Make Friends With A Roofer

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Oregononeshot

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A good friend just started his own plumbing business. I told him to keep an eye out for lead that's headed for the trash. He called me last week said he ripped out a ton of cast pipe with lead at the joints. Great news is that my father-in-law is the contractor for the job. Called him and told him to keep the pipe I'm gonna get the lead out. The other day he brought over 75 lbs of lead, score! He had one of his workers do the hard work for me!
 

fleener

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So I got to ask. I see it all the time. Why do people take lead, melt it down into ingots? Why go to that extra step? Why dont you simply take the bigger piece and cast balls or bullets when you heat it up for the first time?

When I cast I almost always add tin to make my bullets harder. I take my lead pipe or larger pieces, cut off hunks melt it in the pot. I know when I get to a certain point I have around 20 lbs of lead in the pot. I then know how much tin to add to the mix.

Why the extra step? OCD?

Thanks

Fleener
 

Woodnbow

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So I got to ask. I see it all the time. Why do people take lead, melt it down into ingots? Why go to that extra step? Why dont you simply take the bigger piece and cast balls or bullets when you heat it up for the first time?

When I cast I almost always add tin to make my bullets harder. I take my lead pipe or larger pieces, cut off hunks melt it in the pot. I know when I get to a certain point I have around 20 lbs of lead in the pot. I then know how much tin to add to the mix.

Why the extra step? OCD?

Thanks

Fleener
I’m mildly OCD and I do it your way... but it’s been a while since the scrap I have access to was anything but pure lead and very clean at that. I used to just buy the alloys when I was casting magnum pistol loads. I’m not as frugal as some folks are.
 

Eric Krewson

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My salvaged leaf is always dirty, most of it is in the form of lead projectiles I pick up at a range that only allows BP shooters. I throw it in the pot mud and all, clean off the dross and flux multiple times to have a nice chunk of clean lead.
casting bullets 007.JPG

lead stockpile 002.JPG
 

Kansas Jake

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I often take lead from the range or other sources and melt it and clean it before pouring into a muffin tin to make ingots. When done, it takes up less space. Fleener, I at times will also clean it and just go to casting from the pot rather than making ingots. usually I clean the stuff that is really dirty and has lots of dross or if range lead clean out the copper and other leftover stuff. I generally save the range lead that is a mix of bullets for unmentionable bullets. Plumbers lead, roofing lead and other soft lead goes into round balls.
 

Melnic

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Nice score!

When using my pot, its easier to just put in small disks of good clean lead (just like Erik there in post #7). When I'm molding , I don't want to have to stop as often to pull out impurities.
Wheel weight lead and dive weights, I've run in a bigger pot and put in the beeswax to pull the junk to the top, then pour into muffin tins.
In order to get consistency, I use a lee hardness tester and mark the tops of the lead muffins.

I want the pure stuff for my round balls and the harder stuff for pills for "unmentionables" or fishing weights.

The little disks drop into my lee pot nicely and I can add the lead when closer to full so the temp stays more consistent. Once again, when I'm molding I'm molding. When I'm sifting out impurities I'm doing that.

I have a bunch of lead that I got cheap from someone who gets it from a constant source of pure lead.
 

fleener

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I have never used dirty lead before. Several years ago I bought quite a bit of pure lead that came from Doe Run smelter. Those came in 5, 5 lb ingots that are all attached in a strip and I still have a few hundred pounds of that left. I also have been using lately some 1.5" lead pipe that was used as some type of shielding that is very clean. I just cut off 8" long piece of the pipe and put in my pot, or 5 lb ingots at a time.

Fleener
 

dave951

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I've used roofing lead in minies and it's done ok. There is a salvage yard near me that usually has x-ray room lead. It's darn clean for salvage and close to pure.
 

WRustyLane

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Yep. I do pretty much what you guys do. Someone gave me some dead soft lead and I use that for my .490 round balls and use the wheel weights (melted, cleaned and in ingots) for my regular pistol and rifle bullets (boolits-that's what they call 'em on another site I belong to). When I'm casting I usually take some extra time to cast my .490 round balls.
 
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It’s late and I’m drunk off a fifth of tequila so when I read the title I thought it said “make friends with a ROOSTER” LOL!!! :D
 

Redstick Lee

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I hope all this great cast iron i'm seeing has the word LEAD carved into it somewhere......so people stumbling across it in the future dont re-season it and poison their families.
 

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