Testing lead alloy using art pencils

Tom

Active Member
Count me among those that did not know this. I have the Lee hardness tester and am working on a stand for it as I have a hard time holding it steady enough to get an accurate measurement. What I like about the Lee is it has an accompanying chart to show how much pressure the alloy can handle. It allows me to load it accordingly and before I had that information, I was just guessing.

I have an art supply store nearby and plan to acquire those pencils. Much quicker than the Lee or others. Most of my alloy is just a guess as I scrounge for material and that simple pencil test is akin to magnet testing steel alloys. Just dandy.

BTW, how does one subscribe to a channel? On youtube itself or another way.
I made a quick stand for my lee microscope by drilling a hole in the cap of a clear juice bottle that the mic fit tightly in. Then I cut the jug down to get the right height above the lead. Cut one side a bit higher so you can slide the lead under the mic.
Guess I should've read the rest of the thread before posting. 35 Whelen beat me to it.
 
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35 Whelen

Active Member
For Christmas my wife bought me a beautiful Staedler mechanical draftsmans pencil that takes 2mm leads. She got an assortment of leads soft to hard. If you flip the lead around , you get a nice flat cylindrical end that works as intended to check Bhn of your alloy. If you lose track which lead you have in the pencil, it is nicely inscribed on the lead itself in easy to read white lettering. There is also a click type scale on the pencil body, simply twist the pocket clip to the proper lead hardness of the piece in the pencil, so you can recall when you come back to it. Really nice bit of kit.
 

35 Whelen

Active Member
GRMPS.....here you go. Hope these turn out my phone is really finicky at closeups. Scroll down for the other pics. Reduced them but I should have gone 10% instead of 30%.

You'll note the arrow near the pocket clip....it points to the lead hardness stamping on the clip, it rotates around so you can keep track of what's in the pencil. The pencil was under $10 and the refills with two leads of each type are around $2 each...thats Canadian, so your cost will be less Stateside.



Clip and hardness indicator.jpgLead markings.jpgBlunt end.jpg
 
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GRMPS

Active Member
Thanks, that is just to cool. You have a good woman

My Lee hardness tester stand
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I find it easier to file the top of the bullet flat put the dimple there then set or stick the bullet to a playing card or/ so I can slide it around easier.
A good light source is also important
 

GRMPS

Active Member
I feel the outer skin is harder than the center and I find I get better readings with the dimple in a flat smooth surface
 

Rick

Moderator
Staff member
Lead work softens. Filing does work soften it so it would appear to be harder on the outer edge.