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Author Topic:   making ballast weights
dan ferry
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 183
posted January 06, 2004 05:31 PM  
ive got hundreds of pounds of wheel weights was thinking of melting into a valve cover or some other type of mold any suggestions.. what is best way to melt them dowm.. thx..

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 429
posted January 06, 2004 06:55 PM  
What I did was take a peice of ply wood and some 2x4 s and make my forms out of wood. That way you can take a piece of plywood say 2 x 4 feet or so and nail the 2x4 standing onits side to the plywood and make several different sizes. Just nail it together good cause the lead may expand upon cooling. After you make your mold find some screen wire to just lay over the mold this will filter the metal from the lead has you poor it in. To melt it I just took a fish cooker and a big steel pot and put in the wheel weights and melt it dowm untill all the lead is liquid and the metal has seperated in the lead that way whenn you poor it the metal tabs get caught by the screen and you get all lead weight. Also be sure to have a big enough pot with good handles because you dont get a second chance if you drop it on yourself it will burn bad. Also do it in a well venalated area the fumes are bad. Make sure the wood is dry because the hot lead hits any moisture like water it will pop and carry on very badly. I made the mistake of dapening the wood form before pouring once and almost got hurt it went crazy. Pouring on dry wood is is fine you it will only smoke a little and you may have to bust the form to get it out but its simple. BUt if you need only a little weight and have some tall valve covers that will work but I like the wood better goodd luck

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 280
posted January 06, 2004 07:20 PM  
Little tin bread pans from Walmart work fine. You can melt the lead from the top with a torch. Use a piece of 1/2" screen to scoop the metal pieces out while the lead is still liquid. Leave them in and you'll have a tough time drilling it. The fumes are pure poison so ventalation is a must.

When you drill do it fast and hard after it's totally cold. The drill bit will make the lead hot and it swells and will drag the bit to a stop.

Good luck,

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 287
posted January 06, 2004 08:24 PM  
I melted mine & poured them into a old chevy valve cover. The ones that have no breathers . SD is right about the fumes they are terrible. I poured different amounts in them. The full one weighed about 50#.

dan ferry
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 183
posted January 06, 2004 08:50 PM  
excellent thanks guys. by fish cooker do u mean deep fryer? excuse my ignorance

unregistered Total posts: 183
posted January 06, 2004 09:15 PM           send a private message to dan ferry   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/QuoteBBBBBB
It would be cheaper to buy lead then to use your torch to melt it unless your gas is free??

I capped several 4 ft pieces of 2.5x2.5 tubing, and dropped of 500lbs of wheel wt lead at a dive shop.

I picked up my tubes a couple days later full of lead then cut them into 12" lengths with a chopsaw, 25 lbs each.

I like my lead in steel so I can weld a tab on to bolt it or slide it in another tube on the car and jam bolt it. Im not sure if thats legal around here on dirt though since I only see those clamps and bolts on every car.

The dive shop was glad to get the extra 150 of lead that didnt fit in my tubes and thanked me for it.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 128
posted January 07, 2004 06:07 AM  
Dan, however you melt the lead, "DO NOT INHALE THE FUMES" That stuff can kill you. The best way to melt lead is in a old cooker and a portable propane take like the ones used to deep fry fish in. I used a 8 inch round pan. Before it cooles, stick a bolt in the middle of the lead, use a 1/2 or 5/8 inch bolt. when its cool, drive out the bolt and you don't have to drill a hole. They weighed between 22 to 30 pounds each and ware two to two and a half inches thick. Good Luck,

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 265
posted January 07, 2004 02:01 PM  
I use a valve cover too, One trick to make the lead not stick is to use your torch and put a layer of black carbon on the inside of the mold. you can use a candle to do this too if you dont use a torch. This stops the lead from sticking to the sides. I don't like ruining drill bits so I also stick a bolt in the lead before it cools. The best way I've found to do this is to drill out a 2 x 4 to the length you need your holes apart and then bolt on two or three which ever you prefer bolts so that all your weights have their holes the same distance apart. It also gives you something to hold on to when you pull the lead out of the molds.

The fumes are deadly, do this outside, not in the garage with the doors open but outside.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 431
posted January 07, 2004 03:56 PM  
For heat just dump a bag of charcoal on the ground cocup of gas and Basiclly free heat to melt all the lead you want. Stand bolts up in the lead you pour and you don't need to drill anything. GOOD LUCK

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 241
posted January 07, 2004 07:52 PM  
Buy a respirator.....use the proper canisters.....Be aware that lead is most hazardous for small children......causes brain damage.....(probably my

Got to keep the little ones away......

Good Luck,

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