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  1. #1

    Sinker Making at Home

    SINKER MAKING AT HOME

    The following story with instructions is how I make my sinkers. This may not be the opinion or system of others, but it has worked for me over the last 30 years.

    Turning solid lead into a molten liquid gives off dangerous gases, so please, set up your worktable in a well ventilated area, outside and away from Children and pets. Wear a Charcoal Filter mask, protective clothing and should you start to get a headache or feel different than when you first started. STOP !

    It is important to have ALL items ready and at hand prior to making sinkers. This includes “ clean “ lead. If your lead has dirt, is encrusted, wet ( be aware that wet lead will SPLATTER ) or is of the wheel weight variety, set aside a day to make that lead into usable ‘ ingots ‘ that are totally clean. ( pic SMake01 & SMake02 )

    Once you have set up your table, light the gas burner. It will take, depending on the amount of lead in the saucepan, about 10 - 15 minutes to melt the lead. The more solid a saucepan, the better it will retain the heat.

    Check that your moulds are clean of dirt, grease and are straight. Set up your mould vice. That’s a loose term for what I use. Usually I use two house bricks and a piece of solid timber for the base. The idea here is to have the tip / top of the mould sitting proud of the bricks to allow an un-interrupted pouring and access to the mould. You do NOT have to use a Vice, as in metal winding thing. This takes too much time and is un-necessary as the pressure form placing the two bricks together WILL hold the moulds securely and flush. ( pic Smake04 & SMake05 )

    The time has come to place the moulds against the heat source. ( pic SMake03 ) This ensures that the poured molten lead “ flows “ into the mould and does not ‘ bake or harden during the pouring process, thus clogging the access hole and making a false or damaged sinker. Added to this, I have drilled out the access hole a little wider than the standard to allow a faster pour. The faster you pour the more evenly the lead will flow into the mould and make a smoother sinker.

    With your ladle ( 50 cents from Vinnies ), dip it into the molten lead a couple of times to pre-heat it. Then gather about 1/2 to 2/3rds full and place the ladle as close as possible to the mould, sometimes I even rest it on the mould, and pour evenly. You will soon get the feel of how much lead it takes to make a run and how much it takes to fill one access area. It is NOT necessary to fill ALL holes in the mould in one run. ( SMake06 & SMake07 )

    Pour the leftover lead back into the saucepan, use the vice grips to grab the end of the mould rod and place it on the ground, give it a small but firm bang. The mould should split apart, revealing a perfect set of sinkers. At this stage it is important to pick up the two sides of the mould and replace them in the vice. This stops any bending or warping. Using the tin snips, snip off the dags and place the dags back into the saucepan. Using the hand that has the welding ( asbestos ) gloves on, grab the bottom sinker and pull it off into a tray. The mould rod should be held vertical as to not allow for any bends or twists. Place the mould rod back into the mould ready for the next batch.( pic SMake08 & SMake09 & SMake12 )

    Depending on how many sinkers you want to make will dictate the amount of lead you use and how often you ‘ top up ‘ the saucepan. The more lead in the saucepan, the faster the introduced lead will melt, but also the heavier the saucepan will get. There is a lot of heat gathering around the base of your gas stove. Speaking of which, there are two methods I now employ, the first as pictured ( I installed a larger ‘ valve ‘ in the stove for more flame ) and the second is a Butane powered single burner gas stove, as it produces more heat than LPG, thus melting the lead faster. I have also used a wood fired BBQ to do the same job.

    Once you have finished your run, you MUST place your mould on a very flat surface to cool down, preferably with a flat heavy object ( like the house brick ) on top to ensure the flushness of your moulds. ( pic SMake11 ). Next you will have to nip off the small dags on the individual sinkers using a snips shown ( pic SMake10 ). Also, if your moulded sinkers are hard to pull off the mould rod, there may be a slight bend in it or the tip is burred, use a small tack hammer to refresh these areas. The mould rod I use are ‘ gathered ‘ from pushbikes. The spokes make great rods, and stainless steel is by far the best.

    I place the sinkers into a stainless tray for two reasons. 1, to stop them rolling down the driveway and 2, I add a little water and place the tray in the back of the ute for a couple of days. The rolling around in the ute ( driving to work etc ), rounds off the sinkers and the water ‘ dulls ‘ them. Ever dropped a brand new shiny sinker in deep water only to have a fish or critter hammer it ?

    The abovementioned and shown sinker making exercise took about 40 minutes form go to whoa, that is setting up, making, nipping and tidying up ( including time out to take pics etc ). With two people, you should be able to make a years supply of sinkers in a morning. I only make sizes 2 ball to 10 ball, barrel and droppers. The smaller varieties are too hard to make and are cost effective from a tackle shop.

    Cheers Phill









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  2. #2

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    clean lead
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  3. #3

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    mould in bricks
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  4. #4

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    mould in bricks side view
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  5. #5

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    stove and heating moulds
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  6. #6

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    lead pouring
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  7. #7

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    lead in mould
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  8. #8

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    seperated mould
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  9. #9

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    dags nipped
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  10. #10

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    dropping sinkers into tray
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  11. #11

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    single sinkers nipped
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  12. #12

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    sinkers in tray and brick ( weight ) on top of moulds to stop bending, twisting.
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  13. #13

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    Very good methodology -

    Have not bothered making sinkers myself for many years, they are so cheap these days, get a good handful in bulk from Kmart for 4 or 5 bucks these days.

    The clean lead is also getting hard to get, it is not used for flashing so much these days.

  14. #14

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    Thats a great post Phill thanks

    Always said "i should make some of my own sinkers" but never really get around to it, maybe I should
    Cheers
    Mark

  15. #15
    markpeta
    Guest

    Re: Sinker Making at Home

    Top post Phill [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]. Heaps easier with the bricks I wont be using a clamp anymore. Where can you get clean lead and how much is it as I have always been given it.

    Mark

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