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Fair Price on Lead Chunk

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by RedneckRampage, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. RedneckRampage

    RedneckRampage Newberg Well-Known Member

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    I have a very heavy chunk of lead that I'm concidering selling. I'm wondering what a fair price per pound is. I can not lift the thing, or even tip it over. It's about a foot tall and 9" square. I'm guessing it weighs 300 pounds or so.
     
  2. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    It brings about a buck a pound plus shipping on ebay, and a little more if the seller knows what kind of lead alloy it is such a Linotype lead, wheel weight lead, etc.

    However, they sell it in ingot sizes which has two advantages. You can just put it in your pot, and it can be put into priority mail boxes and stick it to the post office, LOL.

    Not knowing the alloy (Harness) of your lead, and being very hard to transport, I think you'd have to adjust for that and hope for someone local who's willing to haul it and to cut it down to melting pot size, and even figure out the hardness and mix it with something else if needed to get a good hardness for bullets.

    Now, if someone wants to make fishing weights, the hardness wouldn't be so important. Ebay:

    Ingots
     
  3. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    a $5 flatrate box that weighs 30lbs... that's freaken awesome.
     
  4. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I was going to put up what gunner did. I would say $0.50/lb if you wanted to move it quick, $0.75 is top end of what I would pay.
     
  5. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    With some practice with your thumb nail, you can guestimate the hardness of the lead. At least you can sure tell the difference between pure lead (too soft for bullets) and Linotype or wheel weight lead (just about right for bullets.) Since pure lead has a brinell hardness of 5 which means it isn't and can't really be hardened, and wheel weights might be 15 and can be drop cooled to about 18, and linotype is about 22, you can see the range is large enough to get an idea. If the hardness gets to about 25 you really can't scratch it with a thumb nail.

    So, I can usually tell if a chunk of lead would make bullets without the expense and complexity of testing it either with pressure on a steel ball denting it, or by it's melt and solidify temperatures. But then, I'm just an old country boy, LOL.
     
  6. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    At .41lbs./ cubic inch that is nearly 400lbs. of lead. Where did you come upon such a chunk?
     
  7. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Years ago, I traded a couple of old Ford truck bodies that were out in my hay field for some scrap lead.
    The scrap man promised me an ingot or two for the trade. Three days later, I came home from work, and sitting in the middle of my driveway was a 2' high old galvanized garbage can.
    It was 3/4 full. The old guy had melted whatever lead he came across and poured it into the can. It had an eye-bolt in the center that he used to lift it out of his truck.
    The scrap man asked my wife where I wanted it, she told him right there in the driveway would be nice. I had to move it with a neighbors backhoe it was so heavy.
     
  8. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    That's going to be a challenge for someone obviously. I don't know how to cut it up. Lead itself is so darned poisonous, and not so long ago they used arsenic to help blend the alloys. The way you describe it, it's probably a lot of different kinds, not mixed up. They use so many variations of mixtures of lead, zinc and antimony to get harder lead that you'll never know what you have there.

    Considering that it's probably scrap lead, it just might be OK for bullets. It's probably not pure lead which won't work for bullets. Most scrap lead in volume is from wheel weights and linotype. Either will work OK. If it's from roof flashing, it's too soft.

    I just can't think of how to cut or melt it down to small enough chunks. Whatever I did, just as with a bullet furnace, I'd set up a fan to keep the fumes blowing gently downwind outside, wear a respirator, and then ?? Chisel at it? I know I wouldn't take a saw to it and create dust. I guess I'd have to figure out a way to chop chunks off of it, put in in the furnace and pour it into ingots. You can use a non-teflon muffin pan if you don't want to buy molds for bars.

    It will melt somewhere around 600-650 degrees depending on the alloy, and once it sets up in your mold at about 450 degrees, you can quench it in a 5 gallon bucket of water. When I make ingots, I keep a garden hose running a little into my quench bucket to keep the water cold.
     
  9. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Use a fairly large drill bit.
     
  10. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Good idea. I was thinking of an air chisel, but the two might work real well together.
     
  11. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    two in one. you can probably borrow mine, if you're close