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Brad

Detailed Mold

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I'm trying to pour a spinnerbait that has some small details. the problem I'm having is that the lead will not flow into some of the smaller grooves.

Is there anything I can do to get the lead to fill-in those areas?

Thanks,

Brad

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Brad,

You'll get a better and more accurate reply if you give us some more details. There could be a zillion explanations for the question you posted-- and you may get a zillion answers that won't fix your problem. If you can explain your situation in more detail, I'm sure we can give you a solution.

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Brad

Try to do what sagacious recommends. He's got some good ideas. As a start you could:

1. Smoke your mold using candle soot. Somehow the soot allows melted lead to flow faster allowing voids to fill.

2. Preheat your mold by placing on top of your lead pot. Make a number of false castings without hooks or spinnerbait wires included.. Once you get the details you might be getting close to making a lure.

3. Preheat your spinnerbait wires and hooks before you place them on the mold. Cold inserts can rob a preheated mold of btu's causing incomplete castings.

4. Use an alloy that you have experience with. Not all alloys behave the same. In general if you get wrinkles you need more heat. If you get a frosted appearance you've got too much heat. If you got shrinkage you got way too much heat and the alloy is cooling rapidly causing voids etc.

5. That might work!

I've known these things for a long time. But I was trying to pour with an alloy that I was overheating. Sagacious straightened me right out.

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Brad,

No worries, that helps narrow it down. The suggestions above by Turkeylegs should get you headed in the right direction.

Initially, this sounds like your mold is not hot enough, but let's start at the beginning:

Is this an aluminum mold, or a plaster, bondo, silicone, etc mold?

What are you using to heat your lead, and how are you pouring (dipper, bottom-pour, etc)?

Where did you get your lead?

Are all the pours bad, or just some?

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No, that's my job.

It seems strange that the bug eye formed but the slight recess for the eye lip did not. I thought it would be the other way around. It could be air, but that should not be considered until all the above has been tried, as the solution is always invasive.

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If I understand Brad correctly, what's happening is that the larger 'details' in the mold (the bug-eye) are filling out, but the smaller details (the thin lip around the eye) fail to fill out. Pouring into a cold mold will usually give castings with only the larger details, and as the mold warms, the detail on the castings become progressively finer.

There may very well be additional causes, but so far the most likely suspects are: 1) Lead not hot enough, and 2) Mold not hot enough.

With a little more info, we'll get to the bottom of this.

Cheers, all. :)

Edited by sagacious
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The mold is a Collins aluminum.

It happened on every pour, but I only pured 3.

I didn't do any prep to the mold.

The lead is ingots I bought off Ebay.

I'm using a Lee pot, the smaller bottom pour model set and about #8 on the dial.

Sagacious explained it perfectly (about the detail). I will try all the great suggestions & report how it turns out.

Thanks to everyone.

Brad

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Sounds like you should be OK, Brad.

I'd suggest smoking the mold cavities when you get a chance. All the best pourers I know do whatever they can to prevent problems-- and make sure everything is ready to go-- before they start pouring.

Pour all the cavities with no wire inserts or hooks, and keep pouring until the castings are coming out perfect. You may have to pour quite a few "blank" pours before the mold is warmed-up enough. Be aware that lead may drip from the hook channel during the warm up. Once everything is pouring great, and the mold is hot, you can add your hooks and wire forms and pour your spinnerbaits.

Let us know how it goes, that bug-eye spinnerbait mold sounds interesting.

Good luck, and be safe!

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Could also be the lead alloy, when I first started I had access to lead that was from the hospital , it had some harder material in it and was frustrating to pour . soft lead such as lead boots from home supply centers or properly packaged ingots from tackle making supply houses work the best IMO.

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If you have problems with voids, you can warm the mold to the point that the lead would remain melted inside the mold. Pour the bait, let the bait and mold cool, remove the bait. Problem is you might overheat the mold. So if you try this make sure that your mold will withstand that type of heat. If you get that mold too hot it might crystalize in the middle of a pour and fall apart with the lead still molten. A recipe for disaster! I don't like this remedy. But on some large baits this seems to work. Never fail to wear gloves that will overlap your shirt sleeves/gauntlets when pouring. Wear eye protection. You can never be too careful!

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I see almost every solution has been given too you but I do have 1 more thing for you to try if all else fails, and that is ladle pouring. I know you said you were using a bottom pour furnace and it should be ok but I have a mold that has to be ladle poured which doesn't bother me as I ladle pour most of my stuff except for small jigs but using a ladle will allow you to dump the lead in a bit faster but it takes getting used to it, good luck.

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