Monday, November 24, 2008

Centerboard Part 4 (Lead pour)

The pouring of the lead slug insert for the centerboard was in my mind a big job. I never did it before and got some input from people who have. And the collection of lead I had was certainly enough. double the amount infact. I set up my small casting plant out in my Greenhouse. It was pouring rain, windy and cold. An enclosed space might be a cause for concern for some familiar with molten lead. But I have a fan in my greenhouse, all the vents were open as was the main door, not to mention my respirator being on through the process. I borrowed a Lobster burner from a coworker. quite capable of the task. That hooked to a 20lb propane tank and I'm all set.
I set up 2 work horses in the new casting plant, and leveled them. I placed the centerboard on it and leveled that in both directions. (I wanted the lead not to spill from any low corner) Taking an idea form Rick Coreless in BC. I screwed a panel on the underside of the centerboard to make a "bottom" to my area to be cast. It will be removed after the lead cools.
The melting of lead in a stainless steel pot went very smoothly. I used welders gloves and a large pair of gripping pliers to carry the pot. In all it took me 2 hours to complete. Only an hour of work, the rest was set up time. The bottom wood panel sizzled a little but the Epoxy helped protect the wood a great deal I think.
(as a side note, at this stage, I added 6 #10 stainless screws around the perimeter at the middle of the pour. This was to hold the lead in place once it cooled and shrank a little)

Once it all cooled I removed the back panel. It must have been a tight fit because there were no leaks. I used a spokeshave on the top side to plane it down to be flush with the rest of the centerboard. A bit of elbow grease to cut that much down, but A blade on a power plane it much more expensive than on my spokeshave. All in all a fun morning of casting and shaping. A productive day.

Time: 4 hours (including set up time)

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