Saturday 16 February 2019

Getting Ready To Pour Lead

With everything complete that could be complete on the components of the hull, it was time to progress completion of the keel and the centre board by pouring the lead ballast.

I had purchased sixty kilogrammes of rolled lead at the beginning of the build, intending to use it as weights during panel construction, and very useful it was. But now it was time to start cutting it up for melting.

I bought three old stainless steel saucepans for a quid from a charity shop to use as crucibles, and a good quality pair of metal shears in a DIY store closing down sale.

The old fashioned kitchen scales and a two pound brass weight were used to weigh out the twenty pounds required to pour into the centre board ballast aperture.

This is what twenty pounds of lead offcuts looks like. It fills three saucepans and it's hard to believe that it will all fit into the centre board aperture.

I also bought a propane gas outside cooker burner to do the melting. It looks up to the job and will be handy in the summer for cooking in the garden!

The manual makes it clear that the melting of the lead must be done outdoors because of the toxic fumes, and in dry weather because molten lead and water are a dangerous mixture.

As I write this in February 2019 it is cold and wet, so we are at a halt while we wait for dry weather.

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