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Buying scrap lead question ...

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Just curious .... I've hoarded quite a bit of lead but wouldnt mind having more . I asked the local junk yards about lead and they were more than willing to sell me it cheap but its 5 gallon buckets full of wheel weights ....and for the life of me I just could not get them to understand I want pure lead ....so , my question ...where do folks find lead these days ? What do I ask for other than lead ? Back in the day it was lead water pipes but that isn't a thing anymore , at least around here ....perhaps car batteries ? but I've never stripped a battery for its lead plates before , and it sounds like a nasty if not dangerous job .....Are there any other things that I am missing that would have enough lead it in them to make them worth obtaining for making round ball ? Thanks .....
 
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Tire shops.

Stick on wheel weight are pure lead.

The curved wheel weights used on old imports are very soft lead. Find repair shops that's specialize in old cars with steel/welded wheels.

If you're casting balls, this type of lead is perfectly fine. I cast my .58 minnies from it and they work well.
 
If you are buying a bucket of tire shop wheel weights take a moment and look over what's in the bucket. Some weights are steel and some zinc. A buddy owns a tire shop and I was asking just the other day. The warning came from him. He told me on average, the bucket is about 50% useable lead.
 
Tire shops.

Stick on wheel weight are pure lead.

The curved wheel weights used on old imports are very soft lead. Find repair shops that's specialize in old cars with steel/welded wheels.

If you're casting balls, this type of lead is perfectly fine. I cast my .58 minnies from it and they work well.
I did forget about the stick on ones ....and i used to work at a tire shop ! Ill ask the guys st the local tire shop.....thx
 
If you are buying a bucket of tire shop wheel weights take a moment and look over what's in the bucket. Some weights are steel and some zinc. A buddy owns a tire shop and I was asking just the other day. The warning came from him. He told me on average, the bucket is about 50% useable lead.
Yeah , I used to collect wheel weights when I shot a LOT of .38 special ... I doubt I'll take them up on the wheel weights ....just want pure lead for the .62 round ball ....thx
 
I scour scrap yards, craigslist, and talk to roofers. It helps that my father in law owns a roofing company! Sheet lead and vents from roofs are the best, but lead pipes if you do find some are great too. Those types of lead usually have some tin solder on some of it so cut that off and save for harder alloys if you want it to be really soft. I have several sources and once they get to know you and what you're looking for they generally will start putting stuff to the side for you. This is what I did today, 193 lbs!
IMG_20230325_150955_tmp.jpg
IMG_20230325_184714.jpg
 
Anything that burns acts as a flux and that's a good thing for cleaning lead.

I dump my wheel weights into a pot and turn up the heat.

Whatever cigarette butts and paper and tape and ho-ho wrappers and tobacco spit that's in there gets cooked and charred and skimmed off.

A lot of timidity and really poor advice floating around on the internet about wheel weights.
 
Just keep in mind, NOT ALL stick-on weights are pure lead. I work in a small Harley shop. We can’t get pure lead in NJ anymore, so a lot of weights are steel. The factory weights on the bikes are stamped zinc. So I make sure I save all the old pure lead weights when I change a tire.

Otherwise, my local scrapyard still has a fair amount of roofing lead and old plumbing pipe.
 
Just keep in mind, NOT ALL stick-on weights are pure lead. I work in a small Harley shop. We can’t get pure lead in NJ anymore, so a lot of weights are steel. The factory weights on the bikes are stamped zinc. So I make sure I save all the old pure lead weights when I change a tire.

Otherwise, my local scrapyard still has a fair amount of roofing lead and old plumbing pipe.
The rarely seen stick-on weights that don't bend, AKA steel/zinc, will float to the surface and can be skimmed off.

You get less than .5% antimony in the curved/molded clip on wheel weights. Fine for balls.

The highly bendable soft malleable small square stick on types are fine for bullets and minnies.

And it's all free. If you don't figure in the box of doughnuts for the shop crew as a little thank you.
 
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When possible, look around for junk or scrap sailboats. Depending on how much you would like to stockpile you may hit the motherload in one boat. The keel is typically full of lead.
I have 150 pounds of sailboat ballast in 50 pound blocks.

100 pounds was pure lead.

50 pounds had 4.5% antimony. Add 5% tin and you get Lyman #2ish.

Roto-Metals will test your lead for 50 bucks last time I checked. And provide a report.
 
Just curious .... I've hoarded quite a bit of lead but wouldnt mind having more . I asked the local junk yards about lead and they were more than willing to sell me it cheap but its 5 gallon buckets full of wheel weights ....and for the life of me I just could not get them to understand I want pure lead ....so , my question ...where do folks find lead these days ? What do I ask for other than lead ? Back in the day it was lead water pipes but that isn't a thing anymore , at least around here ....perhaps car batteries ? but I've never stripped a battery for its lead plates before , and it sounds like a nasty if not dangerous job .....Are there any other things that I am missing that would have enough lead it in them to make them worth obtaining for making round ball ? Thanks .....
Poured joints from cast iron pipes
 
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