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Thread: Cheapest Source of Tin

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I was wondering about machining lead myself.

    Plus one for thrift shop pewter. I have learned how to tell if it's pewter or not, but it usually says on it. I was in a good will in Wichita a few days ago and there was a bowl that weighed at least 10-12 ounces for $4.99. I should have bought it, I suppose, but I have quite a bit already and as stated, a little will alloy a lot of lead.

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    I was wondering about machining lead myself.

    Plus one for thrift shop pewter. I have learned how to tell if it's pewter or not, but it usually says on it. I was in a good will in Wichita a few days ago and there was a bowl that weighed at least 10-12 ounces for $4.99. I should have bought it, I suppose, but I have quite a bit already and as stated, a little will alloy a lot of lead.
    It does get to be a tougher call. Once one has a supply on hand maybe the money is better spent elsewhere or maybe...

    ..snagging that item to rescue it from a dreary life as a dust collector and providing it with a better future in the casting community. I sometimes buy that stuff because I figure if I don't use it someone else will probably want it and as long as the price isn't too high in the first place I won't lose money on making the purchase. Over $5 a pound is getting close to where it just doesn't make any sense to buy it. I think better to leave it at $4.99 for 10-12 oz. price point.

    Was a time when I would have purchased that just for my own use because it was still cheaper than market price for tin. Have some now so less inclined that way now.
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    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.
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  3. #23
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    Pardini - just curious..........what in the heck is your buddy machining out of lead?

    I'm kinda curious myself as I though lead was soft enough that it was always cast into objects not machined.
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  4. #24
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    One should be careful when buying pewter items for melting down, some can be worth quite a bit to collectors. Much more than their value as tin.

  5. #25
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    Turns out he machines a lot of lead.
    I'm not the OP, but maybe it isn't what many of us are thinking? ...which is typically make chips.

    My friend who does scrap metal as a side-gig, get's all kinds of lead and/or tin/pewter/typemetal.
    One time he sold me some lead, which I call dimensional lead. It appeared to be pure. It was in various shapes and sizes in different thicknesses up to 1" thick. It turned out it was from a metal shop that would cut/shear lead for customers from different thicknesses of sheet lead, yes, some as thick as 1".

    What my friend got, that I bought from him (450 lbs worth), was all the "drops" (AKA:scrap). This lead was cut by machines.
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  6. #26
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    The wife and I stopped by the DAV thrift shop today and I found a pewter bowl (marked pewter, but I can tell it is anyway), probably weighs a full pound for $1.25. I bought this one, too good a deal to pass on. Not even a very interesting bowl, pretty plain actually, won't mind melting it down if I need it.

  7. #27
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    At one time sheet tin from roofing (particularly commercial roofing) operations was a great source of dead soft lead. My late father retired over 30 years ago from such a company as VP in charge of Purchasing. His guys in the shop kept a big white plastic bucket in the shop for these lead drops and when the biggest guy had a hard time lifting the bucket it went in Dad’s trunk to come home. There are still some small scraps of that lead here that we pre-cut as soft jaws to slip on the bench vise, but over the years the other many hundreds of pounds have traveled down range at very high rates of speed. I don’t know, what with all the anti-lead hysteria, is this still a viable source?

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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    At one time sheet tin from roofing (particularly commercial roofing) operations was a great source of dead soft lead. My late father retired over 30 years ago from such a company as VP in charge of Purchasing. His guys in the shop kept a big white plastic bucket in the shop for these lead drops and when the biggest guy had a hard time lifting the bucket it went in Dad’s trunk to come home. There are still some small scraps of that lead here that we pre-cut as soft jaws to slip on the bench vise, but over the years the other many hundreds of pounds have traveled down range at very high rates of speed. I don’t know, what with all the anti-lead hysteria, is this still a viable source?

    Froggie
    I still stop at sites when I see a crew re-roofing a house and ask. Oftentimes they'll just give me the boots that go around vent pipes and such which are just about pure in my experience.

  9. #29
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    I remember seeing on line auction photos of a several thousand pound lot of US government lead. Most of it was heavy sheet, but there was a barrel full of long curled bits of lead. I couldn't tell whether this was edge trim, drill shavings or turning shavings, but there was a lot of it.

  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    I still stop at sites when I see a crew re-roofing a house and ask. Oftentimes they'll just give me the boots that go around vent pipes and such which are just about pure in my experience.
    Old house roof tear down can yield soft sheet lead. Boots for around stacks were lead as mentioned but so too was flashing used around things like a chimney or along dormer wall. Old houses can also yield soft sheet lead used as a water barrier in bathroom under tub or tile shower. Worth stopping to check if you happen to see roof or bathroom work being done to an old house. Also plumbing pipes can be lead, and the cast iron sewer lines were sealed with pure lead poured into the joint. I see those rings in the lead bin at scrap yards from time to time.

    Need to know what the local yards are paying for scrap lead so you can offer the construction crew a better price without over paying. Stuff ends up in the bin at scrap yards because the crews know to bring it in for some extra money. You offer a better price by even 5 or 10 cents and it will probably be yours. Keep a bathroom scale in your trunk!

    PS be sure to always heat lead pipe or plumbing seal starting with a cold pot. There can be a lot of moisture trapped inside and if you heat it up to melting it dries out, if you drop it into molten lead... hello tinsel fairy. Even if it "looks" dry.
    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. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    I still stop at sites when I see a crew re-roofing a house and ask. Oftentimes they'll just give me the boots that go around vent pipes and such which are just about pure in my experience.
    Lead was all we used to flash chimney's when I doing that type of thing.
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  12. #32
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    I know this is about Tin but a couple of weeks ago I stopped by a yard sale outside a small machine shop witch had all sorts of vintage hand tools @ 1 to 2 dollars a pop. Yes I spent over $100.00. But back to the point. I asked the guy if he had any lead or Tin. He brought out a 12"x 6"x 4" hunk of Babbitt. He hit it with a hammer and it had a nice ring to it. He said it had a lot Tin in it, and it was used to pour bearings. I asked him how much and he said take it. I did. I have never used Babbitt before. Any ideas on my find?
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  13. #33
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    Many different kinds of Babbit metal which range from a lot to a little tin.

    I'll give you the default answer: melt off a bit and send it and a pound of lead to BNE, then you'll know for sure.

  14. #34
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    Atlas Metals in Denver has tin and pewter. You have to request a quote for the amount you want to buy. Last time (6 months ago) I got a quote for 20 lbs of 92% Sn, 4% Sb, and 4% Pb, it was about $16.50/ lb. They called it Alloy #924. atlasmetal.com

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheeto303 View Post
    I know this is about Tin but a couple of weeks ago I stopped by a yard sale outside a small machine shop witch had all sorts of vintage hand tools @ 1 to 2 dollars a pop. Yes I spent over $100.00. But back to the point. I asked the guy if he had any lead or Tin. He brought out a 12"x 6"x 4" hunk of Babbitt. He hit it with a hammer and it had a nice ring to it. He said it had a lot Tin in it, and it was used to pour bearings. I asked him how much and he said take it. I did. I have never used Babbitt before. Any ideas on my find?
    Yes there at least 15 different alloys of a thing balled "Babbitt metal"! Everyone is different but most have Sn in them in widely varying amounts. I have 6 different "B" alloys. All are in original foundry marked bars, so I know exactly what they are. Send a sample like suggested and he will give you an x-ray gun analysis back so you really know what you have.

    banger

  16. #36
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    how much tin would u add to a full pro melt pot?

  17. #37
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    1-3% is what I stick to.

    banger

  18. #38
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Fortunately you use very little tin in casting handgun bullets. I almost never use it but for LHP. At 1%, that is about 3oz for 20# of alloy. I have never needed more than 1% to get good castings, often half that or less works fine. I bought 20# or so back when it was about $10/# from Roto. I would think radiator repair shops would have drippings they might sell. I have just never looked into it.
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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    Pardini - just curious..........what in the heck is your buddy machining out of lead? Lead is stringy and soft and hard to work with - not a metal of choice I would ever "machine"! Is he using Wood's Metal (or other low melting point alloys) to cast/hold pieces in place to machine? The aerospace industry does a lot of that, especially for turbine blades. But they do not actually machine the castable material, even though it is much harder than pure Pb.

    Just curious.

    banger
    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    Pardini - just curious..........what in the heck is your buddy machining out of lead?

    I'm kinda curious myself as I though lead was soft enough that it was always cast into objects not machined.
    I am too.

    He hasn't really said and has claimed he doesn't know what the parts they machine are for. He did say, one job was for the Navy. I've been shooting with him for the last couple of years off and on when we are squaded together.

    I've known he worked as a Machinist for awhile. Only found out he machined lead a few months ago, after he overheard me saying I cast all my boolits. He asked if I wanted lead, hell yeah. He said he could provide more than handle and didn't want nothing for it. Fat chance. After that I didnt see him for a couple months, next time I did, he said ooops, forgot your lead. Honestly, thought he was FOS, but last month he produced. 3/4" thick triangle shaped pieces. Surprised me, I've had 4 or 5 guys tell me of lead sources over the years, but none ever came though. He said the plate they get is pre cut to minimize waste for the parts they machine. He didnt bring any chips. Next match is this coming Sunday, maybe he'll bring more.

    We haven't had much time the discuss it in great detail. During the match we are busy running the timer and tablet, scoring, shooting and resetting. After the match it seems that either his ride or mine want to hit the road ASAP.

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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