RayburnGuy

Crankbait Ballasting Alternatives

16 posts in this topic

Has anyone used, or considered using, tungsten powder as an alternative to lead for crankbait ballast? I did a search on "tungsten powder" and didn't really find much about it's use in hard baits. One of the deep diving body styles I like to build has a rather slender body for it's size and requires close to 1 oz. of ballast. The slender body means the diameter of the ballast hole is limited. If the tungsten powder has enough of a weight advantage over lead this might solve some problems if the powder could be either mixed with epoxy or poured into the ballast hole and just sealed over with epoxy. Would appreciate your thoughts on this.

thanks,

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mixing tungsten powder with epoxy or anything similar is not going to achieve anywhere near the 19.25g/cm3 density of pure tungsten, you may even struggle to reach the density of pure lead. Even a centimeter cube of the powder will weigh less than 19.25 grams, because of the air space between the grains.

I think your best chance to take advantage of the tungsten powder would be to pack it in dry and seal over with a few drops of CA glue, then fill any void in your usual way. This method should better the density of lead.

Your biggest problem may be getting hold of a sample of tungsten powder to try, as I am sure you don't want to shell out for 10Kg of this expensive metal on the off chance that it works for you. I hope you do get to try it out and report back. There is lots of Google information, but mixing information seems a bit thin on the ground.

Here is one link that I found: http://www.tungstenheavypowder.com/Tungsten_Heavy_Powder/Tungsten_Powder_Applications/tungsten_powder_applications.html

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dave. After doing some more thinking I had pretty much came up with the same conclusion you did as far as trying to make a paste out of the tungsten powder and epoxy. I did some research on the web as well and found the very page you linked to. The cheapest source I've found so far is golf equipment suppliers. It sells for around $20 for an 8 oz. container. If I can find it at any of the local golf shops it might be feasible to give it a try. If I have to buy it online and thus pay shipping it might prove too costly to use. I'll keep digging and post what I come up with as well as any results if I can find a source that isn't cost prohibitive.

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ben, How about this? http://tungsten-sphe...gsten_shot.html

density between 15-16 gm/cc. I got some awhile back. You can drill holes with a Dremel and just push the shot into them.

Thanks for the link Bob. That does sound easier than trying to mess with a powder. :yes: Anythings "powdered" always seem to end up everywhere but where I want it. :pissed:

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do a Google search on pine wood derby tungsten weights. I use them a lot.

Edited by Hughesy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do a Google search on pine wood derby tungsten weights. I use them a lot.

Thanks Hughesy. I'll check into them.

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ben, the tungsten spheres will work as they fit into a 3/16" port. I use these for my jerk baits and micro cranks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Benton. That sounds good as I was hoping to keep the ballast hole smaller than 1/4". I never knew what all was involved in building a crankbait until I started trying to stuff all the hardware into one. :wacko:

thanks again,

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Benton. That sounds good as I was hoping to keep the ballast hole smaller than 1/4". I never knew what all was involved in building a crankbait until I started trying to stuff all the hardware into one. :wacko:

thanks again,

Ben

You could drill two 3/16" diameter holes close together and then open them into a slot. Fill with the weighed powder and a few drops of resin or CA glue to fix.

I don't think you are going to have problems with 'powder everywhere', you just need to be organized. Work on a tray or a sheet of kitchen foil with the edges turned up. Make a beaded tray from plywood with one corner open, so the excess can easily be poured back into a container. There are many solutions.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could drill two 3/16" diameter holes close together and then open them into a slot. Fill with the weighed powder and a few drops of resin or CA glue to fix.

I don't think you are going to have problems with 'powder everywhere', you just need to be organized. Work on a tray or a sheet of kitchen foil with the edges turned up. Make a beaded tray from plywood with one corner open, so the excess can easily be poured back into a container. There are many solutions.

Dave

Is there anyway to determine how much ballast you need in a plug; or do you have to just guess and experment? The ballast is to help the plug run true and not on it's side , right? Im just starting to make some crappie size plugs and never done anything under five inches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there anyway to determine how much ballast you need in a plug; or do you have to just guess and experment? The ballast is to help the plug run true and not on it's side , right? Im just starting to make some crappie size plugs and never done anything under five inches.

I've been using the formula that Dave posted a while back. It will give you the weight needed for neutral buoyancy. Use less weight for a floater or more weight for a sinker. It's a fairly easy process once you do it a couple times. Here's the link.

Ben

http://www.tackleunderground.com/community/topic/22200-archimedes-dunk-test/page__p__165612__hl__archimedes__fromsearch__1#entry165612

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using the formula that Dave posted a while back. It will give you the weight needed for neutral buoyancy. Use less weight for a floater or more weight for a sinker. It's a fairly easy process once you do it a couple times. Here's the link.

Ben

http://www.tackleunderground.com/community/topic/22200-archimedes-dunk-test/page__p__165612__hl__archimedes__fromsearch__1#entry165612

Thanks for the info. I copied that off and put it in my workshop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure why they sell the pinewood derby tungsten weight in powder form (other than convenience: mix with epoxy, fill, done). It kind of defeats the point of "being so much more dense than lead" since in powder form, tungsten has a significantly lower density "per macro volume" than solid tungsten. It doesn't seem like you are going to mess with the powder and I wouldn't either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do a Google search on pine wood derby tungsten weights. I use them a lot.

When I made my pine wood derby racer, we used lead wool for ballast. Of course, that was back in the '50s, and they didn't have tungsten anything available back then. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure why they sell the pinewood derby tungsten weight in powder form (other than convenience: mix with epoxy, fill, done). It kind of defeats the point of "being so much more dense than lead" since in powder form, tungsten has a significantly lower density "per macro volume" than solid tungsten. It doesn't seem like you are going to mess with the powder and I wouldn't either.

If I do decide to use the powder it won't be made into a paste by adding epoxy to it. I will just measure out what weight is needed for ballast, pack it into the ballast hole and seal the hole with epoxy or wood putty.

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now