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Thread: Got some lead today.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Got some lead today.

    I saw an ad in a local want ad paper. 125 lbs. for $80.
    When I got down there a lot was in ingots. Some shiny others dull gray. I think the dull ones are pure lead, the shiny WW's. He had some loose WW's in some coffee jugs.
    I got about 142 lbs of this stuff for $100. So this was $.70 per lb.
    As we chatted he said he had some 50/50 bar solder. There was 25 lbs. of this. Got it for $40. or $1.62 per lb.
    As I was transferring the ingots to my buckets I saw several chunks of the bar solder mixed in.
    A lot of places I've seen lead advertised just WW's cost almost as much as I paid for the bar solder.
    So I think I did ok.
    He has more to let go but I think this with what I have will outlast me.
    Leo

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    It would be hard for me to pass up any decent deal on lead. But then although I have enough there are friends and their younger family members to consider. Just because you buy it does not mean you can not trade or sell to others that are without a stash.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Thats a fair price on the lead and a great price on the solder. I would probably buy the rest of what he has just because its getting harder to find.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    It's reasonable to buy just what you need, especially if there are higher priorities for your spare cash.

    But if you do have funds not needed for other things, and also have the space to store it and the back to haul it, it's not unreasonable to save that lead and tin from a horrible, non boolit fate...;^]

  5. #5
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I spent some time sorting my lead today. Did the clink-thud test. About 70% clinked.
    On the solder not all was 50/50. out of the 23 bars some were 9 marked WARRANTED 50/50 with a few also marked GRADE A REPUBLIC on them.
    7 had just ALPHA on them.
    7 are KESTER 40/60 marked.
    Even with a few a bit light on tin I still got around 10.5 lbs of tin. That's around $3.80 a lb.
    I already had 5 or so lbs of solder. I have around 50 lbs. of pure lead and around 50 lbs. of linotype as well as around 75 lbs of COWW.
    If I build a bullet trap to reclaim bullets, I should be good for a long time.
    I have been thinking of trying to find some pewter locally. On Ebay it seems a bit expensive. At least more than I paid for what I got form the solder.
    I live close to a huge antique and flea market. It lasts for a week. I need to go up and scrounge around to see what I can find. I just don't like crowds of people that much.
    Leo

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    When I get a bunch of solder there is usually some that I can't read the label on the spool or for other reasons don't know what it was. I usually just melt it all together and send off a sample to have tested. I've never been sorry for doing this.

  7. #7
    Leo you are good with what you have on hand. The solder has tin in it. the WW's if old style clip on have plenty of antimony. Perfect bullet making materials. Way back when, we only used clip on WW's & cast hundreds of really good pistol bullets. Anything fed to the rifles we would add some bar solder. We had a nice old cast iron pot that could hold 30 to 40 lbs of alloy. When you do your ingot making. You only need to add a few pounds of 50 50 solder to boost up that mix for use in rifle bullets. If you just want really nice looking pistol bullets use half that amount of solder/tin in your mix. It is difficult to do your alloy mixing in the bottom pour melt pots. But it is not impossible if that is all you have to work with. unclemikeinct

  8. #8
    One other thing about the larger pots for melting & mixing your alloy. That shape makes it easy to Reduce & Flux your alloy. Use Wax to reduce the mixture twice. Use sawdust to flux. Same thing, twice. You don't want to be scraping away the expensive additions to your alloy. That "Dross" can contain a bunch of antimony & tin. So watch your process. it matters. mikeinct

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Lead...................like gold...............is where you find it.

    Congrats!

    banger

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I've been casting since 1978. A friend got me started with fishing weights and jigs. That got me into casting for my 44Mag rifle and revolvers.
    I have been scrounging COWW as well as pure lead , as in lead pipe and sheeting, solder as bar or in rolls ever since.
    One thing I did find once that never occurred to me is scrap for stained glass windows. A friend moved into a place were people made stained glass windows. They left behind A bunch of the lead I beam looking stuff used to frame the separate pieces of colored glass together. A couple ox boxers of new tracks and a bunch of short pieces as well as a few rolls of solder to solder the tracks together. As I recall it was around 75 lbs. or so.
    If you know of people that do stained glass windows check with them for scrap.
    I learned early on COWW make great bullets as is or with a bit of tin added.
    Solder was the easiest way I knew of for years. Then I found out what pewter is and have been thinking of scrounging that too. I live close to an antique and flea market are here in CNY. Just haven't felt like fighting the crowds much.
    Leo

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I was promised a nice box of scrap lead from a stained glass shop. The problem is, the scraps take up a lot of space relatively while weighing relatively little. It was high quality near pure lead, but I was disappointed with the small number of ingots that box yielded.

    Another similar experience was smelting the lead foil from my dentist's x-ray process. A big zip loc bag of foils yielded about one ingot... they just seemed to disappear when I threw them in the pot. Again, it was good lead, but the yield was a little disappointing.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    think how much the dentist made $$$$$$$$$$$$ think the foils were 7 or 10grs each

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    I was promised a nice box of scrap lead from a stained glass shop. The problem is, the scraps take up a lot of space relatively while weighing relatively little. It was high quality near pure lead, but I was disappointed with the small number of ingots that box yielded.

    Another similar experience was smelting the lead foil from my dentist's x-ray process. A big zip loc bag of foils yielded about one ingot... they just seemed to disappear when I threw them in the pot. Again, it was good lead, but the yield was a little disappointing.

    Froggie
    Some things add up slowly. Sometimes we have to compare the end result to the required effort and decide if its worth while. Need can help make this decision.

    2 weekends ago me and another member melted the lead from a truck load of pole top pins. More than a half ton truck could carry and heavy enough to squat a 3/4 ton truck. The threads were the only thing that was lead and each pin had between 4 and 5 oz of lead on them. This was a years collection. They were very slow to melt because they had so little contact with the sides of the pot. We could have cut the threaded part off and speeded things up some but labor wise we decided to let the propane do the work. It took about 6 hours where as we can cycle through a pot of wheel weights in less than 2 hours. But at the end of the day Biggin had 280# of free lead except for the labor and propane.

    Another low yeild experience that I have had was lead wire. I did the electrical work for a large fish farm for a while. They used 1/4 inch lead wire wrapped around soaker hoses to hold it at the bottom of the fish tanks. When they redid the tanks they replaced the soaker hose and lead wire. A 5 gallon bucket of heavily oxidized lead wire would produce maybe 15-20 pounds of ingots. But I got it for free.
    Last edited by lightman; 02-22-2020 at 12:06 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    Another similar experience was smelting the lead foil from my dentist's x-ray process. A big zip loc bag of foils yielded about one ingot... they just seemed to disappear when I threw them in the pot. Again, it was good lead, but the yield was a little disappointing.

    Froggie
    You got more lead than I thought you would. I've jokingly said that a 5 gallon bucket of Dental film would make an ingot!

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post

    Another similar experience was smelting the lead foil from my dentist's x-ray process. A big zip loc bag of foils yielded about one ingot... they just seemed to disappear when I threw them in the pot. Again, it was good lead, but the yield was a little disappointing.

    Froggie
    X-ray foils from the dentist WERE a good source....usually FREE! Most dentists are now using digital X-ray systems to get away from the "hazards" of Pb in their offices. And the results are instant on the computer monitor instead of having to have a darkroom and chemicals on-site to develop the films in the Pb packs.

    Gone are the good olde daze!

    banger

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have a neighbor who is a roofer. I asked him about the lead he gets from all the flashing and roof jacks that he replaces.

    A week later I had a pile of it by my front gate. Wow!
    I cut out the seams where two pieces were soldered together and put them in a separate pile for the tin.
    I did have to trim around the roof jacks to remove the solder sheeting though.
    I then cut and rolled up the lead sheeting to manageable sizes for my smelting pot and made muffin pan ingots from that.

    I tested the BHN on the several batches that I have and they came in at 5-6 BHN.

    Check out the roofers in your area. Maybe you will score too!
    Good luck!

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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