Discussion in 'New member introductions' started by Rick, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. Rick

    Rick Lead

    Hi all, new here with lots to learn. I am building a foundry for some casual aluminum casting. My immediate need is I have a bunch of lead I need to melt and cast into convenient shapes for ballast for my sidecar.

    I'm building a beginner's foundry: propane-fired, refractory-brick-lined 5 gallon pail.
  2. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome Rick, plenty of knowledge and help here if needed. We like pictures. Show us your furnace build and maybe a link to that side car build if you have that somewhere else.

  3. Rick

    Rick Lead

  4. Jason

    Jason Gold

    You are building a furnace. A foundry is where you will put your furnace.

    welcome aboard.
  5. Rick

    Rick Lead

    Thanks. I prefer correct terminology, so am wanting to learn it. Maybe someday I'll know the difference melting and smelting!
  6. Jason

    Jason Gold

    lol.... We see it all the time. Melt is just that, turning something hard, soft. Smelting is when you refine raw ore materials into metal.

    If you just need to melt down a bunch of lead into bricks for your sidecar, you certainly don't need a furnace or a foundry. Get a big stainless steel pot, build a fire under it and load it with your lead. Get a big ass scooper and dump your lead into a wood form of what you want. No need to complicate this when you are only using it for ballast. If you feel the need to get fancy, fab up something to receive the molten lead out of steel. Remember to add a bit of draft so you can knock the hard lead bricks out of your form. Lead is easy.

    What kind of bike and sidecar are you working on? We love photos of cool shit around here.
  7. Rick

    Rick Lead

    I added a link to the sidecar build in my furnace thread:

    It is a 1981 Vetter Terraplane, mated to a 1981 Yamaha XV920. I finished it about 5 years ago, but just spent the last few months on improvements. The ballast has been needed all along, and I was using water in two 5-gallon containers. Worked OK for my 30 lb dog, but had to be removed for carrying people (and not really needed if the person is an adult). I recently met a local guy who could supply the lead at a good price ($1/lb). So now I can get the same weight and stash it out of sight in the storage bin behind the seat.

    I had planned to do some aluminum casting, and had the materials for the furnace sitting around (....for 5 years....). The lead ballast was a good excuse to actually build the furnace. If you look at my furnace thread, you'll see it did not actually work as well as I expected. But, a good learning experience.
  8. Jason

    Jason Gold

    That's a cool looking bike and side car. Very quintessentially 80's with the space ship looking lights on the front. I like your copilot. I'll go take a peek at your furnace thread.

    Screenshot_20201018-125311_Samsung Internet.jpg

Share This Page