The lead casters that I've known just leave it there. When my uncle passed
away his iron bullet and fishing-sinker ladle had a layer of lead in it that
had been there for 50 years or so; for 20 of those years that I watched him
cast bullets, jig heads, and sinkers, I never saw him clean it out.
If it offends your aesthetics , you could use the clay wash (buy a small
bag of slip-casting clay from your local crafts shop, and mix it to the
consistency of heavy cream; slosh it around and pour it out; let it dry
*really* well) or smoke it good with an acetylene torch...until you get
tired of that nonsense and just leave it in there.
Are you saying that the lead is actually tinning to the ladle, or are
there just a buch of "crumbs" sticking to it after 95% of the molten
lead drains out?
My ladles for lead are rusty enough that its not a problem. I don't
keep them in the hot lead. but of COURSE I preheat anything well above
water's boiling point before putting it into the molten lead.
When I was a kid I salvaged a lot of lead from smashed batteries in
the river behind the auto-parts store and cast it in a foundry way out
behind the house. At first I sand-cast it but couldn't get all the
shapes I wanted, so I tried carved wood molds. They worked well once
or twice, then heated up enough to char. A plaster lining didn't last
long. Playing around I discovered that I could fill the mold with
water and pour the molten metal right into it, the metal was hot
enough that a steam film formed and the metal didn't lose its heat
quickly, in fact molten copper would continue to glow red for a while
under the water.
The surface finish of the castings was beautiful and I thought I had
stumbled onto a really good idea until an old nail hole trapped a bit
of water under the molten lead. BANG! like a firecracker and
everything nearby including me was covered with a thin film of metal.
I was lucky, I wear glasses and the layer was thin enough that I
For many reasons I'm lucky to have few scars, both eyes and all my
fingers. I was usually the one watching and holding the beer.
They don't make 'em like that anymore. A few years ago I was looking
for lead & opened up a battery from the dump. The lead was in some kind
of matrix, or itself was a spongy form that yielded 90% dross & 10% lead