thinking a Sawzall with a well lubed blade should be able to cut them into manageable chunks, which is a good thing since my pot tops out at 200# and to avoid the trouble of leveling it I try to keep well under that.

    My dear Sargenv, you try to put another 1500 pounds of lead in your hillside casting shed, it won't just tilt more, it'll flip over onto your goat pen or slide into your house! 8^D

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryB View Post
    Small pickup crane(can weld one a lot cheaper than buying) and at home I use the engine hoist(cherry picker) to unload heavy stuff like buckets of wheel weights. Northern tool has the truck box hoists too pretty cheap, possibly Harbor Freight.
    An engine hoist is a really handy thing to have. After Christmas I'm thinking about building a device that will hold a 5 gallon bucket that can be picked up with a hoist. I'm thinking about a heavy duty version of a 5 gallon drink can holder like you see mounted on work trucks. Something that you can scoot the 5 gallon bucket over into rather than depending on the handle to support the weight.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    My dear Sargenv, you try to put another 1500 pounds of lead in your hillside casting shed, it won't just tilt more, it'll flip over onto your goat pen or slide into your house! 8^D
    Well, the issue I have at the moment is one of balance.. most of the lead I have at the moment is on the downhill side.. I could put in some heavy duty shelving on the uphill side.. Maybe the shed door will stop sticking...

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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