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Old 01-13-2020, 12:45 PM   #1
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Default Lead molding?

Who makes their own lead? Looking on how to get into doing it myself. I want to be safe so please don’t give me backyard recipes lol. Looking for what are the basic needs to mold your own lead?

Where do you get your lead?
What equipment do I need?
Concerns?

I appreciate it in advance!!
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:37 PM   #2
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I use a fish cooker, large cast iron pot, and a cast iron ladle.

My dad bought a 1500lb sailboat keel that I have cut some parts off of.

I use a 12oz bank sinker mold, a 2lb mold, and a 10lb downrigger ball mold.

Every few years I will fire it up to resupply the 12s and 2 pounders.

Buddy gave me a lifetime supply of 16oz weights and anything else I use so few of that it is easier just to buy them.

Don't do it indoors and don't let any water splash into the molten lead. The fumes aren't good for you but I only do it every few years and never had an issue. Sorry, I guess this falls into "backyard recipes"

Last edited by DreamWeaver21; 01-13-2020 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:01 PM   #3
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Default My son just bought 1600# of cast lead bullets.

Perfectly clean, soft lead in easy to use form. All 9mm and .45. $.50/pound.
A week later, he moved from Crystal River to Greencove Springs. (PITA)

He has dozens of molds and trades or sells them often so he can pour a lifetime supply of about anything he wants. He will be targeting different species in the Atlantic so who knows what he will mold next?

Re: safety concerns. Make sure nobody slips up on you unannounced. Make sure you mold in a well ventilated space with an exhaust fan pulling the fumes away from you. All cotton clothes, not synthetics. Splash shield. Heavy apron.
Pants down over your shoes. (Leather shoes or preferably leather work boots. Dry, pre-heated molds, perfectly dry lead for re-stocking your pot.

No distractions. No cell phone. Pay attention. Minimize contact with raw lead. Wash your hands well and often. Buy lots of cheap cotton gloves and change them out often. Don't wash and re-use because you'd distribute the lead all through the glove.

He left me with 10# each of 1/2, /3/4, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8oz eggs plus 1 and 2 oz Sabiki sinkers, and a bunch of 1oz pencil sinkers. Also several 4# buoy weights. At my age, I'll never use all of every size.

Heavy metal poisoning is cumulative so exposure over time accumulates. Dangerous stuff.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWeaver21 View Post
I use a fish cooker, large cast iron pot, and a cast iron ladle.

My dad bought a 1500lb sailboat keel that I have cut some parts off of.

I use a 12oz bank sinker mold, a 2lb mold, and a 10lb downrigger ball mold.

Every few years I will fire it up to resupply the 12s and 2 pounders.

Buddy gave me a lifetime supply of 16oz weights and anything else I use so few of that it is easier just to buy them.

Don't do it indoors and don't let any water splash into the molten lead. The fumes aren't good for you but I only do it every few years and never had an issue. Sorry, I guess this falls into "backyard recipes"
No this was great!! Thanks!! I was more worried about the people who do it in the garage and in their kitchens using everyday pots and pans. Do you ever worry about how clean your lead is? I’ve heard the dirtier the lead the worse the fumes are toxicity wise.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captken View Post
Perfectly clean, soft lead in easy to use form. All 9mm and .45. $.50/pound.
A week later, he moved from Crystal River to Greencove Springs. (PITA)

He has dozens of molds and trades or sells them often so he can pour a lifetime supply of about anything he wants. He will be targeting different species in the Atlantic so who knows what he will mold next?

Re: safety concerns. Make sure nobody slips up on you unannounced. Make sure you mold in a well ventilated space with an exhaust fan pulling the fumes away from you. All cotton clothes, not synthetics. Splash shield. Heavy apron.
Pants down over your shoes. (Leather shoes or preferably leather work boots. Dry, pre-heated molds, perfectly dry lead for re-stocking your pot.

No distractions. No cell phone. Pay attention. Minimize contact with raw lead. Wash your hands well and often. Buy lots of cheap cotton gloves and change them out often. Don't wash and re-use because you'd distribute the lead all through the glove.

He left me with 10# each of 1/2, /3/4, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8oz eggs plus 1 and 2 oz Sabiki sinkers, and a bunch of 1oz pencil sinkers. Also several 4# buoy weights. At my age, I'll never use all of every size.

Heavy metal poisoning is cumulative so exposure over time accumulates. Dangerous stuff.
Would a breathing mask eliminate the risk for metal poisoning?
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:37 PM   #6
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I do no know of any breathing mask that will remove lead fumes. Do your casting outside and keep the wind at your back. Also, make sure your molds are absolutely dry. Any water will cause a mini-steam explosion. I have been casting lead since 1981 (war game figures, .36/.54 lead round balls and bullets, fishing sinkers & jigs). No lead build up in my body.

Last edited by MikeJ; 01-14-2020 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:34 PM   #7
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You'll need some heavy gloves for handling hot molds. If your lead is trashy, all that rises to the top and is easily skimmed off and even pure lead will oxidize and form a scum. I've used soft and harder lead and besides melting point, there's no discernible difference to me when making sinkers. Melting lead and pouring sinkers is an open air affair. Cast iron pots are good because they hold the heat but are not necessary. In the 70s I used a Coleman stove and it will work, but barely. A fish cooker type burner is much better. The hotter your lead, the easier it will pour. Hot molds are key when starting your pours. After a couple of castings, they will be PLENTY hot. On egg sinkers, I pull the mandrels before I open the molds, it's easier and keeps them from bending. A pair of flush cutting lead shears are well worth the $7 investment for trimming. Suit up and don't forget the safety glasses, I had a friend who lost an eye casting zinc. A popular myth is that a drop of sweat will cause molten lead to explode. Not true but as Ken says, make sure any lead you add to molten lead is dry. Water carried to the bottom of the pot WILL cause an explosion.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:48 PM   #8
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Agree with all the advice above. I prefer to use electric heat rather than a fish cooker burner. I feel like I can control the temp better.

I pour in my garage but have my pot set so that a vent fan is sucking all vapors out the window. And, you won't forget the gloves but one time. According to the scar anyway.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
I do no know of any breathing mask that will remove lead fumes. Do your casting outside and keep the wind at your back. Also, make sure your molds are absolutely dry. An water will cause a mini-steam explosion. I have been casting lead since 1981 (war game figures, .36/.54 lead round balls and bullets, fishing sinkers & jigs). No lead build up in my body.

Supplied air would be the only true lead free air.


Here's a few we poured this afternoon for this Pompano season ... Cast in the garage with fans moving the fumes out & respirators on.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:08 AM   #10
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I use to use a fish cooker ,but nowadays I use a Lee's electric.... so much easier.
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