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Old December 6, 2019, 05:13 PM   #1
USSR
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Lead, Solder, eh, what's the difference. :o)

Went to my favorite scrap yard today looking for some lead sheathing or pipe (can't have too much pure lead). Found the sheathing and much, much more. Seems the guys at this scrap yard throw solder in with the lead (hey, it looks like lead). Came out with 7 # of solder at $.80 per pound. Now you know why it's my favorite scrap yard.

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Old December 6, 2019, 08:03 PM   #2
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Good score. There are different alloys of solder,of course.

Depending on whether its 50/50,or 60/40,etc you have some tin for alloy.
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Old December 6, 2019, 08:11 PM   #3
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Solder can have built in flux, usually rosen or acid core. Rosen is probably ok, but acid core....I don't know how you get rid of the acid, if it amalgamates into the solder melt, or if it burns off or what. Bar solder has no flux included. If you use it, does it leave acid trace in the bore? Has anyone tried this before?
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Old December 6, 2019, 08:53 PM   #4
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This is solid core solder, no flux. Have used flux core solder before and what a PITA. A lot of smoke, and then you have to spoon out the liquid flux which rises to the top of the melt. I don't know whether this is 50/50 or 60/40, but when creating an alloy I will treat it as 50/50. A little extra tin doesn't hurt a thing.

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Old December 7, 2019, 08:11 AM   #5
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I went to the local radiator shop and took the stuff from the bottom of their tank. Giant globs of 60/40 solder. Sometimes 15 or 20 lbs at once. They gave it to me.

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Old December 7, 2019, 08:41 AM   #6
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David,

Lucky you. Since I cast mostly hollowpoint and hollowbase bullets, I use a high tin content alloy. Helps to be able to add tin and not worry about the cost.

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Old December 7, 2019, 05:06 PM   #7
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Note that a lot of the modern lead-free solder is over 90% tin and often has a small amount of silver in it. Both good for casting.
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Old December 7, 2019, 06:18 PM   #8
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Hi Unclenick,

Yeah, I've got a spool of that high tin solder (95% tin, 5% copper) from a previous foraging in the lead bin. The high tin solder is not easily flexible like this solder is. It is definitely lead based, and if I had to guess, I would say it's 60/40.

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Old December 9, 2019, 08:37 PM   #9
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I always used either 50/50 solder in 1 lb bars (I think they are 1 lb) or 9 lb bars of 70/30 solder. I have a supply of both.
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Old December 9, 2019, 09:23 PM   #10
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Yeah, I've got some of those 50/50 bars. You don't find them much any more. Good stuff!

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Old December 9, 2019, 11:03 PM   #11
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It's always good to score a win.

My brother is a commercial plumber.
Once or twice a year, he cleans out the back of his truck and tosses all of the one-time-use or never-used rolls of solder into a bucket. I can't remember if it's 97/3 or 94/3/3. Either way, it's 3% copper and 94-97% tin.
Between what he keeps for himself and what he gives me, I think we're both set for a few generations.

We do, however, have a harder time obtaining lead and casting alloys. His primary berm mining location got locked down, and mine banned touching the berms altogether (technically, you can't even pick up a bullet sitting on the ground).

But, we find ways.
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Old December 10, 2019, 12:06 PM   #12
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FrankenMauser,

No scrap yards in your neck of the woods?

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Old December 10, 2019, 03:52 PM   #13
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The closest non-ferous scrap yard that will resell material is 165 miles away.

I've been meaning to stop by, for about a decade (), when I'm in the area. But it's never convenient...
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