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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, what’s going on here?!?!? I poured some jigs today using two different sources of lead.

Source #1 is a mix of old cast net weights and old sinkers I have found.

Source #2 is ancient lead water piping my brother found in his cellar. It’s probably many decades old if not 80-100 years old.

Using the same mold and hooks, jigs from source #1 weigh 1.4oz each. Jigs poured from source #2 weigh 1.1oz each… fair difference IMHO.

How come the big difference? Seems source #2 (old piping) melts at a noticibly lower temp and pours better than source #1 lead. But once #2 source is solid the jigs seems to be harder to clean up than jigs from source #1.

I expected a slight difference in weight but not this great. Is there a significant difference in weight between purer lead and the various lead alloys??? Which is heaviest, pure or alloy??? This is all boggling my mind… maybe its all the lead fumes I’m sucking up.
 

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Can't answer all your questions - but the pure lead is heavier than the alloys. Likely the lead pipe is a lead/antimony alloy - which gave for a stronger, and harder pipe. The alloys seem to melt at lower temperatures than pure lead, and as you've noticed, are can be easier to work with. I'm surprised at the large difference in density of your two weights - it would indicate that the lead pipe has a large amount of another, lighter metal.
 

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I think Waynesboro is correct. Antimony is a lighter metal (lower atomic weight), so an alloy of 10 or 20% antimony with lead might explain the final weight difference. And any metal alloyed with lead will lower the melting temperature. Similar to how salt mixed with ice lowers the ice melting temperature (which is why the county spread about two inches of salt last week to melt one inch of snow!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input guys. I googled lead alloys and found out, as you said, that lots of lead products are actually lead alloys, mostly mixed with antimony, calcium and/or tin. These additives make the alloy melt at a lower temp and flow better. They also make the alloy lighter to various degrees.

When I poured using the old lead piping (presumably lead-antimony) I noticed it would seep into the hook eye and down into the hook bend. So it easily flowed through tiny passageways (aka, wetting properties). I also noticed the alloy took 2-3 minutes or more to harder while pure lead took less than 30 seconds tops.

Doing the calculations, my old water pipe must have a lot of antimony because the resulting jig heads are 21% lighter than those poured from pure lead. That’s kind of a big deal to me. So, looks like I might have to find a source of purer lead.

I remember a post a while back, maybe on TF, where someone complained the lead weights they bought were a fairly bit light than what was stamped on their sides. Guess those weight contained a lot of alloy.
 
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