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Wikipedia article

This article is about an older version of DF.

Lead can only be smelted from galena and can be used to make all furniture and craft goods, or made into lay pewter.

Due to its low material value, lead is hardly useful for making crafts. It can be useful for items of furniture, in cases where value and weight aren't relevant, or on maps where wood is scarce (but magma for a Magma smelter is available). Making lay pewter from it isn't a good option, since you can gain more value by making trifle pewter, fine pewter, or bronze from the bars of copper and tin and leaving the lead as-is.

Bars of Lead might be most useful as constructed bars or grates - all material has the same strength, lead as effective as steel (except for armor and weapons). Another way to make use of lead which does not use fuel is training your metal crafters by making them stud stuff with it.

There is no lead poisoning in Dwarf Fortress yet, so there's no reason not to keep your food supply in lead barrels or to trade lead goblets to elves (and enjoy imagining that you're slowly poisoning them).