Sinker Mold Advice

Discussion in 'Misc Fishing Tackle Talk' started by willisjj, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. willisjj

    willisjj Guest

    I have been thinking of making my own sinkers and would like some advice from some of you experts as to where to buy my molds and exactly what basic equiptment I will need to buy to get started. I don't have a ton of money to spend and wouldn't want to anyway as saving money is the main purpose of my sinker making interest.

    Is there anything I should be wary of if buying used molds, on ebay for example?

    One more: Where do you purchase you lead? Or do you raid the auto repair joints for old wheel weights?
     
  2. RamRod

    RamRod New Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    State:
    Ohio
    Personally I would purchase Do-It Molds when you can because they seem to be a more quality mold. You can get some good deals on ebay, I prefer to make sure it's a new mold because you don't know what kind of abuse the previous owner did to a used one.

    Our sponsor, Catfish Connection, seems to have some of the best prices on Do-It brand molds and seem to have a nice variety to choose from.

    As far as lead goes, you can see if the tire shops would give you the old wheel weights. However most shops know they can get money from them. If I purchase them I usually don't pay more than $10 for a 5 gallon bucket full. The last time that I purchased 2 - 5 gallon buckets full, I was able to get 185 lbs. of good clean lead.

    What I mean by clean lead is what's left after melting the lead down to get rid of the metal clips. I usually will melt all the lead down and pour them into 1lb ingots. That way when it comes time to make the sinkers you already done the hard part and you can get right down to business.

    :0a26: ​
     

  3. willisjj

    willisjj Guest

    That helps. Thanks, I will check out Catfish Connection again. I must have missed those molds before. I just wasn't lookin for them then I guess. Anyway, thanks for your help!
     
  4. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    I have one new mold (I think from Jan's netcraft) and one used one I got off ebay- Theyre both great. Jan's netcraft cost me 37 and some change when I got mine- so Catfish Connection, the BOC sponsor, is CONSIDERABLY cheaper.

    For doing it all on the cheap, go the route I did-
    I get wheel weights from the local tire place- 3 bucks per box, and about 60-80 lbs in each box.

    I got an old cast iron pot at a garage sale to melt lead in for 5 bucks- and I used a 2 dollar garage sale cast iron frying pan before tht and it worked just fine. the pot I have holds about 30lbs at a time- more than you need to do the trick. I set that on my turkey fryer cooktop and let the propane melt it, then use a cheap metal slotted spoon to scoop off the gunk, and to go after the clips. When that's done I take a lead ladle and scoop the lead off an into the molds, give it a minute to set, bust the mold open and uickly scoop up the bad ones and plop em back in the pot or scoop up the good enough ones and clean em with shears and toss em in cans.

    When its dead winter and I want to go faster than the 5 minute melt time cuse im outside and freezing my nethers off, I use a 2-inch 500,000 BTU torch on the top as it sits on the propane turkey base. That cuts the melt time to about a minute and a half.

    my total investment was 60 dollars for the 2 molds, 2 bucks for the lead ladle, and everything else was yanked from other applications that I already have.

    NOW... For every couple of boxes I do I use a tank of propane and it takes about an hour in total time. So figure an extra 12-15 dollars in fuel to melt down with for about 3 years worth of weights.

    Sal
     
  5. willisjj

    willisjj Guest

    Thanks Sal. A lot of good help there. I used to get Jans Netcraft years ago. I didn't know they were still around. I will have to look em up and order a new catalog.
     
  6. Nobody Special

    Nobody Special New Member

    Messages:
    614
    State:
    TN
    If there's a salvage place around that buys aluminum cans, old car motors and stuff like that, then they probably have lead too. The ingots you buy at BPS and places like that are so expensive that you couldn't save any money by doing it yourself. Wheel weights work but you have a lot of leftover stuff to dip out.

    I have melted lead in a cast iron skillet on the kitchen stove, but I recommend doing it on a hot plate or camp stove outside or in a well ventilated garage.

    Your mold has to be good and hot to make the sinkers. The first few trys will probably have to be remelted until the mold gets hot.
     
  7. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    I used to use the cast iron pot method for pouring molds, but if you ever once use one of the lee lead pots that pour directly in the mold, you'll never go back to that again. I do use the cast iron pot on the Coleman Stove for melting and cleaning up the lead though. I can do most of a 5 gallon bucket on one tank of fuel.
     
  8. willisjj

    willisjj Guest

    Thanks for the guidance you guys. I appreciate it. I like making my own fishing stuff. Used to pour my own rubber worms, but never have done my own sinkers.
     
  9. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    Jeremy, Talk to Tinboat when you get a chance he has a great set up. he brings it to gatherings and we make sinkers while we are around the camp fire BSing.
     
  10. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've got cheap molds, homemade molds, and quality molds, and I can tell you that any money you think you're saving by buying a cheap mold will cost you ten times that much in aggravation and time spent trimming up your sinkers.

    Incidentally, for all you new 'pourers' out there, lead ain't always lead. For example, tire weights have other metals mixed with lead to make them harder; 'lead' type has a lot of antimony mixed with it. Sometimes this metal will float to the top of the melted lead, and can be skimmed off; sometimes it stays mixed with the lead. Since pure lead is softer, it does a much better job of filling little cracks and holes in the mold; the impure lead often doesn't fill these. For example, one of my sinker molds makes a small lead ring attached to the sinker so you can tie your line to it. With melted tire weights, this ring fails to form about half the time, requiring that I remelt that lead and try another pour. On a Do-It mold, the impure lead made satisfactory sinkers, but failed to fill in the little numbers that show the weight of the sinker. So, if you happen to be pouring little crappie jigs, especially the ones with the little piece sticking up at the rear to hold the grub on, you want to use pure lead; pouring larger sinkers with very little detail on them can be done with impure lead.
     
  11. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    Anyone use eggs sinker molds? What do you use for the wire? And how do you get the sinker off it easy?
    Or do you make up a bunch of wires from coat hangers and just use a bunch of wires at a time?
    PEte
     
  12. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    great information, Jerry! You got rep for that one!

    I agree in theory to everything you said there.. I say "in theory" cause I saw a good part of what you say of the wheel weights myself when I pour- and I only used pure lead once- I had less throwback from the pure lead.

    Considering the cost effectiveness of using the lesser uality stuff, i.e. wheel weights, do you not agree that purity can be sacrificed when something so extremely expendable as a catfishing sinker is poured?
    I understand the necessity to have a pure product if you're selling them or when dealing with jig heads and finer detailed parts, but in my case- with bank sinkers as I use, not seeing the weight number so clearly is rarely an issue and furthermore I dont mind pitching a few here and there that dont run to the top of the mold and form the full lead ring for the line to run through.

    The exchange of cheaper higher volume and a lil extra time to do it in my opinion outweighs (pun intended) the purity factor. Especially when youre paying as much per pound tio purchase as you pay per pound to ship it.

    Sal
     
  13. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Hmmm...LOL, I use wheel weight lead all the time. Long as my mold is really hot I have no problem with them. Yep, the numbers don't come out real great, but then again, I doubt the fish that see them once I loose them care. LOL And I know I don't before then. LOL And I will eventually lose the darn things. Right now I only have the no roll molds, so I can't speak of how it works in others.
     
  14. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Messages:
    489
    State:
    Spring Hill, Kansas
    I would like to start pouring my own prymid sinkers, this would be my first time doing it, what kind of safety precautions do you take while heating and pouring the molds. I assume you need to do this outside or in a well ventialted area.

    Thanks
    chris
     
  15. RamRod

    RamRod New Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    State:
    Ohio
    Well chris you definitely want to have adequate ventilation and a good pair of welding gloves. I picked up a pair for roughly $12 at Lowe's. They're top of the line Lincoln welding gloves. You also want to make sure that you have NO liquids around the melting lead because molten lead can pop real bad if any liquids come in contact with it.

    The key to pouring a good sinker is to make sure you have a very HOT mold like Whistler mentioned. You can achieve this rather quickly by either putting the mold over a camp stove or simply making a few pours.

    Also, I recommend NOT putting the sinkers that didn't form right back into the molten lead until you're done pouring what's left in the container your using. The reason is because it drastically reduces the temp of the molten lead which can cause premature hardening as you pour. Unless you're using one like Whistler mentioned here earlier.
    :0a26: ​
     
  16. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Messages:
    489
    State:
    Spring Hill, Kansas
    I will be using old wheel weights since I can get them at any tire shop for cheap. Do you use the pot where you put your lead in and plug it in or do you usually just use a campfire?

    Thanks
    chris
     
  17. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    Chris,

    A campfire cant melt lead properly. At the very least, use a turkey cooker if you cant devote the money to a lead melting system. I wont buy one... so I use the fryer.

    Welding gloves are an absolute necessity as posted above.

    Be careful and always err to the side of safety. Youre dealing with melting points of 900 degrees or more in some cases, higher for impure stuff. Safety glasses go without saying and whatever you do- come up with whatever excuses you can- just dont let your idiot friend over to help...(cause every group of friends has that one special idiot among them, and if you dont think your group has an idiot in it, then you'd better not be the one to do the lead yourself.) ROTFL


    Sal
     
  18. RamRod

    RamRod New Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    State:
    Ohio
    Well chris you definitely want to have adequate ventilation and a good pair of welding gloves. I picked up a pair for roughly $12 at Lowe's. They're top of the line Lincoln welding gloves. You also want to make sure that you have NO liquids around the melting lead because molten lead can pop real bad if any liquids come in contact with it.

    The key to pouring a good sinker is to make sure you have a very HOT mold like Whistler mentioned. You can achieve this rather quickly by either putting the mold over a camp stove or simply making a few pours.

    Also, I recommend NOT putting the sinkers that didn't form right back into the molten lead until you're done pouring what's left in the container your using. The reason is because it drastically reduces the temp of the molten lead which can cause premature hardening as you pour. Unless you're using one like Whistler mentioned here earlier.
    :0a26: ​
     
  19. willisjj

    willisjj Guest

    Thanks for all the great info. Once I get settled in from this move I am going to start gathering my supplies. My stepdad just sold his salvage about a year ago. Wish I would have had the forethought to raid it for lead, but I was out of state anyway.
     
  20. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    Hi guys, I'm new to the site, but can maybe provide some info on this. I just recently got into making my own sinkers.

    Melting Pots:

    I origninally bought a Lee Production Pot (10lbs) It was better than using one that is called the Hot Pot (which holds 4 lbs of lead). It is really nice to just hold the mold under the spout & wait for the mold to fill up. A few days after I got my melter, I saw something that caught my eye on EBAY. It was a Lee Production Pot 420. This pot holdss 20 pounds of lead & has a much nicer spout system. I got the 420, 80# of lead ingots, several older molds for $60. I had to pay just as much, more even for the shipping ($63). So I had roughly $123 in all of the before mentioned items. Oh yea, I also wwas given around 200 2oz sinkers from the same guy. I did not like the style molds that came with the stuff, so I sold them for $37, I gave a friend all the 2 oz sinkers, becasue I rarely use anything less than 3 oz. The 1st time I used the 420 I fell in love with it. Boy is it nice. I think you can get a new one for something around $60-80. In comparison my reg Lee Production pot I think was $45. I would recomend spending the extra & get the 420. I searched EVERYWHERE & found a place called F&M Reloading in Hamilton (Cincinnati) OH to have the best prices on Lee Production Pots & accessories. (they have a webs ite, but I'm not sure if I can post the url or not on here)

    Molds:
    I second what has already been said, DO-IT Molds are great. I also agree w/ the fact that CATFISH CONNECTION seems to have the best prices on DO-IT Molds. As anyone who has ever ordered from them knows, there shipping & service is second to none. With that being said, the 1st molds I ever bought were from a garage sale. I bought several molds including pins & extra sinkers for $6.00! Yes, $6.00. So sometimes, dont overlook places like garage sales, flea markets, etc...

    Lead:
    I am glad to see that others use wheel weights too. A tire shop 2 blocks from me are HAPPY to give them to me for FREE. There is a lot of metal lef tover, but hey, it's free! I have a friend that is holding aprox 800# of hospital X-Ray room lead for me. I can take it home if I ever make it down his way! I know people that will go & buy pencil lead from stores like Gander Mountain. It is about $10 for 2#. If I had to pay that much I would not bother.

    MISC:
    When I bought my 1st melting pot, I spoke to the person at the store they walked me through what I needed: He recomended for me to get some NRA Approved Beeswax, I guess it helps get all the extra "garbage" in the lead to float to the top of the pot , that way you can scoop it out before you pour your molds. He also recomended for me to get a laddle, for skimming the junk off the top

    I have always been told to use the equipment in well ventalated area. I can see why. There are lots of fumes that come from doing this. Be carefull.

    I'm not sure if we are allowed to post pics on the forum, but If we can I will post of pics of the items I've reffered to up top.