BruceKY

How to keep the lead in?

21 posts in this topic

I recently made a small investment in some forstner bits. I used them to drill out holes for lead in some jerk baits I am making. While smoothing out the lead at the surface I noticed it was loose. I never had this problem before using the forstner bits. The holes are much smoother now. How do you keep the lead from coming out of the holes? Should I use a dremel to open up the hole to lock in the lead?

Thanks,

Bruce

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If you drill the hole out and insert the lead just put in a dab of epoxy and it will stay. That is what i do and have never lost one.

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I do the same as Longball.

If however you are melting the lead into the hole I don't know how possible or safe this method is.

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I sometimes melt lead ballast into hardwood baits but that won't work in softer woods like balsa. You definitely need to epoxy lead into soft balsa. If not, it may shoot out the bottom of the bait the first time it's slapped on water. Slapping balsa baits on water to clear weeds is not very smart! It either slaps the ballast out, cracks the finish along the lip slot, or tears the head completely off. Been there, done that, got the pieces to proove it

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I was melting lead into pine. I will have to start gluing it in I guess. I used some crazy glue to fix the lures I already made. It pulled itself into the gap between the wood and the glue and seems to be holding well. I tested it by hitting it onto the bench.

thanks,

Bruce

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I use a flat piece of lead to begin with. It is lead flashing used for pipe penetrations on an asphalt roof. I cut the piece out I need and roll it up with a pair of pliers. Then insert it into the predrilled hole and cover with epoxy. The epoxy kinda fills in the gaps in the sides of the cavity. Then I put some wood filler in what is left of the hole so I can sand smooth and prime. If done right you can't tell it is even there. And like I said I have never slung out a lead or have heard of anyone doing it with my bait.

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I always pour hot lead into mine, but I just use standard drill bits. Never had one come out loose. In fact I just poured seven hardwood gliders today (14 holes) & every one was absolutely tight. I'd definitely try scoring the hole or widening out the bottom abit with the dremel on the next ones. Shouldn't take much to physically hold it in place.

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What the others have said is all valid. I would add that you can use Elmer's glue or just about any wood glue to secure it. If you are using D2T or another good strong topcoat over the top you shouldn't see any problems.

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In the predrilled hole, I insert cylindrical lead, same diameter as the hole. Sometimes the lead would not fit, because the ends of it are a little bit larger due to the fact that the lead was cut out from a longer cylinder. This is easy to corect, you just roll the cylinder between 2 hard surfaces (2 pieces of hard wood, 2 pieces of thick metal sheet, etc). When fit, I push the lead cylinder into the hole, then cover with epoxy putty, which can be sanded easily after cure.

I use this system because I check every lure as to the ballast it needs. I hang trebble hooks and split rings to the sealed crankbait, press a cylinder lead into the hole (not all the way in, so that I can take it out) then sit the crankbait on water (in a pot of water) to see if the amount of lead is the one I want it to be. If the lead is too much, I cut out a slice of it, and repeat the operation.

Now I cannot imagine how you coud check the right amount of lead you need if you just pour the lead into the hole. This might work far larger crankbaits, where you coud make the same depth of the hole, every time. But for smaller crankbaits this would not work.

Anyway, if the lead is loose after you have poured it in, you might try to take out some of the lead with a drill bit, then cover it with epoxy or epoxy putty. This would keep the lead in place.

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Where do you find cylindrical lead?

I pour it myself. I have a mould made out of brass on a lathe.

But I read somewhere that you can make a mould at home, out of hard wood. 2 parts clamped together, and you drill holes where the 2 pieces of wood meet. But I would bet that if you simply make holes in a piece of hard wood, that would be enough to make cylinder lead, because the lead would shrink after setting. See the beginning of the thread :)

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If you are pouring the lead into the hole there are 2 things you can do to keep it in place, both work because I have trie them myself with total success.

After you have drill your hole, put a tiny wood screw into it, make sue at least half or more of the screw is in the wood. The lead will form around the screw head and hold it tight.

The method I use now is under fill the hole by just a tiny amount. I then fill the hole with 2 part wood epoxy putty. This putty dries just like real wood, sands like wood and paints like wood and has never let me down.

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Now I cannot imagine how you coud check the right amount of lead you need if you just pour the lead into the hole. This might work far larger crankbaits, where you coud make the same depth of the hole, every time. But for smaller crankbaits this would not work.

Anyway, if the lead is loose after you have poured it in, you might try to take out some of the lead with a drill bit, then cover it with epoxy or epoxy putty. This would keep the lead in place.

i pour the lead straight into the hole in the lure,put an initial seal on the lure then check the weighting with the hard ware fitted removing the excess lead with the drill until it's weighted as i want it,then fill the hole with epoxy filler.i've made a few hundred lures with this method and never had a problem with loose lead's,i also find you don't need as big a hole as when rolling the lead and epoxying it in place

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BEZYB's method is exactly how I do mine. And it's not hit & miss either. I strive to standardize everything as much as possible. I've got a few standard designs that I've got the way I want them so I use the same type of wood, shape and weigh them. Then determine how deep to drill the holes. Pour the lead. Test them for buoyancy & balance in my utility sink. Drill & fine tune. I only live about 1/4 mile from a lake, so if there's open water I can even cast 'em out a few times if I feel the need :) . My gliders are the easiest, because some are floaters, some sinkers & some neutral. So if I mis-calculate, I just recategorize it!:wink:

Of course if I'm playing around with a proto. then I'll do like rofish, but I try to keep track of how much I weighted them for future reference.

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After you have drill your hole, put a tiny wood screw into it, make sue at least half or more of the screw is in the wood. The lead will form around the screw head and hold it tight.

The method I use now is under fill the hole by just a tiny amount. I then fill the hole with 2 part wood epoxy putty. This putty dries just like real wood, sands like wood and paints like wood and has never let me down.

Mr.J

I was thinking along the same lines. I thought an eye screw would do the trick. The only problem with that is it might interfere when fine tuning with a drill.

Bruce

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I don't have any of the melting stuff for melting and pouring my own lead, nor do I want to invest in that. I have just been using lead shot or egg sinkers and tapping them into my holes with a small hammer. I think I might try pencil lead though - seems you can just cut the size you want, and it's already cylindrical shaped - anyone try this? I noticed they sell pencil lead at one of the local 'specialty' bait shops here that carries some tackle/lure making supplies.

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mnflyfisher If you don't want to spend a lot of money. find any small pan and melt the lead in it. no teflon! just metal. use a spoon bent on the tip so you can direct the hot lead in the lure. you might already have all of it if not garage sale $1.00.

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Lead wire can be purchased on 10 lb. rolls. from Corbin reloading. http://www.corbins.com/lead.htm#wire It is about $3.00/lb. Yea that is a little expensive compared to what scrap lead cost, but it is 99.95% pure and comes in 11 sizes and very easy to cut to size. I use the .247 with a 1/4 inch drill bit and put the lead in the exact place I want it and then glue it with a little 5 min. epoxy and fill the rest with wood filler.

BTW, this is how I prep balsa.

With a one piece bait I will soak it in propionate/acetone and let dry prior to drilling. This will help keep the balsa from chipping around the edges when it is drilled. Then I dip it in propionate again to strengthen the inside of the hole. (so the fishermen that like to slap a bait on the water will have to slap mine a little harder to break it.) Then I epoxy the lead in and fill the hole with wood filler, sand, and finish sealing the bait with propionate.

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Heaps of ingenious ways of getting lead in here-I like the one with the screw. I only make smaller lures and rarely need weight, only for bigger 3" ones, if they do need weighting, I get some lead shot from the gun shop, weigh out what I want, mix it with a bit of resin (just wet) and pour that in, leaving it a bit proud of the lure and file it off when it's set- the resin holds it solid- never get any movment. Pete

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