Where to get bulk lead for pouring?

  • avatarjohnksully
    Lakeville, MN
    Posts: 646

    Where can a guy get bulk lead for melting and pouring?? I’m thinking about doing a small amount of pouring. No idea where to get lead. Thanks.

    Profile photo of Brian KlawitterBrian Klawitter
    Lakeland, MN
    Posts: 44,553

    After calling everyone in the Mpls/St Paul area a few years back, this was the only location that would sell it to me.

    Seldom will you fine pure lead…I wouldn’t recommend it for bullets.

    Call for current pricing.


    Posts: 730

    I use used wheel weights from the tire shop. Not pure but you can scoop the metal clips out after melting. Skim the impurities off the top after melting, Works fine.
    Price is right ,too.

    Lakeville, MN
    Posts: 646

    So is it good to pour with pure lead? Or is there another type of lead that is better for pouring.

    Profile photo of Brian KlawitterBrian Klawitter
    Lakeland, MN
    Posts: 44,553

    Pure lead will have less fumes (and who the heck knows what those fumes are?)

    For pouring the 4 oz sinkings I mostly use, the purity doesn’t matter as look as I can melt it and the fumes don’t kill me.

    First melt is always outside, skim off the stuff on top and pour in to a handy mini muffin pan for later use.

    I can’t comment on jigs…for bullets you need to know the weight and with impurities in the lead it’s tough to get consistent weight and soft or hardness of the lead.

    Wheel weights work too as Wayne mentioned. Again don’t be doing this in your basement/garage. Might not bother you today… but old age points out younger mistakes.

    Posts: 52

    I was lucky enough to get a bunch of pure bar lead from an old print shop, and also have followed around the St. Paul Water utility while they were conducting lead abatement on older houses and was able to get a bunch from them as well.

    Profile photo of tom_gurskytom_gursky
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula(Iron Mountain)
    Posts: 4,610

    for jigs, pure lead is superior…go to a plumbing supply. You get a lot of jigs from a couple 10# igots for a few bucks.

    Posts: 40

    Having worked in a foundry for 25 years, I can tell u a few things about the lead. First off the melting point to pour the lead is around 650 degrees F. When melting as posted before do it outside or in the garage with a fan blowing out. You can melt it on a camp stove and in a cast iron skillet if you want. The stuff that is on the top is called slag or dross. The impurities in the lead fumes are the oxides coming from the impurities and from the lead itself and the gas to melt it. Simply skim the dross off top and pour into your molds. You will most likley have to keep skimming the lead as the oxides will continue to form from the heat. As where to find it all of the posts listed will work and you can get it through McMaster Carr. They sells 5 lb bars for around $30.00. You get very little dross with the bars but it is harder to get all melted than wheel wts. You can also cut off what you need with a hack saw. I use an old skillet I picked up at a garage sale and when done just leave it in the skillet until next time. Once it cools it will shrink and come out if u want. Hope this helps?

    avatarjonny p
    Waskish, MN
    Posts: 668


    Might not bother you today… but old age points out younger mistakes.

    Like all those paint chips you ate as a kid?

    Profile photo of hairjighairjig
    Cudahy, Wis.
    Posts: 938

    I have poured my own jigs for over 25 years, so I’m not a newbie to the game,I have a production melting pot which discharges the lead out the bottom directly into your mold. I have seen all the different so called “LEADS” (wheel weights, bismuth, etc. ) I can tell you from expierence you want to use the purest lead you can find. wheel weights contain certain amounts of tin and antimony which have higher melting temperatures, thus if you choose to use inferior lead it may stradify(horizontal cooling lines in your pour) on whatever you may be casting. You’ll have much finer quality looking pours if you start the process the right way..Do a google search for 99% pure lead.

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