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Charlie Harley, #14153

Using wood for a lead mould?

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I have an offbeat project, not shooting related, that will require some lead disks about 2 or 3 inches diameter and .25-.50 inches thick.  Dimensions don’t have to be precise.  I was thinking of just taking a kiln dried board and a Forstner bit to make a single use mould for the disks.

 

Moisture and molten lead are always a concern so I’ll make sure the wood is plenty dry before pouring.

 

The mould will be single use, as it is easy enough to make more if needed.

 

I figured with all the bullet casters on the Wire, somebody might have good ideas or advice.

 

As always, the Wire’s help is much appreciated.

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Interesting project.  I think wood would work for this.  The wood chosen for the mould is going to make a big difference.  If you choose a resinous soft wood like pine your are going to get a fire during the casting.  I think a better choice would be a hardwood like red oak.  You'll get some charring of course.

 

From a safety standpoint, I would have a quenching bucket handy at minimum.  If you want to immediately reuse the mould and not get it wet, a sealed metal box (ammo can?) to oxygen starve any combustion. 

 

Mold construction could be simple or complicated.  A plain ingot style with the full surface open to the air would be the simplest but any flash or overfill would have to be manually cleaned up after the fact.  

 

Devlin

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How about using modelling clay to make a circular dam around a sheet of steel?    Or a metal can lid with clay filling in the threads?  

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How about a muffin pan or a soft plug from a car engine. You could also line the wood mold with aluminum foil.

 

 

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I've used a 2x10 to make duck decoy anchors before. It works it does char and it became deformed after repeated use due to the charring. So go ahead and do it.

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Maybe a soup can or similar?

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1 hour ago, Warden Callaway said:

How about using modelling clay to make a circular dam around a sheet of steel?    Or a metal can lid with clay filling in the threads?  

+1 on this unless you make the wooden mold in two pieces it will be hard to get your casting out without damaging it.

 

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If aesthetics is not important,  make an impression in the dirt. 

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Use a muffin tin and don't fill them up all the way. Easy and repeatable.

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You could probably make them out of scrap aluminum bar stock. Use the same Forster bit. 

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If you could get by with leaving it on,  a Ball jar ring would work.  If you could live with a steel outer skin,  fill the metal lid off a pickel jar or something similar.  

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We drilled holes in a 4x4 post then ran it thru a band saw to make a mold for duck decoy weights.  And used  # 12 copper wire to make the loops for the rope.  The weight are still good 35 years later

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I've done this to make counter weights for a wheel of fortune, The hardwood will work just fine.

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