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TizzleT

Do-It Buzzbait Mold - NEED HELP PLEASE!

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I recently started pouring my own lead and bought 3 molds one of which is giving me extreme problems.  The Do-It Buzzbait mold with 1/8oz and 1/4oz cavities.   I have poured roughly 15+ of these and they all are coming out flawed.   I purchased the mentioned wire forms and hooks that was on the website.  I have not done any modifications to this mold, other than adding double sided type to where the end of the wire form lays inside the mold, the 1/4oz cavity just slips out constantly when closing the mold.   Seems like no matter what I do, either the bend that accepts the hook or the shaft were you place the skirt onto does come out right.  See pictures:

 

I am using the Lee Production Pot IV.

 

Any suggestions as to what I could try differently.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Lay apiece of wood just thick enough that it will support your wire before you close the mold . Position the wire and hook in the mold . I prefer to crimp the wire on the hook . Now close the mold carefully . Now grip the mold with the index finger sticking out over the mold . Press the exposed end of the wire down towards the mold to pin it so it does not move . If you have a bullet ladle use that . Keep the mold flat until you insert the ladle tip . Then bring them up horizontal together. This should help if the lead is pure . If you have a botton pour spout pot You will have to just get as close to the spout as possible . Remember to keep a slight forward angle on your mold because a lot of times with a bottom pour you will get back flow into your hand. not fun. 

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In addition to properly supporting hook and wire form as toadfrog suggests, I would first blacken the cavities.

I always use frankford arsenal drop out mold release but you could blackened cavities with a candle.

(Assuming you are using pure lead )

Next pour the mold without the hook or wire form.

(You may need to increase your Lee pot temp to completely fill or decrease temp if too much flash.)

Keep pouring until the head is completely filled. 

This indicates that mold and lead are hot enough.

You are now ready to add the hook and wire form.  

Good luck.

Edited by fshng2
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Thank you toadfrog and fshng2!!!!  I will try this out and get back to you all, hopefully this will do the trick.

 

I did notice when trying to pour the 1/4oz buzzbait I had to have the mold roughly 2-3" below the bottom pour spout. 

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Recommendations for you based upon my 29 years of pouring. Believe me when I tell you I had fits w./these molds when I 1st got them. I originally used soft lead for baits i sold and ended up replacing every one of them because they loosened up. You'll need a HEAVY DUTY PAIR OF LEAD TRIMMING DIKES

 

1- Pure lead has a Brinell rating of 5 which is soft.

Your buzz-baits will loosen up after 2-3 bass- use lead w/ antimony. You can increase the harness of your soft lead by smelting solder(Tin) w/ your existing soft lead to your desired hardness

2-I smoke my molds w/ a beeswax candle- others prefer a regular candle

3-The tip to use a block of wood to level to mold was spot on

4-Keep your ladle in the pot of molten lead between pours- Lee makes a small pot for ladle pouring only. Setting 4 1/2- 5 should heat your harder lead to 900-925 degrees

5-Positioning inside the mold is critical. You do not want the hook eye # the bottom of the cavity

6-Smoke the hook and wire form before pouring.

7- Heating the wire form and hook briefly w/ a small butane torch will help

8- It's very helpful ,if not essential, to check the temp of your lead w/ a digital Pyrometer

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Take some plumbers putty and put it in the slot for the hook and the other slot for the wire.  Just a little amount, this will hold your hook eye and wire form in the very center of the  mold.  Otherwise it can slip down in the mold.  Put a hook/wire in there and close it.  Trim out any excess that squeezes into the cavity.  I've also heard of people using a small adhesive backed, thin magnet to hold the hook down by the bend but I'd think once the mold got hot the sticky would give up.  Keep the eye in the center/biggest part of the mold, this applies to any mold with wire forms.  I close the hook of the wire form around the eye of the hook.

I can see that your lead is cooling too quickly before the pour is complete.  Gaps and wrinkles are a sign of too cool of lead.   A bottom pour isn't the answer for spinnerbaits or buzzbaits.  You can't get the spout close enough to keep the lead from cooling before flowing properly into the cavity.  Either get a small ladle like suggested above or I just use a Hot Pot (pours from top) for all of my pouring.  Pour quickly and as close to the mold as possible.  I never liked dealing with the problems of a bottom pour so it just sits on the shelve.  Just have to add lead more often with a Hot Pot but it is quicker for me without additional problems.  Flux your lead with wax to clean out as much impurities as you can.  That helps pours also.

Heat your mold before pouring if you don't already.  Lay it on the top of your pot while it is heating up.  By the time the lead is ready, your mold is hot and this makes pours much better.  After the mold is hot, lay your hook and wire in there and give it about 30 seconds before pouring.  This will warm the hook and wire a little which also helps sometimes with difficult molds.

On your dud pours, use a propane torch to melt the lead back off over your pot.  This will give you a clean hook and wire form.  Good luck, it seems like every mold has certain characteristics that are unique to that mold and sometimes it takes pouring a good number of heads to figure out what/how works best.  Have fun and ask any other question you have, someone here has likely had the same problem at one time or another and figured out a way around it!

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We discourage customers from using bottom pour pots when using molds with wires that protrude from the top of the mold. Generally speaking, you simply won't be able to get the mold close enough to the pot to avoid losing too much heat when you pour. As mentioned above, a Hot Pot or a ladle will solve a lot of your problems.

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First of all , I pour several different types of buzzbaits using Do-It molds, and yes you can pour them with a Lee IV pot, as I do it all the time.  The only mold that has some issues is the Keel Buzz Bait mold, where there is not enough surface lead to cover the hooks. Now getting back to your problems

#1.......The mold you have has air vent holes, so that is the good news, any trapped air will escape.

#2.......Spray the mold cavities with drop-out. 

#3........Make sure your mold is very hot.

#4.....Like mentioned above, try the things stated, if you are still having issues, crank up your Lee pot all the way up to #9 and let it get up to temp. By doing this, you will get the lead hotter making it more liquid as it flows into the mold

#5..... If you adjust your mold on an angle left to right, you will get the lead to pour about a 1/2" from the mold, this way it will not cool as fast as it pours out.

#6.... If your wire slips down while you pour, put some tape in the groove where the wire form sits, as you close the mold, the extra tape will keep the wire in place.

#7 You can also put a small piece of tape at the bottom of the hook onto the mold. This will keep the hook in place.

These are some of the things I do when I pour buzzbaits.  I am not a big fan of the Hot Pot. Reason being as good as they are, they are very heavy, they let out too much lead at one time, and if you over pour, it will not fill and it could burn you (but many others have very good success with them). If you want to go a different route, get a 1 oz ladle, that is a better and safer choice. JMO

 

Edited by cadman
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Fantastic information provided everyone.  I GREATLY appreciate all the pointers and tips.  It sounds like I just play around with all of these pointers and see what helps. 

I have seen several comments regarding types of pours/pots.  I am somewhat familiar with the bottom pour, but I have never seen a top pour or a smaller 1oz pour.  Like I said, I am pretty new to pouring my own lead, so learning by trail and error and also asking for support (on here) is much appreciated.  Thank you all very much, I want to try and find these other pours/pots you all are talking about!

 

Thanks AGAIN!

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So in your all's opinion which is the "best" all around pot to use?  And please give reasons as to why. 

 

I am liking the Lee Pro Pot 20lb for its 4" clearance but it sounds like the distance from the spout could be an issue with buzz/spinners.  Do people buy a large pot and the smaller handheld Palmer pot for those trickier pours?

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If you are talking bottom pour versus ladle pour, IMO, bottom pour hands down. I have both and started pouring some years ago with a ladle. When I finally bought a bottom pour, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It's just faster and easier and will pour 95% of the stuff we do. Like Cadman, I even pour spinnerbaits and buzzbaits with mine. You just have to cant the mold and make sure things are aligned correctly. 

Of the bottom pour pots, probably the RCBS. I don't have one, but the guys that have them rave about how nice they are. That said, you must clean and flux your lead BEFORE putting it in any bottom pour pot. That's key in getting good service from them. Also, the RCBS is pricey at between 300-400 bucks. They have just changed their pot to include a pid for temperature control so no one knows what the reliability will be with the change but I'm sure it will be a good pot. 

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There are molds that pour better w/ a ladle and those that pour better w/ a RCBS bottom pour pot. Once size doesn't fit all when pouring molten lead into molds. Hard lead ( lead w/ antimony and or tin)does not pour well from a bottom pour pot for buzz-baits and spinner baits.

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Like mentioned there are so many variables, in regards to pots, molds and lead. Smallmouthaholic hit it right on the head, one size doesn't fit all. I don't know how much equipment you have or where you want to take this hobby/business, but start out small, ask questions and learn from there. If you have a Lee IV pot, for a beginner that in my opinion is the best place to start. The pot is pretty full proof so you usually cant't get burned and they perform well for the average person. You should be able to pour 95% of all Do-It molds with this pot.  However like mentioned  everyday you pour is a new day. Some days  your pours will go flawlessly and some days, you want to stop pouring as nothing goes well. For the bad days, try to figure it out and go through all the steps in your mind on how you normally pour. If all fails, I would put everything aside and start pouring the next day. There are days for me in Illinois especially in the summer, where the humidity is high and I have issues pouring. So I do believe that humidity plays a role in pouring.

The only other item I would buy is a small 1 oz ladle, which cost about $10. With this, you can dip lead from the top of your Lee pot and pour into your molds. It is not a fast process, however many times it will save the day, as the Lee pot can sometimes be finicky.  I would also suggest getting some drop out to spray on your molds if you don't have it. It will make most of your pouring easier with less bad pours. I am not a fan of candle wax, due to it being messy and the soot getting all over my hands and jigs. Anyway be careful  and safe and I'm sure you will have more questions here, so just start new threads, so others may learn from your trials and tribulations.

Edited by cadman
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I use this pot for ladle pouring and keep the ladle in the molten lead when not pouring w/  the mold on top of the pot in a slightly open position. This is the trick for using harder lead w/ antimony/tin w/ a pot temp. of 900-925. Proper ventilation of fumes is a must. Smoking the ladle or spraying w/ drop out is paramount to easy,complete pours w/ out all the associated dross/impurities that will cause incomplete pours.

 

http://www.barlowstackle.com/Lee-4-Lb-Lead-Melting-PotBR110-Volt-Model-P349.aspx

 

This pot will run your lead temps in excess of 1,000 degrees if you bank it.Precision lead temperature monitoring is strongly recommended

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Thanks again fellas! 

Cadman - I have already learned quickly if it isn't working out well just stop what your doing and walk away.  I plan on getting a smaller 1oz ladle and the smaller Lee-4lb that smallmouth mentioned, just so I can learn the pros and cons to each of it's uses.

Smallmouth - Thanks for the information,  I have upgraded my ventilation in the work area since working with lead.  I haven't got around to buying any specific sprays to apply to the molds, just started with candles due to it being inexpensive and the simplicity of it.

 

I have A LOT to learn and to read up on.  Everyone had to start somewhere and I am glad that there is a forum for Fishing Enthusiasts and very helpful members on it as well!

 

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Tizzle T-

                      Thanks for taking the time to say thank you  for all of the helpful information. Many times we (the real professionals who spent the time and $ to learn) never see a thank you and are taken for granted .

Edited by smallmouthaholic
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TT, I think the heat does this. I see it every time I pour. If we could keep our heat low, you may not see it but to fill the small bait holder barbs and small flows around the hook for collars and such we need heat. I'm not sure though as some of my lead that has been melted, fluxed, poured into small muffin tin ingots, has a bunch of blue hue to it. Might be just the nature of lead. 

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12 hours ago, TizzleT said:

What does it mean when the lead that you pour has a colored tint to it?  Mainly blue is what I am seeing.

The blueish haze indicates you have soft lead.Scratch it w/ your fingernail

 

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The blueish haze is when we begin to overheat the lead. I use a 60/40 mix with a BHN of 7.8 that will get that blue hue around 800 - 825 degrees. My spinnerbait mix that I heat in a 4lb LEE precision melting pot and pour with a ladle is a 70/30 mix of hard to soft and has a BHN of 9.9, this will turn that same "oil spill" type color at the 900 degree mark. I can get complete pours when my mold gets hot and my lead is close to 900 degrees but I found if I use Frankfurt Arsenal drop out that 850 will work, and on my 4lb pot between 9 and 10 will get me to 904 degrees, right at 9 it gets to 850 - 870 degrees depending on the weather. Drop out will really help and if you use pure soft lead I believe you can get better pours by smoking the mold but I too think you should use a harder alloy to pour buzzbaits. So going with 3% to 5% antimony will make the lead a little more durable and keep the wire from coming loose but it will require a little more heat and I think a ladle is better than a bottom pour and I run both LEE and RCBS pots. Once you get use to ladle pouring you'll find you can dump the lead in faster than a bottom pour and that faster pour will help but I do think if you use drop out it will help immediately. I have some molds that are modified and don't pour well unless I use the drop out but everyone gave you good information, good luck and keep with it, you will get complete pours soon.

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Ok, good deal.  I just received a new package in the mail.  It is full of stuff, including the smaller handheld pot/pour.  I am excited to see how the two pots compare/differ from each other.

The lead does come off with scratching with a fingernail.  So I will need to pick up some harder lead for the buzzbaits/spinnerbaits.

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I forgot to tell you that every now and then you can pick up an old palmer 20 pound lead ladle pot on Ebay . They sit in a bracket and are screwed to the table. The pot tips to pour . I have two and love them for certain projects especially bank sinkers or jig heads that go 3,4,5,6 Oz. Sorta tricky to pour at first but not bad at all.

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