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Thread: Mark your ingots

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    Mark your ingots

    I got a gentle reminder yesterday to mark you ingots as to just what they are. I recently received a new Lee 148 WC mold and wanted to get started with it. I needed some more lead since the pot I am currently using has pure lead in it.

    I went to my stash of ingots, and found plenty, but they weren't marked. I was momentarily concerned, since most ingots of lead based material look very similar. Then I remembered that I had only cast triangular ingots of wheelweights until I acquired a sufficient quantity of pure lead to smelt a batch, which luckily I had marked.

    This means that any unmarked ingots I have right now are wheelweights; but a few minutes taken to mark them when cast would have removed all doubt.

    You don't even need special number or letter stamps, they work but are a bit small for my aging eyes. What I tend to use is a large flat screwdriver to make block letters with. It is a lot easier to see a P or WW that is roughly an inch tall than 1/8 or " size.

    I did discover that various alloys oxidize to different colors, more lead in the mix gives a darker color. If the samples are the same age, if not all bets are off.

    Robert

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had the same problem. Lead I smelted in 80's that weren't marked because I was sure I would remember that the muffin ingots were BHN 16 and the Lee ingots were 10 and so on. I only had the SAECO tester so I could only check after casting. Now I have a cabin tree tester and mark the batches of ingots with a marker. I test and mark every ingot I buy. Much easier to make a specific hardness now.

    Shelly
    "EXPERT= Ex is a has been, spurt is a drip under pressure" Unknown

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Marking ingots can be done in many ways and what works for you is all that matters. A friend used a center punch and series of punch marks. A screw driver or flat cold chisel, Letter number stamps. a piece of pipe, One thing when using a code is to have it wrote down in several places so its known what is what if your no longer around.

    I use stamps 3/8" size and tie them to get ww pl no2 or what I need. 1 hit and the ingot is IDd quick and easy.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    I eliminated the issue, only one alloy, 95.5/3.5/1. LOL
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy quail4jake's Avatar
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    My compliments for only one alloy, K.I.S.S.! I complicated things beyond necessity but I'll be alright. Maybe.
    I letter stamp alloys with my own secret squirrel code: A= Pb:Sn 40:1, B=20:1, C= cerrosafe, E= electrotype, H= hardball BHN 22 92/6/2 (Pb, Sb, Sn), J= junk, unknown zinc contaminated etc. L= linotype O= BHN 8 97.5/0.5/2, P= lead, Q= quenched, R= BHN 10 97/1/2, S= superhard, T= tin, U= BHN 12 96/2/2, V= BHN 14 95/3/2, W= wheelweights + 2% tin BHN 17-19, X= BHN 17 94/4/2 (very close to wheelweights + 2% tin), XX= BHN 17 94/4/2 made with Lawrence Magnum #8 shot enough to give about 0.25% As. Y= BHN 19 93/5/2, Z= zinc. I use numbers to catalog rendered alloys so my recent range scrap was "5" and the several hundred pounds of sheet lead was "6" since these were the numbers currently available. Once the standard boolits ( SAECO 015) are weighed and density calculated and BHNs from as cast to 3 weeks are finished I can characterize the rendered materials and either identify it as a similar known or do an admixture to produce a standard casting alloy then it can be stamped with a letter to represent a known.
    If I cast boolits with Alloy W and quench from the mold I land at BHN 25-27 after age hardening, labeled Alloy WQ. Using Alloy XX and quenching exceeds BHN 29 at 3 weeks, labeled Alloy XXQ...
    I had an organization issue at one time but letter stamping and stacking ingots neatly has made me a better man. Does anyone else do this or am I the only "rainman" here? So, after all that most of my casting is done with Alloy U BHN 12...just like Glenn Frixell said before I started all this mess!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master slim1836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Paso View Post
    I eliminated the issue, only one alloy, 95.5/3.5/1. LOL
    Not me, I'm poor.

    Slim
    RETIRED
    NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    95/5


    COWW


    SOWW


    RL Range lead


    Lino


    PB

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have used permanent black felt markers for years.
    They are still easily readable after many years.
    I store my ingots in 50 cal ammo cans.
    I have many different alloys.
    Wheel weights, Linotype, soft, solder, Lyman#2, 50/50-WW/Lino, etc.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    I use the hand stamps and have also picked up the redneck gold, cast boolits, and I think the noe molds to also assist in identification. I assumed as others that I would remember the different shapes, etc (like tin was bottom of soda cans). Problem is when I am gone and not specifically marked it will cause issues. Good luck

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    One of my first ingot mold I got , I roughly engraved "WW" into the bottom of each cavity. These are easily identified now as strictly wheel weights. This is the only ingot mould I did this to. Now I use a magic marker. With the exception of lino. I have letter punches spelling LINO to use for that.
    I'm the King of my castle---anytime my wife's not around
    Life NRA member

    "A Government big enough to give you everything you want,is big enough to take away everything you have"
    Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    No need to mark each and every ingot, all you need to do is mark the container that they reside in.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor
    NRA Life Member

  12. #12
    Boolit Man


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    My method would drive everyone else crazy, but it works for me. Over the years the Microsoft Access database that tracks all of my firearm, casting and range report information goes through a continuous improvement process. The database generates a batch number which is stamped with 1/4" number stamps on each ingot from that batch. The database tracks all the information on each batch and ties it to the parent batches.

    My very good friend swears that I only shoot pedigreed alloy because I can track the components back to the original purchase of the material.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Spray paint. Brown is COWW. Green is pure. White is 1%. Red is 2,%.
    If lead is left in the pot, once cool, a shot of one of the above. 0

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I use the letter stamps from Harbor Frt. they’re small but so far it works well. Every one is marked with (L), (WW)
    As that is all I have right now, and I have a ton of it stored. I’ve added solder only to my pot when casting boolits for better fill out. KISS.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    I only keep 4 different alloys already in ingots , hard , medium , soft , and pure . just drop them on the cement floor and each one rings or don't ring different simple and works for me
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Been marking mine with a plain ol' Sharpie for years then stacking the marked ingots in designated bins under my workbench. Has worked for near 30 years (I built on the workshop in 1992) so haven't seen any need for change.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
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    i do the same as Bill ... Magic Marker, quick and easy ... all 1700 lbs of 6lb ingots
    Regards
    John

  18. #18
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    I bought a cheap letter/number stamp set at Harbor Freight years ago.

    PB, LIN, WW, RL, PEW stamped work for me. I then mix and match to make an Alloy of the desired BNH and those are only in corn mold ingots (shaped like corn on the cob). they fit in my pot easily and are marked as A#1, A#2...and so on. I keep computer records for what the A#1,A#2....etc composition are. These are mixed in 50-100 lbs lots.

    redhawk

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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy quail4jake's Avatar
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    So, then do I get the rainman savant award?

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I mark much of my ingots, but in a few ways; for specific BHN I use a black marker, it lasts a few years. For wheel weight alloy and pure I use a 1/2" cold chisel (screw drivers are not punches or chisels! ). But similar to Mal Paso's method I have my "Mystery Metal", a mix of various alloys, scrap and range lead running about 12 BHN which works quite well for 95% of my hand gun bullet casting...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

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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