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Babbitt-lead??


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Old 08-17-2005, 12:01:38 AM
Ihorse Ihorse is offline
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Default Babbitt-lead??

OK--all you metalheads out there--here is one that needs ansering---I have always purchased Babbitt for my bearing needs--my grandson brought home two five gallon buckets of Lead wheel weights---is wheel weight material --even close to being the same as babbit?? if not can one add something to a batch of melted wheel weights to make it very similar to regular babbit?? Iknow this is not rocket work we are doing here-but can it be reasonable to do what I suggest?
hate to throw this stuff away--probably get in trouble with the enviro freaks if I did that anyway,
your thoughts please--thanks d,j,
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Old 08-17-2005, 01:24:57 AM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt-lead??

D.J. I'm far from a metallurgist, but I will start things off and thereby provoke someone with more knowledge to jump into the fray.
Basic babbit is tin and lead. Antimony or bismuth are some of the things I think are added for the various alloys to make it harder etc... depending on what the service will be. If you overheat your babbit you can burn out some of the "good stuff" and it will still look the same but won't function as well.
I think it would be easier to melt your hard old wheel weights and cast them into fishing weights or minimal expanding muzzleloader ammo.
Kevin
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:18:56 AM
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Rob Skinner Rob Skinner is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt-lead??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ihorse
...my grandson brought home two five gallon buckets of Lead wheel weights---is wheel weight material --even close to being the same as babbit?
Good on the boy! He clearly has a good head on his shoulders. Lead is handy to have around. But to answer your question, no, your wheelweights aren't even close to babbitt.

Good babbitt is primarily tin, copper and antimony. Some will have trace amounts of lead, arsenic or other metals. Bearing metal with large amounts of lead will deform more easily. Wheel weight material will deform even more still. I wouldn't use it on a good engine or one that needed to last a long time.

With that being said, I'll admit to using wheel weights for bearings. It was an experiment and I fully expected the bearing to fail. However, it has about 20-40 hours on it and it shows no sign of getting sloppy. I'd use wheelweights again, but only for goofing around and never on anything serious.

In my opinion, the best use for wheel weights is for lead hammers. I have several in various sizes scattered about the garage and I really like 'em. You can make molds out of tin cans and use pipes for handles. My favorites are little ones about 1.5" in diameter and abut 2.5" long. A tomato paste can is a little larger than the mold I use, but is about right.

Rob
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Old 08-17-2005, 11:01:21 AM
Ihorse Ihorse is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt-lead??

I will be darned---I have used that lead hammer trick many times before--when it gets to beat up, just remelt and pour again--SO!! the answer to my question would be--wheel weights are totally lead???
thanks d,j,
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Old 08-17-2005, 12:06:56 PM
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Rob Skinner Rob Skinner is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt-lead??

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Originally Posted by Ihorse
I will be darned---I have used that lead hammer trick many times before--when it gets to beat up, just remelt and pour again--SO! the answer to my question would be--wheel weights are totally lead?
thanks d,j,
Hi DJ,
They're definitely not pure lead. A ballpark mixture would be 95.5% lead, 4% antimony and 0.5% tin.
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