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Thread: A Little More Pewter

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    A Little More Pewter

    Got back from the Dr's office this morning, wife said"I got you some pewter". She had gone to the Salvation Army thrift store and found a bowl about 8" diameter and with a Gorham Pewter hallmark. A pound or more for $1.75, 1/2 of the marked price. Have had 2 steins and a water pitcher for a while, will be a while before I am ready to use them. Need to finish building a house, plumbing, electrical, cabinets, tiling floors and baths, painting, etc. Only drywall will be done by others.

    Darn typo in the title, can't correct it.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    me to all the January bills came in and now I'm a little more pewrer!!! Lol just had to do that cant hep muh sef

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Thats a nice score! Yeah, I learned the hard way to proof read before posting!

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    The thrift stores have always been my source.

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    That's a very good price! The Goodwill and Salvation army stores in my area are charging way too much most of the time. Sometimes I get a good price by waiting for a 25 or 50 percent off sale day. Summer yard sales and flea markets can be good also. My kids think I'm crazy because I'm always coming home with plastic shopping bags jingleing with pewter ware. I've been melting it down and making small ingots this winter,makes it easier to store.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    I'm another one that gets my pewerer mostly from thrift stores or garage sales. I have found it from time to time in scrap yards. Sometimes in the cast metals bin along with all sorts of totally worthless pot metal plumbing parts, art objects and handles. Rather cheap if found there, just not found there very often.

    Likewise the prices at Salvation Army have often been too high. If one can get there on a discount day or gets a senior discount it can work out sometimes. One saving grace is I know Zinn is Dutch or German for tin and how some pewter from there is marked, they apparently do not. In the end one might even want a small battery powered postal scale (Harbor Freight has one for around $20 with discount coupon) since even at inflated prices if one gets pure pewter (not weighted, skip weighted candlesticks) the price per pound for commercial tin or tin in swapping and selling can make the thrift store price while not a great deal certainly a decent deal.

    I used to figure the item had to be less than $3 per pound, built up a stash so I mostly can stick with that but realistically even at $4 a pound it is a pretty good deal with tin going $7 to maybe $9 in S&S to $21 a pound from other sources. If the we are talking about buying a 1/2 pound pitcher or tray for a couple of bucks and change it is hard to say that is not a smart purchase. Besides if you are in buying the ok deals you will be there to find the really good deals that may come up once in awhile. Those especially good deals averaged in to the prices paid for the less spectacular deals can still make for a nice amount of tin for a pretty darn good average price.
    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.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    There is one thrift store I frequent that has 25 percent off on Mondays and 50 percent off on holidays so those days are pretty good. The way I look at it is as long as I'm not paying more than $4-$5 for a decent sized piece I'm happy. Sometimes I get get a great deal and if not at least I'm building up my supply a couple of bucks at a time and not really feeling it in my pocket if I spend a few dollars a week. When I started though I definitely over paid a few times! I've become much more selective.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I've checked the local thrift store for years and have yet to find a single piece of pewter. Did hit the jackpot on one occasion when I found 35 lb. of #8 shot for $5.00. That made it all worth it.
    The only amendment the Democrats support is the 5th.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    Well, those in mid Michigan can start hitting the local thrifts as I've stopped buying pewter ware unless it jumps up into my hands. I've been able to pickup about fifty pounds in the last couple of years.
    For those who never see pewter, keep looking. In my opinion, once you learn what it looks like, you'll find it often enough.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjdd23 View Post
    That's a very good price! The Goodwill and Salvation army stores in my area are charging way too much most of the time. Sometimes I get a good price by waiting for a 25 or 50 percent off sale day. Summer yard sales and flea markets can be good also. My kids think I'm crazy because I'm always coming home with plastic shopping bags jingleing with pewter ware. I've been melting it down and making small ingots this winter,makes it easier to store.
    I thought the real pewter was sposed to klunk not jingle. Duckin' and runnin'!
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  11. #11
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    I fixed your title though pewrer was much funnier. I blame that stuff on fat fingers.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbosman View Post
    Well, those in mid Michigan can start hitting the local thrifts as I've stopped buying pewter ware unless it jumps up into my hands. I've been able to pickup about fifty pounds in the last couple of years.
    For those who never see pewter, keep looking. In my opinion, once you learn what it looks like, you'll find it often enough.
    Haven't said howdy at you in a good long while so howdy. And thanks for letting me know why the salvation army store never had much pewter for ME! Now that you stopped buying they actually closed down in anticipation of the loss of business I guess. Or maybe the lease was not renewed like they said but I'm still thinking your change in shopping habits might have been a factor.

    You won't find it if you aren't looking. If the thrift stores don't have it then estate and garage sales might. If you see overpriced pewter at such a sale look for stuff not stamped pewter but stamped Zinn. Dutch or German for Tin and what those countries stamp on pewter. Have been at estate sale where the "pewter" was priced high but the heavy "zinn" platter and plates were cheap. The didn't realize it was pewter. I also find my phone camera can take a picture of a touch mark and then allow me to zoom in to read the dang thing. A couple of times it was the only way to read enough of a worn and ragged stamp to determine it was pewter. The thrift store didn't realize it was stamped pewter so the price was reasonable. I as dbosman says knew it on sight but usually feel a need to confirm it before I parted with cash.
    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.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Out here on the Left Coast pewter availability is variable. Persistence, though, can pay off.

    The thrifts are good for occasional finds of single or a couple pieces of pewter, and with Good Will's senior discounts and half off sales the price can be good. Slow but steady acquisitions of this sort probably make up the majority of my stash. But I find my best buys at estate sales.

    Most have nothing, but occasionally you can hit estate sales with collections of pewter. The net has websites (estate sales.net, estate sales.org, Craigslist) with descriptions and pictures that improve the odds. Estate sales run two or three days, and, at least out here the last day is half off. If you're there late in the last day, the agents are usually willing to cut the price even more, especially if you offer to buy all of an item.

    I've managed to get my supply of pewter and tin up close to where I want it, so now I can be a bit more selective on price, hit the thrifts less often, and only hit estate sales where the descriptions show pewter or other items of interest. Over the past three and a half years I've collected over three hundred pounds at an average price under three dollars a pound.

    Roger's phone camera trick is a good one, as is the suggestion to bring a small scale.
    Last edited by kevin c; 02-15-2019 at 05:28 AM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Picked up a 2 1/4 pound bowl Saturday for $3.00. Goodwill is always cheaper than Salvation Army. I've almost given up on Salvation Army around here.

    I've managed to pickup ~75 pounds of pewter over the last 18 months. Average price has been less than $1.50 a pound. I've been lucky, virtually all has been picked on quick stops on trips doing other things, so very little invested in time/money in the hunt.

    60+ lbs. is melted down into either 5 lb. ingots, 3 oz. "medallions" or pure pewter bullets, I've got a mold that cast close to an ounce pewter bullet. Makes the calculation easy. 3 pewter bullets to every 10 pounds of lead makes a 2% tin alloy. If there was tin it in to begin with(I use a lot of range scrap) it is just a little richer in tin. Just as long as it casts and fills out well. Most of my shooting is low speed plinker/fun loads. I'm not looking to set speed records. Cast well, shoot well, NO leading are my goals.

    The last 15 pounds is still in vase/bowl/plate form. Next time the pot is empty will probably make up a bunch more pewter bullets.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    15meter, that's a great average cost! Mine is twice that and I thought I was doing well!

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub Jlw6636's Avatar
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    I am fortunate enough to live about three miles for a Goodwill Outlet. For you whom donít know, the outlet it where Goodwill will send bulk containers of items out on the floor (a lot of clothes, books and trash IMO) for you to go through and then they charge by the pound. Scored 4 mugs at about 4lbs total last week and since they were actually having a 1/2 price sell , it cost me $2

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    15meter, that's a great average cost! Mine is twice that and I thought I was doing well!
    I've been lucky. I've also walked away from probably twice that much pewter at sometimes ridiculous prices.
    Was at one Salvation Army store, $50 on a dented, beat up bowl that might have made 2 lbs. Told the manager that the price was wrong, she agreed, said it was too low, it was a valuable antique. She was going to raise the price! It was a pretty recently produced non-antique and no one was going to tell her any different.

    That was a vacation stop, haven't been back since. Bet it is still there. Had no problem walking away from that one.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think I found some actual English pewter. The touch marks look to be late 18th century. Someone put a label on with “appraised 1790” on it. I’m not melting this!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Is 30.00 a bad price for this?


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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    What's your price point?

    If you want a cost of $3/#, you have to have ten pounds there. Six pounds for $5/#, a bit more than four for $7/#, three pounds for $10/#, the latter being around the price of pewter with shipping here in the S&S.

    ETA: the above goes for a transaction without other cost. Sales tax hurts, and shipping often kills, what otherwise might be an acceptable or even a good deal.

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