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Lead Weights

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  • Lead Weights

    Does anyone here know what the best method of making some lead weights would be? I need to make around 150 pounds of weights for a USMTS Dirt Modified. I've got six 5 gallon buckets full of wheel weights. Any ideas?

  • #2
    An old gas stove and some old pans. My daughter tested postive for lead poisioning years ago so that ended my bullet making in the house so i would do it outside if possible. You can also use a torch but it takes a little longer unless you have a rosebud. I made a barbell weight set years ago and used round steel cake pans for the molds...Bob

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    • #3
      Originally posted by willy View Post
      Does anyone here know what the best method of making some lead weights would be? I need to make around 150 pounds of weights for a USMTS Dirt Modified. I've got six 5 gallon buckets full of wheel weights. Any ideas?
      Willy most guys take a small block chevy vavle cover weld up the breather hole and use that as a mold. You then load up the cover with them weights and take a rose bud to the weights and melt them all tell they all turn liquid(outside cause they will smoke). If I remeber correct one stock valve cover makes a 23 lbs piece of lead.

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      • #4
        I have a couple of things I use to melt lead for weights.

        I have a plumbers propane pot, but a propane gas ring or turkey fryer burner works great and is a lot cheaper. I also run a propane weed burner as an auxilery heat source to help heat the top to get the weights started.

        My "pot" is the bottom of an old steel welding tank I snaged from the hydro shop as dead. About 10" across and 8" high. My small pot is a chunk of steel pipe with a 1/2" plate welded to the bottom. Both work better than the small iron plumbers pots that I used to use.

        As a mold I have several chunks of C channel that I welded ends on. The ends are sloped so the lead drops out easy. I have also used cupcake pans. I have had some issues with some lead sticking to the cake type pans if it gets too hot. Sort of solders itself to the steel.

        I usually melt down some clean scrap to get a puddle in the pot than start adding in junk mixed with crud. I add extra heat to the top with the weed torch and skim off all the steel, copper, or what ever. I use a metal pasta scoop, A large perferated spoon and a laddle that I picked up from the dollar store to clean the lead and do small pours in sinker molds and dive weight molds. The extra I pour in to the Cchannel molds as clean ingots for later use.

        I try ang pour almost all the lead from the pot before I quit. The large mass in the pot is to hard to get started otherwise.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Champagneracing View Post
          If I remeber correct one stock valve cover makes a 23 lbs piece of lead.
          I think your right, if I remember I'll check when I'm out in the shop tomorrow night, we should have one laying around.

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          • #6
            too bad none of you huys is close to NYC, i got a bar around 80-100lbs sitting in my back yard. Couldn't let a friend throw it out !!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Laiky View Post
              too bad none of you huys is close to NYC, i got a bar around 80-100lbs sitting in my back yard. Couldn't let a friend throw it out !!
              I just scrapped close to 500 lbs of old bullets and got 245 bucks out of it. I remember when it brought a nickle a lb scrap...Bob

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              • #8
                Toss a small chunk of beef tallow or a strip of raw bacon on the top of the molten lead just before you want to pour. Stir the lead around as the fat smokes and burns off and it will lump all the slag up and make it easy to skim off. Lead oxide is the bad for you part. Be carefull of the gray crud it is very bad for you stuff. I saw a good trick the Porsche road racers use. They took a right side floor pan from a car and used it as a mould. Made weights that fit like a glove to the floor. They were easy to bolt tightly in place and the weight was as low as legal for a better COG.

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                • #9
                  How are you fastening the weights? When I was racing karts, used tuna cans and a torch, 5 lbs. each, but I placed a bolt in the the can before pouring in the lead. I know you're talking alot more weight, but think about where it's going and how you're fastening it. I know a guy who was racing "blunderbust" cars at the local track. He "tubed" his chassis and slid the weights inside. Had holes at different locations in order to lock the weights where he wanted, with thru bolts or threaded rod.

                  Whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to cool your weights by dunking them in water, a friend of mine almost burnt his face off with the ensuing explosion!!!!!!!!

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                  • #10
                    Hmmm

                    Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
                    I just scrapped close to 500 lbs of old bullets and got 245 bucks out of it. I remember when it brought a nickle a lb scrap...Bob
                    I guess I should cash the weights in - I can gaurantee I'll make more money at that than racing

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Vicegrip View Post
                      Toss a small chunk of beef tallow or a strip of raw bacon on the top of the molten lead just before you want to pour. Stir the lead around as the fat smokes and burns off and it will lump all the slag up and make it easy to skim off. Lead oxide is the bad for you part. Be carefull of the gray crud it is very bad for you stuff. I saw a good trick the Porsche road racers use. They took a right side floor pan from a car and used it as a mould. Made weights that fit like a glove to the floor. They were easy to bolt tightly in place and the weight was as low as legal for a better COG.
                      Thanks for the advice from you and everyone else. I'll definately do it outside with a fan blowing everything away from me

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BudMan580 View Post
                        How are you fastening the weights? When I was racing karts, used tuna cans and a torch, 5 lbs. each, but I placed a bolt in the the can before pouring in the lead. I know you're talking alot more weight, but think about where it's going and how you're fastening it. I know a guy who was racing "blunderbust" cars at the local track. He "tubed" his chassis and slid the weights inside. Had holes at different locations in order to lock the weights where he wanted, with thru bolts or threaded rod.

                        Whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to cool your weights by dunking them in water, a friend of mine almost burnt his face off with the ensuing explosion!!!!!!!!
                        I think I'm going to weld up a form that is 2"X3"X12". We will drill a couple of holes thru the weights to mount them to the tubing frame of the car. That way we can stack them a couple of weights thick where needed. The weight brackets mount around the tubing and have a 1/2" peice of all-thread rod sticking out of them. I'll take some pics when I get them done. Thanks for your help!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Vicegrip View Post
                          Toss a small chunk of beef tallow or a strip of raw bacon on the top of the molten lead just before you want to pour. Stir the lead around as the fat smokes and burns off and it will lump all the slag up and make it easy to skim off. Lead oxide is the bad for you part. Be carefull of the gray crud it is very bad for you stuff. I saw a good trick the Porsche road racers use. They took a right side floor pan from a car and used it as a mould. Made weights that fit like a glove to the floor. They were easy to bolt tightly in place and the weight was as low as legal for a better COG.
                          Paraffin (also known as Gulf wax) also works good for flux when melting/casting lead. Beeswax can be used but the wax is more convenient.

                          Griff

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                          • #14
                            You are in for a treat drilling thru the lead. It tends to load up on the drill bit. I have had mediocre success drilling lead weights. For the dive weights I make I have 2 tapered pins in the mold at the location I want the holes. This saves me from drilling those. Several others have holes in odd locations and unfortunately those I have to drill. I want to try and coat the drill bit the next time with wax and see if that helps at all.

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                            • #15
                              Lead weight.

                              It's a good idea to weld up a casing of the size and shape that will fit in your car. The dimensions can be determined by the weight you need. I don't have my reference book with me but there is a certain weight per cubic inch of lead. That will tell you what size casing you need.

                              The suggestion by DSW up above to melt the lead into your form is a good one. Pouring lead can be extremely dangerous. It's heavy and unwleidly and you could spill it. If you melt in your form, there's no pouring required and you don't have to go back and forth with the molten lead.

                              I recently built a weight for my Harley sidecar that sits on the outer spring perch. There are four 7/16" bolts holding it down. The casing was welded up from 1/4" mild steel plate. The inside dimensions are roughly 3" X 4" by 12" long. With the weight of the lead and the casing and some calculations I came out at almost exactly 50 pounds, which was my target weight. Harley used to sell a sidecar weight that was made out of cast iron but they are no longer available.

                              Once the empty casing was welded, I set it outside on a board and leveled it. I filled it with my lead which was previously molded into 2" square bars. These I cut into 4" sticks. I used a Harbor Freight roofing torch that hooks to my BBQ propane tank. That baby really puts out the heat!

                              The lead was fairly clean and once it melted I had to add about three more sticks to fill to the top. It cooled to where I could handle it in about an hour and a half and later on, I drilled the four holes. As DSW says, drilling in lead is not easy. If you go slowly, it's not too bad. You have to lift the drill from time to time and clear the lead from the drill.

                              Good luck.
                              Last edited by Synchroman; 07-17-2008, 07:39 PM.

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