Pouring lead molds - www.ifish.net
The Oregonian's Bill Monroe!

Go Back   www.ifish.net > Ifish Fishing and Hunting > Ifish Community

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-08-2005, 05:19 PM   #1
pijon
Tuna!
 
pijon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kent, Wa.
Posts: 1,945
Default Pouring lead molds

I am just getting started in pouring my own jigs, weights, etc. I have molds for 1oz to 4 oz jig heads and pyramid sinkers 5-10 oz. Have melted down about 100 lbs of tire weights and about 50 lbs of soft lead purchased from a scrap yard. I am coming to the conclusion that the used tire weights may not be worth the extra effort. I have been using an old pan on a cook stove as a melter and a tin can as a ladle. The Admiral donated one of her used muffin pans for an ingot mold. (that works really well)! A new ladle will be here shortly. A couple questions for those more experienced. I am looking at buying a Lee melter. I am not sure if bottom pour or ladle pour works better for pouring large molds. I think I want a 20lb pot as it wouldn't take long to go thru that much lead. My plan is to pour for personal and friends use. Mostly jigs for bottom fishing up to 8 oz and sinkers up to 10 oz. Any advice on which melting pot I should use and any helpful hints would be appreciated. I do pour only outside and wear goggles and heavy gloves and clothing. Also is there a substitute hook for the Eagle claw #413 in sizes 5/0-7/0. Thanks in advance.

pijon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2005, 06:15 PM   #2
fishingls
Piscatologist
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Where Snake meets Columbia
Posts: 1,810
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

My first preference when casting lead bullets or sinkers is pure lead either, however I have used an untold number of lbs. of tire weights. It is very difficult if not almost impossible to clean up tire weights with a bottom pour pot. The best method is to use a regular melding lead pot with a LP gas furnace. I clean up the tire weights by fluxing with either bees wax or grease and clean the dross and waste from the top with a ladle. The Lyman Cast Bullet book has great information on how to flux lead. I pour the purified lead into 1 lb. ingot molds for use in a bottom pour pot. I would spend a couple of dollars for good ingot molds as the thin metal of the muffin pan will not last. I use large locking pliers to hold the lead pot when filling the ingot molds. My electric bottom pour pot is a RCBS, however there are many good bottom pour pots. Bottom pour pots are my preferred method of casting sinkers or bullets. Be careful with hot lead as there are dangers from fumes, hot lead can burn and any moisture falling into the molten lead creates a very dangerous explosive situation. I flux my lead in the bottom pour pot with Marvelux. It is a product sold by Brownells and if you are serious about casting, get some. Also, locate an online source for eyelets for cannon ball sinkers. If you will send a PM, I will give you a contact for eyelets. Buying eyelets in bulk is the cheapest way to go. Any questions, please contact me. I will be glad to help.
__________________
Work is for people who don't know how to fish.
fishingls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2005, 07:50 PM   #3
pijon
Tuna!
 
pijon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kent, Wa.
Posts: 1,945
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

Thanks for the reply, PM sent.
I was leaning towards a bottom pour pot but wasn't sure if they would pour fast enough to fill a large mold. That makes things a lot easier. My tin can ladle took some practice to fill a 10oz pyramid sinker. Several tries to heat the mold and maybe 3 out of four were complete after that. Hard to hold very hot objects steady!
pijon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2005, 06:12 AM   #4
fishingls
Piscatologist
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Where Snake meets Columbia
Posts: 1,810
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

If you can find an old pair of asbestos gloves, they work great for really hot objects. However, since we have have made asbestos a no-no, asbestis gloves are next to impossible to acquire. I will never admit to owning them. Next best bet for holding hot objects is heavy welders gloves (get them from a welding supply business) and use a heavy cotton glove for a liner inside of the welding gloves. I pour up to 24 oz. sinkers with a bottom pour pot. Just make sure your mold is hot. To get it hot enough, you may have to pour and remelt the poorly cast sinker until you get good ones.
__________________
Work is for people who don't know how to fish.
fishingls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2005, 09:28 AM   #5
sunshinefisherman
Tuna!
 
sunshinefisherman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Clear Creek
Posts: 1,349
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

I struggled with 1/2 made sinkers until I realized my lead was not hot enough. I ditched the hot-plate and now use a turkey cooker and an old cast iron saucepan with a ladle.

I only mold the larger and more expensive sinkers. Large bank sinkers 8, 10, 12 & 16 and cannon balls 16, 20, & 24. The smaller sinkers are not worth my time and the expense of a mold.

Tire weights should work fine but I purchased a 300# wad of lead at the Clackamas Steel Man.

I find that the Lil Mac are better molds than Parkers and that eBay is a good source for used molds. Dual size molds are more versatile and a better value.

Buy and use a high quality respirator designed for fumes, a dust mask will not cut it, and wash your hands after handling lead.
__________________
TEAM REDNECK


They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Ben Franklin
sunshinefisherman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2005, 04:15 PM   #6
TooDrunkToFish
Tuna!
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,103
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

For the small jig heads that I pour (e.g., 1 ounce or less), the Lee Production Pot IV (bottom pour) works just fine. I use it all the time to pour 1/16 ounce shad darts. I don't know if it will pour well for larger sizes up to several ounces (e.g., whether the lead in the mold will cool before the mold fills). Also, there is a 4-inch clearance under the spout, and so if your mold is too big, it may not fit anyways.

The tire weights work just fine for my Lee mold. The slag floats to the top, and so all of the stuff that is pouring from the bottom is purer material.

My biggest complaint is that the spout drips, about 1 drop every 5 seconds. And so, I need to put a can under the spout in between pourings, so as to catch the drips. It's a little bit annoying but not a big problem.

BTW I prefer to use tire weights rather than pure lead for jigs and casting lures (such as crippled herring type of lures)--the tire weights are harder and tougher because it is not pure lead. The pure stuff nicks, bends, and chips too easily for my purposes.

Ebay is a good source for pots and molds, as stated above. I got my Lee for about 25 bucks including shipping. It was used, but works pretty well for my purposes, absent the drip.

BTW, consider making your own sinker molds out of plaster of paris, spackle, or other non-meltable material--I use them for jig heads and lead lures with satisfactory results. Much cheaper than buying molds. Making them is relatively simple: coat your original sinker in grease, and place 1/2 of the greased sinker in a plaster mold and allow to dry. After drying, coat the upper surface of the dried plaster and the exposed part of the sinker with more grease, and then pour wet plaster over this. When dry, the two plaster halves can be separated at the greased surfaces, and the original sinker can be pulled out of the plaster mold. Cut pouring holes into the plaster and let dry until all the water is GONE. You should be able to make quite a few pourings before the plaster cracks or becomes unusable. Since these are just sinkers rather than finely formed lures, a quick and dirty plaster mold may work just fine.

Good luck.
TooDrunkToFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2005, 07:02 PM   #7
pijon
Tuna!
 
pijon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kent, Wa.
Posts: 1,945
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

Thanks a bunch guys,
I am well on my way to spending more on molds,hooks, etc, and melting equipment than I would spend on weights in several years. It will pay off in the long run however, especially after I retire and have more opportunity to decorate various rocks and snags with my handywork. I see it as a worthwhile side hobby to the fishing obsession.
So the bottom pour is fine for larger molds if they are heated and a ladle for the really big molds. Super heavy gloves, respirator, flux, are on my shopping list. I read somewhere that bees wax worked well for melting down and cleaning tire weights. I tried regular parafin and although the smoke and smell were awful, not to mention the tendency to flame, it did separate the junk from the lead fairly well. Regular flux sounds like a better choice.
Thanks again for all the info.
pijon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2005, 09:30 AM   #8
pirk fan
Chromer
 
pirk fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Corvallis
Posts: 518
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

I've spent way too much money on this kind of stuff, but the rig I've found works best for just about any application is the Hot Pot II. It has an external heating element which seems to last better than older internal ones, can heat the lead to the proper temperature, and pours fast enough to fill large molds before the lead begins to solidify in the mold. The bottom pour pots are great for small detailed molds when using soft lead, but they really don't pour fast enough for the bigger ones. If the Hot Pot has any draw back, it's capacity, but it remelts ingots pretty quickly when you get going, so it's not a major flaw. Price is right too, 37 bucks out of Cabelas.
pirk fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2005, 02:13 PM   #9
scottishsetter
Ifish Nate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,153
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

I use a 1 Gal. Propane tank cut-off around it's shoulder on a crab burner and a bottom pour ladle. Works good. I have used in the past a toilet wax ring(new) to flux.
To prepare wheel weights; skim off ;flux and pour into muffin pan(s) to make ingots for later use.
scottishsetter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2005, 03:49 PM   #10
Corkie Monster
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Posts: 2,604
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

I've been using the Hot Pot 2 as well and love it. I pour jig heads from 1/2oz down to 1/32oz. Been using it for about 4 months now and never had a problem. As for heating up your molds, I've been setting them on the kitchen stove burner at med heat for a few minutes, Works great for me.

CM
Corkie Monster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2005, 04:50 PM   #11
RussT
Steelhead
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 246
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

I use a Lee bottom pour furnace for casting bullets and sinkers. it does great for bullets, and small sinkers, but it won't keep up if you are pouring BIG sinkers. Most of my sinker molds will fit under the pour spout, but a couple of the bigger ones, I cast while I'm cleaning my wheel weight stash (once a year)
I use a 20 quart cast iron dutch oven and a "turkey fryer" burner for melting down wheel weights (WW) and making ingots. Muffin pans, or better yet cast iron cornbread pans work great for ingots. Don't preheat your mold over a propane flame, it will eventually warp. insted, stick the corner of the mold into the molten lead for 20 seconds or so, and it will preheat just fine.

If you decide to go with the Lee bottom pour, a little trick I know is to cover the top of the molten lead with 1/4" of kitty litter ( I steal some from the wife's bucket, she uses the scented kind so she can pretend that cat don't stink) It helps to insulate the molten lead, and as you return sprues to the pot, it re-fluxes them as they melt. Don't run your bottom pour furnace more than 1\2 dry, because it takes longer to melt the ingots you will be refilling it with.

KEEP ALL MOISTURE AWAY FROM MOLTEN LEAD I know I was cyber yelling, but this point can't be made enough. Molten lead on your tender skin flippin hurts, and your first instinct is to wipe it off, and now you have twice the burn!!! Don't cast sitting down, your thighs (horizontal surface) are a great catcher of molten lead drips and boo-boo's. Wear eye protection, ALLWAYS.

any help I can provide, I would be glad to.
RussT
__________________
A wife and a steady job, have ruined many a good Fisherman.
RussT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2005, 07:19 PM   #12
pijon
Tuna!
 
pijon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kent, Wa.
Posts: 1,945
Default Re: Pouring lead molds

My cast iron ladle and some other stuff arrived today, so I experimented some. I heated up some ingots I made from tire weights. This is hard lead so I figured it would be a good test. I already had some success with the soft lead. It took several tries to get the molds hot enough but finally made some 8 and 10 oz pyramids and some 1-4 oz bullet heads. I left the molds unfolded and filled both sides a couple times to speed up the preheating process. I did have difficulty filling the little barbs near the hook shank which hold the plastic worm in place. I suspect my lead is still not hot enough using the cook stove and have ordered a lee 20lb bottom pour. I also spill about as much outside the mold as I get inside the mold using the ladle. The ladle pouring is definately not my strong suit. Practice! I also noticed that after several times putting the sprue's and partial fills back into the pan that the lead was getting a bit grainy. I suspect it weakens with each remelting. Maybe I will drop test some sinkers to see if they break. When the electric pot arrives I will update the board as to my progress.
pijon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Cast to



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:17 AM.

Terms of Service
Page generated in 0.31745 seconds with 32 queries