Author Topic: scrap lead question  (Read 5651 times)

Offline wvmtnman

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scrap lead question
« on: August 03, 2008, 06:07:09 PM »
I have come across a great deal of scrap lead.  It is old lead pipes and roof flashing. I don't have a tester but it seems really soft.  The only problem is that it is really dirty.  Should I melt this and skim it in a different pot or would it be OK to wire brush it off and melt down in the Lee furnace?  (The pipes have scale inside)
                                                                              Thanks, Brian
B. Lakatos

Offline Dphariss

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2008, 06:15:04 PM »
Just melt it. I melt scrap lead in an old cast iron skillet to get it somewhat cleaner then make it into ingots that will fit my lead pot. Pipe and flashing or other sheet lead should be good stuff.
Scrap lead is high now, .80 a pound or so where I live.

Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Offline Acorn Mush

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2008, 08:50:25 PM »
Congratulations on your scrap lead deal!

Prior to melting it down, I would suggest you remove as much dirt and scale as you can. It will make for much less skimming work. Just thump those old pipes on a hard surface, tap the outsides with a ballpeen hammer, or rod them out some way to get out all the crud you can.

Don't be concerned about wether or not the lead is soft enough. Flashing and plumbing pipes (and cable sheathing, if you can find any of it) was typically made out of pure, or nearly pure lead. I have shot lots of balls made out of such salvaged lead and it was all as soft as you please. You can depend on the ol' fingernail scratch test as a good indicator.

Good luck.
Consectatio pro excellentia in mediocris

ironwolf

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2008, 09:35:19 PM »
 Yea, definitely pre-melt it and pour of into ingots as Dan says.  It's better to use only your cleanest stuff in your electric furnace, as you must be thinking already.

  KW

BrownBear

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2008, 09:44:01 PM »
You'll go nuts trying to recover that quantity of lead in a small pot.  For big jobs I use a cast iron dutch oven on a Coleman stove outdoors.  Skim the dross and ladle the melt into 1 pound ingot moulds.  Those are really handy for storage and even feeding into a 20 pound or even 10 pound electic lead smelter. 

Congrats!

sluggunner

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2008, 10:27:06 PM »
Brian,
 Tried to send you an E mail which came back. Is your profile up to date?
                                                                      Rich

Offline wvmtnman

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2008, 04:06:29 AM »
Thanks for the info guys.  When I happened on to this place yesterday I only had $70 dollars with me and they did not take plastic, so I only brought home 92 pounds. They are selling it for 75 cents per pound.   They have a box that was 4ft x 4ft, about 3 feet deep with scrap lead.  All of the lead was sheeting and lead pipes.  I am going back pay day and getting a couple hundred pounds.   I have had a very difficult time finding lead around here.
 The pipes are about 2.5 inches in diameter and are soft enough that you can bend them back and forth a few times then tear them apart.  The sheets are about 3/16 thick and tear the same way.

(Sluggunner my email is correct now.)
                                                                  Thanks,Brain
B. Lakatos

Offline Centershot

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2008, 12:49:13 AM »
I love flashing and old pipe. It makes great round balls. Wash it off before you melt it down. While in the pot, drop a small piece of beeswax into the lead and stir it, all the garbage will come to the top. I use an old spoon and heavy leather gloves.

Centershot

Offline BJH

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2008, 01:34:11 AM »
 Please be EXTREMELY CAREFUL about any moisture contamination with scrap lead!!!  Just the least bit of moisture and you will have a superheated steam explosion in your lead pot splattering you and your whole shop with molten lead!  All my scrap lead laagers in my garage at least a year or so before I get around to making a bunch of ingots, just to reduce any chance of moisture issues. Check the archives under " Stoopid Hurts".  Also I melt my lead into the clean up pot with tongs and a torch now so I am not immersing the scrap into the molten lead in the pot. Sounds a bit paranoid? 6 weeks of healing  from lead burns set me straight.
BJH

Offline BJH

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2008, 01:44:56 AM »
Center shot, Just the thought of washing scrap lead as a prep for melting in to Ingots makes my hair stand straight up.  Sooner or later the melter WILL run into a moisture issue and the resulting splatter and pain. Clean the lead up with a wire brush or something please not water.  LOL 
BJH

Offline Dphariss

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2008, 05:55:32 PM »
I love flashing and old pipe. It makes great round balls. Wash it off before you melt it down. While in the pot, drop a small piece of beeswax into the lead and stir it, all the garbage will come to the top. I use an old spoon and heavy leather gloves.

Centershot
I do not wash (unless recovered bullets with earth on them), brush or otherwise stir up the oxides on the lead. I just melt it and flux.
As stated water and molten lead is very very bad.

Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Offline Centershot

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Re: scrap lead question
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2008, 03:10:47 AM »
You are all very correct. You should never add water to lead. I've washed lots of lead before use but made sure it was very dry before dropping it into the pot.

The only way you'll have problems is adding wet lead to an already molten pot.

If the pot is cool any moisture on the lead will evaporate before the lead reaches temperature.

Wire brushing lead with oxide on it can cause the oxide to go airborne where it can be breathed, not a good idea.

See my earlier post under shot making.

Centershot