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How to make a lead ball mould.

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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:59 pm

There are about 20metals between the melting point of lead and that of iron. Tell me about your furnace, is it self made propane or electical. What temperature can you get and what molding do you do(green sand?). Right now i am using either a propane torch( for small amounts of anything that melts bellow 700°C) or a WVO Ingection style (home made) foundry which i use for larger quantities and higher temps though i still have not tackeled cast iron. I use green sand fro alli and plaste rof paris or alli molds for thing with a lower melting temp than 500°C.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:01 pm

and7barton wrote:INCORRECT! - Lead is much more toxic than Zinc.

Ah, but we're not talking about Zinc - we're talking about burning zinc. In other words, zinc oxides. Zinc oxide isn't particularly nice stuff.

Well - to be frank, let's just say that in general, you don't really want to be breathing in any fumes.

john bunsenburner wrote:Wear a respirator and work in a well ventilated area

Obviously, working in an open area is a good thing, but respirators are often overestimated by people - they can only do so much, working only against solid particles, and for that matter, only if it's well fitted.

Personally, I have a tight fitting mask (covers both mouth and nose) that connects to a reasonably long hose, the other end of which I can then position away from my work area, which although it can make breathing a little harder, is pretty much full protection against me breathing in whatever fumes or dust I'm working with.
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:08 pm

Ok rags idea is better than a respirator, If you soaked the respirator in urine it would be more effective allowing you to surive even moderate clorine concentrations(Used in Wordl war I) but i guess that doesnt help much, you could get a scuba tank and breath of that...

Now a little on zinc oxides from wikipedia:

As a food additive, Zinc oxide is on FDA's Generally recognized as safe, or GRAS, substances[13].

Zinc oxide itself is non-toxic, however it is hazardous to breathe zinc oxide fumes. Fumes of zinc oxide are generated when zinc or zinc alloys are melted and oxidized at high temperature. This occurs while melting brass, because the melting point of brass is close to the boiling point of zinc.[14] Exposure to zinc oxide in the air, which also occurs while welding galvanized (zinc plated) steel, can result in a nervous malady called metal fume fever.[15] For this reason, typically galvanized steel is not welded, or the zinc is removed first


Also it decomposes at 1950°C hard to reach but just so every one (including my self) know.
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Unread postAuthor: and7barton » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:22 pm

I just keep that draught blowing through - I imagine my next-door neighbours will eventually suffer a prolonged and agonised death.
My little furnace is made from a steel tool box - One of those boxes with a doubled hinged lid and a lift-out tray. I discarded the tray, cut a circular opening in one end, then stood it on end (The circular hole downwards), and fixed it to a steel stand. Underneath goes a little butane stove. The hinged lid acts as a set of doors that can be opened. I covered the circular hole with a steel mesh and I stand my crucible on that. I can close the doors and it will melt a pot of lead in a few minutes. To melt a larger potful, I augment the butane stove with a propane gas torch which I poked through a little hole I made in one of the doors. Even with this I can't melt Zinc properly. One of my crucibles is a steel pot with a handle. There's a slot in the edge of one of the doors and the handle pokes out through the slot. I normally make my moulds from Plaster of Paris. I pour the plaster into a wooden tray and when it's set I then directly carve my design in reverse into the plaster. Then it's cooked in an oven at around 100 degrees for a couple of hours, then I crank the temperature up to 350 for a further hour to drive off any moisture. I usually leave the mould standing for a week or two to further dry out. I then pour the lead directly into the mould and I often get several castings out of the same mould.
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:26 pm

Oh ok, fairly simple foundry but i like that. Look at the following website, sure helped me alot: http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com.
Hey one question: how could i make a mold from aluminium to replicate a lead object, cant really pour around it would melt, got an idea?
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Unread postAuthor: and7barton » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:31 pm

john bunsenburner wrote:Oh ok, fairly simple foundry but i like that. Look at the following website, sure helped me alot: http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com


That website is already on my favourites list !
Lots of good stuff on there.
It really is a shame that lead is toxic to mess with. If it wasn't for that it would be a pretty ideal metal to work with. It makes a lovely detailed casting; paint adheres well to it......and bends rather than snaps. Remember the old lead soldiers ?
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:35 pm

Yes, they are nice, and i like wrking with lead too, did you hear about aluminium causing alzheimer, its a real shame, how well sodium would be great to work nwith to...we should really get back on topic here...
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Unread postAuthor: and7barton » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:37 pm

Well, there's no way I can get anywhere near the melting point of aluminium so no worry there.
Thanks for the chat !
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:41 pm

You can always pm me(or any one really) if you want an off topic chat. One question to every one: How could you make aluminium molds for lead airgun pellets(the normal comercial ones)?
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Unread postAuthor: Gippeto » Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:11 pm

There was a wonderful thing invented some time ago, they called it Google. :)

http://airgundevelopment.com/mold.html
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:16 pm

I know that site, great info but i would rather acctually replicate a commercial pellet, any how i do not have a drill press. I could try and pour it from iron then put the iron pellet between two alli sheets melt them from the inside, hammer or vise together and then drill holes to fill the mold with lead, but there has to be a better way...
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:29 pm

john bunsenburner wrote:did you hear about aluminium causing alzheimer


It's BS. There is absolutely no link between excess aluminum (Especially the metallic form) exposure and Alzheimer's disease. Heightened concentrations of aluminum compounds have been found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, but the general consensus is that this is an effect of the disease, not a cause.

Fortunately, there isn't really any danger from Lead apart from the fumes that hot Lead gives off - Handling the metal itself is safe enough.


It's reasonably safe, but handling metallic lead does abrade the metal and transfer a significant amount to the skin. However, only soluble lead compounds pose a sin absorption danger, so just wash your hands after handling it. Lead alloys containing a small amount of antimony are harder and safer, but caution is still advised.
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:34 pm

the alumium thing was atleast 60% saracstic, but i am happy to hear it is not true!
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Unread postAuthor: Gippeto » Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:21 am

Are you wanting to make a diablo style pellet? (round front, narrowed waist, flared "skirt")

These are made by swaging, and will prove a real challenge without machine tools.

There is a simple technique to make useable ammo here.

http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/how-to- ... 12739.html
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Thu Jan 01, 2009 1:03 am

and making a mold for them is not alternative? I realize swagging is fairly hard to do without machinery which i donto have and thats why i enjoy casting...
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