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Thread: Babbit

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Babbit

    Are there any use for 2lb cakes of babbit? I dont know anyone that pours and machine bearings anymore. Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Tin base Babbit is an excellent source of tin. You may have to do a little research to find the exact composition of what you have.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    There are over 10 grades of bearing babbit with varing amounts of tin, lead ,antimony and traces of other heavy metals!
    all brg babbit that I have ck about 25 to 30 BHN

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I used to use Ni. Babbitt when I worked at the sawmill, It was lead free, 98% tin. I still have a bit left after 10 years of leaving the place. I cast it into the corncob looking cast iron thing for cornbread, so I could tell which was which. Never did get a set of metal stamps yet.
    The stuff is hard as can be, and makes very nice. altho light, boolits if used by itself.
    Tom
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    Did I ever mention that I hate to trim brass?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Get all of it you can possibly get. It won’t spoil, and use it like tin in your cast boolits. Had some 50# gifted to me recently, checked out at 86.5%SN, 10.6% SB, balance Cu!! Yeah, it has a use, a good use! Just my .02
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks the cakes just say genuine babbit national lead conpamy with a pic of what looks like a little boy holding up a fish he caught but no stamps or marks but only go about 20 lbs

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Randy C's Avatar
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    How do you know what it is.

    How do you know what it is. This was given to me many years ago. What is the bet way to test it. I hope you dont mind me adding to this post.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Dive digger, if you have an industrial testing company in your town, (think X-ray truck type companies), ask them to use their pmi gun on your Babbitt you have. Or send a pm to member BNE on this forum about how to send him a sample for testing.
    Randy C, That looks like a pig of linotype to me! Same suggestions to you, sir, pm BNE to find out instructions to send sample for analysis.
    Just my .02
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Randy C's Avatar
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    Will do Thank you.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy C View Post
    How do you know what it is. This was given to me many years ago. What is the bet way to test it. I hope you dont mind me adding to this post.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In form that is a linotype pig. Should be a hard alloy running 4% tin and 12% antimony. Bet it rings if struck with that hammer. Those "ears" that make the hole will break off if they are struck hard because the alloy is fine grained and hard enough to be brittle. Interesting piece of history and a very good source of bullet alloy.

    The hole at one end was to hook it with in order to lower into a pot of molten linotype that was fed to a machine to cast lines-of-type used to print newspapers or magazines. Part of a continuous feed printing operation. Google Linotype for more information. Very good bullet alloy, can be used in small amounts to sweeten a large batch of plain or COWW or on it's own for some uses. Expensive alloy so best used to enhance lessor alloys unless one needs the characteristics of linotype alloy in the final bullet. On it's own it is really a little brittle for bullets.

    The lead lines of type would be re-melted and cast back into those "pigs" for reuse. Some tin tended to be lost to oxidation during the melting process so periodically the batch would be "freshened" by adding tin. This means there can be some variability in the actual alloy percentages.

    Stuff is expensive per pound and that bar weighs between 23 and 28 pounds would be my guess.

    Babbitt ingot this list should give you an idea of what you might be dealing with. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babbitt_(alloy)
    Last edited by RogerDat; 01-12-2019 at 05:09 PM.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    "In form that is a Linotype pig"

    RogerDat is being scrupulously correct here. Used Linotype pig molds have been used by non printers to cast up and store non Lino alloy. Sometimes as RogerDat said the printers would recast partially depleted Lino into their molds. So it's possible to buy lead in this form that isn't Lino in its original formulation or isn't Lino at all.

    Sometimes the misrepresentation is accidental, sometimes it's deliberate. I bought a fair number of Lino ingots from a reliable metals recycler and had it all tested by BNE. All but one partial bar was Lino (and it seems that the word "Lino" is sort of a generic name for the alloys used in Linotype machines which my reading shows can vary some in original content), and that bar was still a usable antimonial lead, but just without tin.

    IOW, it may be worth your while to get it tested.
    Last edited by kevin c; 01-13-2019 at 03:19 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Divedigger, see my post to Hairy Dawg. If your babbitt is marked "Genuine", you have the same alloy.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    "In form that is a Linotype pig"

    RogerDat is being scrupulously correct here. Used Linotype pig molds have been used by non printers to cast up and store non Lino alloy. Sometimes as RogerDat said the printers would recast partially depleted Lino into their molds. So it's possible to buy lead in this form that isn't Lino in its original formulation or isn't Lino at all.

    Sometimes the misrepresentation is accidental, sometimes it's deliberate. I bought a fair number of Lino ingots from a reliable metals recycler and had it all tested by BNE. All but one partial bar was Lino (and it seems that the word "Lino" is sort of a generic name for the alloys used in Linotype machines which my reading shows can vary some in original content), and that bar was still a usable antimonial lead, but just without tin.

    IOW, it may be worth your while to get it tested.
    I like the way Roger worded that too!

    I'm seeing more and more Linotype pig molds come up for sale lately. That will eventually mean that the once distinctive shape of a Linotype bar will mean less and less. I've been tempted but they drop a bigger ingot than I really want.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    I like the way Roger worded that too!

    I'm seeing more and more Linotype pig molds come up for sale lately. That will eventually mean that the once distinctive shape of a Linotype bar will mean less and less. I've been tempted but they drop a bigger ingot than I really want.
    I have heard of folks getting non-linotype alloy in that pig form. Don't want to overstate the alloy good or overstate the potential for bad to the OP. Pigs have been found that were great or not so great or almost a scam. I think most have been good but with Lino worth 3 or 4 times what one can buy WW's for.... Scammers do have an incentive. All my pigs and pieces of them I have came from scrap yard bins and the ones I have used have been lino. Most of my lino is in lines of type in buckets, darn sure know what that is.

    Lino is hard enough that one can snap the "ears" off the hole, and the broken surface will display a distinctive grain structure but I'm not sure I could describe it well enough to make it useful. BNE or proper testing is best bet.

    Although if confirmed as lino through testing take it as a learning opportunity. Break an ear and look at the grain. Melt some and watch how it melts, how easily, and at what temp. I can't claim to know "what" exact composition an alloy is from how it melts but I can tell rich alloy from WW lead by how it responds to heat. Pewter is easy to melt identify, it just goes "splush" and melts all at once under a torch. One second it's getting hot, next there is a hole and a drop has dripped off. Tin rich alloy melts easier than no tin. Flows better into puddles or ball shaped drips too.

    Might be worth noting since it has come up before. Lead in original form is more desirable if that form indicates what alloy the lead is. Linotype as lines of type or to some extent pigs, monotype as individual letters, Solder as stamped bars, Plumbers lead as factory ingots all provide some level of assurance to a buyer as to what the alloy is. You melt it into neat stacking Lee or RCBS ingots and it could be anything. People will generally pay more or more readily pay for lead or alloy "original" form than ingots.

    Odds favor the OP has a really nice chunk of alloy that will either make some sweet but expensive linotype bullets or sweeten a whole lot of WW lead very well.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks for all the replys. I found some lino pigs too that I thought were just lead. I need to learn how to do all the testing and make good bullits since I may have several lbs to add to the lead just laying around.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    A good lino pig will weigh about 22 pounds. Lower grade will of course be heavier. Also, it is hard and when struck with a hammer will clang not thud. COWW cast in a similar ingot will still have a ring, it will be heavier, but will not appear the same. Turn the ingot so you can look at the top surface and you will often see raised ridges resulting from the cooling. lead and low tin ingots will not have the raised ridge. The fracture surface will be clean, a powder like appearance and have tiny facets from the Antimony crystals. The grain will be seen with an oblique light and appear almost like end grain wood that forms as the ingot cools. Once seen you will recognize it again.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I agree with Roger that lead in its original form is more valuable for resale if that form is identifiable. Factory ingots stamped with the foundry name, linotype in type form, foundry type, monotype, solder bars ect. A linotype pig was once one of those forms and still is most of the time, just not as certain as they once were. I also agree with both Roger and Dusty that linotype is brittle and has a distinctive grain structure when a piece is broken off.

    I smelt all of the odd solder rolls that I score into ingots and make one large batch, send a sample to have tested and mark them as to content. But I leave the bar solder in original form. I have a few buckets of mixed type metal that I have left in its original form vs making it into ingots. Wheel weights get smelted and cast into ingots that are easier and cleaner to cast with than raw wheel weights are.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've got several bars of the segmented bar type babbit. Marked National Lead Co and stamped with the #4, was hoping it was SAE #4 tin based babbit. I finally sent some off for testing, yeah, not so much. 2.6 Sn, 5.3 Sb. Hardware babbbit? Lots of babbit was custom alloyed in the old days, get it tested.

  19. #19
    I've hauled hundreds of pounds of babbitt material, as 100# crates of bars, individual bars of all sorts and as scrap bearing pours from abandoned mines all over Alaska. I have far more than I could ever use and actually sold a box full of nice ASARCo Sn-based bars to Rotometals in California a couple of years ago. I kept enough to supply myself with Sn for molding. My favorite are the Magnolia bars - very artistic. I have 150# in two wood crates(one unopened)of "Finns metal" Pb-based babbitt that I may try to use alone for .44 special plinking bullets if it will fill the mold properly. It wasn't worth sending to Roto. I'm pretty imprecise in my alloy making; I just mix various types in until I get nicely made bullets with the right diameter and at least close to the hardness I want. The moose and caribou don't seem to mind the imprecise bullets, at least they've not told me they do. It would be fun to be more precise but it's just too much effort. My 1887 .45-90 High Wall shoots into 3" at 200yds, my '87 .45-90 1886 into half that so I must be precise enough. This is a stunningly good forum by the way. Tons of incredible expertise here. A truly amazing crowd of shooters.

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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