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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mostly Bullshit

How was everyone's Super Tuesday?

Mine was less than super. Just another Tuesday. Nothing much happened. There was one interesting phone call - but that is about it.

You know it was an exciting day when the best you can come up with is "I got one interesting phone call".

But if you are some talking head on the TV, Tuesday was indeed super. It gave them something to talk about. All day.

Needless to say, it was a good time for a TV strike. I just did not really care.

You see, Florida had its primary already. So whatever the outcome turns out to be, nothing changes on my end.

The news is saying all kinds of things. Looks like Obama may pick up more States, but Clinton will still have more delegates. McCain seems to be the big winner on the Republican side. I guess. I am really not paying all that much attention. Can't get too excited over it.

So, what can I get excited over?

Lead smelting. That is what.

My dad likes to collect junk. Now for some reason, and I do not know what that reason is, he has a few dead lead acid batteries. So I get to thinking. I could use more lead fishing weights. Maybe a new downrigger cannonball. And stuff.

So I checked on the internet. I can get an electric furnace that gets hot enough to melt lead. Lead has a low melting point, which is good. So all I have to do is figure out how to turn lead plates into something more useful.

And then it gets fun! First off, I have to break open the battery and collect the acid inside. This is actually going to be easy. Then I have to neutralize the acid. Again - easy. A box of baking soda will work. But there is an even cheaper option here. ROCKS! Florida is made of lime stone. Lime stone will dissolve in acid, neutralizing it. So there. Toss in rocks till the fizzing stops. Then pour the liquid into a small plastic or glass container, and toss it in the trash.

No, the fun part will involve the lead plates. You see, chances are good they will be heavily sulfated. Lead sulfate is what kills batteries. Now if the batteries are deep cycle, then the lead plates are more "solid" and the sulfate will only be on the surface.

Auto batteries, or starting batteries, or high current batteries have a lead plates that resemble a sponge. The many holes increases surface area (and therefore current) but they do not like being discharged as much. The greater surface area also means more room for sulfate to build up.

There is a way to smelt the lead so almost pure lead is extracted. BUT......well lets just say that if calculations and available information are correct - the process could be.....interesting. Can you say noxious fumes? Yea..........

So maybe it is a better idea to leave well enough alone and leave the batteries alone. I can get lead from other sources. Like tire weights. And.....uhhhh.....diving weights. And stuff.

The electric furnace is fairly cheap. I always need fishing weights, and they do cost something at the fishing crap store. It is not uncommon to lose a weight or two when your line snags on something and breaks. So it would be cheaper - in the long run - to get the furnace and molds and stuff.

I just need to find a cheap, not so toxic, source for my raw lead.

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Blogger Dusty said...

My dad used to melt down lead for his fishing weights..and I called him crazy. ;)

Blogger Avery Gray said...

Every time I come to your blog, I feel like I learn something.

Come get your award!

Blogger Fuzz said...

I used to melt it in an iron pot outside on a coleman stove. It worked well. I was casting balls for a muzzleloader.
I lucked up and found a bunch of lead lined wall board stuff from an X-ray room, and saved the old balls I could find. So I guess I got radiation and lead poisoning at the same time.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Dusty - Crazy may be a good description. I like "deranged" better. I always need more weights however. And I could also make a few bucks making downrigger cannonballs for the really crazy tournament guys.

Avery - I never know what I am going to write about before I start writing. The post title is very often the last thing I create.

Fuzz - Muzzle loader huh? Believe it or not, I have some of those things. If I smelt lead batteries to make fishing weights, I will also buy two lead ball molds, one to make lead balls with a diameter of .457 inches and one to make lead balls with a diameter of .500 inches.

Blogger Cheesemeister said...

The phrase "Super Tuesday" mostly reminds me of Barney the Fucking Dinosaur and "Super De Duper." Therefore I was glad it was gone so I didn't have to hear it anymore!


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