Author Topic: Lead...  (Read 7674 times)

Offline AdeV

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Lead...
« on: October 21, 2010, 09:44:41 AM »
Poking about in the "back yard" (more of a side yard really), I happened across all the old 1920's lead-covered wiring that we pulled out of the house, some 15 years ago... it's been buried under some "stuff" all that time...

I've probably got about 50ft of the stuff, I'm wondering, is it worth melting the lead off it for use about the workshop, or should I just weigh it in as the scrap that it is? It seems to be very flexible, so I'm wondering just how much lead is actually on it.
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline Powder Keg

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Re: Lead...
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 11:11:29 AM »
Lead hammers are very handy around the shop.
Wesley P
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Offline andreas

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Re: Lead...
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 12:32:52 PM »
You can also use some as a cathode, if you intend to anodize aluminum parts  ::)

cheers
Andreas

Offline andyf

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Re: Lead...
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2010, 12:53:27 PM »
It's 40 years since I ripped out some lead-covered cable, Ade. As I recall, the lead sheathing was pretty thin.

Lead is currently around 1,500 per tonne on the commodities market. That's around 1.50 per Kg, but you won't get anything like that price at the scrappie.  Stick the cable on the bathroom scales, discount the weight by (I'm guessing) 50% for the cores and mineral insulation, work out the price at the 75p (I'm guessing again) you might get from the scrappie, deduct fuel costs for the return trip to his yard and see how much beer you might buy with what's left over  :beer: .

Of course, the copper cores must be considered, too. Weight for weight, copper is worth about 3.5 times as much as lead.

Andy
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I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline Dean W

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Re: Lead...
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 07:36:46 PM »
Melt off the lead to use for shop stuff, like the hammer mentioned, or for a soft beater pad that can be handy for shaping
thin metal.  Then send the copper to the scrapper.
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Offline RichardShute

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Re: Lead...
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2010, 04:02:26 PM »
Melt off the lead to use for shop stuff, like the hammer mentioned, or for a soft beater pad that can be handy for shaping
thin metal.  Then send the copper to the scrapper.
I wouldn't melt it off. Split the lead sheath for an inch or two at the end with side cutters or whatever, pull the cores to one side and clamp them in the vice then pull the lead sheath at 90 degrees and it'll open up like peeling a banana. Way faster, cleaner and less aggro than melting it off. You can then just chuck the lead in the pot and the copper at the scrappy. I spent many happy hours casting lead weights on a paraffin stove as a kid with all the old wire my Dad stripped out when re-wiring. Happy days

Richard
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Offline AdeV

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Re: Lead...
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2010, 01:23:52 PM »
Richard - good idea, I'll try that on the weekend (only time I get to see the rubbish dump side of the house in daylight...), sounds a lot easier than melting it off...

Thanks all for the ideas; I have a plastic hammer which currently does all the major redesign work around the shop; and anything it can't manage, I have a series of lump & sledge hammers for...

The beater pad could be interesting.... I know a few people who might need to be on the receiving end of that...  :lol:
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline bigmini

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Re: Lead...
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 05:23:44 PM »
Richard - good idea, I'll try that on the weekend (only time I get to see the rubbish dump side of the house in daylight...), sounds a lot easier than melting it off...

Thanks all for the ideas; I have a plastic hammer which currently does all the major redesign work around the shop; and anything it can't manage, I have a series of lump & sledge hammers for...

The beater pad could be interesting.... I know a few people who might need to be on the receiving end of that...  :lol:

Back in my workshop trainee days I made a few lead hammers. I found that adding a little bit of aluminium to the melt made the hammer last longer without compromising its non-marking properties too much. Can't remember how much I added, it was a bit trial and error, but I ended up with a soft hammer that I used for years.

Offline tomrux

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Re: Lead...
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2011, 06:34:25 AM »
be sort of careful about not breathing any fumes when you melt this stuff.
lead sheathed cable often has antimony in it to improve workability and resistance to work hardening/fracture.
any sort of a pink wrapper inside the cable will indicate antimony.

Tom

Offline AdeV

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Re: Lead...
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2011, 10:44:32 AM »
I don't recall seeing any pinkness. There's a paper wrapper inside, then the cores themselves, which are also paper wrapped (one red, one black). Thanks for the warning though, I will be careful...
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline ddmckee54

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Re: Lead...
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2011, 03:17:08 PM »
If the wire is as old as you think then the insulation the lead is wrapped around coud be asbestos.  Without testing there is no way to know for sure that is asbestos, and even then you need to test to see if the asbestos is friable or not.  Very carefully get rid of that crap at the scrapyard before you have to pay somebody to dispose of the hazardous material.  Do not try to salvage any part of it yourself, leave that to the pro's that have the proper safety equipment.

Don
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