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Thread: Lead Weight & Storage

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Lead Weight & Storage

    I swear, I tried to find an answer on this using search, and I couldn't.

    I have a bunch of lead, mainly in Linotype and cut-offs of pure lead in sheet form that I'm told came from a lead garment manufacturer.

    Currently I have them in those heavy cardboard boxes that gallon water jugs come in, and they are resting on rolling carts, which is fine as long as they just sit there.


    Here's my problem...

    I'm moving this fall and I need to put the lead in storage, but those cardboard boxes will fall apart if I try to move them at all.


    So basically, I need to transfer them to something that I can store them, that is stackable for reasonably compact storage, sturdy enough to be moved around without falling apart, and small enough that the weight is manageable for people who are NOT the Incredible Hulk. And hopefully not inconveniently expensive.


    Probably something in the 50 to 100 pound range when filled would make a reasonable compromise between being light enough to lift, versus having a ridiculous number of containers.

    I have considered storage bins, 1 gallon metal paint cans, ammo cans, plastic paint buckets of 5 gallons or less. (not filled all the way of course)


    It occurs to me that y'all might have some suggestions based on experience, and save me a lot of experimenting. So... What would you suggest for storage containers?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    They'll split over time, but 5 gal. paint buckets filled about half way work for me.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    gmsharps's Avatar
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    Military ammo cans work for me. 30 cal if weight is an issue 50 cal cans weigh in at about 100 lbs or so. They stack well and little if no no oxidation.

    Gmsharps

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    dondiego's Avatar
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    I have a lot of stuff in 5 gallon buckets and plastic milk crates. If you overload them they will eventually fail. They are plastic after all. If you keep the weight down they work well. The old metal frame milk crates are the best as are wooden boxes.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    If you decide to use plastic 5 gallon buckets, cut a disc of plywood or OSB to form a solid insert within the bucket. Put in about 50 pounds of ingots and then the insert. This prevents the ingots from piercing the bottom of the bucket above as you stack the nested buckets 2or 3 buckets high. Put a plastic lid on the top bucket. Good to go, and can be moved as desired without hurting ones self.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    1 cubic foot of lead weights 708# solid.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    StuBach's Avatar
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    I’m a fan of free. Why not just use usps if it fits it ships boxes and tape them closed with packing take for structure? If you’re using ingots (especially CB ingots) you can fit 20-25 pounds in a small if it fits it ships box. Smaller and lighter so takes a little more moving but makes things super easy.




    Could also look for these jigsaw boxes that one of our member uses. Their closed with band straps but very sturdy. I believe the members name was “Chu” but I bought these iso cores from him years ago so I could be wrong.


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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I am sure those USPS SFRB's are very handy for storage and packing material. I see that in 2010 the rate was $4.85 and a recent shipment cost me $8.45. I am sure that this was all just an increase in the postage and had nothing to do with the extra expense of providing those free boxes.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Milk crates. Dry wall mud pails,

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Bakeries have a lot of used 5 gallon plastic buckets in the trash. Stored indoors, away from UV light, they last a long time. I have a number of them that have been filled to the brim with range scrap ingots for between 9 and 14 years. None have split yet.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Hi, StuBach ;^].

    Those boxes were given to me by friends who ordered from the Acme Bullet Co, who ship their boxed bullets inside USPS MFRB's. When I ran out it wasn't too hard to make boxes of similar size out of scrap ply. Mine were butt instead of box jointed, but the combination of 1" staples and shipping straps (the straps are also used by Acme) seems enough for storage of 60 odd pounds of loose boolits.

    The boxes can hold 50-55# of lead containers, which are mostly empty space. I believe they're strong enough to hold a greater weight of ingots, especially if the box is constructed with the tops and bottoms having the sides sandwiched between, rather than the other way around. The straps are extra insurance in case the staples pull out, but are mainly for the rougher conditions of shipping.

    Costco bakeries use a lot of icing and fillings that come in two gallon buckets, that they'll sometimes give away for the asking (try to get the fitted lids too). They're strong enough to hold the lead, like imashooter2 said, though I'm less sure that the plastic handles are strong tenough to lift by. 25# of brass, though, is no problem in my experience.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Never lift a plastic bucket of lead by the handle. When it comes off, if you’re lucky it only scrapes up your shin. If you’re unlucky it breaks your foot or toes.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    If you are interested in using the 5 gallon buckets check new construction in your area. When they start drywalling the buckets usually end up in the trash.

    As stated less then half a bucket tends to be VERY HEAVY. When I was doing range scrap 2/5's of a bucket was about the max I wanted to lift into my truck.

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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use milk crates...but I use the old metal ones. I find them at yard sales, flea markets, garage sales, etc. I have over 800 ingots in 7 milk cases. They are hard to move but are very sturdy. But I like the idea of the free postal cardboard boxes.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I'm with Winger Ed, only in my case I mostly use 4 gallon cat litter buckets, they are square, stack better. Still only half full, but they are designed for 40 lb piles of scoopable cat liter. So they take the load better IMO with more comfortable handles. I'll stack 2 or 3 together, lid on the top one to keep out dust and debris.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use 20mm ammo cans that I modified by adding a piece of rebar under the ends so you can pick them up with a hand truck. Do not fill them completely full if you have a cheap hand truck.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Milk crates, plastic buckets, ammo cans. All of these will work. As mentioned, only partly fill these. A full milk crate full of stacked ingots weighs over 700#. A full 5 gallon bucket level full may weigh 150#.

    I find the occasional milk crate on the road side. I get 5 gallon buckets from my farmer friends, that oil comes in. I saw about 50 buckets stacked near a dumpster behind a local BBQ joint recently.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch-1 View Post
    If you are interested in using the 5 gallon buckets check new construction in your area. When they start drywalling the buckets usually end up in the trash.

    As stated less then half a bucket tends to be VERY HEAVY. When I was doing range scrap 2/5's of a bucket was about the max I wanted to lift into my truck.

    And just to let you know, the picture on the left is not an avatar it is actually a picture of me.

    You should change your avatar to a more recent pic of yourself, you were way less hairy back then.

    I use 5 gallon buckets with ingots made in a muffin pan semi-neatly stacked. I put around 75 lbs in each one so I can lift them, then stack them 5 or so buckets high, which I can move with my hand truck or lift one off the stack as needed.
    Word of caution when sourcing buckets from a construction sight, the one with the lid on it may have a surprise in it, they make good makeshift toilets in an emergency.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    30cal ammo cans. Not exactly cheap at $7 each, but very convenient for things line monotype and linotype that aren’t in ingots.

  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for the input everyone. I particularly liked the one about the USPS cardboard box, though I did want to stay away from cardboard for durability reasons.

    Also, I was accidentally unclear... Nothing is actually processed, except for a few small weights that are ingot-ish. The rest is either pieces of linotype or rolled up sheets.

    Anyway, I decided on these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Obviously, I can't fill them to capacity, but I can probably fill them half way, they should stack well, and they weren't excessively expensive.

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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