Lead Weight – First Attempt at Casting

There are a pair of cam followers on the Colonel Rutherford model, one moves his head, the other his writing hand. The Colonel’s head has plenty of weight so it falls back into place on its own but the hand needs extra assistance to move back after the cam has released it.

A cam works in one direction only, the cam will push the cam follower up but something else is needed to pull it back down. I could use springs but I’ve decided to use weights in this model. I’ve collected loads of bits of lead over the years, mainly from wheel balancing weights found on the side of the road. My plan is try melting and casting the lead to form usable weights.

I used brass wire to create a hanger for the top of the weight.lead-a05


I then packed a tin can with white sand from the local builder’s merchants and made a hole in the centre with a 20mm dowel.lead-a06I pushed the wire into the bottom of the hole so the the arch of the loop was buried in the sand.lead-a07

I melted lead in a pan in the kitchen (#truelove was out) then #1son captured the moment I poured the molten lead into the mould.lead-a01After cooling for a few minutes I knocked out the sand…lead-a02…then washed off weight to complete.


lead-a01I’ll probably try again to see if I can make a smoother finish to the weight but it certainly works well as is.
Total weight for this version 240g.

Any tips on smoother casting would be welcomed!






3 thoughts on “Lead Weight – First Attempt at Casting

  1. The smoothness of the interior surface of your mold is the smoothness of your as-cast surface of the lead weights. So, yes, as Andy says in his comment, using a fine specialized casting sand will give you a smoother surface. So would a metal mold, if you happen to come across one. Do you fancy having weights shaped like small lead soldiers?

    The other way we make cast metal smooth is by polishing the surface after casting, and I just wanted to make sure you know *not* to do a lot of sanding of lead. You don’t want your kitchen and lungs messed up with lead powder, right?

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