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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: My journey into the world of Lead pouring  (Read 2405 times)

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B0B

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So the past few outings i lost a lot of gear, jigheads, rigs, and other things. And after buying jigheads for about 3-5bucks a piece, i said enough is enough.  I did a little homework and decided to pour my own. 

Ordered the Lee melter, some cast iron supplies, some safety supplies including googles, respirator, gloves etc.

Then it got to the point where i needed to get some lead. Sure i can pay for ingots at 1.50-2.00 per lb, but i thought there must be a better way.  I looked on youtube and seen people collect wheel weights and melt them down.  I have a tire guy, so i gave him a visit, and sure enough he had two buckets waiting for me.  They were not sorted, and he was just going to sell it to scrap the scrap metal guy. I told him ill take it, ill pay you for it.  Instead he offered it to me for free since i give him so much business.

Now the hard part. There was all sorts on stuff mixed in. Iron, steel, zinc, plastic.  I needed to know how to find lead. Youtube taught me that. After cutting, crimping, knocking nearly every piece to determine the composition, i was able to sort it out after 3 days.  I also know that zinc would contaminate my lead, so i made sure i did not have any in there.   

The lead wheel weights came out to a solid 45lbs, which was over 1/3 of the total scrap.  Im happy with this yield because i know in the future, lead wheel weights will be more scarce because of the ban.

I heated the lead using a cast iron skillet, but my burner and so it got like a gooey consistency, i suspected that i had zinc in there, but later found out the burner wasnt hot enough. I skimmed whatever needed to be taken out and i scooped the half melted lead and put aside.

So few days later, my lee melter came in, and the fun begins.  Threw in the half melted stuff and it melted down quickly. Poured them into a few jigheads, and after a few trial and error pours i got it down.  The first few i had issues with the lead not being able to get into the crevices to create the bait locks.  I found out not only the mold needed to be warm, but also the hooks.

Was about to pour about 60 jigheads, with still about 25lbs left of ingots i made, and some wheelweights i was still not able to get to.  After a long tireing few hours, i called it a day.  Im happy to be able to accomplish my goal, and to be able to save a ton of money.  No more retail jigheads!!!

Mold: do it! Style #9 3oz abd 4oz
Hooks: mustad 91715 90degree 8/0



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-Bob


scooter

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Cool to see you enjoying your hobby. That's a good idea to melt down scrap in a skillet or something else so that you don't mess around with clogging up your lee bottom pour machine. I messed around with all sorts of weights, scrap, bullets ect but found it very hard to make it worth my time to try to reclaim lead. Be very careful remelting  scrap because you never know what fumes you are releasing. Respirator for sure a good idea. Like you I found it very satisfactory to make my own stuff because I too lose a lot of tackle and always feel screwed paying retail price at the store.plus it's cool to just learn how to do it


sonoramike

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Nice job!!!
If you want to powder coat them I suggest getting a heat gun. You can get nice pricey ones at the hardware store or go to harbor freight and spend around $15.  For the powder I say harbor freight all the way!!! It's around $8. For a 16oz jar instead of the same price for 2oz of protech. They only have a few basic colors. I use both brands and you can't tell the difference.


DG

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Great fun.  I have been doing it also.  Never had to heat mold or hooks to make it work.  One issue I have with recycling lead is sometimes the pieces have moisture in them and if you put in the melter to fast it can gas and throw hot lead like a little explosion.  For now I put a wood board on top of melter to keep splatter down.  Not as big of a deal if you put new pieces in pot before turning on.  It slowly raises the temp and can burn off moisture.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 02:02:06 AM by DG »
-----------------------------------
DG = 1st name Duane / last name starts with G.  Not very creative, but InsaneDuane was already taken.


cam3087

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When you work on bulk lead melting in massive amounts >50 lb be careful with cast iron. It will crack at some point so I bought this pot made from the fellas at another forum boolit something where they do this all day. Get the right ladles and don't use the cupcake pans as they well fall apart soon. Use the right equipment with respirator and face shield like you said you did. But be careful as even a drop of sweat into molten lead can send you to the ER and at least a few days on the floor

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B0B

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Thanks guys for the tips. So heres the update:

I wanted to start painting it "just because" it looked cooler. So after doing a lot of research, i went with the powder paint method.  Built myself a diy fluid bed for the powder.  Used a 2 inch pvc union, with a plug on bottom, and a 2" section on top.  Drilled and screwed the bottom plug to a wooden board, drilled a hole to the lower side of the plug for a air valve. Powered it with an old aquarium air pump.  It worked flawlessly after some adjustments.

For the paint i used pro-tec bought from bps for 7.99 before i found out about the similar product from harbor freight. Ill chevk that out when i run low.  Color of choice is red.

I had a cheapo heat gun but it wasn't heating it fast enough, so i decided to go with the traditional candle heat.  I had a few candles lying around from when i used the wax to flux the lead.  First few tries i chared it black and the psint didn't stick. But after that i found a sweet spot and with patience, i was able to get it right.



Few done, many many more to go.

Contemplating on wether or not i want to put eyes.  Maybe for GSX.

One challenge i had with these big jigheads is that it would rip some of my swimbaits after rigging. It would rip through the side.  First i suspect that my collar and the bait lockers are too big, but after compariing with a few of the store bought 4oz jig heads i had from before, they look identical.  Im sure i rigged it correctly making sure to wet and lubricate that  part when inserting, but when left overnight, the swimbaits ripped open.  On the newer ones, i drilled holes in them to open a gap for the lead to sit with stressing the plastic. Hopefully it holds.  I also heard theres a tube made to bore out swimbaits that is used for rattles and scents which can also be used for this purpose "swimbait plastic extractor"  i looked it up and seems the company thst makes it shut down...

How do you guys deal with this issue?  Is everyone drilling their swimbaits?

Currently these are not for sale, unless you want to meet me at a ncka hookup for a few.  But hopefully when i am able to produce more, they will be up for grabs, since i dont know of anyone in the southbay producing these.

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Nice work Bob and congrats on making your own jigheads! 
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trianglelaguna

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lot of work man
good write up and replies and great pics...
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.

People arenít supposed to look back. Iím certainly not going to do it anymore.Ē
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scooter

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I use that same of swim bait style as the green one on the right sometimes cause they are cheap but I cut the head off until it fits up to my lead head better. That may also help with the splitting? What about using a hot nail to melt a hole into the swim bait?

I like your fluid bed. I made one of similar design and it is much nicer. I will get you some pics if I get a chance. Only way to go. What did u use for the air filter material?


sonoramike

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Bob

Looks like you got a new hobby for when the WX sucks.

Looks like seal candy  :smt007

Good job bro!
Pronounced in Spanish  ka∑be∑za de mar∑t∑yo
Translates to Hammerhead in English for my Gringo amigos.
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B0B

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I use that same of swim bait style as the green one on the right sometimes cause they are cheap but I cut the head off until it fits up to my lead head better. That may also help with the splitting? What about using a hot nail to melt a hole into the swim bait?

I like your fluid bed. I made one of similar design and it is much nicer. I will get you some pics if I get a chance. Only way to go. What did u use for the air filter material?
I forgot to mention i used coffee filters. I may switch to something finer, or double up on layers

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Good stuff bob.  I've found powder coating to be easiest when I go straight from the mold to the dip.  The freshly poured lead is still hot enough to liquify the powder and get a nice even coat. 

Let me know if you wanna pour some iron. I have molds for jigs between 2 and 10 oz's.



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..........agarcia is just an ex-kayaker


scooter

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I have been meaning to try coffe filters also . Right now I use brown paper bag material but I have some heavy duty notebook paper I'm going to try next I think. The paper bag works good but better with some colors than others. Lots of good stuff about this on youtube


matanaska

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I find it easier to heat jigs in the oven then powder coat.  I use a torch and a awl to premelt holes for jigheads.
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