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Dorado

Lead sources?

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I've heard that it is a bad idea to use lead from car batteries for casting bullets. Why? Is it the fumes? If that's all then is it possible to just set the melting pot out away from the house and let it burn off before casting? I'd like to know, I'm running out of lead and I'm having trouble getting more.

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NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Unless yer a commercial smelter with all the proper "stuff", yer lookin for big, potentially fatal problems. Trade yer batteries for WW or pipe lead at a scrap yard.

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Battery lead has other stuff in it that is not good for us. It will effect your health and can ruin your molds.

 

Go to your local recycler and ask about lead cable shielding.

If you go with wheel weights make sure they are lead and not zinc or iron.

 

Or order bullet alloy. Rotometals has several different bullet alloy mixes. It's not cheap. $2.59/pound for standard hard ball alloy. High for other mixes.

 

Cash your batteries out to a company that handles batteries.

As a commercial caster, I do not have the means to make battery lead usable. It's just not worth it.

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Well thanks for the replies. I was about to set a pot out in the yard and let it go. But I'll call up one of the battery centers here and see if they can help me instead.

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Go to a range and get some. If'n you need to make range lead softer, smelt it of its inpurities and don't add alloy. I use very soft lead that I smelt from range scrap bullet lead and everything shotos jsut fine at CAS velocities. Also do Lee cast "pure lead" slugs with such lead.

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I always bought mine from plumbing suppliers, not a general hardware store, but an authentic plumbing company. The lead came in 5-lb ingots. I did this 4-5 years for C&B and my .58 cal Springfields.

I know that several molders in my area go to the better metal scrapyards and buy different grades of lead scrap.

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Spent several years rebuilding fork lift batteries--they're just a enermous car battery--lead/acid make up-----Sulfuric acid does a lot of wierd things to the lead plates in a battery cell--the fumes that would be given off when melting lead cell plates could be fatal to breath & extremly corrosive to equipment! Also sulfuric acid when heated gives off Hydrogen gas that is extremely explosive-the plates WILL have absorbed acid into them!!! DON'T do it!!!

Most of what you say here is an understatement - playing with lead from batteries is down right lethal! I do not believe lead

plates absorb anything - they're rather non-porous. The lead does sulphate, and that will play hell on any lead alloy you want

to cook up, not to mention all the other poisonous gasses you will be tampering with when you do this.

 

In general: stay the hell away from battery lead . . .. :rolleyes:

 

Shadow Catcher

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If you can find a teleco cherrypicker driving around, ask him if he's got any scrap cable lead. The old cable was sleaved in dead soft lead in the older sections of a city. They're always working on that stuff.

 

 

TF

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Probably not available very often, but a local cowboy just picked up 750 lbs of lead from an External Beam Radiation machine that was being replaced.

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About the time I read this my father showed up with about 40 pounds of wheel weights. Now my problem is figuring out what is lead and what is zinc. How do I do that?

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I've heard that it is a bad idea to use lead from car batteries for casting bullets. Why? Is it the fumes? If that's all then is it possible to just set the melting pot out away from the house and let it burn off before casting? I'd like to know, I'm running out of lead and I'm having trouble getting more.

 

 

Season is winding down; I've got about only 400 rounds left. I'm a bit on the conservative side so I'm looking for sources of free lead before Spring.

 

At work I've been tripping over an old car battery. Been laying in the warehouse for about a year...hmmmm.

 

Now some Cowpokes caution against recycling car batteries because of hazardous materials like sulfuric acid. Well Cowpokes shoot guns, handle lead bullets, smoke, drink alcoholic beverages and drive Fords which ain't the safest ether, so why not recycle the lead from car batteries ask I?

 

So I hoisted that car battery up on Gray and took it back to the ranch.

 

Took the fill caps off the top and drained the sulfuric acid. For proper disposal of sulfuric you will need to fill out Federal Environmental Protection Agency, State Board of Health, County Health forms and notify the local Fire and Police departments. DO NOT DISPOSE SULFURIC ACID BY DUMPING ON THE GROUND!

 

The wife has been treating all the neighborhood stray cats for worms. I've noticed that the worm medicine is so strong, that the grass dies where the cats recycle their food intake (poop). And if you ignore my "DO NOT DISPOSE SULFURIC ACID BY DUMPING ON THE GROUND!" you will not be able to convince nobody (especially my wife) that it was the cat's worm medicine poop that has killed off her flower garden and ate thru the steel water line to the house. Trust me on this one.

 

Then using cold water (after water line is repaired) to flush any remaining sulfuric acid from the battery. Contain all rinse water and dispose of per Federal Environmental Protection Agency, State Board of Health, County Health Fire and Police departments' guidelines. Dumping the rinse water into a ditch will kill most of the neighbor pets, all vegetation down stream for 2 miles and will also lead to a very difficult explanation to the arresting Officers.

 

After bonding out of the calaboose I used a hacksaw and tried to cut the plastic case off. Don't use you favorite hacksaw, better yet borrow one from an anti-gun neighbor because no matter how well your rinsed the sulfuric acid out of the battery, the hacksaw ain't going to be worth much when done.

 

Using a butane torch to burn off the plastic case off works but make sure you stand up wind. Boiling sulfuric acid residual mixed with plastic case fumes all blowing down wind has the tendency to kill shrubbery and the rest of the neighborhood pets, including gold fish in indoor aquariums. When the Federal Carpet Baggers arrived, suggesting that it was a terrorist act will keep your bond from being revoked. Trust me on this one.

 

Fire up your outdoor melting pot and start throwing sections of the battery in. After burning up a half tank of LP you will noticed that in between every 6 wafers is a substance that will not burn or melt and sucks up the heat. Manually remove this substance. After 6 hours (not counting jail time) I have ¼" of lead covered by a 1" of dross in the melting pot. My cost breaks down to:

 

Butane torch fuel $2.

Refill LP tank $22.

Flower garden replacement: $247.13

Repair of water line: $785.54

Bond Agent: $500.

 

Total is $1,556.67 for about a pound of lead. Cost does not include pending lawsuits or gold fish replacement.

 

My conclusion is using car batteries for a source of lead is viable. I've got most of the remains of one battery left and if pressed I can leave it go for $2 or $3 thousand dollars. I figure at that price I'll enough to recoup my costs with some left over to skip the territory.

 

I'd suggest you'd have better luck with wheel weights. You can get them free at any Wal-Mart parking lot, around 2 AM when their Security is lax...

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I'd suggest you'd have better luck with wheel weights. You can get them free at any Wal-Mart parking lot, around 2 AM when their Security is lax...[/size][/font]

 

Funny thing, I've got a "friend" that likes to mess with my truck. So as revenge I took all of the weights off of his car. Took him and his mechanic a week to figure out what was wrong. Since then he's never touched my truck. :D

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About the time I read this my father showed up with about 40 pounds of wheel weights. Now my problem is figuring out what is lead and what is zinc. How do I do that?

 

Zinc weights have a small ZN cast into the surface. Zinc weights ring when dropped; lead weights go thunk. Zinc weights can't be scratched with your fingernail if you try hard; lead weights can. When you are smelting, the zinc weights melt at about 900 F rather than 800 F. So, if you are paying attention, skim off the weights that don't melt as fast as the others. Zinc weights contaminate your alloy and make it hard to cast good bullets with; lead doesn't.

 

Don't smelt the wheelweights in your casting pot. Get an old cast iron dutch oven or large skillet and melt them over an old camp stove or turkey fryer burner. Then pour into an old muffin tin to make ingots. Don't sneak the cookware back into the kitchen afterwards - it's contaminated now. Use some old candle wax to help clean the dross up so you get good clean ingots.

 

Buy a Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook. Sounds like you need to read it.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Thanks GJ, That's a lot of help. I'll be checking my weights asap. I've just been tapping them on a piece of a railroad that I've been using as an anvil. Dropping them would be easier. I skimmed off a couple of them before they melted so I can use that as a safeguard.

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