How Much More Are You Willing to Pay For Processed Lead Or Lead Alloy?

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  • Last Post 14 January 2020
GBertolet posted this 11 January 2020

I am looking to replenish my bullet material supply. I just purchased 300 lbs of lino @ $1.25 per lb,.all as loose type on ebay. I was fortunate the seller was within an hours driving distance, so no shipping cost, just a little gas. I want to get some lead, and or WW alloy to go along with this. The price of processed lead per lb, from the commercial smelters is horrific, running in the $2 + per lb range. Shipping is likely a factor in this cost.

What do most of the casters here prefer to do? Pay top dollar for the convenience of having bullet alloy ingots, delivered right to your door, pre blended, ready to cast, or scrounge scrapyards, tire stores etc, and then have to blend and smelt yourself?

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BudHyett posted this 11 January 2020

I have a good supply of ;lead, much of it well-used Linotype. This came in letters and spacers. This is smelted  in 120 pound batches to get consistent alloy for a load. Then a new batch is smelted and test for hardness.  

But I buy custom alloy for Plain Base class; I wait for Roto-Metals to have a sale and buy 125 pounds tot get free shipping. They ship in two boxes, 62.5 pounds in one box. The Post Office complains, I get ti out the back door into my truck.

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 11 January 2020

There is another forum that has a similar name, but has a spelling issue with one of the words.  They have a swap and sell section and there are several individuals offering ingots of various lead alloys at reasonable prices.  If I no longer had a source or supply, I would look at those sources. 

For quality and specific blended alloys, Rotometals is a recognized reliable source.  But you do pay for convenience.

You mention lino "purchased as loose type".  Is this lines of type or individual letters or characters.  Many years ago I did not know the difference and made ultra hard bullets from type metal that was not Lino.  What a waste of material. 

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GBertolet posted this 11 January 2020

The type of lino I purchased was numbers and letters on strips. 4 buckets of 75 lbs each. This is great, as I can weigh them out on the bathroom scale, and drop them right into the Pro-Melt pot. Lino is too good to waste in pure form for most applications, although I paid only $1.25 a lb for it. That's why I want lead or WW, if cheap enough to blend. I see RMR has malformed bullet core alloy, equivalent to WW, at $1.50 a lb ppd. Still more than I paid for the lino.

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Ross Smith posted this 13 January 2020

maybe a little off topic, but here goes. Does anyone know what the metal tubes are made from for certain meds and other gooey things. Used to be either tin or lead.

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Brodie posted this 13 January 2020

Most are made of a type of vinyl/plastic now.  Once in a while you still see the old metalic ones, but only rarely.

B.E.Brickey

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BudHyett posted this 13 January 2020

Most are made of a type of vinyl/plastic now.  Once in a while you still see the old metallic ones, but only rarely.

The plastics industry has perfected their product line to the point metal is not needed and plastic is far cheaper. Even if there was a metallic tube, the cost would be prohibitive. A few applications where the productive is corrosive still have a metallic alloy tube, but they are few and far between. 

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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boatswainsmate posted this 14 January 2020

I like to go out and find my own lead and mix it to my needs. Unfortunately my addiction has gotten to the point where I don't have enough room to bring everything home anymore so I focus on known alloys now. My biggest WW score. 800 Pounds!

 

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Mike H posted this 14 January 2020

Years ago my Father in-law gave me a large amount of tubes that had ink in them for a duplicater that was at his school,they were soft and grey in colour,we thought they were made of lead,however when I tryed to melt them down they would not melt,when I put more heat from a gas torch they more or less vapourised.I gave up,rightly or wrongly I thought they may have been zinc.

Mike.

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JBinMN posted this 14 January 2020

I have preferred to scrounge rather than to buy from an online source.

A while back I made the rounds in my area & some word of mouth as well as some phone calls, & found a connection which has worked out well for me so far.

I am sure there are those who prefer to buy ingots already smelted to save the time of smelting & cleaning, sorting & all the jazz that goes with assorted lead, like pipes, roof jacks, etc. & alloys when scrounged.

I don't mind the sorting & smelting, and I have had a decent source, so I haven't bought any online or by other means.

I also use homemade bullet traps to capture most of my lead/alloys, so my needs are kept smaller by the recycling.

Anyway... That price of $1.25 is a pretty good one, IMO. You could likely turn a deal with someone who also casts, in a trade with your lino for pure, WWs or whatever alloy, if they were short on lino & long on pure/WW.alloys.

You would likely get 2-3 lbs of WW or other lead or alloy for 1 lb of your lino in trade with some folks.

Something to consider anyway.

 

 

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 14 January 2020

Quoted 

"Lino is too good to waste in pure form for most applications, although I paid only $1.25 a lb for it. That's why I want lead or WW, if cheap enough to blend. I see RMR has malformed bullet core alloy, equivalent to WW, at $1.50 a lb ppd. Still more than I paid for the lino."

I look at this in a different manner.  You are seeing what it will cost to buy WW or other alloy to extend the use of your linotype.  You seem to think it must be cheaper than what you paid for your lino.  I would look at the replacement cost of your lino when comparing the value with any other lead alloy.  Accept the fact that you made a really good deal on the lino, look for the best price on your WW or other alloy and be grateful for the savings you already have accomplished. 

 

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