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Thread: yard sale and roadside scavenging....

  1. #1
    Boolit Man sonoransixgun's Avatar
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    yard sale and roadside scavenging....

    Stopped at a yard sale and spotted these chunks on the ground against the house. Immediately recognizing it, I asked about it, and the man said just take it. 35 lbs. of free lead. On the way home from work today I stopped at the top of my exit ramp and grabbed these from the road. Doing this constantly, the wheel weights add up little by little….




  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Is the big one a zinker? I have noticed that the really good looking ones are not lead.
    Quis Quis Quis, Quis Liberat Canes

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    I LIKE IKE

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    That's what I do. I'm in a lot of basements, garages & alley ways. A roll of solder here, a plumber's ingot there, even an occasional lead bend or water main. I check around the tire machines I pass in shops, I even pickup all the solder drippings left behind on plumbing or heating installs. Over 90% of WW here are zinc or steel but all the solder used here is 95/5. I've reclaimed over 12lbs of solder drippings alone in about 18 months. I have a 5gal bucket full of old rolls & bars of solder plus about 20 rolls of 95/5. I had the opportunity to grab a 1gal pail with WW off the floor of a car dealer's tire area last week. I selected all the darker ones as well as passed up the known zinc & steel. I didn't do very well. I got 20lbs of WW of that 1lb of SOWW & 2.5lbs of COWW that's 17.5% being very selective. I also have a BIL who is a plumber & every once in a while I'll raid his lead scrap pile. I bring home about 150lbs of free lead/alloy a year.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    Yard sales is usually where i find all my Pewter at cheap. If there is any kind of shop or garage i can usually ask and find old rolls of solder really cheap.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Thats the way that you do it. Always keeping your eyes open and looking. I wish I had kept all of the weights separate that me and a buddy have picked up off of street corners this year. Every place that we go one of us hops out at an intersection or exit ramp and grabs a weight. Sometimes several. We've found wrenches, sockets, several receiver hitch pins, ect. Ironically, the lead percentage of our street corner finds is much higher than what I'm getting at the tire store! We don't really need the lead, its just gotten to be a game!

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    Boolit Man sonoransixgun's Avatar
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    frkelly74...after your question, I double-checked...usually I can tell right away when they're zinc. This one has me a bit puzzled. It has the heft of real lead. They zinc has a lighter feel. It has some coating on it (see pic below). I cut it with a knife and it acted like lead. Guess I'll only know for sure when I toss it in the pot...



    NYFirefighter357...you're a true scavenger! Drippings from plumbing installs...how do you go about finding such locations?

    Mebudman63...yes, I've gotten old solder rolls at yard sales too....

    Lightman....we're brothers from different mothers!...It is a game, a fun one...

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    If it cuts with a knife it is probably okay.
    Quis Quis Quis, Quis Liberat Canes

    /////////BREAKING NEWS////////////
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    I LIKE IKE

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonoransixgun View Post
    frkelly74...after your question, I double-checked...usually I can tell right away when they're zinc. This one has me a bit puzzled. It has the heft of real lead. They zinc has a lighter feel. It has some coating on it (see pic below). I cut it with a knife and it acted like lead. Guess I'll only know for sure when I toss it in the pot...



    NYFirefighter357...you're a true scavenger! Drippings from plumbing installs...how do you go about finding such locations?

    Mebudman63...yes, I've gotten old solder rolls at yard sales too....

    Lightman....we're brothers from different mothers!...It is a game, a fun one...
    Get you a pair of wire cutters to test them with. I use a pair used by electricians called dykes.

    You can't cut steel. Not even if you have a grip like Popeye!
    You can't cut Zinc either. Maybe make a slight mark.
    You can cut lead.

    A After you find one with Z or ZN on it, make a test cut to familiarize yourself with the feel.

    I think that biggest weight that you pictured is lead.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man sonoransixgun's Avatar
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    Thanks, lightman...I'll remember that test....

    Yeah, I think it's lead too....

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonoransixgun View Post
    frkelly74...after your question, I double-checked...usually I can tell right away when they're zinc. This one has me a bit puzzled. It has the heft of real lead. They zinc has a lighter feel. It has some coating on it (see pic below). I cut it with a knife and it acted like lead. Guess I'll only know for sure when I toss it in the pot...



    NYFirefighter357...you're a true scavenger! Drippings from plumbing installs...how do you go about finding such locations?

    Mebudman63...yes, I've gotten old solder rolls at yard sales too....

    Lightman....we're brothers from different mothers!...It is a game, a fun one...
    I do residential & commercial heating, I'm in anywhere from 5-15 boiler rooms a day. I find many sloppy soldering jobs. I once followed behind a boiler install where I filled a cigarette pack with the pools of solder left on the floor. Another time I had a friend who's daughter's pipes froze some guy charged him big money to fix the frozen baseboard heaters ( I was working) Next time I went there found big pools of solder on the floor at every joint they fixed almost another pack full. But most of it is less than an ounce at a time, at the end of the year it adds up. Now many plumbers are using the crimp on fittings on the smaller piping so they don't even solder much anymore.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy

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    I work around plumbers all the time. They look at you like you're crazy when you pick up their solder drippings.
    I have scored about 3 1lb rolls of "lead free" solder by asking for some. They will often give you the roll they are using and go grab a new one off the truck.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I haven't done it in a while, but used to stop whenever I saw a crew re-roofing a building and ask. You'd be surprised how many pieces of soft lead you end up with that way.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    The large weight is probably from a large truck. I acquired lots of these years ago from a truck repair shop and they were all lead.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man sonoransixgun's Avatar
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    Great tips on finding lead....I'm not in the heating or roofing industries, but good to know lead can be found there. It's always good to know where to look, in case the opportunity presents itself....

    Thanks for the confirmation, largom....Living near a major highway, I have picked up quite a few giant ww's, and so far they've been lead.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    One of the old shopping centers in town was turned into a flea market on the weekends. On the side was old vehicle service bays that sold used tires while the flea market ran on the weekend. It had a pretty steep parking lot lead up to the service bays. I'd go during the week when it was empty and slide a dishpan or plastic bucket along and pick up wheelweights. Folks would see me picking stuff up and start looking for stuff laying on the ground. I guess they thought I was looking for money but didn't realize I was lead mining. I was trying to do my part for the ecosystem. An acre area yielded 3/4- full 5 gallon bucket each month. The dip at the parking lot entrance/exit and the first stop light was prime picking too!

  16. #16
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    Don't forget R.R. crossings.

    Slim
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  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by slim1836 View Post
    Don't forget R.R. crossings. Slim
    The finer points of "street corner mining"!

    Yeah, the rougher rail road crossings are good producers. At exit ramps, I have better luck at the ones that have a curb and a raised area near the signs. It gives the "soccer moms" something to bump into while they are driving and talking on their phones. Don't overlook the cracks or joints in the pavement either.

    I have a round magnet on a stick and I've gotten pretty good at snagging weights while on the move! It also saves a lot of bending over when you have to get out. My buddy and I joke about what the other drivers think when they see that stick come out of the window!

    Like I posted earlier, I wish that I had kept this years finds separately just to know. I'm pretty sure that this years "street corner" scores equal several gallons, maybe even close to 5 gallons.

    Its just a game. Me and a buddy are both retired and its something to do. He retired from farming after last year but still helps his boys by running errands, going after parts, seeds, chemicals ect. Maybe even moving equipment from one side of the county to the other. I just go mostly for the ride. Anywhere from 20 to 100+ miles sometimes and then back to the farm. So we cover some ground at times.

    We have a little road trip planned for tomorrow. Virgin territory, Yeah!!!

  18. #18
    Boolit Man sonoransixgun's Avatar
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    More great tips....I have noticed that certain spots on the roads have a higher yield....Magnet on a stick....Gotta make one....Happy hunting, lightman.

    I spotted this behind my wife's grandfather's pole barn. He said I could have it. It's lead, about 20 pounds. I have no idea what it was from. About 18 inches by 18 and 3/16 thick...




  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by slim1836 View Post
    Don't forget R.R. crossings.

    Slim
    I hadn't thought of that! Thanks

    I bought out an old timer that started casting before he was a teenager. He said his momma used to stop the car so he or she could pick up WW's laying in the road. I don't think I'll ever forget that.
    Last edited by jsizemore; 12-19-2019 at 02:57 PM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Some of what I've collected


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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