Best way to dice lead alloys

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  • Last Post 20 May 2018
John Alexander posted this 10 May 2018

Quite a bit of the various alloys of lead I have accumulated are in pieces too big to go into my casting furnace.

What is the best way to get it into smaller pieces.

For sawing what kind of blade is best?

John

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 10 May 2018

Coarse blade sawzall over a tarp.  Treat blade with bees wax or candle wax.  Slow speed and let the saw do the work.  A hand saw will work, but emphasis is on "Work".  Duane

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 10 May 2018

harbor fright has disgustingly cheap tools that work frighteningly well ...

ken

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GP Idaho posted this 10 May 2018

John; For the smaller pieces Duane has it right. If you have any large chunks lay down a tarp and use a chain saw. Take a worn out chain and bar if you have one and file off the rakers about half and get after it. Somewhat the redneck solution but very effective for boat keels and ballast blocks. Gp

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 11 May 2018

Hmmmm.  Different approach.  Form a piece of sheetmetal that will go under the large chunk(s).  Form it so that the lead being melted will drop onto it and it will flow down/over to one side and get caught by a large stainless pot (8-12 qt or bigger or other ingot mold).  The crud will be left on the sheetmetal and you will have cleaned the metal that flows off.

Use a weed burner.  Lots of BTU's = less time spent.

I have used 4" or 6" channel iron 2' long.

 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 11 May 2018

I used a sawzall with a coarse blade and it worked quite well. But I eventually came across a large cast iron pot (holds about 100 lbs. of lead) and now use it to melt large foundry ingots or pigs of up to about 70 lbs. with no problems. I leave about 20 lbs. in the pot and place the large ingots in, leaning against the side. Once the 20 lbs. melt, the large ingot will begin to melt on the end in the pot, with it slowly sliding down as it melts. Much easier than cutting it into chunks.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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2coldhere posted this 11 May 2018

I've used both a bandsaw and a log splitter depending on how big the piece is.

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John Alexander posted this 11 May 2018

Has anybody used a table saw?  If so what blade?

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John Alexander posted this 11 May 2018

Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 19 hours ago

 

harbor fright has disgustingly cheap tools that work frighteningly well ...

ken

=======

I agree, interesting place for non tool snobs, but which ones do you suggest for cutting lead.

 

John

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 11 May 2018

I would think the "kick-back" potential is too great to use a table saw.  High speed blade, slick table top, heavy object with twist or pinch potential and no method of stop and start when reapplying lube during the run.  Suggest that you do not attempt it. 

Harbor Freight inexpensive reciprocating saw at $30.00 and likely found on sale for less sounds like a much better idea. 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 11 May 2018

Yes, table saw is out! Way too fast. Sawzall is best and not as labor intensive.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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BigMan54 posted this 11 May 2018

Boy Howdy, this brings back memories. Back in 1975 I bought 10 25lb bricks of pure lead for $10bucks. I used a 3 foot bow saw with a wood blade to split them LENGTHWISE to fit in my ancient cast iron pot.

Oh, to be young and strong like that again. But not as stupid. 

Spent $22 to get the new Black&Decker Workmate to hold them. Best $22bucks I ever spent. Still got it, still use it when I'm up to it.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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Old Coot posted this 11 May 2018

The single best and easiest (on me) way I have found to reduce the size of lead chunks to fit into my casting or smelting pot is to use a oxy-acetylene torch.  You don't need a fancy ramp.  Just positions an ingot mould under the leading edge of the hunk and start melting.  The lead will melt and form a channel into the ingot mould.  You can stop any time you feel like it, controlling the speed of melting is ridiculously easy (just lift the torch up away from the lead).  Vaporization and oxidation are at a minimum.

The above has worked for me with 5lb. bricks of plumbers lead, and hunks of lead ballast from tractors and fork lifts.

B.E.Brickey

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John Alexander posted this 14 May 2018

Thanks to everybody who offered advice.

John

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OU812 posted this 20 May 2018

Read here : Veral has lots of interesting reads in his section

http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/99-ask-veral-smith-lbt-q/220144-cutting-up-large-pieces-lead.html

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GP Idaho posted this 20 May 2018

Thanks Veral, We're fond of our chain saws out here in Idaho.  LOL  Gp

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