Lead from batteries? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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trcubed
04-24-2011, 05:53
Changed the battery in mrstrcubed's car yesterday, which caused me much and deep thought...

Anyone ever tried reclaiming the lead from a car battery for casting? Seems it would be difficult cutting the case open to extract the plates, but other than that, what are the drawbacks? Someone suggested the lead "soaks up" the battery acid, but that sounds kinds hokey considering how dense lead is. Flushing with copious amounts of water to remove most of the sulfuric acid before starting to disassemble would be in order.

Even tho shooting H2SO4 impregnated bullets sounds mildly amusing, I left the battery at the parts store for recycling. Did I just lose ~30 lb of boolits?

WiskyT
04-24-2011, 06:30
You did the right thing. The maintenance free batteries have other things in them besides lead and it makes bad things happen to your health when heated up. The LASC sight has an article on why you shouldn't do it.

dudel
04-24-2011, 06:33
You did the right thing. The maintenance free batteries have other things in them besides lead and it makes bad things happen to your health when heated up. The LASC sight has an article on why you shouldn't do it.

+1. There's lead in there; but also lots of other bad stuff. The lead in batteries is very pourous. The stuff does leach itself into the lead. Can it be done? I'm sure someone has tried. Is it recommended? NO. THere are better sources for lead then batteries.

trcubed
04-24-2011, 06:43
Knowing a little bit about chemistry, and not seeing discussion about it here, made me think it wasn't a good idea. Thanks for helping confirm!

dbarry
04-24-2011, 07:20
you know those hillbilly types that live in places like WV or CO (the ones that have a 3rd eye, 6 fingers -on one hand-, and snarl and make you glad you are a flatlander)... All that could have been avoided if they didn't cast bullets from car batteries... :O)

trcubed
04-24-2011, 07:35
you know those hillbilly types that live in places like WV or CO (the ones that have a 3rd eye, 6 fingers -on one hand-, and snarl and make you glad you are a flatlander)... All that could have been avoided if they didn't cast bullets from car batteries... :O)

one...two...three...four...five...

Yep, I'm a flatlander!

:rofl:

RustyFN
04-24-2011, 07:47
you know those hillbilly types that live in places like WV or CO (the ones that have a 3rd eye, 6 fingers -on one hand-, and snarl and make you glad you are a flatlander)... All that could have been avoided if they didn't cast bullets from car batteries... :O)

Hey :rofl:

GioaJack
04-24-2011, 10:57
Okay, okay, I'll admit it. (I already have in other posts so I guess it's no big deal to admit it again.)

Back when I was young and stupid, as opposed to being old and stupid, and in the military I had access to an almost unlimited supply of used batteries. Normal car and truck batteries as well as those huge ones that are in big fork lifts, aircraft tugs, etc. They use to stack the old ones on pallets in our ammo storage area and when we made security checks a couple times a shift we had ample opportunity to toss a few in the bed of the security truck. Luckily they also stored all of our expended brass in the same area which I believe was the genesis of one stop shopping.

I don't really know what the difference is between new no maintenance batteries and batteries of 40 years ago but back then it certainly wasn't worth the trouble... or the pain. It took forever to break open the battery cases with the use of a large hammer and some sort of chisel or large screw driver. Even if you hermetically sealed yourself in some sort of protective suit you still ended up with acid burns, not to mention trying to figure out how to get rid of all the left over mess of acid soaked plastic fragments laying all over the driveway.

After flushing the lead plates with a mixture of water and powdered laundry detergent you had to cut up the lead plates in small enough strips to fit in the furnace then hope that you had dried everything off completely.

After several forays into the battery experiment I came to the obvious conclusion that mining the base ranges for lead was a much safer and easier endeavor.

Suffice it to say that after those experiences I'd shoot factory ammo before I ever tried recovering lead from batteries again.


Jack

fredj338
04-24-2011, 11:21
As noted, not advised. Taking the terminal off is about as far as anyone should go. They are recycled at plants & the lead reused for batteries, or at one time, car ww, but way more involved process than any hobby caster should get into. You would be better off taking ww off police cars, less dangerous.

bush pilot
04-24-2011, 11:34
Have you ever tried getting a car battery in a pot?

trcubed
04-24-2011, 15:54
Have you ever tried getting a car battery in a pot?

Was thinking more along the lines of drilling a couple of holes, packing in all the ...uh...(10-10-10 + some kind of smelly liquid) it would hold and tossing the whole mess in a fire. Plastic case is light and would just fly away, leaving the lead plates...right???

Oh...and running. Lotsa running.

:supergrin:

willie_pete
04-24-2011, 16:32
Cadmium fumes from melting Lead Acid batteries = bad juju.

WP

bush pilot
04-24-2011, 17:48
Was thinking more along the lines of drilling a couple of holes, packing in all the ...uh...(10-10-10 + some kind of smelly liquid) it would hold and tossing the whole mess in a fire. Plastic case is light and would just fly away, leaving the lead plates...right???

Oh...and running. Lotsa running.

:supergrin:

My comment was a joke.

GioaJack
04-24-2011, 17:58
My comment was a joke.


Apparently comedy is harder than it looks. :whistling:

:supergrin:


Jack

trcubed
04-24-2011, 19:46
My comment was a joke.

Understood...mine, too.

DWARREN123
04-24-2011, 19:50
The lead will absorb acid and it will leach out later when melting and after it is cast. The flumes during melting can be very bad. Not something to do.

mmerrill64
04-25-2011, 18:35
Looking for lead? Try a tire shop. Lead wheel weights!

WiskyT
04-25-2011, 18:39
Looking for lead? Try a tire shop. Lead wheel weights!

LEAD WW are becoming scarce. The last bucket I got was a major PITA to sort through with all the zinc and iron WW in there. Range scrap is all I deal with now.

mmerrill64
04-25-2011, 19:11
I noticed in the past few years the new car manufacturers use zinc and steel, but when we replace balance tires we use lead. Alot of new vehicles use stick on weights and as far as I've seen those are all lead and have no steel clamp either.

WiskyT
04-25-2011, 19:50
I noticed in the past few years the new car manufacturers use zinc and steel, but when we replace balance tires we use lead. Alot of new vehicles use stick on weights and as far as I've seen those are all lead and have no steel clamp either.

I actually found some steel, iron or zinc stick on wieghts in my last bucket. I don't know what they were, but they were rock hard and not lead. I think sarah brady put them in there like the elf scumbags spike the trees.

trcubed
04-26-2011, 15:53
LEAD WW are becoming scarce. The last bucket I got was a major PITA to sort through with all the zinc and iron WW in there. Range scrap is all I deal with now.

Most of my sources have been required to stop giving me their old weights in favor of selling them to a recycler.

I found several pounds of lead at Lowe's not too long ago. They had a bunch of damaged roof flashing (like we used to use on plumbing vents thru a roof) that I bought for $5. About 40#, IIRC.

shotgunred
04-26-2011, 18:30
Junkyards have a lot of wheel weights.

Battery store charges a $15 or 25 dollar core and only gave me $5.00 for each old battery today. Hardly worth finding for $5.00 each.

WiskyT
04-28-2011, 15:20
I found several pounds of lead at Lowe's not too long ago. They had a bunch of damaged roof flashing (like we used to use on plumbing vents thru a roof) that I bought for $5. About 40#, IIRC.

I wish I knew that when I worked at Lowes:whistling:

trcubed
04-28-2011, 17:55
I wish I knew that when I worked at Lowes:whistling:

:rofl:

:whistling:

fredj338
04-28-2011, 19:25
I noticed in the past few years the new car manufacturers use zinc and steel, but when we replace balance tires we use lead. Alot of new vehicles use stick on weights and as far as I've seen those are all lead and have no steel clamp either.

All Jap & Euro cars have non lead ww, since about 2002. THe US manuf are switching over even as I type this. Many states are banning lead ww. Kalif is the largest car market in the USA & banned them 18m ago. The ww manuf are not going to make 2-3 diff kinds when their largest buyer does not want lead, so expect all lead ww to be gone in 2-3yrs.
FWIW, not all stick on wts are steel or zinc. Most are pure soft lead. Easy to ID, just bend them or try cutting w/ wire snips. ZInc are almost as hard as steel, but do melt & you don't want any in your bullet alloy.

shotgunred
04-29-2011, 10:10
Just think how much lead must be in one of those prius battery.

GioaJack
04-29-2011, 10:21
Just think how much lead must be in one of those prius battery.


If I ever find one left parked unattended I'll let you know. :whistling:


Jack