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Starting Lead Casting

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    Lurch started this thread.
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    Starting Lead Casting

    Ive been thinking about this for about a week now and was reading some other posts about it recently. Id like to start casting lead ingots to sell online. The market is decent for it right now because of the new copper bullets being a little more expensive (im assuming) and im sure the market will go up slowly as well. Now, i have to space to do it, the time, and the supply. My problem is i have absolutely no equipment needed for this other than the lead. Would i be able to start doing this with the money i have in my pocket right now? Roughly $160...



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    You'll need a turkey fryer, cast iron pot, and something to pour the mold into.

    And propane, lots of propane. Unless you have a different heat source

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    Start here.

    Cast Boolits

    No shortage of information and a ready market for your product. Just follow the sales rules.

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    Lurch started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lousypirate View Post
    You'll need a turkey fryer, cast iron pot, and something to pour the mold into.

    And propane, lots of propane. Unless you have a different heat source
    Turkey fryer, cast iron pot, and lots of propane are on my list. As far as a mold goes, should i buy an actual mold from Ebay or just use a baking tray?

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    I keep thinking there may be some kind of regulations to it, but really have no clue. I believe it was on here where I saw links to a story about the last US lead smelter shutting down due to that. I didn't really want to mention it just due to uhmm, not wanting to I guess, but I'm thinking now why not, you might do better to know, and it's already public info anyway.

    As I visited this thread once more, something came to mind I hadn't thought of in a long time. I was passing through a little town in TX and stopped at a local coffee shop. Across the parking lot, and across a street, there was a tiny little old woman raking leaves to a pile of very slowly burning ones. She had one of those old time bonnets on, and her yard was looking pretty good.
    Some guy in a pickup stopped beside the road and went over to her and they were just standing there talking. I heard a siren, and then a firetruck pulled up. Some firemen pulled out a fire hose and drenched her little burn pile. The man in the pickup handed her a ticket, and the pickup and firetruck disappeared. The woman stood there looking at the paper, towards her smoldering pile of now soaked leaves, and then down the street in the direction the trucks had gone, then back at the smoldering leaves, then at the paper some more.
    Sometimes those little operations don't go completely unnoticed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    I keep thinking there may be some kind of regulations to it, but really have no clue. I believe it was on here where I saw links to a story about the last US lead smelter shutting down due to that. I didn't really want to mention it just due to uhmm, not wanting to I guess, but I'm thinking now why not, you might do better to know, and it's already public info anyway.

    As I visited this thread once more, something came to mind I hadn't thought of in a long time. I was passing through a little town in TX and stopped at a local coffee shop. Across the parking lot, and across a street, there was a tiny little old woman raking leaves to a pile of very slowly burning ones. She had one of those old time bonnets on, and her yard was looking pretty good.
    Some guy in a pickup stopped beside the road and went over to her and they were just standing there talking. I heard a siren, and then a firetruck pulled up. Some firemen pulled out a fire hose and drenched her little burn pile. The man in the pickup handed her a ticket, and the pickup and firetruck disappeared. The woman stood there looking at the paper, towards her smoldering pile of now soaked leaves, and then down the street in the direction the trucks had gone, then back at the smoldering leaves, then at the paper some more.
    Sometimes those little operations don't go completely unnoticed


    There is a very large difference between smelting and casting.

    All he is basically looking to do is to cast blocks of lead.

    smelting is a method of trying to remove any impurities with nasty chemicals. The most I would do is to flux out everything that isn't bonded, like dirt or other non metallic debris. This can be done with various items.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lousypirate View Post
    There is a very large difference between smelting and casting.

    All he is basically looking to do is to cast blocks of lead.

    smelting is a method of trying to remove any impurities with nasty chemicals. The most I would do is to flux out everything that isn't bonded, like dirt or other non metallic debris. This can be done with various items.
    Yep. Just casting. No smelting. It will be done about as safely as i can possibly make it. Very open area, far from my neighbors. I will be wearing a respirator myself along with all the proper clothing. If it is a problem around here, there is another property 150 miles from me in central Michigan i can do this at. Ive accidentally set a half acre of field on fire out there and no one even cared...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lousypirate View Post
    There is a very large difference between smelting and casting.

    All he is basically looking to do is to cast blocks of lead.

    smelting is a method of trying to remove any impurities with nasty chemicals. The most I would do is to flux out everything that isn't bonded, like dirt or other non metallic debris. This can be done with various items.
    Yep. Just casting. No smelting. It will be done about as safely as i can possibly make it. Very open area, far from my neighbors. I will be wearing a respirator myself along with all the proper clothing. If it is a problem around here, there is another property 150 miles from me in central Michigan i can do this at. Ive accidentally set a half acre of field on fire out there and no one even cared...
    So that is why my deer are tasting funny, lead poisoning.

    I hunt Lakeview.

    Salutations from the other side of the state

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    melting or smelting, I'd still look into each aspect, as it seems he has done, especially for the fumes part of it and such

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    Quote Originally Posted by lousypirate View Post
    So that is why my deer are tasting funny, lead poisoning.

    I hunt Lakeview.

    Salutations from the other side of the state
    Im not too sure where that is. Very unfamiliar with any part of the state thats not 50 miles from me it seems. The farm is out in Hastings though. More along the west side than central i should say

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
    Im not too sure where that is. Very unfamiliar with any part of the state thats not 50 miles from me it seems. The farm is out in Hastings though. More along the west side than central i should say


    That is west michigan

    I know that area pretty well. I fish gun lake for crappie a lot, and my old stomping grounds where I grew up is about 20 miles north.

    went to Kettering University in Flint for Mechanical Engineering.

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    Lots of folks are going to be in trouble if I follow right, being as there is a whole forum on making your bullets out of lead.

    So you guys will have company if you get in trouble! ha ha!

    An some need to send me fresh jerky.

    Sirscrapalot - I'm Ric Flair! The Stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin' n' dealin' son of a gun! - Ric Flair

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    Ive casted lead a few times before. I melted down wheel weights. At first I was using kindling and a rocket stove I built out of some tin cans with a dollar pan from goodwill. While the rocket stove worked it tooke a while, mostly because the pan was too big. So I just melted them with a propane torch, skimmed of the impurities from the top, and poured it into a cupcake pan, another dollar goodwill purchase. I have also melted down used projectiles ive picked up at the range and battery terminals. Adding a little bit of some type of oil on top of the melted lead will pull out the impurities so you can skim them off. I used olive oil with no problems because my stash of used engine oil was at my shop across town. All in all its super easy. Just get something to melt the lead in and something to pour ingots in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmgscrap View Post
    Ive casted lead a few times before. I melted down wheel weights. At first I was using kindling and a rocket stove I built out of some tin cans with a dollar pan from goodwill. While the rocket stove worked it tooke a while, mostly because the pan was too big. So I just melted them with a propane torch, skimmed of the impurities from the top, and poured it into a cupcake pan, another dollar goodwill purchase. I have also melted down used projectiles ive picked up at the range and battery terminals. Adding a little bit of some type of oil on top of the melted lead will pull out the impurities so you can skim them off. I used olive oil with no problems because my stash of used engine oil was at my shop across town. All in all its super easy. Just get something to melt the lead in and something to pour ingots in.
    I was going to go raid my local thrift shop for all their cast iron pots and pans and see what is the most efficient. Also, ive seen people use oil, grease, and wax. Even some times crayons. Is oil most effective? I can get any of these things for a dollar so im just curious what works best

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    A long time ago I came up with an old cast iron skillet somewhere. It was a very small one, but should work with much larger ones too. It had a steel plate welded to the rim, enclosing all but a couple inches from the handle. (I must have been told at some point it was a lead melter) If it had been suspended/hung by the handle, in a way that held it above, or into a fire, it could have been added to until it got full, possibly even skimmed from there(everything floats in melted lead) and it could be poured from that into a mold I suppose

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    I dont know if oil is the most effective but its easy to add. Ive been told any carbon compound works. Oh and I used a regular steel pan not cast iron as it was cheaper and worked just fine. Another important thing to know is if you use wheel weights as a lead souce double check that no zinc weights got mixed in. They can look similar to the lead weights but weigh much less. They melt at a similar temperature as lead and if one gets in your batch it will ruin it.
    Last edited by cmgscrap; 02-21-2014 at 03:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmgscrap View Post
    I dont know if oil is the most effective but its easy to add. Ive been told any carbon compound works. Oh and I used a regular steel pan not cast iron as it was cheaper and worked just fine. Another important thing to know is if you use wheel weights as a lead souce double check that no zinc weights got mixed in. They can look similar to the lead weights but weigh much less. They melt at a similar temperature as lead and if one gets in your batch it will ruin it.
    I saw that. Luckily its not hard to test for zinc. Just a little time consuming is all. I know zinc makes a higher pitch, more metallic sound when hit against steal compared to lead that makes a low pitch sound. There is also the crush test. Zinc being harder to crush or deform than lead. Unless there is a faster way, i think those 2 tests are my only options right now

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