Testing lead alloy using art pencils

waco

Springfield, Oregon
I got it off the boolits site. I’ll try and find it tonight and put a link here.
 

Maven

Active Member
Yes it is simple and fairly accurate, but let's give credit where credit is due. Waco's technique was developed or perhaps refined by the late paint chemist, Ken Mollohan (Molly on the Boolits site). Btw, Ken was one of the founders of the Cast Bullet Association. who, for some reason posted more on the Boolits site than on the CBA Forum.
 
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35 Whelen

Active Member
Thanks Waco....I found it buried in my laptop files. Thanks for the information. I'll have to use them more often.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
Ken told me why he posted at Boolits more than the CBA forum in one of the many PM exchanges we had.
I don't want to open a big can of worms but it had to do with a couple of personalities.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Ken was one of those guys who would speak and I would listen. He had an unreal amount of knowledge and an excellent ability to communicate.
 

Chandler

Member
35 Whelen I can't thank you enough. It took me 5 minutes to craft that stand from a 5 cent water bottle and I was reading the dimple like a pro. All I need now is a good light source gizmo. I too want to know how the art pencils compare to the Lee 20x microscope but in the long run, knowing anything is much better than knowing nothing and that is where I was for years.
 

GRMPS

Active Member
Easier pencil lead hardness testing
This is a simple mod of a pencil sharpener to prepare pencils for lead hardness testing



Insert pencil and mark the blade where pencil lead and wood meet


Use a grinder/file/? and remove the cutting edge where the pencil lead is


Insert pencil and sharpen until pencil lead sticks out past the wood the distance you like (I go a little under 1/4 in)







 
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GRMPS

Active Member
File bullet/lead flat and smooth
Hold the pencil at an angle and push across the lead


If the pencil cuts a trough and leaves a curl of lead, the pencil is harder than the boolit lead "HB" (14-15 BHN)


If the pencil slides across the lead the pencil is softer than the bullet lead "B" (13 BHN)


This boolit is between 13 and 14 BHN

Pencil Hardness Chart
 
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35 Whelen

Active Member
Excellent GRMPS....>I was just going to invest in a couple of drafting pencils with their thick 2mm lead...you have solved that problem. Thanks for the excellent idea and step by step.
 

Chandler

Member
Thanks Grmps. I have not made it out to our art supply store and love your sharpener mod. Should make shaping the nib very consistent.
 

JWFilips

Well-Known Member
staedtler pencils are the only method I have used for years! It works; get the staedtler lead chart and you are right on! All you have to do is sharpen the pencils and flatten the point at a 90 deg angle These will not "lead" (sic) you a stray!
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
Waco and I tested the same bullet recently, him with pencils and me with a Lee hardness tester, the results were only about 1 bhn apart, which is really close in my estimation. The most useful aspect of a bhn test is being able to consistently measure bhn, not necessarily exactness.
 

JWFilips

Well-Known Member
If it is the system you use consistently it will work for you that really is all that maters!
That is the way I use it. Staedtler pencils and my alloys ...Not comparing it to anyone else's Just my alloys!
Works for me