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Thread: Storing lead

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold tlawler's Avatar
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    Storing lead

    Hi folks. I知 brand new here after some of my buds over at the S&W forum suggested I join. I just bought a rather large lot of new and used equipment that included ingoted lead. I知 still getting everything set up before I start casting, but I need to consolidate the ingots to maximize space. I知 planning on storing them on a wood shelf in a garage , so 90degrees at 90% hum is standard. I知 just going to stack the ingots on the shelf to about 10 high. Shelf is lowest to floor, so weight won稚 be a problem. My question is: should I line the shelf with something and do I need to keep the lead covered? It will be at the opposite corner from my house a/c system.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
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    I store my tons of lead in the open outside ( not much rain in AZ), in 5 gallon plastic buckets, under the bench, in coffee cans, small Sn ingots in Tupperware-like containers for ease of access - - - just about anywhere I have space that is convenient.

    It's NOT gonna spoil so covering it is not needed. Try to protect it from lots of moisture because PbO2 will form (that white powder on the surface) and that stuff is the hazardous materials everybody is concerned about.

    If that is 3/4" plywood, you should be OK for 10-12 inches. It is amazing just how much a few dozen ingots of Pb can weigh! I hauled home 100 2# ingots given to me in the back of the SUV.....had to unload in 3 separate plastic buckets! That's over 200# in that small area.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Unless those ingots are unusually uniform in size, you might want to rethink it a bit. 10 high is not going to be very stable and once it tips, you may regret that plan. If you are not going to alternate the direction of each layer so they interlock, I would suggest you go perhaps 4-5 high, then a sheet of plywood or 1x wood and then start a fresh layer from a firm level surface. I would also suggest that you make your stacks wide side to side and deep front to back. This will spread out the weight so you do not crack a slab of concrete, and have a stable stack that will be less likely to fall over. Use care to spread out the PSI to avoid problems.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I have several 5 gal. buckets about 1/2 full and they're pushed up against the wall under my workbench.
    As long as the concentrated weight isn't a problem, and they stay dry-- anything will work.

    As far as liners & covers:
    It's reminds me when a guy told me one time as I was taking too long moving some rocks more gently than I needed to.
    He told me, "They're already dead, you ain't going to hurt 'em".
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    I also use buckets but my wife gets me small ones as a 5gal pail of lead ingots might as well be a ton cause aint no one gonna move it!!

    So she gets me 1 & 2.5 gal buckets. (She is a baker so many fillings and such come in them. Meaning ALL smell delicious too. I clear space and store them under my casting bench. Then I have also installed bracing between the studs of the garage wall behind my bench tor more ingots eaisly reachable without bending over or reaching. These braces become little shelves for maybe 10-15 ingots. Labeled for the alloy, it works well For me.

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Mold tlawler's Avatar
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    Yes, it is 3/4 and there is a middle brace that runs down the middle the full length of shelving. It痴 good and dry in that spot and slightly elevated in case of minor flooding.

    Ingots are all Lee of the same size and shape, except six muffin tin ingots.

    With the lining, I was worried about the bottom layer getting stuck to the wood. I didn稚 want to have to pry them off with bits of shelf stuck to them when I reached the bottom layer. And something that wouldn稚 stick to the lead. I致e got a piece of plexiglas that I was thinking of using.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have never seen lead stick to wood so I wouldn't worry about it. I had ingots sitting in the garage on the sill plate between the studs for at least 15 years. Moved them all last year and no problems. If you stack them one up one down so they interlock you can stack them pretty high. A slight pyramid shape to the stack helps also.

    When you start making casting alloys you will want to mark and separate them. I have separate stacks for wheel weight (ww), pure lead (PB), Range scrap (RS), 50/50+2 (ww, PB, and 2% tin) and a few more. The abbreviations are how I mark the ingots.

    Don't over think this. A lot of things work, so there isn't always just one correct answer. Most important is have fun.

    PS if you haven't read this it's a good read.

    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_textonly2.pdf

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    CastingFool's Avatar
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    I store my lead ingots in used paint cans. The sealed lids help prevent oxidation and the cans only hold about 45 lbs, so they're easy to move, when needed.

  9. #9
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    you will need to separate the lead by hardness using pencils is the easiest/most economical way https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...-testing-trick, permanently marking the ingots. ( we use felt marker and number stamps taped together to more the lead.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Worry about the weight. The environment isn't an issue.

    I wouldn't store them under water (though you could) but exposure to the elements isn't going to bother them. You've never seen a rusty sinker, right?

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    In garage on the floor up against a wall by Magic marked Bhn alloy . won稚 go anywhere and out of the way
    Regards
    John

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    i store my muffin ingots in a small metal trash cans,PL,RL AND ww

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I store lead on a concrete floor of a large metal building where it stays cleaner than outside. Worry more about lead falling on your foot, weather doesn't bother it, used in plumbing for hundreds of years.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    I have 2 milk crates, 1pure, 1 coww. In a dry storage space. Have other, pure, flattened pipe or old ingot my Dad cast. It's all good.
    Last edited by gbrown; 07-25-2021 at 11:37 PM.
    One of my father's favorite statements: "If I say a chicken dips snuff, look under his wing for the snuffbox" How I was raised, who I am.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master bruce381's Avatar
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    5 gallon pail half full on garage floor out of the way easy mark the pails with what alloy.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    I store my ingots on the cement floor but I turn the first set of ingots up side down and then lattice stack them correct side up. That way I can get the last ingots off the floor easier. If storing alloy our side or in a garage remember those ingots will be colder then ingots stored in 76 deg room and wont behave the same when added to a hot pot of alloy.
    Happy casting.

  17. #17
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    Bit of advice. Those lead ingots get heavier over time. Just saying be ready when you have to move them again

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    I store mine in bolt barrels. I say barrels but they are bit bigger than a 5 gallon bucket and are 6 or 7 inches taller with a metal clamp band to seal.
    I have 3 of these bolt 'kegs' and they are packed as full as I can get them. I have certain alloys in .50 cal ammo cans. I use whatever I can find to keep the rain out.
    I store mine outside.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Store mine in the garage and some in my reloading room in plastic coffee cans. Almost all are muffin tin ingots and a coffee can will hold 30# +. For what I cast now that is a bit over 1K bullets per can, and usually run through a full can in a casting session. Don't stack more than two high as I am not sure how much weight the lowest can will tolerate. Do have a stash of corn mold ingots in SFRB's, the boxes are holding up well stacked 5 high.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWolf View Post
    Bit of advice. Those lead ingots get heavier over time. Just saying be ready when you have to move them again
    Absolutely true. I'm 84 now and can hardly move an ammo can full.

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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