Smelting lead

A few things were done today. The inside faces of the center-board trunk had another coat of epoxy. I worked on the blocking for the keel, and I glued up a length of 3/4 x 5 for the rudder. The rudder parts are removed from the ply wood sheets and have been cleaned up. I will finish the rudder before the transom gets glued into the boat. This will allow me to mark the hole for the tiller on the boat, but I can cut and dress the opening while the transom is sitting flat on the bench. I might make up a little template and use the router for that.

I needed to establish whether our old camping cooker and a stainless steel pot would be up to the lead smelting task. And … it is.  Once there is a little puddle of lead, things get going alright. I had to cut bits of the lead flashing to fit into the pot, but that is easily done. After screwing a bit of ply to the underside of the center-board and making sure the board is level, the whole thing was done in a single pour. The lead is fairly clean and there was only a little bit of dross – just some scum from the old paint floating on the surface. All that stuff stayed behind in the pot during the pour. The surfaces of the lead in the center-board a remarkably smooth. Very little cleanup will be needed before the final covering of epoxy. For the keel, I will probably do the casting in 10-12 kg lots, which is just a bit more than today’s test pour.

Lead_1  CB_1   CB_2  CB_4