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Old Ranger
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 11:06am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Years ago I was given several large plates of lead from x-ray machines. About 14"x18"x1" and I'm down to the last one. When I had a shop I'd toss it on the anvil and lock it down with a stay in the hardy hole. Then with a 5# crosspeen and a handle mounted chisle, I'd cut it up into smaller blocks for melting.

Flash to today. Crackheads stole the anvil. I'm weakened from a stroke. And I don't have access to a shop. My other neighbor had cut one plate up with a battery powered miniature bandsaw device. He fought with it to work but he did cut up one. However, he does tend to imbibe in heavy consumption of alcohol and the last experience was enough.

I am not going to attempt to cut with a cold chisel and hammer nor try anything with a Skilsaw. I'm a might eccentric, but not stupid! One fella I know recommend that small vibration operated saw. He said he cut through some seriously thick sheet iron like it was butter.

Anyway, your thoughts? Remember, I'm not big and strong anymore and can't manhandle big or heavy tools any longer so please no monster saws, giant tools of massive impact and such. Thanks..

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Rex
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 1:29pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

I've cut up some nuclear power plant shielding which were about 25 pound bricks with a hammer and chisel, not again. I'm not sure how to go about it. Gas torch, melt it into a pan?
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Ronnieboy
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 3:07pm | IP Logged Quote Ronnieboy

I've used a hatchet and axe, but more control from a 7 pt hand saw, Diston I think. Brick sized is often heated with a torch.     Good luck, Bring it to me and hold it while I chop. ;)    Ron

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USA Joe
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 3:11pm | IP Logged Quote USA Joe

Just wondering Wade are you able to lift / move that
chunk of lead ? Years ago we melted lead alloys (before
zinc wheel weights) Body lead / scrap lead pipe etc. in
a 1/4 55 steel gallon barrel on some cinder blocks over
a good wood fire with some forced air. kind of stinky
and slow but will get the job done. Stay safe Joe

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Old Ranger
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 4:37pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

A guy I talked to at the VA clinic today in the waiting room suggested a Sawsall device. Another said he'd try a pneumatic air chisel. What bothers me is they were speculating, a fancy way of saying GUESSING!

That last stroke made it so I can't hold onto stuff real well anymore. Near dropped my Bounty Hunter SAA the other day when shooting some hot stuff! It's the impact to the hand. A 45Colt or 45ACP ain't diddly to shoot, and feel downright good in the hand. But stuff that smacks the hand or vibrates real hard like a powertool justs wants to fall away from me. I know I'm old and getting older, but I don't want to admit it.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 4:52pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I have never had to cut anything large enough not to fit into a 20 lb. or even an 11 lb. propane tank cut in half. I have always used one or the other for my initial melting and fluxing so I could cast fairly clean ingots for later use. But the 20 lb. tank only measures 12" in diameter.

As for cutting, a Sawsall would certainly work. We have a Harbor Freight store near by and they are cheap there, but other wise likely a bit pricey if name brand.



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Old Ranger
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 5:05pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Hummmmm... Sawsall eh? Harbor Freight eh?
There's one of them in Tyler 'bout 40mi from here. Recon that or a pawnshop huh?
Lord only knows if I fire that contraption up if I can hold onto it.... My luck it'll skip off kerf and cut off half my leg! Aw, what the hell, look at Columbus, he took a chance.... Course he's dead now too..

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LAH
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 7:30pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

For pure lead I like an axe. Alloyed stuff gets off the
floor between some wood & a big hammer.

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Alan McDaniel
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Posted: 02 August 2017 at 9:35pm | IP Logged Quote Alan McDaniel

Take it to the Ag shop at the high school in the town where you live and ask
the Ag teacher to get the kids to cut it up for you. They will find a way to
make it in to manageable chunks.

Alan


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Old Ranger
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Posted: 03 August 2017 at 4:20pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Good idea. Who loves to pound and beat stuff more than teenagers?!

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REM1875
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Posted: 14 August 2017 at 9:29pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

My main source is ancient shielded cable and like y'all
I have tried most things at one time or another.
In the end I went to propane torch - then I went to a
cutting head on a welding torch - and that my friend is
my absolute favorite........ and where my research
ended.....

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Old Ranger
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Posted: 15 August 2017 at 8:43am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Well yesterday I was forced to buy pure lead ingot. I can't cut the thing up. The school idea is great however its summer break. And I can't depend upon my neighbors across the road. One's too busy trying to become a millionaire on eBay, and the other is too busy being a drunk. Either way, they're too self-absorbed.

Maybe today I'll cruise the pawn shops for a big saw a semi-cripple can operate. I'm just about ready to abandon casting all together simply because everything I cast is often wrong, too hard, too soft, has friggin' zink in it.... I'm just about ready to quit casting.

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LAH
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Posted: 15 August 2017 at 5:43pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

Quit casting........blasphemy.


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Old Ranger
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Posted: 16 August 2017 at 8:12am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Well Lynn, I did say about ready. Just keep getting tangled up in things and I get flustered by some things. Just for the past few years actual success in casting for me has plummeted. Primarily due to rotten metal. I'm either going to have to bite the bullet and buy certified metal or quit casting. Here in this God forsaken place I live there's nothing. Buying metal that's advertised as being the right stuff, well, it ain't! These mistakes end up costing too much and frustrates me to no end.

So, I have come to the conclusion that I must either buy certified metal from Rotometal, or box up my moulds and buy store bought bullets. Either way its gonna really cost me.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: 16 August 2017 at 1:07pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

The lead I got arrived. What I read to be 13 to 15 pounds turned out to be 13 to 15 ounces. I just paid $14 a pound for two ingots from a Lee ingot mould! and the puke I got it from vows he makes pennies on the sale.... Yeah right. And eBay won't fix it claiming that the seller didn't violate any eBay rules. I hope the little bast*ed chokes on the steak he buys with my money!

Lessons learned: Trust no one. Return to the thinking of a cop. Everyone is a suspect until proven otherwise. Period!

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: 16 August 2017 at 2:36pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Buying from Castboolits web site is fairly safe. They weed out the deadbeats fast. Soft lead runs about $1/Lb shipped and slightly more for metal with more tin and antimony. I forget how many posts you need to be able to buy from the site, but it certainly is a decent site for info of all kinds about casting as well as a place to buy supplies, equipment, etc.

I have traded and bought things on that site for years and have never been ripped off so far.

Edit: I just checked and these are the requirements:


"Forum: Swappin & Sellin

Gun / Casting / Shooting / Hunting Related Items Only. 30 Days Active Membership & 30 Post requirement to sell. 5 threads per month limit, 10 items per thread limit. No spamming. No degrading posts in sales threads. No ebay links. First post of threads MUST be updated as items are sold. When all items are sold threads MUST be locked / deleted by the Seller Threads will be closed if no activity for 30 days. See sticky in the S&S area for rules details & descriptions."

I guess you might be able to buy without any delay once you register as a member.


Edited by Ham Gunner on 16 August 2017 at 2:43pm


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Old Ranger
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Posted: 16 August 2017 at 5:09pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I appreciate it. I was a member there some time back. They treated both myself and my brother like vermin. We both left that site and vowed never to return.

I guess I'll just save up my pennies and buy my stuff from Rotometal. I trust them

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Old Ranger
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Posted: 17 August 2017 at 12:56pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I used to do the crime statistics and prepare PowerPoint presentations for my chief quarterly. I can still work the numbers fairly well. I did an analysis of my cost of alloy, lube, and electricity used compared to purchasing cast bullets. Further, I amortized an hourly wage rate to include a working cost of my time involved if I "employed" myself to do the labor. All costs were for the largest of the pistol bullets, the .452" 255gr RNFP.

What I concluded was I'm spending more time and money casting than if I simply buy from another. Even if I eliminate the "wage factors", I'm still spending 8% over the cost of purchasing and including the "wage" it rises to 42% above purchasing the bullets. In essence, I'm cutting my own throat casting my own. Not to discount the aggravation of procurement of alloy and supporting supplies, coupled with the labor intensive efforts and time involved.

So based upon my analysis of casting v.s. purchasing bullets, for basic projectiles its quite easy to realize the actual savings in buying them. I'm going to let someone else work up a sweat, get burnt by lead spatters, and lube them all. For my basic bullet, I'll buy them completely done. Now for my "speciality bullets" (antique styles no longer available elsewhere) I will continue to cast, but on a limited basis. A modest amount of casting supplies and alloy will be stored for that purpose.

Since I already purchase copper plated bullets for the .44mag/Spl and the .45ACP, I will only be buying a .358" RNFP and a .452" RNFP. Consolidation with labor and money savings combined. As Mr. Spock would say " It is the most logical alternative."

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Bis
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 2:44pm | IP Logged Quote Bis

I'm with you, I'm buying cast bullets. I have 3, 5 gal.
Buckets of wheel weights un sorted and a 5 gal. Bucket of
sorted wheel weights that some of my friends might want,
or take them to the salvage yard. It's just to hot around
here to sit in front of a furnace, Im to old to mess with
it and half the time my bullets come out like crap.

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REM1875
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 3:24pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Heresy - burn them at the pot !!!.......

Truth is with COPD I am no longer the caster I used to
be and a ranch fire swept through and nailed many of
my molds and supplies....I got about 20 lbs "Plus" of
aluminum/ lead alloy when the deer blind/casting shack
burned to the ground that I just ain't gonna mess
with......or even get near..... that was a real blow
to my casting - the copper wires were and metal
handles and a few other parts are all they were left
of my Lyman and Lee production pots and some molds....


So thanks old Ranger for doing the math.......

I have also decided to start using some of those
copper jacketed bullets I have been collecting for 40
plus years...... saving up for "some day" and as a
side note I am finding I am really sorry they stopped
making some them by the time I got around to using
them........


Edited by REM1875 on 21 August 2017 at 6:09am


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