Jump to content

* * * * - 1 votes

lead melting safety and techniques

  • Please log in to reply
44 replies to this topic

#41 WidowMaker


    Advanced Member

  • TU Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 381 posts

Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:31 AM

Im curious as to what types of ventilation setups everyone uses to exhaust lead fumes to the outside of the work shop. Right now im using simple cross ventilation with two open windows and a high volume fan in one of the windows in order to pull the fumes out of the room and into the open air.
I do plan on installing something similar to a vented range hood with an electric fan like unto that which would be found over the top of a stove in a commercial kitchen.

Edited by WidowMaker, 27 October 2012 - 01:39 AM.

#42 walleye warrior

walleye warrior


  • TU Member
  • PipPip
  • 42 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:19 AM

i keep to the basics and taking all precautions you can is best. i only pour in the outdoors ( garage or driveway) if it is warm outside i will use a fan to draw away airborne contamination, i will also wear a 3m style mask with disposible cartridges rated for lead. the last 2 years i have had my lead levels checked when i have my yearly blood test for my pysical and i have been on the lowest end of the spectrum and my doctor says it is lower than most that come into regular daily contact with lead.

#43 Lefty's Lure Co.

Lefty's Lure Co.


  • TU Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • Location:
    madera ca.

Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:01 PM

There are several great points brought up about pouring lead there is also one more thing you should do if you pour large amounts of lead like i do BLOOD TESTING EVERY 3 MONTHS i make sure that i have a clean bill of health my and i keep my shop very clean before and after every work day.

#44 aaarneson



  • TU Member
  • PipPip
  • 75 posts

Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:24 AM

Does anyone have a link to the type of respirator one should get?



#45 Kasilofchrisn


    Advanced Member

  • TU Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 569 posts
  • Location:
    Kenai Peninsula Alaska

Posted 31 March 2014 - 01:27 PM

Does anyone have a link to the type of respirator one should get?



Well this is a subject I know well. I have made thousands of jigs and I have thousands of hours wearing respirators including in heavy lead(Lead processing building at a lead/zinc mine) enviroments.
First off a respirator is not always required. Proper ventilation is a must though. As is proper hygeine such as hand washing and not eating, smoking, drinking, or using chewing tobacco while working with lead.
I wear FRC (fire resistant nomex)coveralls only used for making jigs as well as safety glasses leather, footwear, leather gloves and often times a faceshield.
The other thing you need to be fully aware of is the temp of your lead. I Always use a thermometer in my pot. I made a bracket to hold my thermometer near the side of the pot. If you keep your lead below 900*f you should not have it giving off excessive toxic fumes or many fumes at all for that matter.
That is for clean lead.
I run my lead between 650*f and 750*f. Any hotter and I turn the temp down quickly.
I always melt scrap outside and if it is dirty such as wheel weights I let it go for longer than needed to melt the scrap to burn off all of those contaminants. I make sure the wind is blowing the fumes away from my house and anybody else including your neighbors if you have close ones.
Then I flux it with Beeswax and stir it while the wax is burning. Your wax should burn while fluxing as this will draw up the excess dross trapped in your lead.
After fluxing remove the dross again and you should have good clean lead you can use in your jigs or to be made into ingots.
only clean lead ingots such as this are allowed to be melted in my shop.

If you still feel you need one a good half mask should be sufficient. Buy a brand you can get parts and cartridges for locally and keep it clean inside.

You should also get fit tested to insure your mask fits your face properly or you will still be exposed to fumes and dust. A respiratory medical also is nice to be sure your not going to have other medical issues from wearing one.
The HEPA filter is made to protect you from dust and particulate. This is what you should wear if creating lead dust. I avoid creating a lot of lead dust by carefully hand trimming all flash and hand filing all jigs clean rather than using power tools.
If fumes are a concern of yours then you need an Organic Vapor (OV) cartridge. You can also buy the stacked defender cartridges that do both.
Keep in mind OV cartridges are only good for ~ 12 hours once the package is opened regardless of how tight you seal it back up. After that you need new cartridges. Hepa cartridges are good for a longer use as long as you are carefull not to get the dust inside the mask during strorage.I recommend you use masking tape to seal off the end and prevent dust from falling out during storage. Also always store your respirator in a sealed plastic bag per OSHA regs and keep it clean. 1 gallon ziplocs work good.
If you are careful and have good ventilation you might not need a respirator at all for jig making.
If you want you can PM me with any more questions and I can answer your questions or point you in the right direction for more info.


Edited by Kasilofchrisn, 31 March 2014 - 01:31 PM.

  • Bob La Londe and aaarneson like this