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Finally got to burn brushpiles today.

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by Dumpstick, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. Dumpstick

    Dumpstick Sharpshooter

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    It's finally wet enough, with low enough wind, that I decided to go ahead and torch some of the brushpiles I have around here. One pile was cut limbs - probably had 25-30 cubic yards of that - a big azz pile.

    The other was tree trunks, mostly cedars. I've been slowly clearing cedars around here, most are very large. The problem with them, is that once the thing is horizontal something must be done with it. I haul most of it to a neighbor, he allows me to fling it in his burn pit. The trunks are another story.
    Too big for me to haul around, I'm doing this manually. Come to that, when I started years ago, I didn't even have a chainsaw. I was using a limb saw, and muscle. Santa brought a chainsaw one year, boy was I happy.
    Anyhoo, the tree trunks are 5-6 feet tall, and I dig them out of the ground, so there is a big root ball on each. These trunks are 16-24" across - big trees. I piled 'em up, lit 'em up, sat and watched.

    Then it occurred to me - I have a bucket of wheelweights I can render down with the free heat. So I did.
    pot on the fire Mar'18 (Medium).jpg

    After the trunks burnt down some, so I could approach the inferno, I put about a third full pot on the fire. Left it for 30 minutes. Came back, scraped the steel clips out, and poured.
    homemade ingot mold (Medium).jpg
    I didn't even bother fluxing, you can tell by the junk floating on the top of the closest ingots. I made those molds out of some angle I had laying around. Each ingot comes out about 2.25lbs with wheelweights. Every time I set the pot of Pb down, the grass caught fire. The scorched spot is visible. The can in background has the steel clips, the bean can has the dirt and dust scraped off the surface of the Pb puddle.
    Somewhat in a hurry, it was starting to spit and mist. Water and liquid lead are a hazardous combination, I just went as fast as I safely could. Ingots are a mess.

    The result -
    the result, ~85lbs (Medium).jpg

    38 ingots of relatively clean clip-on wheelweights (CWW). About 80-85 pounds.

    I'll re-melt these when I blend some alloy, they need to be fluxed and waxed. I'll mix it 50%CWW + 2%tin (pewter) + 50%Pb (soft lead). i.e.- 50lbs CWW, 1lb tin, 50lbs Pb.
     
  2. dennishoddy

    dennishoddy Sharpshooter

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    No empty beer cans around the fire?
    I’m getting ready to light mine off here shortly.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Cowcatcher

    Cowcatcher Sharpshooter

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    IMG_1722.PNG Nice lead supply. We've burned several brush piles in the last couple weeks while burning pasture.
     
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  4. Dumpstick

    Dumpstick Sharpshooter

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    When I burn a brush pile, my plan is to NOT set the county on fire....
     
    easy, GlockPride and Cowcatcher like this.
  5. swampratt

    swampratt Sharpshooter

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    Nice pile of ingots Dumpstick.
    Those wood fires melt it fast.
     
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  6. deerwhacker444

    deerwhacker444 Sharpshooter

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    That's one of the most "Okie" thread titles I've seen in a while..

    :thumb:
     
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  7. OKCHunter

    OKCHunter Sharpshooter

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    You're going to get a fairly soft BHN with that mix of 50 lbs CWW, 1 lb tin, and 50 lbs of lead. My guess is you will be around 7 or 8 BHN with air cooled. Are you planning to make bullets?
     
  8. MacFromOK

    MacFromOK Sharpshooter

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    I remember dragging brush as a kid (along with piling it when I got older).

    Dad always wanted brushpiles tight so they'd burn well, and hay in the barn stacked tight so there was no wasted space (we'd roll the last two bales in together on each row).

    Dad was 41 when I was born, and lived to be 84 (he'd be 102 now). I learned a lot more from him than I realized at the time. :drunk2:
     
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  9. RustedBeef

    RustedBeef Sharpshooter

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    Dunno how you guys find so much lead. I just poke around the berms every now and then to pick up some old scrap. Saving it up to eventually start molding.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Dumpstick

    Dumpstick Sharpshooter

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    Yep, casting bullets. I've used the 50/50+Sn alloy before, with very good results.
    The only method I have with which to test hardness, is using artist pencils. I estimate this mix to be 11-12 Bnh.
    I've used it in all sorts of handgun shooting, from 650-1350 fps, with no problems. No rifle yet, but it will come.

    If I need harder, I can always water drop. That should get me up to 18 Bnh or so.
     

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