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Painting a lead weight?

henrya

Active member
I’m making a lead weight for a piece of equipment that will mostly stay outdoors. Pouring the weight is no big deal, I have that covered. The poured finish will be pretty smooth - plenty smooth enough to paint. Its gonna look like a round top muffin or cake about 12” across and about 3” thick. I have plenty of scrap lead and a steel mold for this.

I’d like for the weight to look finished and presentable, not just bare oxidized lead.

Does anyone have a suggestion for painting on the lead? What primer, what paint? Bedliner perhaps?

I’ve also considered pouring it in an aluminum cake pan and letting the pan be the finish.

Your informed suggestions are welcomed.
 

jim rozen

Active member
The safety guys here were getting concerned about the 20 lb lead bricks we use in the labs, so we covered them in heavy aluminum tape, all around. Think: X-heavy aluminum muffler tape.
 

Cyclotronguy

Active member
Your Pb will cast a lot nicer if you get some tin into the mix and flux / skim well. Unsalted lard is cheap and works fine.
A good clean casting will be easire to finsih off.

I've seen Pb courter weights in medical equipment that look pretty nice, they were finished in a dark blue wrinkle paint.
 

Bill D

Active member
My mother , born 1920, still had some old cast lead toy elephants from her childhood. Still had some oil based paint, chipped here and there.
When I made some concrete risers for my lathe cast them in. 6" pvc pipe and left the pipe on. No reason you can't cast then in whatever mold and place them inside a nice looking shell. A tin bucket comes to mind as mold and shell. No reason to cast a one piece weight cast pigs and stack as needed.
Bil lD
 

boslab

Active member
Powder coat?, it was interesting about the lead shielding, I worked for the steel plant in a department called nucleonics, it was X-ray in steel sheets and stuff, I’m not a physicist I was just a monkey come fitter come tea boy ( it was 30 or 40 years ago, we started making giant x ray machines to measure the steel thickness, part of the process was testing the source etc, it was behind a wall ( I mean big 6” tall wall) of interlocking lead brick that cost a fortune, I asked the radiation guy if it could be suplimented by the Ali plate we were using to construct the chassis of the machine, at which he told me that would not be good due to breaking radiation as the gamma went through, I’m not a physicist so I’d never heard of “ bremstralung” ( however it’s spelled), turns out you can get knobbled by what you think is shielding you, somthing new I thought, without surprise all the people I worked with there are pushing up daisies, I still think about them as they were some of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with
Wrapping lead bricks reminded me, I remember painting £2000 lead brick from the scappa flow
Mark
 

Murf

New member
I’m making a lead weight for a piece of equipment that will mostly stay outdoors. Pouring the weight is no big deal, I have that covered. The poured finish will be pretty smooth - plenty smooth enough to paint. Its gonna look like a round top muffin or cake about 12” across and about 3” thick. I have plenty of scrap lead and a steel mold for this.

I’d like for the weight to look finished and presentable, not just bare oxidized lead.

Does anyone have a suggestion for painting on the lead? What primer, what paint? Bedliner perhaps?

I’ve also considered pouring it in an aluminum cake pan and letting the pan be the finish.

Your informed suggestions are welcomed.

You may look to the fishing industry and see how they coat lead jig heads and sinkers ie: dipping in a powder while lead is hot. Colors are endless to boot!

Murf
 

Bill D

Active member
Wrapping lead bricks in anything is a poor idea for shielding. That aluminum foil just creates a thin boundary crack that is wide open to rays and most particles. I have a few old lead bricks that were discarded because they no longer seal tight enough to each other. We had some battleship armor slabs acquired for shielding It is not flat enough to stack properly so they used it for retaining walls by the side of the road.
Bill D
 

john.k

Active member
When I was at the hospital,one of the electricians took home a small metal container .....big fuss,it was full of powdered cobalt something or other that was radioactive.......he should have stuck to nicking copper wire.
 

jim rozen

Active member
Lead bricks in my example were not used for sheilding, typically used as a tuning mass for vibration damper systems. Cobalt 60 sources have been trouble everywhere, in india there was one scrapped out of a univerisity when they were ordered (by the provost) to "clear this place out NOW" and it went to a scrapyard. Turns out one of the workers slept in a cot on the other side of the wall where the source was sitting.

He died.
 

akajun

Member
Powder coat , it’s the new thing bullet casters do
It bonds to lead really well and is tough. Recovered bullets still retain most of the costing
 

Musky_Hunter

New member
I use epoxy on the lead for my fishing lures. You can tint it just about any color you wish and dip it to add layers. If you get enough layers it will almost act like a rubber coating. If you get the right kind it will be soft enough not to crack.
 

Strostkovy

Active member
Wrapping lead bricks in anything is a poor idea for shielding. That aluminum foil just creates a thin boundary crack that is wide open to rays and most particles. I have a few old lead bricks that were discarded because they no longer seal tight enough to each other. We had some battleship armor slabs acquired for shielding It is not flat enough to stack properly so they used it for retaining walls by the side of the road.
Bill D

It seems like relying on a tight seal is also bad practice. Shouldn't you have seams that are not aligned to the source, and overlap eachother? Some shielding blocks have zig zag edges so the gap, regardless of size, has minimal impact on shielding.

I agree aluminum tape isn't great for this either way.
 








 
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