Hi guys. I was making a mold today to pour some keel grabber decoy weights and I figured that I would snap a few pictures and share the process with you. For many of you, this will be an inexpensive way to make some otherwise very expensive weights. Before I go on, please use your head when working with lead - wear a respirator, gloves, pants and a long sleeve shirt and KEEP MOISTURE AWAY FROM MOLTEN LEAD. Also, only smelt lead in a well ventilated area - outside, unless you have some crazy ventilation system in your shop. Good luck and have fun.
First, some things you will need (Bondo, fiberglass resin, WD40, some sort of fast drying adhesive, tupperware, mixing stick):
That is pretty much it. Obviously, you will need lead and a way to smelt it. I use a 10 pound lee smelter, but a cast iron pan over a propane burner is a good tool as well and cheaper. I use scrap lead that I find or get from tire shops in the form of wheel weights.
The first thing that you are going to want to do is come up with a design. I used the GHG weights as inspiration and drew my own version on autocad. However, a simple google image search for keel grabber will yield you plenty of images that you can copy and paste into paint or word and print out at any size that you want. Then I take my image and trace it on to a piece of 1/8" luan. This is the perfect thickness for a master to make a mold out of.
Then you are going to want to cut out your master(s). My bench top band saw is perfect for this, but anything that will cut details will work. Sand down your masters after you cut them out. I also cut out another piece of luan that fits the bottom of whatever tupperware container that I am using to create my mold. I spray only one side of the master(s) with spray adhesive, let it get tacky and then stick them to the sheet of luan and place it in my tupperware container, like this:
Then I mix up my bondo. You are going to want to use fiberglass resin to thin the bondo down to a soupy, pancake batter consistency, so that when you pour it over the master(s), it fills out nicely and doesn't leave any air pockets. Chances are that you will need more resin than you think. Remember to thin first to the right consistency, before adding any hardener:
Continued on next post...........
Last edited by JTR
on Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:50 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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