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  #1  
Old 01-18-2023, 9:14 PM
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Default Can one break down 25lb lead bricks with a hammer?

Happy to notice an ad for lead bricks on craigslist and they are 25lbs each. If pure lead can a steel hammer break pieces off or can it only be melted in a large pot? He's got 2000 lbs in case anyone hear can use it. I'm just starting out on casting so probably beyond my capabilities.
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Old 01-18-2023, 9:17 PM
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It can be divided into bite sized pieces with a chisel. Or a chainsaw if you don't like your chainsaw.

Best bet is some kind of hydraulic shear.
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Old 01-18-2023, 11:27 PM
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Appears to be a good, no, a great deal!

But...Make sure this lead isn't contaminated. Seriously. I'm sure someone else here on Calguns can shed more light on the possibilities of contamination.
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Old 01-18-2023, 11:56 PM
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Lead is pretty soft and can be busted up

Chisel is better or a sawzall if you need to use a tool
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Old 01-18-2023, 11:58 PM
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Use a hammer with this...
https://www.harborfreight.com/1-1-4-...dle-96231.html

Hit the back of the hatchet with the hammer, and it should do short work of the lead bar.
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Old 01-19-2023, 2:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman View Post
Use a hammer with this...
https://www.harborfreight.com/1-1-4-...dle-96231.html

Hit the back of the hatchet with the hammer, and it should do short work of the lead bar.
NOT a good idea. The flat on the back of a pole axe [like link] or hatchet, is for driving wooden or nylon wedges or wooden stakes. Not for beating on hard surfaces.

The handle to head fitment is "ovoid" in shape. If you beat on the flat with a hard hammer. Or drive steel wedges with it. The handle quickly gets loose. Even with a fiberglass handle.

BTDT, and got my butt kicked for doing it.

Could be done with an Estwing type hatchet/axe, because the head and handle are forged from a single piece of steel. But don't suggest using a steel hammer to pound with. A deadblow or large hard rubber mallet would suffice. NEVER hit a hammer with a hammer.

A sawzall will work only of you use a course wood type blade at very slow speed. Fine tooth hacksaw type blade, loads up, quits cutting, and quickly heats up, and melts the lead into the teeth. Same for bandsaw. AGAIN - BTDT.

Last edited by pacrat; 01-19-2023 at 2:57 AM..
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2023, 4:53 AM
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I’ve used a chisel on a piece-of RR track I have in my garage with good results.


Last edited by middleofnowhere; 01-19-2023 at 4:55 AM..
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Old 01-19-2023, 5:08 AM
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A 25-lb brick will easily fit into a Dutch Oven. Just use the same process that you'd use for melting down a bunch of wheel weights. Then, take a ladle and scoop the molten lead into more manageable pieces. I use a cheap muffin pan for this purpose, preferably without Teflon coating, but if that's all you can find, then a Teflon coated muffin pan also does work.
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2023, 3:45 PM
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8"x4"X2" , that would fit in my stainless pot.
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2023, 4:59 PM
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Yeah it would not take a huge pot to melt it. I have a large cast iron skillet and I have done 50 pound blocks in it.
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Old 01-19-2023, 6:07 PM
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Dutch oven is the way to go but a mallet and big chisel will cut through anything lead. Ive broke down a 900 hull with just a mallet and chisel. Testing for zinc contamination is a must. It is very complicated as well. Put a few drops of nail polish remover on a clean piece of the lead if you see any bubbles then there is zinc. Not so hard after all. Finding out what kind of lead alloy it is may be a harder job. Bring art pencils to test harness if possible.

Last edited by BIGOX; 01-19-2023 at 6:11 PM..
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2023, 8:12 PM
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If you hit a lead ingot with a hammer and it dose break. Then what you have is an alloy rich in tin.
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Old 01-20-2023, 11:29 AM
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If anyone curious I emailed about price and was quoted $1.50 a pound in a 500 pound quantity.
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2023, 11:54 AM
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Propane torch, but you would want to catch the melted lead.
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Old 01-20-2023, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
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If anyone curious I emailed about price and was quoted $1.50 a pound in a 500 pound quantity.
When I called for 100 lbs the quote was also $1.50.
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  #16  
Old 01-20-2023, 12:29 PM
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Hmm....if it were $1/round, that sounds like it'd be reasonable.
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  #17  
Old 01-20-2023, 2:17 PM
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Not a bad deal if it's hard lead and is not contaminated with zinc. But I and others sale lead of a known source and already clean and cast into smaller ingots for about that price and offer shipping, so maybe not worth the effort at that price but looks to me to be very soft lead. For 500 pounds the price should be lower.
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Old 01-20-2023, 2:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofois View Post
When I called for 100 lbs the quote was also $1.50.
I was going to call but no thanks at that price.
I need to be well under $1 before I drive over there.
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  #19  
Old 01-20-2023, 3:36 PM
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We've just used a hatchet or axe. Takes a few whacks, but no waste.
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  #20  
Old 01-21-2023, 8:18 AM
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Finding lead here for under a dollar is just about impossible. We outlawed lead wheel weights years ago. If I can get it, I like about as soft of lead as I can get and mix it myself. I recently got 240#'s of roofing lead for $1.25. I wish I would of bought more. For my Sharps I mix 50/50 solder to get 25/1 lead/tin. For everything else I mix in foundry lead to get my hardness/tin content I want for whatever I am shooting.

I do have a little over a hundred pounds of lead that has about an 11 hardness. Not sure what it is but my 45 acp loves it. Pretty much what I use it for.
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  #21  
Old 01-21-2023, 9:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve45-70 View Post
Finding lead here for under a dollar is just about impossible. We outlawed lead wheel weights years ago. If I can get it, I like about as soft of lead as I can get and mix it myself. I recently got 240#'s of roofing lead for $1.25. I wish I would of bought more. For my Sharps I mix 50/50 solder to get 25/1 lead/tin. For everything else I mix in foundry lead to get my hardness/tin content I want for whatever I am shooting.

I do have a little over a hundred pounds of lead that has about an 11 hardness. Not sure what it is but my 45 acp loves it. Pretty much what I use it for.
I perfer this same method it insure I get the right hardness for my application. I usually mix pure lead with Linotype for harder lead and pure lead and 60/40 solder for softer lead. You could always have the lead tested if you really want to know the alloy but if it shoot good why bother.
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Old 01-24-2023, 8:38 PM
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Those lead ingots are surprisingly easy to cut with a circular saw. Hold your breath, cut off appropriately sized chunks and come back when the dust has settled to sweep up the lead chips. Most of the chips don't fly very far from where you're cutting so you lose almost no lead.
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Old 01-25-2023, 5:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GraveTPO View Post
Those lead ingots are surprisingly easy to cut with a circular saw. Hold your breath, cut off appropriately sized chunks and come back when the dust has settled to sweep up the lead chips. Most of the chips don't fly very far from where you're cutting so you lose almost no lead.
Hold your breath and operate this power tool. That's great advice there.
Yes and that lead is also surprisingly easy and deadly to breathe in when in the form of dust. Why not consider wearing some kind of mask and eye protection. Also do this in a well ventilated area. Let's not harm your bodies trying to process lead. That said if use a hammer and chisel make sure to use one of those rubber safty things to protect your hand on the chisel. A mallet to the hand is no good. You can also drill holes and connect the dots on really large and thick pieces.
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  #24  
Old 01-25-2023, 5:56 AM
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1.50 a pound is no deal. Also do not try and drill with hand drill. Drill bits have to steep an angle bit will bite and stop without power feed from mill. Or shallow ground bit.

Last edited by edgerly779; 01-25-2023 at 6:06 AM..
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Old 01-25-2023, 9:03 AM
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1.50 a pound is no deal. Also do not try and drill with hand drill. Drill bits have to steep an angle bit will bite and stop without power feed from mill. Or shallow ground bit.
I'll agree with that to some degree. I personally think anything under $1 a pound is a fair deal but usually when found at that price it's in raw form or of an unknown source. If buying processed cleaned lead of a known source then its pretty hard to beat that price. With most scrap dealers unwilling to sale to the public and the days of finding a bucket of lead wheel weights now about over most people don't have an opportunity to find lead at a cheap price.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
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We've just used a hatchet or axe. Takes a few whacks, but no waste.
^this^
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Old 01-25-2023, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Hold your breath and operate this power tool. That's great advice there.
Yes and that lead is also surprisingly easy and deadly to breathe in when in the form of dust.
Big Ox is correct here. If you can't hold your breath for the few seconds it takes to make each cut then by all means wear a mask. Lead poisoning is pervasive and everyone peripherally exposed to this Polonium-like material will meet a painful, lingering and untimely death. Don't chance it!

All kidding aside, yes, there can be adverse health effects from ingesting lead; that is undeniable. But unless it's flying toward one at high velocity, isn't it a bit hyperbolic to characterize lead as "deadly"?

Last edited by GraveTPO; 01-25-2023 at 12:13 PM..
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Old 01-25-2023, 2:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraveTPO View Post
Big Ox is correct here. If you can't hold your breath for the few seconds it takes to make each cut then by all means wear a mask. Lead poisoning is pervasive and everyone peripherally exposed to this Polonium-like material will meet a painful, lingering and untimely death. Don't chance it!

All kidding aside, yes, there can be adverse health effects from ingesting lead; that is undeniable. But unless it's flying toward one at high velocity, isn't it a bit hyperbolic to characterize lead as "deadly"?
All kidding aside i know a few members here that might have trouble with that holding of the breath and making a cut. If your making an 8" cut I'm sure you'll be fine if you have something like 1000# lead keel with multiple cuts of over 4' long then it would be smart to wear a mask and eye protection.
Remember some random guy will find this info online and probably use it with little to no concern for safty. Then post in on YouTube. Ok breathing in any type of dust isn't good calling it deadly, maybe a bit of a strech. Is that better?
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  #29  
Old 01-25-2023, 5:10 PM
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Cowboy T and steve45-70 already gave the best way.

The bricks for sale are 8"x4"x2"

IMG_20230125_163737_924.jpg

IMG_20230125_163754_214.jpg

IMG_20230125_163836_587.jpg
I have a brick that is 8"x4"x1".


This is a CCPmart hotplate, it's $15, it runs at 1100watts.

IMG_20230125_164558_171.jpg
This stainless bowl was like $8
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  #30  
Old 01-25-2023, 5:34 PM
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IMG_20230125_171146_355.jpg
At 15 minutes the 1.5" of lead at the bottom is melted.

IMG_20230125_171332_01.jpg
At 25 minutes

IMG_20230125_172407_01.jpg
At 35 minutes, still a little chunk on the bottom.

A Dutch oven and a turkey fryer would be much faster. Circular saw? Chisels? Drills?


There's an easy way and then those other ways.
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Old 01-25-2023, 5:47 PM
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While your cussing, hammering, drilling, chiseling and cutting I'm done making ingots an hour later.

IMG_20230125_173943.jpg
Fluxed and ready

IMG_20230125_173703_01.jpg

IMG_20230125_164316_677.jpg
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  #32  
Old 01-25-2023, 7:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandspider500 View Post
While your cussing, hammering, drilling, chiseling and cutting I'm done making ingots an hour later.
Those muffin tin pictures make me laugh. I think we all do it but I know my wife was not super happy with me converting her muffin tins to ingot molds.
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Old 01-25-2023, 7:55 PM
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The muffin tin episode wasn't as bad as when she walked in on me cooking bullet lube on the kitchen stove.
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Old 01-26-2023, 8:59 AM
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Is that stuff from some hospitals radiology department? I would cut it with my bandsaw but I know not everyone has a bandsaw laying around.
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Old 01-26-2023, 4:26 PM
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^^^^ They're lead ballast weights, probably 99% lead.
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Old 01-27-2023, 11:53 AM
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I have 3 old meat saws by Diston made in Philadelphia that work, and then there is the hot wire method when used with a battery and then there is my last choice for cutting blocks, I have lots of axes.

Most of the lead I have recovered or purchased out of Iron & Metal yards come in sheets of LEAD THAT WAS USED TO SHIELD x-ray rooms. Other sheets I have purchased were used around toilets and showers.

F. Guffey
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Old 01-29-2023, 7:45 PM
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Sandspider demonstrates the point very well, above.

I do use a Dutch Oven and a propane burner. It's pretty fast. And yep, I also make muffin ingots. Works great with the Lee Pro-4/20 bullet casting pot.
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