want to cast some lead fishing weights with wooden molds

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  • LCHIEN
    replied
    One last thing, I found a spade shaped bit set intended for masonry I decided would make some cast bullet shaped weights (see post #9 in this thread for picture of commercial bullet weight).
    Made a new mold, using what I learned from the first and doubled the density so a 11" mold could hold 12 - six each 3/8 and six 1/2 ounce bullet weights with the through hole.
    I didn't know the exact profile so I cast a sample a bit smaller than I thought and then calculated how much deeper I had to go knowing the delta weight per inch because I did know the diameter once past the curved part. I ended up averaging .37 and .47 oz for the 3/8 and 1/2 ounce target sizes so that worked OK.
    Had to make another set of draw wires

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    Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-23-2023, 03:00 AM.

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  • LCHIEN
    replied
    It was a challenging project. I saved buying about $65 worth of lead sinkers from the sporting goods store today. Although I spent time and research, I Can do more in the future at a reasonable speed.
    Fun that I was able to design a jig of wood that both made reasonably accurate sinkers and withstood repeated exposure without much charring damage, Should last a long time.
    Figuring out how to machine a molding jig in the right order and incorporate the pull wires and have everything accurately aligned was fun and informative.

    I could buy some professional molds for $60 but they only do multiples of one size or one each of multiple sizes. So I'd need $120 of molds or be stuck doing one at a time. And where's the challenge?

    And somewhere down the line I plan on catching some big fish with these guys.

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    Thanks for listening.
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-16-2023, 12:12 AM.

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  • LCHIEN
    replied
    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.

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  • capncarl
    replied
    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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  • LCHIEN
    replied
    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.
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    Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-16-2023, 12:06 AM.

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  • LCHIEN
    replied
    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.)

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  • LCHIEN
    replied

    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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  • LCHIEN
    replied
    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.

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  • LCHIEN
    commented on 's reply
    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.

  • cwsmith
    commented on 's reply
    Sorry Loring, yesterday was just not worth getting out of bed for, too many mistakes. CWS

  • dbhost
    commented on 's reply
    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
    replied
    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.

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  • Black walnut
    replied
    What shape sinker do you use? Any friends with a metal shop? lots of custom bullet molds are lathe bored these days.

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  • LCHIEN
    commented on 's reply
    No links...???

  • cwsmith
    replied
    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.

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