want to cast some lead fishing weights with wooden molds

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  • want to cast some lead fishing weights with wooden molds

    I guess a 3D printed mold won't work too well with molten lead...

    There are some people making lead casting molds of wood.

    I have a solder pot, some surplus lead. and some wood.

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    Could be useful in the next Pine wood derby car.
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-20-2023, 07:11 PM. Reason: title
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

  • #2
    Interesting... I didn't know they made a soldering pot for hobbyist.

    When I was 14 or 15 I used to help my Dad in his plumbing business. Back then we used to use sectional cast iron pipe for sewer lines. One end was flanged and you placed two pieces together, put a hemp-like rope packing inside the flanged section, tamped it in and then using another rope-like wrap which had a steel opening to pour molten lead into the flange to seal the two sections together. We alway used a tank-top burner and bowel to melt sticks of lead; then, using a stone ladel would pour molten lead into the pipe flange.

    Later when I worked at Ingersoll-Rand's Painted Post facility we had a huge foundry division that produced most of our castings. At that time I met a couple of brother's, both engineers at that foundry. We were in Toastmasters at the time and I got to know one of them quite well. They'd been casting metal since they were kids, taught my their father who was in the foundry business in Pennsylvania and in the 'old country'. At the foundry we used treated wood models which we would then place in a box and compact the casting sand around to make the mold for the pour. I wish I knew more about the actual process, although I did spend some time there photographing some operations.

    Also, in model railroading (a hobby I once had when my son was a little guy) there was an element of casting that some of the more advanced hobbyist used. As I recall it was labeled as 'lost-wax casting". IIRC, you made a model of the part you wanted out of wax, then forming a mold around it with sand or plaster. When you pour the molten metal into the mold, it melts the away the wax and you have your part.

    Not sure how helpful this info might be to you, but I thought it worth mentioning, as it might give you a path to explore.

    CWS
    Last edited by cwsmith; 03-12-2023, 11:29 AM. Reason: Error - not wood 'mold' but should have read wood models, see the italic correction
    Think it Through Before You Do!

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    • #3
      What general shape do you envision using on the next derby cars? Can you cast bumpers, or drivers, or other? Looks interesting.

      I had a dumb thought - low temp plastic for 3D printing - for making lost plastic moulds.
      Hank Lee

      Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by leehljp View Post
        What general shape do you envision using on the next derby cars? Can you cast bumpers, or drivers, or other? Looks interesting.

        I had a dumb thought - low temp plastic for 3D printing - for making lost plastic moulds.
        Not for detail pieces but for cast in place lead weighting for more streamlining. Higher density. Now I drill cylindrical holes and put in spherical or disc or egg shaped weights.

        lost plastic is that like lost wax molds? Making a mold from a mold? I'll have to look up how that works.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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        • dbhost

          dbhost
          commented
          Editing a comment
          I've never done casting, but I recall my Dad did. If I remember right the molds were some kind of sand... I remember he had a lead bulldog he said he casted in high school metal shop class. Of course he went to high school in the 1950s... I know a couple of guys that melt and cast their own 50cal bullets for black powder using old car wheel weights... If I recall lead has a pretty low melting point.

      • #5
        Sinker molds are available. Plenty of different types of sinkers. With that tiny pot you would need a ladle to pour.

        wood molds, LOL. THAT'S JUST NUTS!
        just another brick in the wall...

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        • cwsmith
          cwsmith commented
          Editing a comment
          Mistake made in my entry. The 'wood' was an actual fabrication of the part we would cast. That was placed in a empty casting box and surrounded by wet casting sand. After the sand was set or cured, the box was opened, the wood modle removed, and then it would go to the floor where the molten iron was poured. My apology for the misleading mistake.

      • #6
        I got a tiny ladle made for bullets.

        The sinker molds are 50-60 bucks and I'd have to buy two for the sizes I go through a lot.

        I'm thinking about a mold extension to make two sizes with one mold set, convertible.

        If the wooden ones work I will buy some aluminum bar stock and make some permanent ones. I am imagining the wood ones will char and wear out after some use.

        The economics is poor, lead weights are getting expensive but this is probably an exercise to see it I can do it. So far a $20 pot and a $12 ladle.
        But I recently spent $20 bucks for 50 lead weights on eBay.
        Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-12-2023, 02:09 AM.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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        • #7
          Here are a few links to 'lost wax casting', if it's any help. https://www.google.com/search?q=lost...hrome&ie=UTF-8

          CWS
          Last edited by cwsmith; 03-13-2023, 12:01 PM.
          Think it Through Before You Do!

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          • LCHIEN
            LCHIEN commented
            Editing a comment
            No links...???

          • cwsmith
            cwsmith commented
            Editing a comment
            Sorry Loring, yesterday was just not worth getting out of bed for, too many mistakes. CWS

        • #8
          What shape sinker do you use? Any friends with a metal shop? lots of custom bullet molds are lathe bored these days.
          just another brick in the wall...

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          • #9
            Originally posted by Black walnut View Post
            What shape sinker do you use? Any friends with a metal shop? lots of custom bullet molds are lathe bored these days.
            I use slip sinkers that slide on the line with a through hole down the axis. Either eggs (usually) or bullets. And small ones for near shore use, 1/4 Oz, 3/8 oz and sometimes as much as 1/2 oz.
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            Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-12-2023, 11:03 PM.
            Loring in Katy, TX USA
            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
            BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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            • dbhost

              dbhost
              commented
              Editing a comment
              Hmmm. I usually use a drop leader with a hook on sinker. I haven't used slip sinkers in decades. I have them, should try rigging that way next time I go out.

            • LCHIEN
              LCHIEN commented
              Editing a comment
              Using a slip sinker on the main line keeps the bait near the bottom. I use a leader about 9-18 inches so the weight is 9-18 inches in front of the leader stopped by a swivel. A fish picking up the bait will pull the line but won't feel the pull of the sinker - keeps the wary fish from dropping the bait due to the different weight feeling. If you keep a loose tension on the line you can feel the line start to move away, a lot of fish will tentatively mouth the bait so a small delay in setting the hook is good.
              So that's why I use a slip sinker. The theory sounds good anyway.

              With a drop sinker, the fish takes the bait he will soon be dragging the weight with him.
              Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-18-2023, 03:14 PM.

          • #10
            Progress
            Double mold with 6 cavities on each side. (not all the cavities drilled on one side.
            one side up is for the smaller sinker. Turn it over and the cavities on the other side are for the next larger size.
            Draw wire makes the hole through the sinker.
            Probably needs two more clamping bolts before I use it.
            I hope my volume/density calculations are correct! Yes I accounted for the hole material loss.


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            Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-13-2023, 07:56 PM.
            Loring in Katy, TX USA
            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
            BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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            • #11

              All done. need to oil the draw wires so they come out easier (I hope) and get the lead and melt it during daylight tomorrow.

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              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

              Comment


              • #12
                Grand Kids on spring break so they came by and spent the afternoon - I taught the boys to play Stratego (anyone remember that game) and we had dinner the wife cooked Chinese food so I got a pile of lead from my Dentist friends x-ray bite-wings that's scrapped out when they develop the x-rays. But that's all I did (Well I got a pizza on the way home for lunch) and then the kids came over.)
                Loring in Katy, TX USA
                If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                Comment


                • #13
                  Success! Cast about 60 this afternoon. 2 sizes. The 1/4 oz averaged about 0.28 Oz and the 3/8 oz averaged 0.37 Oz. So it came out pretty close. Since the cavity is an open end I have to control the pour to the top of the cavity or else I get a mushroom top and a bit overweight.
                  Overall I was pleased with the clean smooth finish of the weights showing just a hint of the seam and no wood grain.

                  The lead came from a dentist friend of mine. they are the backing for the bite-wing x-ray films. They save them when they develop the x-rays. Surprisingly the foil has a lot of air fluff. You can see I used a fruit cake tin of lead foil, it only fills the little solder pot shown about 1/3 full. I think it took more than 2 full tins of lead foil to make 60 weights.

                  This was mostly curiousity to see if I could do it cheap. Ladle $12 (very important to control the pour on small weights) Solder pot $21 Lead free, wood free. misc bolts and nuts $4 but I keep a stock of them.

                  I think fishing weights are getting costly. I think I get like five 3/8 oz for $3 at the local sporting goods store. Running 40, 50 or 60 cents apiece. And you lose a lot of terminal tackle fishing on the Jetties due to snags..

                  Pouring is not too hard once you get the hang of it. I trim a little pour flash or a mushroomed end with some wirecutters and let it fall into the pot.
                  The hard part is withdrawing the pull wire from each sinker. I used steel coat hanger wire of 0.088 dia, Its hard to pull free of the lead. I have to clamp the mold down to the table. I use a T-handle on the pull wire loop I fashioned with the wire bending jig. And I oil the pull wire before each use. Its fairly laborious. Once the wires are extracted I loosen the mold clamping screws and the sinkers mostly fall free.
                  I wish I knew how to make the wires easier to release, that is so they don't stick to the lead for the .5" of engagement in the sinker. Needs a non stick coating I can apply at home that can stand 350 C.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-16-2023, 12:06 AM.
                  Loring in Katy, TX USA
                  If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                  BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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                  • #14
                    What would happen if you freeze the sinker/wire. Different metals shrink differently when frozen. Maybe the steel wire shrinks more than lead.

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                    • #15
                      OK solved the pull wire problem.
                      First, oiling the wires each use makes them come out a little easier, but still takes a fair amount of force.
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                      Them I clamped the mold to the table and built an overhead lever arm that gave me about a 4:1 advantage. This worked great. And saved a lot of time and physical aggravation because I struggled to get them out without the lever arm. I lifted the left side of the lever with the fulcrum over the table and it came out slowly with a reasonable and controllable force instead of pulling as hard as I could and then having it yield suddenly and unpredictably..
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                      I made about 130 sinkers today after I got the process tuned and the wire extraction working.

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                      Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-18-2023, 02:41 PM.
                      Loring in Katy, TX USA
                      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                      BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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