Finally got to burn brushpiles today.

Dumpstick

Sharpshooter
Special Hen
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
1,940
Reaction score
2,243
Location
Logan county, on a dirt road
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.
 

OKCHunter

Sharpshooter
Special Hen Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
4,024
Reaction score
3,304
Location
Edmond
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.
View attachment 116252

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.
View attachment 116253
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 -
View attachment 116254

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.
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?
 

MacFromOK

Sharpshooter
Special Hen Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
12,962
Reaction score
13,031
Location
Southern Oklahoma
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:
 

RustedBeef

Sharpshooter
Special Hen
Joined
May 10, 2016
Messages
792
Reaction score
239
Location
Stillwater
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
 

Dumpstick

Sharpshooter
Special Hen
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
1,940
Reaction score
2,243
Location
Logan county, on a dirt road
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?

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.
 
Top Bottom