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neil duman
07-17-2015, 08:19 AM
I am in need of some good cullet to cast with. In the past I always used lead from different factories. Unfortunately they all seem to be getting away from it. I have tried some of the soda cullet and it doesn't work well with the larger pieces.

To think I used to be able to buy 1/2 ton at .67 per pound. If I only knew then what I know now.

Pete VanderLaan
07-17-2015, 08:52 AM
Gaffer billets are available for 9.00 lb and I'm unaware of any commercial lead cullets being made in the US at this time Hammond Lead has quit making any of the necessary lead silicates, carbonates or oxides out of lead and Hammond was the last supplier in the US. I make a 24% lead in Shanghai but I can't import it without undue hassles and it's not worth coming up on the radar.

I am quite sure there is lots of existing lead cullet in barns and studios but finding it is the trick. I'm certainly sure than none of it is being advertised and there's no assurance that the quality is any good.

Jordan Kube
07-17-2015, 11:50 AM
Spectrum makes an excellent clear casting glass that is only $2.50/pound


http://www.system96.com/GlassKilnCasting/KilnCastingPlates.html

Pete VanderLaan
07-17-2015, 12:24 PM
Spectrum makes an excellent clear casting glass that is only $2.50/pound


http://www.system96.com/GlassKilnCasting/KilnCastingPlates.html
********
True. It just wasn't the question.

Rick Kellner
07-23-2015, 09:27 PM
Not the cheapest option, but you could buy up old lots of old clear neon tubing (before it switched over to lead-free/strontium formulations). Crush that stuff up, and you will have a nice leaded crystal cullet of sorts. Some of the sign supply houses still have old stock of this glass. A half ton would be a lot, but would be easy to acquire a few hundred pounds, at least.

Greg Vriethoff
07-24-2015, 12:03 PM
I've done some small castings in the past using crushed neon tubing. It works, but you'll get lots of small bubbles. You can minimize this by sifting the powder and smaller particles, and then washing it. Keep in mind that with those amounts you're looking at a big mess. This is lead we're dealing with.

I worked with someone about four years ago that was doing large castings with Schott. Like Pete says, there's stashes of it out there. You have to ask around, and you just might luck out and find someone that forgot about the two tons in the barn.

Gaffer really is the only reliable connection at this point. At $20 per kilo it does add up really quickly, but you have to ask yourself if it's worth it to spend the extra time hunting other options. My guess is that anyone out there with any Schott won't be willing to part with it for $1 per pound.

[Note: I do not have any connections. Sorry.]

Pete VanderLaan
07-24-2015, 02:20 PM
I always decline when people want to buy my schott piles. If you can't replace it, selling it is iffy. I am sure there is a lot of lead glass out there but I'm pretty sure there's a 1930 Cadillac in a barn somewhere with 550 miles on it and that I can afford it.

Greg Vriethoff
07-24-2015, 03:43 PM
The other thing about the neon tubing idea is that you will get a blue/green tint, so if water clear is necessary I recommend avoiding it.

George Vidas
07-24-2015, 04:30 PM
I remember someone in art school asking around for old CRT televisions to use as casting cullet. I remember it being because the front screen is a high lead glass.

Pretty abundant resource, just be sure to discharge the capacitors correctly.

Joe Pfeifer
07-24-2015, 05:42 PM
What about the companies that offer the 3D laser etched cubes in "glass crystal" I am sure they are importing container loads of polished lead glass cube blanks which should work??? Some of the larger engraving companies may even have some "seconds" or mis-etched cubes piled up in their warehouses...

Better yet, you import a "boatload" from Alibaba, or Aliexpress:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/3d-crystal-cube-3D-laser-etched_60082681562.html

They list: Supply Ability:
50000 Piece/Pieces per Week

Eben Horton
07-24-2015, 06:11 PM
Gaffer is the only game in town. And it's beautiful.

Pete VanderLaan
07-24-2015, 07:43 PM
I don't view that as a good lead glass ( the cubes) and I actually kind of doubt the lead part.

When you see a good lead glass, you know it immediately

Jordan Kube
07-24-2015, 09:10 PM
Leaded or not I've always wondered about those glass blocks. They're really nice.

Tom Fuhrman
07-27-2015, 11:48 AM
check around Jeannette, PA. St. George Crystal has only been out of business a few tears and there maybe a lot of cullet from them hanging around the old Jeannette plant . they made millions of pieces in their time.

Jacqueline Knight
07-28-2015, 06:23 PM
There is another supplier of casting crystal but I'm sorry it's on the other side of the world. You never know. It's called Blackwoods Crystal from Victoria, Australia.

They are generally considered to be cheaper than Gaffer (if you're Australian) but you have to email them or call. Colors are more traditional I suppose but it is still a beautiful crystal to work with. Here are the contact details:

Blackwoods Crystal
837 Taugerty-Thornton Road
Thornton VIC 3712
Ph: (03) 5773 2203
blackwood@virtual.net.au
Lead casting glasses made here!

I found one studio in NZ that sells/shows their online catalog so you can get an idea:
http://www.dicast.co.nz/store/11/Blackwood-Crystal

Allan Gott
07-29-2015, 07:26 AM
I have a piece made by Helen Stokes using the Blackwoods and it is very, very nice looking material.

neil duman
08-07-2015, 09:26 AM
check around Jeannette, PA. St. George Crystal has only been out of business a few tears and there maybe a lot of cullet from them hanging around the old Jeannette plant . they made millions of pieces in their time.

I used to buy my lead cullet from them when they were in business. St. George was a good source before they closed up. I had tried finding someone up there to direct me to anyone that might know where all their left over cullet might be. I got know where really fast.

I now wish I bought a ton instead of the 1/2 ton last time. Hind sight is so good..

Thanks to all for the help. If anybody comes by that barn with the pile let me know.

Neikl

Tom Fuhrman
08-08-2015, 07:35 AM
CONTACT; Peter O'Rourke in Mt. Pleasant, PA. he had access to all the old Lenox stuff and may know of a stash.

Rick Wilton
08-10-2015, 11:35 AM
The optic crystal awards are not lead at all. It is made with extreme pressure to achieve the clarity.