It’s a valid interest for a detectorist.
Iron scrap is actually worth more than lead (and lighter).
At a future point I hope to offer a service that will allow a payout for the iron sand that comes in with the gold dust.
Lately I’ve been busy, busy with some projects for metal detecting.
I’ve been getting into scrapping, there’s plenty of gold and other metals to be gathered.
(more on that in some future posts)
Today I’m just showing you some of the lead that I’m melting.
The vast majority of this came from metal detecting, though I did find a drainage pipe in whanagrei that had several handfuls of lead roofing nails come out of it. Weird, whoever renewed the roof must have just left them up there, and they washed down with the rain.
THIS IS NOT A GUIDE
PLEASE DO RESEARCH BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT THIS
NEVER USE THE POTS OR UTENSILSE FOR FOOD AGAIN, LEAD IS POISONOUS.
DO THIS OUTSIDE, THERE WILL BE DANGEROUS FUMES
WEAR SAFETY EQUIPMENT, MOULTEN METAL IS VERY DANGEROUS!
If you want more information on smelting you can join up with the gold refining forums, it does cost $10/year. https://goldrefiningforum.com/
This guy was expecting an explosion, but it was much bigger - lucky he did not get hit with any of the moulten lead.
I washed my lead, cleaning the sinker holes out.
Sorted into two categories, clean & dirty.
I was naughty and dried both in the warming part of the oven, but only at 100 degrees for 5-10min - so not too many nasty gasses and aired it our while still on.
Just to ensure there was absolutely no moisture hiding in the sinker holes.
This first melt was the dirtly lot, I did not even strain it - and you can see a nail stuck firmly in there. Wanted to get the lead to coaless together.
There was a lot of lighter stuff that I just took out, some I broke off the top. Save all this scrap, there will be some residual lead that can be smelted out of it at a later date.
Also I figured out what the huge super heavy chunk (from Ngunguru) is. As I suspected, from a lead battery - it’s Antimony, with some lead, you can see the lead beading out of it.
A fire can easily get to 400 degrees which melts lead, wheres Antimony melts at 630 degrees, a bit more difficult to get to.
Do not worry about some of the ash/embers getting in your melt, it is good to add a bit of coal, this will help take out purify lead oxide and float any other impurities.
Use an old fork to scrape off any floaters. You can do this when you have removed it from the fire, while it’s still hot.
My oven mitten was smoking, which made me concerned that it was wet. However once it started to turn black and break I discovred it was filled with a foam - and that was melting, the whole mitten was burning - the fire was hot!
When cooling lean the pot on an angle so it is easier to remove when solid. Especially important if your pot has a wider base. You’ll hear a lot of cracking sounds, this is just the lead shrinking away from the sides of the pot.
The weight 630g. I’ll be resmelting this later.
Now for the clean lead.
I scraped the top this time and added that to the scrap pile.
It’s a real beauty, golden sheen. I’ll add some more lead that I recover from my scrap remelt at a future date.
Weight 3.8kg, the damn thing nearly smashed things when it fell out of the pot. You’ll need to press on the side of the pot to free it up.
Make sure you engrave your pots with POISON & DO NOT USE FOR FOOD, and the fork too.