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Author Topic:   Melting Lead
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 255
posted September 27, 2004 06:15 AM  
What heat source do you use?
How hot do you have to get it?
I was wondering if my turkey deep frying burner would have enough btu's to melt it?

Do you melt it in a frying pan or something like that?

What about molds, throw away bread pan, valve cover?

DO you drill afterward's for the bolt holes, or put like a piece of 1/2" conduit in the mold first?

Does the lead stick to the mold, or do you grease it somehow?

I picked up about 4 gallons of wheel weight's the other day.
About how much will this make?

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 569
posted September 27, 2004 10:20 AM  
We use a turkey fryer and cast iron skillet and they work fine.

Valve covers and bread pans work pretty well. In my experience, wood molds only work once, but if you want a funky shape or real big ballast, wood is an option. One thing I've played around with is pouring the lead into square tubing, so the mold is kind of a permant mold. Its a little over kill, but the ballast definately isn't going any where when its bolted on.

Drilling a deep hole in lead is kind of a pain, but if you dip the drill bit in water every 30 seconds or so, its OK.

4 gallons, I don't know....about 50 pounds of lead maybe?

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 138
posted September 27, 2004 05:03 PM  
I use my turkey fryer for it, and just an old cast iron pan to melt it. As for the molds, I have some old bread pans and also some old valve covers. What I'd done for bolts is pour the lead, and place bolts in upside down in the pans and let them cool, you then have a built in hex head on the side opposite the nut. I've not had a problem with them sticking that a little smack with a hammer wouldn't take care of.

rico 08
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1139
posted September 27, 2004 06:08 PM  
Friend of mine uses an old electric range in his shop,really a slick way of doing it...set the timer and when it goes off go pour it in the valve cover,i used buick valve covers they are a little bigger and have two mounting points.also don't let any water get into the pot...just like with cooking grease it will pop and burn you bad(did that).

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 287
posted September 27, 2004 06:20 PM  

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 640
posted September 27, 2004 08:22 PM  
flanndad I use a castiron latle and a torch then I poor it over an old catilic converter heat shield no greace nothing just poor it in I like and antuque ice cbe tray It is alu. let it sit then turn over the lead fales out 4 gal will make two chevy valve covers about 55 # lbs ea later dude

if every thing is under control your not fast enough

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 268
posted September 27, 2004 08:39 PM  
Coffee can and a weed burner. I use tire weight from a tire shop. They are free but take a little more time to get all the tabs out of the melted lead. I just throw them all in a coffee can heat it up tell its all liquid and use a bent piece of thin steel to scoop out the tabs from the weights then pour into your mold. Dont wory about geasing it or anything like that. Its easy and pretty fast.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 303
posted September 27, 2004 08:43 PM  
We took a smokey joe bbq grill and built a hot charcoal fire in it with coals below and on the sides of a cast iron dutch oven. Once the dutch got hot enough the lead would melt right away. I just poured it into a valve cover. Make sure the cover does not have any tabs or brackets inside for the lead to attach to and it should drop right out when cooled. You can drill the holes after. Pretty much what your buckets of lead weighs is what you will have.

[This message has been edited by eborcim (edited September 27, 2004).]

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 24
posted September 27, 2004 09:06 PM  
Dont let any moisture or water around the lead when you are melting it.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 168
posted September 27, 2004 09:24 PM  
I have been lucky enough to have a neighbor with a lead smelter deal I think the ol time plumbers used them when they where plumbing with cast iron drains. Anyway its just a big propane burner that you can sit a cast iron pot on makes it pretty handy but remember handling hot lead this stuff is heavy and if you ever accidently dump a pot of lead on a foot I think it might hurt. Ever heard of that driver they called lead foot LOL. another tip I have done is rig up some type of jig to hold 2 5\8 bolts after you pour your lead into your mold drop the bolts into the lead then after the lead cools you can take a impact back the bolts out and you have your holes to mount your lead without drilling the 5\8 bolts work out good when your mounting with 1\2 all thread. Good luck.

RebelYell 10
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted September 28, 2004 10:51 AM  
We use the Turkey Frier with an old pot deal and it works well for us. We also use old chevy valve covers too. About the only thing new have to add is when it came to drilling the holes, we had the best luck using a wood drill bit.

Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 3
posted September 28, 2004 06:12 PM  
We have used valve covers and then set in wooden dowels the size of your through bolt where you want the through bolt. When everything cools down you cut the dowel and drill it out. You end up cutting mostly wood and it makes the job much easier.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 195
posted September 29, 2004 10:11 AM  
Make sure you wear goggles (not safety just glasses) when doing this. As mentioned above any mositure will cause the lead to pop and spit. A friend of mine got some lead splatter in his eye, not fun. He was wearing safety glasses.

I did a 5 gallon pail of lead tire weights and got 120lbs.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 474
posted September 29, 2004 09:15 PM  
put a piece of 1/2 screen wire over the molds and then you dont have to worry about pickin out the steel tabs, just pour slow and
keep your body parts covered.

Light it up, Baby!

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 374
posted September 30, 2004 11:53 AM  
Wait until mid winter and use the coal burning shop stove. Works great. And use 2x4 tubing, with 1/2 id (steering shaft)tubing as bolt sleeves. space them to go over your rear frame rails weld them in and you won't have to drill. I have these over my rear cross tube behind the fuel cell and slide them back and forth depending on track conditions. Really fast way to add or subtract left side weight.


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