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-   -   Lead Ballast DIY (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=797942)

kmac1587 05-04-2013 11:14 PM

Lead Ballast DIY
Anyone able to share how they melted down some lead and made some bricks for ballast? Any and all pics of the molds and general set up would be helpful.

tonyv420 05-05-2013 12:33 AM

5 Attachment(s)
I melted tire weights on my turkey fryer, and skimmed the slag off after it melted. Built some wooden forms, sealed the cracks with oiled sand and poured the lead, let dry and bingo, 45lb bricks. make sure you wear a mask!

kmac1587 05-05-2013 5:53 AM

Thats awesome thanks! How did the wood hold up? Did the lead eventually burn through in any spots? What did you use to seal the cracks? Oil Sand? Not sure what that is.

kmac1587 05-05-2013 5:57 AM

Thats awesome thanks for the pictures. How long did you heat the lead for roughly? How long did it take for the bricks to harden inside the mold? I was thinking of making the mold from wood but thought the lead would have burned the wood. What did you use to seal the cracks with again?

ktm525 05-05-2013 6:23 AM

You can use a metal meatloaf pan. Works great and came out at 40 pounds exactly.

racer808 05-05-2013 6:42 AM

How do you guys get lead? Every tire shop told me its illegal here for them to toss and they have to prove environmental disposal? Scrap yards want .80 to 1.05 a pound.

westsidarider 05-05-2013 9:55 AM

When I did this back in the day I found that the smaller more independent shops would give me their lead. I made friends with one shop and the guy would have buckets all nicely set aside for me every few months

ferral 05-05-2013 9:56 AM

About how much does a 5 gallon bucket of lead tire weights weigh?

shawndoggy 05-05-2013 10:22 AM

1 million pounds.

ttrigo 05-05-2013 10:49 AM


Originally Posted by shawndoggy (Post 1820391)
1 million pounds.

It sure feels that way!
I used the metal loaf pans as well when i did mine a long time ago.

zacharoo 05-05-2013 11:42 AM

I want to add that if you want to avoid rust or other staining that we use a can of fender coating - It rubberized the lead brick and sealed it all up

Orange 05-05-2013 12:13 PM

Be careful about melting lead as the fumes can give you lead poisoning.

A safer alternative to melting lead for bricks is to get sections of heavy duty PVC pipe, cap one end, put the tire weights in the tube to desired weight and then cap the other end. This makes an easily moved tube that is till fairly compact (admittedly will take a little more space than lead bricks) without anywhere near as much effort or risk ask melting lead. Even when doing this method, it would be a good idea to wear a mask and gloves in case there is lead dust.

pprior 05-05-2013 1:08 PM

Better hope the EPA doesn't monitor this forum. Gov't goons in 3...2...1...

ttrigo 05-05-2013 3:42 PM

I loaded up some PVC as well, but that seemed to be a waste. We tucked those down the sides. We also sprayed the lead bricks with a rubberized type paint, and we had them tucked under the back seat in my DD. the rubber coating on the paint prevented the bricks from sliding back and forth on the carpet in the boat.
And we wore masks when melting lead.

kmac1587 05-05-2013 10:15 PM

I have capped pvc pipes with weights in them now. These take up a lot of space which is why I'm looking into melting them down into bricks. Good advice on spraying the bricks with fender coating to keep them from rusting!

mendo247 05-06-2013 7:59 AM

Here is a DIY thread I did a few years ago, as mentioned I coated the bars in bedliner material and they are holding up great. Remember safety first. Even a bead of sweat can be dangerous.


alcarlaw1 05-06-2013 10:03 AM

I went for a slightly different approach. Managed to get my hands on around 180kg of lead shot (from a clay pigeon shooting range). Bagged it up into 3ltr waterproof bags, giving a weight in the region of 10kg that can be easily moved and also formable into a given space - the latter being super useful. No need to melt/deal with fumes etc

tonyv420 05-06-2013 1:43 PM

I used sand mxed with oil, to seal the cracks, the wood did burn some but not too bad, It took about 15 min to melt about half the pan i have on the burner. After pouring it took about 3-5 min to start hardening, then i just cooled it with the garden hose water. A old friend gave me 4, 5 gallon buckets full of tire weights from his shop. One five gallon bucket weighs about a half million pounds! You won’t be able to lift a bucket full of lead, all I know is that it’s freakin heavy!!!! wear a mask, and be careful how much you melt at a time, if I melted a whole pan, there would be no way I could pick it up and pour it! If any water pspashes on the meted lead, notice I said melted, not hardened, it will pop like crazy! It actually happened to me and I had lil bits of lead all over my clothes, and a few tiny burns where it hit my skin.

cowwboy 05-07-2013 6:16 AM

My first time I used a large steam pan to melt them in. I have since made a pot out of .25 thick 6" Id pipe. It has a ball valve on the end of it for pouring and a lid to keep the fumes down. I also use a full face mask with the correct filters.
My castings are cake pans. Depending on how thick you pour, mine are from 60-100lb. I put u bolts into the pan before I pour them so I have a grab handle. But honestly minus the one that stays in the bow I don't really use the lead weights.

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williamburell 05-07-2013 7:20 AM

Ok I've since removed mine but consider this. I work in construction so have access to "supplies" better than most. Buddy of mine did a demo on a clinic and saved the lead lined drywall. Powerwashed the drywall off. The piece of lead was HEAVY but was also pretty pliable. I folded the piece over and cut it to match my rear storage liner. I think we figured out that if you folded it over a piece was around 5-6lbs a sq ft. For a rear hatch in mine it added around 80lbs. Just covered it back up with the carpet and it was invisible and only a 1/4" thick. Now obviously thats not a ton of weight but my point is you can put an ad on craigslist, etc to haul away the lead lined drywall for people and they may snag it up just to not deal with it. fold it over a few times and you have plenty of weight that can be formed to any dimensions easily.

bwake 05-09-2013 4:31 AM

Ive done this a few times with lead weights.

- Use a baking tray. Sounds retarded but they come in a great range of shapes and sizes
- When melting lead, melt a little at a time. Ie melt say 200 grams, then slowly add more and more until its really boiling. Filling up a container will take forever but if you take it slow you will be fine.

BBQ and pot works, but you need a mask, and scopping spoon or laddle (go to a fishing store to get one).

BorderBoarder 05-11-2013 8:57 PM

I did 6-8 of the melted bricks and coated them with bed liner but it was a pain and seemed to take too long. What works great for me is heavy cordura pouches, that resemble a pencil pouch for a kid, from Home Depot in the tool bag section. They hold right at 30lbs for me and seem to be pretty durable with a strong zipper. Easier to move around and much less prep and cleanup than melting bricks. Just another option to think about.


jillyjam 05-13-2013 7:26 AM

Melting lead fumes...not good at all...be careful boyz!

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