View Full Version : Sources for Lead
11-14-2008, 08:20 AM
I'm starting construction of sailboat. I need to start finding lead(scrape) to build the ballast. Any tips on sources to check? The boat will be internal ballast, so I have a few months before I need all the lead on hand. However I do need close to 10,000 lbs.
11-14-2008, 08:38 AM
Tire shops best time of year is right now because people are getting tires changes for the winter which means big supply and cheap.
11-14-2008, 10:22 AM
Your location? Best source for that much might easily be the boat knackers / wreckers. If they have to cut up an old sailboat with a lead keel, it will cost them a bundle to dispose of the lead properly...so they may sell it to you as an easy option.
Robert L E
11-14-2008, 10:47 AM
Tire stores was a good suggestion. I bought a five gallon bucket of wheel weights for $10 at an auto salvage yard. Whenever I move it I fear the wire handle will pull out. It must weigh 150 pounds, so maybe 130 pounds is lead. I could have had about 400 pounds for $25, but that is a lot of decoy anchors, bullets, and sinkers.
If you go to a scrap yard, lead may get a bit pricey. On the other hand, buying lead 100 pounds at a time will take 100 purchases to get your five tons. At least check with a scrap yard, it could save a lot of effort.
Another idea is to give a shooting range a call. Find out who does lead recovery for them. A heavily used range accumulates thousands of pounds of lead in the earthen backstops yearly.
11-14-2008, 04:13 PM
You can pretty much forget tire weights these days. For five tons of lead, you'd need a hell of a lot of tire weights. Besides, nearly ALL operations that come in contact with lead these days, like tire shops, are required to dispose of their lead through EPA licensed recyclers. You won't find many tire weights for the asking out there anymore. Moreover, many shops (COSTCO for one) are now transitioning to all ferrous metal wheel weights, so soon there won't be any lead in tire shops at all.
Firing ranges aren't worth the trouble. Been there, done that. You have to do a hell of a lot of really heavy digging, and then shovel it all through screens to get the dirt out as best you can, then wash it, then try to melt it and skim off all the dross. There is a huge amount of dross, much of it copper, so you can maybe make a buck or two selling that scrap, but a lot of just plain dirt. Then, too, you have a lot of different metals in bullets these days, so you're pulling all the steel shot out along with all the other crap. Really not worth it, unless you can score big time and get the trap waste from an indoor range. They've got their own collection of reloaders who want to recast their own bullets, though, so you probably will find somebody's beat you to such sources already.
Your best bet, in terms of time and energy, is to rustle up an old sailboat keel. It will cost you some, though. Lead is worth money these days. Nobody's giving it away. Just watch the spot price and make sure you aren't paying too much.
BTW, five tons of all-inside ballast is a hell of a lot of inside ballast. Just how big is that boat anyway? Is she designed to carry that much internal weight? Some things to think about. You may be better off hanging some of that on the bottom of the keel to serve as a "crab crusher," ya know.
11-14-2008, 04:56 PM
Hummm. I just, this summer, got 200 lbs of lead, about 60-100 lbs per trip from my local tire dealer for around $.20/lb. I thought that was a good deal and there's a lot more where that came from. See the store manager and schedule your visits to be there before the recycler truck comes around. There are four tire stores in the little city of Kalispell, MT and I could have easily gotten 1000 lbs in a couple of weeks. Good luck. mtsailor
11-14-2008, 06:35 PM
I have approximatley 50-70 Lbs your welcome to if you want to come and get it.
11-14-2008, 07:24 PM
Someone in one of the forum threads was just cutting up a wrecked boat and wanted to dispose of the lead keesl resonably,do a search,if I come across it I will refer to you!
11-15-2008, 07:00 AM
Tire stores here have a set up with their weight suppliers. They get credit on the return of the old weights.
I'm looking for wrecked boats, I realize this would be a big chunk of lead.
The actual weight needed for the ballast is around 4 ton, not 5 ton.
I'm located in Iowa, Minnesota area.
Thanks for the help
11-15-2008, 08:42 AM
11-15-2008, 09:16 AM
You're starting construction now and need 4 tons of lead for inside ballast in a few months? :eek: How big is your crew? ;) You sure work fast.
11-15-2008, 03:30 PM
Actually, the most reliable source of lead is any teenager's ass. Getting it out is the problem!
11-15-2008, 04:05 PM
Why didn't I think of that!!
Your thread states internal balast. You stacking it in the bilge,or casting a shape? If your just filling up the ballast pound, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives.
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