Some Basic Tips

Recycling Plastic (Plastisol) Baits:

  • Chop small and make sure pieces are DRY DRY DRY...
  • The Berkley GULP formulas are something else. Do not mix with plastisol.
  • Elastec (10X) is something else. Do not mix with plastisol.
  • Silicone baits are something else. Do not mix with plastisol.
  • Salt is hydroscopic (absorbs water), but can be dried in oven at low heat for long period if pieces are chopped fairly fine.
  • Some plastisols will tolerate fewer remelts than others.

Some Tips For Cast Lead:

I have a few tips. Every time I make a custom mold for somebody I test it. Often they have given me directions which may make it difficult to pour. Of course I told them that when they said it, but when they argue I figure its part of my job to "make it" pour anyway.

  • Place hooks and hardware in the mold and set the mold on top of the lead pot to warm up. A preheated mold will allow the lead to flow for a fraction of a second longer.
  • Use a bottom pour pot and press the nozzle of the pot against the sprue opening before opening the flow gate. The weight of the lead in the pot creates HEAD PRESSURE helping to force the lead into details from the weight of all the lead above.
  • Keep the bottom pour pot FULL. This creates more head pressure.
  • Lightly dust the mold with talcum powder. The small particles of talc break up the surface tension of the lead allowing it to flow better.
  • Lots of folks will swear by a stingy coating of candle smoke or a coating of graphite spray. Those primarily work as a mold release. Unless your mold is coated with a solder flux and is hot enough to melt the lead directly the lead generally doesn't need a mold release. (Don't do that) They have less affect as an agent to help with filling. A heavy coat of graphite does act as an insulator. It can add a fraction of a second to the freeze time to allow the lead to flow out better.
  • I have had to come up with a recipe once or twice that included both a graphite spray and then a light dusting of talc, but that is exceedingly rare. If its one or the other talc almost always works better.
  • Yes, sometimes the space allowed for flow can just be to small. Most of the time some combination of the tips above will over come that. Sometimes the answer is you just have to drill out the gate, but its likely the gate was made that size because of some customer demand of the past. Larger gate flows better, but requires more cleanup. If you do drill out the gates set the depth stop on your drill press so you don't destroy a cavity, and only upsize a little bit to start with.
  • Some alloys will stick to an aluminum mold.  Tin and some pewters come to mind.  For these a mold release may be a very good idea. 
  • Lead does not "stick" to aluminum, but a shape with perpendicular surfaces and no draft angle may need a little help.  
  • Bismuth flows more than lead, so you will have to count on more cleanup if using Bismuth.  















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