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Fearless Creation of Lead Bulbs: Exploring Alternatives without Hot Lead

11 months ago

Creating lead bulbs without the need for molten metal? We understand that working with hot lead can be intimidating. But fear not! In this blog post, we'll explore alternative techniques that allow you to craft lead bulbs for your prized vessels without any fiery mishaps. So, let's set sail on this exciting journey!

mold halves ready for casting lead v2

One-Half Mold: Joining Forces with Resin
For those who prefer a simpler approach, the one-half mold technique is an excellent option. With this method, you only need to create a mold using one side. You will still need to melt some lead. But the risk is reduced as the mold is not enclosed and there will never be a lead volcano! If plaster of paris is not dried enough it can make pouring the lead a little sporty in a two piece, one pour mold. After casting two half bulbs, join the two halves together using resin. It's like putting together puzzle pieces with glue! The resulting lead bulb is just as effective, but without the risks and concerns associated with melting metal and pouring a whole bulb.

Buckshot Method: Cold Assembly, No Burns Required
If the thought of handling hot lead sends shivers down your spine, fear not! The buckshot method offers a fantastic alternative. Instead of melting lead, you can use buckshot pellets, readily available in stores. Assemble the pellets in a container, such as a PVC tube or mold, and secure them using resin. The result? A lead bulb that provides the necessary weight without the need for melting anything. Plus, adjusting the weight is as simple as adding or removing buckshot pellets. No burns, no worries!

Pre-Made Bulbs: Convenience at Your Fingertips
If you prefer a fuss-free option or have specific weight requirements, pre-made lead bulbs are readily available. Many manufacturers offer a wide range of lead bulbs designed to fit various yacht models. Simply find one that falls within the recommended weight range of 900 to 1300 grams, and you're good to go. Attaching it to your yacht's keel is a breeze, ensuring a secure fit and optimal performance without any DIY involved.

Ahoy, fearless sailors of the radio-controlled yacht world! We've explored a variety of techniques that allow you to create lead bulbs without the need to handle hot lead. Whether you choose the two-piece or one-half mold technique, embark on a buckshot adventure, or opt for the convenience of pre-made bulbs, there's a method to suit your comfort level and desired customization. So, set sail with confidence, knowing that you can optimize your vessel's stability and maneuverability without any fears of molten metal. 

Personally I find casting the molten lead to be the most fun part of the build. With the safety precautions outlined in the eBook there's little room for disaster. I would say go for it!

There are some good articles on the forum which delve into this in more detail.