I'm having problems making small sinkers

Discussion in 'Terminal Tackle Review' started by daniel-delarosa, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. daniel-delarosa

    daniel-delarosa New Member

    Messages:
    392
    State:
    seminole, oklahoma
    I bought a melter and a few molds a week or so ago. I cant seem to get a full pour out of my small bank sinker mold. It makes 1/4oz to 1oz sinkers. I have tried probably 20 times and got the same result, half sinkers, lol. I have tried warming it up, sooting it up with a candle and using mold release. I have a thermometer that reads up to 1000 degrees, is shows my lead at 750 degrees when I pour. My big mold is great, it does 2oz to 5oz, it makes some really good looking sinkers. Anyone have any ideas on why my I cant get my little mold to work?
     
  2. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Daniel, the lead is cooling off to quick and solidifies before it makes it through the narrow passages in the mold. You need to heat the mold, either by pouring molten lead in it and let it set for three or four minutes, remove the scraps and pour another batch and let it set again. Eventually the mold will get hot enough for you to make good pours. You can also set your mold on a side burner (like on a bar-b-q grill) which helps to heat the metal of the mold. You need to apply a lot of care so the mold does not get too hot and warps. Other people like to take a drill and a bit and enlargen the pouring hole slightly. That is an option, but I would not recommend modifying the mold.
     

  3. Coyote1

    Coyote1 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Missouri
    Brother Delorasa;
    Daniel, have you checked the pour holes on the smaller sinkers to make sure they are "Open" enough, no burrs, rough surfaces, ect? You may have to enlarge them a small bit. The other thing is to make sure your lead is very clean! That is very important, especially when pouring smaller spur holes and all.
    From your post it sounds like your getting enough heat in your lead and that your preheating your molds enough. You did not say if they were made of Aluminum or Cast Iron but that should not make too much difference.
    One other thing you might have to end up using is a lead "Flux" on the smaller ones if nothing else works.
    Also, you might send a PM to "Dreadnaught/ Brother J.W. Fisher" as he has made thousands of lead sinkers and he may know of something that I have overlooked.
    I hope this helps you out and what I have suggested has always solved any of my problems when I was working with lead.
     
  4. psychomekanik

    psychomekanik New Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    State:
    Illinois
    Daniel,
    I used the same mold the night before last. 2-5 oz. bank sinkers. i poured about 200 pounds of lead. once the mold gets hot enough, you can fly right through them. i use a cast iron skillet, a campstove and a cutting torch. i use the torch to initially melt down the tire weights i use. clean it out and the campstove keeps it hot enough. before i start to pour. i'll crack the mold open slightly and heat it with the torch. most importantly around the opening. if the lead flows into the mold. it'll eventually get hot enough to make good sinkers. but as long as the opening. or the "gate" is kept hot. it'll flow. one more thing. once you start a good roll pouring you'll probably run into another problem. then they'll be too hot, and when you drop the sinkers the eyes will break off. i pour and wait just a few seconds open the mold and lay it down for a few seconds. close it and turn it over and do the same for the other side. they're ready when the glossy appearance turns flat.
     
  5. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    First thing is the mold. Is it a top quality mold like Do-It, a medium-priced mold of somewhat lower quality, or a cheap piece of junk? I've got all three types, and I can tell you from experience that cheap molds aren't worth buying; the aggravation you get isn't worth the money you save.

    Assuming your mold isn't the problem, there are still two other common problems, considering that molding small sinkers/jigs is more difficult than larger ones. But 1 ounce isn't really small; 1/4 & 3/8 are probably at the very top of the 'small' list; you generally have problems with the 1/16 & 1/32 ounce sizes. When using molds for smaller sinkers/jigs, I always want my mold to be very hot, because I'm only using a very small amount of melted lead, and if the mold isn't almost as hot as the lead, the lead will solidify before the pour is complete. Of course, you want your lead as hot as possible, too. The higher it's temperature above its melting point, the better the chance of making a good pour.

    The lead itself. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "All that glitters isn't gold." Well, everything that's soft, gray, and melts at a relatively low temperature isn't lead. And the key here is 'relatively' low melting point. The term 'lead' doesn't just refer to pure lead, but also to common alloys of lead, such as 'lead printers type' and 'lead wheel weights'. Even lead bullets generally aren't pure lead. These alloys of lead may melt at a considerably higher temperature than pure lead, which melts at 621F. For example, antimony, which melts at 903F, is added to lead to make it harder for making printers type. So, for pouring small items, you're more likely to get a good pour if you're using pure lead. I've got some pure lead that I save for pouring small items, and use stuff like melted wheel weights for pouring larger sinkers of, say, 1 ounce and larger.
     
  6. psychomekanik

    psychomekanik New Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    State:
    Illinois
    I forgot to mention that when i heat the gate of the mold with a torch, it's already sitting on the second burner of the stove preheating. you dont have to use an oxy-acetylene torch. a propane torch will work. the key is to keep the mold as hot as possible..
     
  7. Ol Whiskers

    Ol Whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    290
    State:
    Fairfield Township, Ohio
    Daniel,

    Clean metal - you night have the metal too hot, as that will tend to keep other elements than lead in solution, especially if your using wheelweights. Skim off all the junk that floats, turn the pot down a bit and let her set for few minutes. You'll see the top get frosty looking - that's aluminum and antimony and some other metals that melt at higher temps. Try pushing your ladle in with the opening up, and just let the top metal skim over the lip. Take this full ladel and pour it into a can, several times if necessary. Then throw a piece of parrafin, or a kid's crayon onto the pot and let it burn. This will flux the pot and should give you clean metal - then, as you dip the ladle to pick up the next pour, put it in sideways and down to the bottom, turn it upright and lift metal from the bottom of the pot. This gets the cleanest lead in the ladel.

    Keep the heat in the mold - When you pour, do the big cavity first, which will preheat the cavity next to it. Keep pouring, even if you're not getting all the cavities to fill. Don't stop to break off the sinkers. Develop a rythm and keep it moving when it works out.

    Trapped air - try to develop a pour that goes into the gate on the side, not directly into to the hole and don't splash it, and pour slowly until the gate overfills to the top of the mold. This keeps the mold form pouring shut before it's full, and builds head pressure in the cavity.

    I had a bullet mold once that didn't want to pour full. I took a 3-corner file and filed a notch in the parting line face from each cavity out the side to let air out - that's a last resort and takes a real steady touch, as the notch only wants to be about 5 to 10 thousandths of an inch deep. Leaves a little whisker you can knock off.
     
  8. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    Id say try opening the mold a verry little bit when you pour it lets the air out new molds are tight. try it and see what happens:wink: