Posted by Kerry Grissett on January 10, 2004 at 22:31:36:
In Reply to: Re: Lead melter question? Kerry posted by Tom on January 10, 2004 at 21:42:24:
Good advice Tom, Thanks!
I have been lucky in that my buddy has a good supply of lead and I have never had to go out looking for it. He got sheet lead from a building that was torn down which housed either a doctor's or dentist's office. The lead lined the x-ray area.
In Decatur you can try Denbo's on Hwy 20 just west of the sewage plant or Davis scrap metal (not sure of the actual name) on Hwy 31 just past Electro Design. Other than that, you can order pure lead and pay probably anywhere between $.50 and $1.00 a pound.
When you are out fishing and run across the remains of an old casting net, keep the weights and any other lead weights you run across. Most of the time these will be pure lead.
As for the question about tire weights ruining the element on a hotpot... tire weights probably contain some tin or other metal to make them harder and this metal will adhere to the element (on pots that have the element exposed to the lead) and over time this will degrade the performance and life of the element. As for other impurities, there was another post about using a camp stove and a cast iron pot to do the first melt of "dirty" lead, then pouring it into ingots. This is an excellent idea and will make a hotpot last longer as well.
Tire weights and other lead that contains tin or "babbit" metals can be harder to pour successfully, especially in colder weather conditions. Apparently, these additives make the resulting lead harder, but also prone to cool or harden much faster making the likelyhood of half or partially filled molds much higher. I have had trouble getting consistent pours with lead containing tin or "babbit" metals even when I kept the molds heated hot enough to burn my fingers while loading the jig hooks and in warm weather!
If you make a "bad" pour and the jig comes out of the mold less than perfect, you can dip it in the hot lead to melt off the bad pour and reuse the hook, but you take the risk of taking the "temper" out of the hook making it much weaker.
Good luck and good fishin'
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