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I have been making wooden lures for almost a year now.I have been wanting to start making large jigs (9 ozs) for rock fish so i ordered what I think will be needed to get started.I do have concerns about working with lead I know some of you make your own and any advice would be appreciated. Found a great place for all do it yourself lure making BARLOWS FISHING TACKLE Thanks in advance
 

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Big thing is ventilation ventilation ventilation !!! Try to get soft lead not wheel weight lead you will have to burn off all the impurities off and it is nasty even outdoors in a pot on a burner. If you're making them for yourself its fun. If you need anymore info let me know, and I'm sure you will get some other good info from a few guys on here that make them as a part time job :)
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Do it for fun not as a job, it is more fun that way
 

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Lead can cause all sorts of health problems.The dust can get on your hands and the fumes can be breathed in.

Best to work outside - a respirator with a filter for lead is a big help and not too expensive.Some welding supply shops sell them- you need a half face one.

Long sleeve shirt and gloves are a must - molten lead will be 700* or more :eek::eek:.

Old Fart's advice about water bears repeating.Just a few drops can cause the lead to POP - getting splatter by molten lead sucks.

The better molds have wood handles and you will need a heavy spoon and a metal can to skim off the slag.

Common sense goes a long way.Do not drink (beer) while pouring and work in a well lighted , clear of debri work area.Best to bolt down the melting pot.If you can help someone pour- you can see first hand how to do it safely.Keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher close by.
 

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What about use something other than lead? Then you don't have to worry so much about your own safety while making lures. Ever think about all that lead lost in the bay every year?
 

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Lead can cause all sorts of health problems.The dust can get on your hands and the fumes can be breathed in.

Best to work outside - a respirator with a filter for lead is a big help and not too expensive.Some welding supply shops sell them- you need a half face one.

Long sleeve shirt and gloves are a must - molten lead will be 700* or more :eek::eek:.

Old Fart's advice about water bears repeating.Just a few drops can cause the lead to POP - getting splatter by molten lead sucks.

The better molds have wood handles and you will need a heavy spoon and a metal can to skim off the slag.

Common sense goes a long way.Do not drink (beer) while pouring and work in a well lighted , clear of debri work area.Best to bolt down the melting pot.If you can help someone pour- you can see first hand how to do it safely.Keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher close by.
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Wear safety glasses.

The Lee Loader electric pots work very well for small quantities. The bottom gate is very handy and eliminates the ladle. To get bigger molds to pour consistently, I had to enlarge the hole in the bottom. If you do this, step it out very little and try it. A small difference in diameter makes a huge difference in the amount of lead that comes out. If the hole is made too big the pot may leak.
 

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OOPS - I left out safety googles.They offer better protection then glasses.It might seem like overkill but molten lead deserves alot of respect.
 

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Lead melts at 621* F- but is considered “safe” at that temperature as it relates to airborne particles. The risk of inhaled particles increases proportionately with the temperature of the material. Generally- there is no need to heat beyond 700* (unless there are lead alloys with tin, or other impurities that have a higher melting point- either way- you should be using clean soft lead). I would suggest casting outside to further limit you potential for exposure.

Also- the water thing bears repeating again. Lead becomes molten at 621*F, and water boils at 212*F. If there is a drop of water placed into molten lead- it will flash boil, and erupt like a mini volcano. Bits of molten lead will fly from the melting pot, and WILL burn you. Even a drop of sweat is a nightmare.

Something to make life easier on you- heat your molds. Try to cast a few times in your molds prior to using any inserts. This will raise the internal temperature of the molds, so you don’t get empty cavities. I actually place my molds on the burner, off to the side, this keeps my molds warm, and doesn’t burn anything. Also- even if you have a bad cast- just drop it back into the melting pot, and fish out your inserts, and try again! It’s a lot of fun, its rewarding, and keeps costs a little more under control! If there are any other questions- just let me know!
 

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The others have pretty much covered the safety issues. To facilitate getting the cast materials out of the molds, hold a candle flame close to the the inside of a cold mold before first using it. The idea is to get soot from the candle to coat the inside of the casting area. Lead will pop out much easier when you empty the mold.
 

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Lead is definitely nasty stuff ............ don't smoke or eat around lead pouring, only pour in well ventilated areas and wear a mask if possible ..........

But REALLY be careful about water ......... I used to pour in tee shirts and shorts and just did it .......... that was until I saw a small explosion ......... we were casting jig heads ...... it was cold ourside and warm inside ......... the cold ladle was brought inside and all we could figure is that some condesation formed. When the ladel was put in the pot there was an explosion of molten lead that sent us all running .......... we were very lucky ..... only 1 small burn and some burn marks on clothes ........... thank goodness we were wearing jackets and long pants ........... now I pour with a half mask, hot gloves rated to 900 degrees, apron and long sleeve shirts and long pants ...........

Pouring is fun to do ............ nothing is better than catching on something you made ......... but be VERY careful ......... you can be disfigured in less than the blink of an eye .........

Also, if you are making 9 oz lures, make sure you get the largest pot that will handle a large ladle ......... Lead cools very quickly and you need to get enough lead to fill the mold before it cools ...........

Have fun but be safe ........
 

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Wet Lead

We salvaged a shower pan. Cut it in 6' strips and loosely coiled them to fit in the lead pot(A plumbers cast iron pot, propane fired rig). There was a thin coating of tan stuff on the lead. As it turned out, the stuff had a little dampness to it. When it finally got hot, it went off like a 12Ga. shotgun. The spatter is still adhered to the plywood on the inside roof of his garage(about 15' up). The only injury was a 1/4" round burn spot between my eye and temple.

Be VERY careful. Where eye protection and ventilate well as a minimum.

*Heat the molds - we would put them in the molton lead for a minute just before making
the first pour. That would give us success from the get-go.
*A vise or big C-clamps do well to hold the mold tight and steady.
*A ladle big enough to pour a complete mold at once is good thing.
*On big stuff, let the poured mold sit for 30 seconds or so before opening so the lead will solidify.
*When the heated lead surface starts to show colors like purple or yellow, its too hot to work. let it cool a little til its just shiny silvery looking.

These suggestions are in addition to all the others -- all of them are good advice.
budc
 
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