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Scrap lead from batteries?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gewehr98, Apr 30, 2008.

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  1. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    As I scrounge for more wheelweights to fill my bullet molds, I remember that I have a few spare dead car and UPS batteries in the corner of my garage.

    Obviously, I'd need to neutralize the acid with baking soda to a safe pH before separating the lead plates inside, but what alloy are battery plates made of? Are they plain soft lead, or something with a ratio of tin and antimony like wheelweights and linotype? How about arsenic or other nasty elements?

    (Even Lyman #2 alloy ingots from my favorite suppliers is getting scarce...) :(
     
  2. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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  3. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    I heard this is a bad idea as there is little pockets of acid trapped in the lead or something. Has anyone ever safely and successfully done this before?
     
  4. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    No, no, no! Modern 'maintenance free' batteries have plates made of stuff you do NOT want to try to make bullets from.

    Really not good idea to even think about trying it.

    Really...
     
  5. scrat

    scrat Member

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    yep very bad idea. Just recylce them its not worth the effort to risk your health
     
  6. fatelk

    fatelk Member

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    I saw an episode on "How It's Made" on recycling old car batteries. It's quite the process, and not something you can really do safely in your back yard.

    That being said, many years ago when I was young and stupid I did just this, tore apart old batteries for the lead. I often wonder if that could have been what caused the cancer...
     
  7. ftierson

    ftierson Member.

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    A long time ago, the plates were mostly lead...

    Reclaiming the lead then worked quite poorly...

    Now, the plates are not just made of lead, and 'reclaiming' the lead works even less well...

    Leave battery recycling to the facilities established to handle them...

    Forrest
     
  8. redsaber75

    redsaber75 Member

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    Don't even think about it...
     
  9. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    bad juju, leave the batteries alone.
     
  10. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    I knew it was bad juju...

    But I also melt wheelweights and lead pipes, and that ain't too healthy, either. ;)
     
  11. Uncle Chan

    Uncle Chan Member

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    I have several hundred pounds of lead acid battery Lead that was reclaimed from old batteries. Never had a problem casting bullets from them. Never a problem with pockets of acid.

    Hmmm...maybe I'm doing something wrong.
     
  12. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Modern "Maintenance Free" battereis have lots of calcium and arsenic in the alloy. The lead plates are really thin, and are packed with paste to form the anode/cathode as the plate is to be. Plus there is the separator, usually fiberglas or polymer. Plus the acid. Plus, when lead-acid batteries are worn out, the lead is degraded and you get a lot of dross. I mean, LOTS of dross.
    Honestly, for the risks, and the hassle, and the EPA Superfund issues (Anyone heard of Atlas Lead?) it's best to leave automotive batteries alone.
    Now, some big deep cycle/equipment batteries use big thick lead plate connectors and terminal lugs, if you cut those off and melt them, it's a good thing.
     
  13. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    I have about 100lbs of clean w/w metal left along with another 600lbs of 'dirty' w/ws sitting in buckets in my garage. I also have a worn out deep cycle battery from my boat. The battery doesn't tempt me even a bit, it has metals in it that are much more toxic than lead, including cadmium. :cool:

    Then again, none of my bullets are much over 200 gr, so I might not be as lead hungry as you are. LOL.
     
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