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Blacksmithing and Metallurgy Hand-wrought manufacture of metal objects, extracting metals from their ores, or purifying metals and casting useful items from the metals.

Blacksmithing and Metallurgy

Babbitt or Lead?

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Old 01-27-2018, 05:08:59 PM
LCJudge LCJudge is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or Lead?

This test will tell you if its babbitt or lead. If its babbitt you won't know for certain what type (tin based, lead based, copper or nickel infused, etc) but at least you'll know you don't have a big hunk of sewer pipe lead (still a lot if it around).

Cut you a section of babbitt 1/4" wide and about 2" long (if you can get it that long, if not cut it as long as you can get it) from the material you have. Put it in the vise with 1" sticking out. Take your hammer and bend it over until its 90 degrees. If it breaks before it bends to the 90, its babbitt and more than likely tin based. If it bends to the 90 but has a big crack in it at the 90 degree point, its more than likely lead based babbitt. If it bends totally to the 90 degrees and there is no break or major crack at the 90 degree point, you have lead.

I've sold probably a ton or more babbitt through the years from a major stash of the stuff I got a number of years ago. All of mine was tin based and both nickel and copper infused. I know JB has used some of it he got from me several years ago.
Tommy Turner
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:00:34 PM
G Willikers G Willikers is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or Lead?

I picked up about 150 pounds of Babbitt today from a local fellow. It is still in bars clearly marked by manufacturer. I noticed while piling the bars in the shop today that they had a nice ring to them if you knocked them together.
Some of the bars have very nice lettering. Almost too good to use. His father was a Babbitt man and worked on the road all over Ontario. This is good stuff.
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