Posted by Kerry Grissett on January 10, 2004 at 05:25:17:
In Reply to: Lead melter question? posted by sethook on January 09, 2004 at 16:39:45:
If you are really interested in pouring your own lead heads, weights, etc, do yourself a favor and get a hotpot which pours from the bottom using a lever to control the flow.
Ladles are OK, but having done it both ways, I will never go back to using a ladle! Ladles will make your wrist and arm tired and you will make many more bad pours than with a bottom pouring hotpot. Also, the bottom pouring hotpot helps to keep impurities out of your jigs since most of the impurities are lighter than lead and will be at the top of the pot. With a ladle, the impurities will be on the surface you are pouring from. Not to mention the increased danger of accidental spills of very hot lead!
If you use pure lead (tire weights are not pure lead, they contain something to make them harder - however, don't worry about the steel clips as they are lighter than lead and will float to the top where they can be skimmed off with the other impurities) you should not have many problems pouring even in colder weather, but you will want to pre-heat the mold. On many molds there is an ingot mold on the bottom. Pouring a couple of these will heat the mold plenty and the lead can be added back to the pot while pouring if you are using pure lead.
My buddy says that he adds either a little printers lead or "babbit" (sp) when he pours bass baits like spinnerbaits, etc. It makes the lead harder and it stays on the wire a little better, but I don't recommend it for pouring most small jigs. Pure lead will nearly always give you better and more consistent results.
Good luck and good fishin'
No matter how "pure" your lead is, you will see impurities floating on the surface of your hotpot. Simply keep an old teaspoon on hand (and never ever use it for eating with again!) and skim these impurities off of the surface. Make sure you have a WELL VENTILATED space to do your pouring in! The air flow should be such that it is taking the fumes and lead vapor away from you and anyone you care about at all times! Lead and lead vapors/fumes can be very dangerous to your health and especially to children or pregnant women.
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