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Thread: Good sources for scrap tin?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Good sources for scrap tin?

    Other then begging for solder from places or melting down pewter is there a better way to salvage junk tin? Paying $10 a pound just seems crazy.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master leadeye's Avatar
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    Going to sales is the cheapest route. I pick up pewter at home sales and odds and ends at industrial ones. Most of the tin I aquired I got at an industrial sale where they had lots of boxes of tin artist paint tubes that had gotten soaked. The boxes were in bad shape and I got enough to fill two 50 cal ammo boxes with ingots for $5.
    Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering Kaboom.

    Marvin the Martian

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    Boolit Master & Generous Contributor

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    I got enough to fill two 50 cal ammo boxes with ingots for $5.
    Now that's a deal that none of us could pass up.
    If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.
    Samuel Adams

    Sam

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadeye View Post
    Going to sales is the cheapest route. I pick up pewter at home sales and odds and ends at industrial ones
    Just not sure how to spot something as tin or pewter. I picked up some "pewter" at a sale once, ended up being brass with a pewter dip. Uggh. Any tips on how to spot whats what?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Gunslinger's Avatar
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    I've had good luck at thrift shops. We have one in town I visit on a regular basis. I'm usually able to charm the two old ladies who work there into some good discounts

    They had a 50% off last week... this is what I scored for $5:

    Soup ladle
    Ladle for skimming
    Cast iron wok
    4 lbs (yes 4 ) of tin in the shape of old vases and bowls...

    Pretty good day. I had a friend with me, I don't ever think he'd seen anyone get so excited over 7 old tin bowls and some throw-away kitchen equipment
    The artist formerly known as Wiking

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    I've had good luck at thrift shops. We have one in town I visit on a regular basis. I'm usually able to charm the two old ladies who work there into some good discounts

    They had a 50% off last week... this is what I scored for $5:

    Soup ladle
    Ladle for skimming
    Cast iron wok
    4 lbs (yes 4 ) of tin in the shape of old vases and bowls...

    Pretty good day. I had a friend with me, I don't ever think he'd seen anyone get so excited over 7 old tin bowls and some throw-away kitchen equipment

    Any tips on spotting real pewter or at least what to watch out for?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepdog View Post
    Any tips on spotting real pewter or at least what to watch out for?
    Well... the vases and bowls around here are mostly stamped "Tin" on the back. I even have one stamped "Pewter". We also get a lot from Norway which is stamped "Tinn". When I come across items without stamps I usually ask the old ladies running the shop, they're pretty good at recognizing tin

    Tin bends easilly and is usually pretty dull. Never seen it polished tin. If I'm not quite sure if it's tin or not, I just pay the $2 - $3 for it and ask my pops when I get home... he usually knows.
    The artist formerly known as Wiking

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Try a radiator shop for the drippings of solder.

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    I've got one of those 8x10' metal storage sheds I'm going to take apart and put by the curb. Any chance it has tin?

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    Metal sheds are often referred to as tin, but are actually painted or galvanized steel(try a magnet). Babbit metal is a source of tin, between 20 and 80%.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by glicerin View Post
    Metal sheds are often referred to as tin, but are actually painted or galvanized steel(try a magnet). Babbit metal is a source of tin, between 20 and 80%.
    Where does one find Babbitt metal these days though? Thought it was pretty much non-existent these days?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Well if you want pure, I can't help... but as I just said in another post, buying rolls of 95/5 solder is always an option. I was fortunate enough to hit a hardware store going out of business and bought everything at half price or less, so a bunch of the 95/5 solder for $1.25 each. That's mainly tin, and some antimony to boot.

    Even at full price you should be able to get it for $3.50-$4 per roll, still a lot better than buying pure virgin tin at $10 per pound.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    How do you guys tell if a plate is pewter?

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    I see stuff made out of tin in thrift stores all the time, problem is, its usually copper plated. One time I was using a copper spoon to skim took me a wile to figure out why my mix had gold stuff on the top. The copper skims of well, it might make sence to just melt down the cheap tin home wears.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Ask at the radiator shops. I scored about 150 lbs of scrap from their tanks last year. It made about 90 lbs of 50/50 ingots - lots of sand and dross. The owner was glad to get rid of it.

    Don

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgul View Post
    Ask at the radiator shops. I scored about 150 lbs of scrap from their tanks last year. It made about 90 lbs of 50/50 ingots - lots of sand and dross. The owner was glad to get rid of it.

    Don
    Is that pure tin? If not than what does it contain? And what excatly should I ask for?
    The artist formerly known as Wiking

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Sorry I wasn't more specific. It is the solder that drops into their water tank. It is 50/50 tin/lead solder.

    Usually is full of dirt and debris, so I would recommend casting it into ingots first. That way you have an idea how much tin you are adding to your alloy.

    Don

    P.S.-They may want YOU to clean it out of the tanks.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Gunslinger:

    Here is what the cleaned "drippings" look like from the radiator shop tank. A 75 pound bucket of the "sludge" produced 22 pounds of nice 60/40 ingots shown in the second photo. It is a very messy/stinky operation and you need to use caution because of the volatized antifreeze !

    You also end up with 50-60 pounds of "****" leftover !

    Jerry



    S&W .38/44 Outdoorsman Accumulator

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Gunslinger's Avatar
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    GLL.

    Thanks for the pictures. I know where there is a radiator shop here in town. Have seen them mentioned before in connection with tin.... I think it's worth checking out. With the small amout of tin needed, one visit should last me years...
    The artist formerly known as Wiking

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Bert2368's Avatar
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    The definition of "junk" is something you thow out two weeks before you realize you need it. Guess what- I threw out better than 50 lb. of sheet Tin that had been used as weather stripping at a 1920's apartment building. They had double hung windows, and on their vertical sides the wooden sashes had grooves that ran on V shaped strips of Tin which were tacked to the frames. All removed for new style energy efficient windows, I kept the parts for some other buildings with the same hardware. Definitely pure Tin, I checked with a magnet and confirmed by the old window & door guys replacing the windows. Kept a barrel of them for years, threw them away when I ran out of storage.

    Annyway, ask companies that retrofit windows in old buildings...

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