With wheel weights and linotype and many other sources of lead drying up, I ran across these at the local power company where I work: Insulating Pins.png
These are insulator pins. Those Coke bottled color glass or ceramic insulators screw on to the lead threads. Most are sorted out and thrown away as junk, not scrap, since they are mixed metal. The lead melts right off.
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I will put up some pictures of a no sweat process of melting the lead off the pins, and both elements after separation. I went out to look for a "processed pin" during lunch, but I think they were already hauled off to the junkyard.
The easiest and cheapest way to melt the lead off is to use my wife's circular fire pit. It is rounded and has drain holes in the bottom, so I put the pins in a wagon wheel spoke design and then build a fire on top. The lead melts and runs downhill to the drain holes and is collected in a steel broiler pan. First Layer.JPG
Lead stalagmites.jpg

The end result are these lead stalagmites that are caught on the pan below the fire pit. I weighed the result of melting the lead threads off 37 insulating pins and it came to 12.7 pounds. Plus, I haul the scrap steel off to the junkyard for a bit of money to put towards molds.

I know this lead source might not be common, but if one or two casters run into a pile of these or can go negotiate for them, then this thread has served its purpose.


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If my calculator is correct that is 5.49 ounces per. I wouldn't have guessed there was that much on them, but hard to judge scale from a picture. Good find. Pure lead?
The bigger ones carry quite a bit more weight. I was a little surprised myself, but I guess that is why it's a good idea to put a scale to it. In fact, I am going to double check it.................okay, I got 12 lbs. 4 oz this time. I also did a fingernail scratch and it looks fairly close to pure lead, or at least softer than wheel weight lead.


Active Member
If a guy was to sharpen the remaining threaded end on those, they could be used for foot pegs/steps to a deer stand. With the shoulder on them you could pull them back out with a crow bar if need be.
If a guy was to sharpen the remaining threaded end on those, they could be used for foot pegs/steps to a deer stand. With the shoulder on them you could pull them back out with a crow bar if need be.
I always thought the steel pins could be put to a lot of different uses, myself. Worst case scenario, they sell for scrap, although the scrap guy came running over to make sure I "had removed the lead to make them clean." ;)


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About once a year, I stop by my friend's place, his hobby is Hauling away your junk and Metals Recycling.
I had some steel and brass to recycle and I swapped for a vintage USA made Arbor Press...he's got a shelf full of them.
ANYWAY, he asked me how I'd melt lead off of steel...He had a barrel (maybe several barrels?) of these same pins. Barrels outside, been rained on. anyway he met the tinsel fair and had enough of melting lead for a while.

I told him that I recently read a post about it (this one), and told him how you melted them. He wanted me to do it, I passed.
I think I have a lifetime supply of alloys, so I am not longer searching to add to my stash. Actually this spring I've been smelting what I have and trying to figure out how I'm going to store what I have. I have a neat idea about steel trash cans incorporated with my rear porch/deck/steps that need to be rebuilt. I have one trash can there now, with about 600lbs of COWW ingots on 50lb mini pallets. I live in town with a standard size lot and my garage space (and shed space) is at a premium...no room for another shed, but that would be ideal. OK, now I'm just rambling. Anyway, if someone is close by in MN, I bet my recycler friend would pay you (a portion of this lead) to melt his lead thread pins.



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JonB, take a pick to the sides and bottom of any outdoor storage system you use. You don't want to try and lift water too. It will get wet no matter our bests efforts.