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Ray Clontz build - Lead weight needed

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Can anyone who has built a Clay Spencer\Ray Clontz power hammer supply me with the lead offset wheel weight?

I do not have any way to make the mold and melt the lead. I will happily pay for one!

Thanks guys,


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Buckets of wheel weights are often free for the asking at any tire shop. Lead is a low temp metal, and melts in a stainless steel bowl or pot just fine. Heat source can be a wood camp fire or gas camp stove, a coal forge is overkill. A mold can be a cookie sheet or bread pan. The finished project can be trimmed and drilled with hand tools.

That is how we made the counterweight on my friend's hammer. All kitchen stuff came from yard sales & thrift stores.

Honestly, if you want to get into blacksmithing on the cheap, you are going to have to learn to scrounge, and try some new things.

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That was my first thought too---why be building a tire hammer if you don't have a forge?  If you have a forge you can melt and cast lead, though I've done it with a campfire or charcoal briquettes before.  A one time mold can be made from plaster of paris; please dry it thoroughly!  

Now in your area check with plumbing companies as lead was used for water pipes in that area up to fairly recent times and removed ones they probably sell as scrap.  Be sure to talk with them about what you are planning to do with it. And a small "local" company would be better than a "chain company".

Plumbing lead is softer than wheel weight lead and linotype lead is harder than wheel weight...

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I'm not sure how to respond to this request Stitch, lead melts at about 600f and zinc at about 787f. Yeah, I Googled it I now have almost two whole minutes invested in research! <gasp:o> Tire weights come in various % of lead, zinc alloys depending on maker. How to do a melt is easily available if YOU LOOK.

Why use lead in the first place? Have you  considered alternatives? A counter weight for the crank isn't rocket science. If you have adequate tools to make a tire hammer making a counter weight is easy.

You want to BUY a lead counter weight because you don't have the equipment? If that's so I have to wonder if you have the basic knowledge and skills necessary. There's a LOT of moving energy involved in any power hammer and momentum is dangerous stuff. You have to be at minimum a competent fabricator to build a machine that will keep that kind of power under control. Are you aware the counterweight crank and ram have to be balanced? Just clamping a weight to the wheel isn't going to balance it, it's a matter of adding and subtracting fractions of an ounce in the right places. 

Maybe you're getting ahead of yourself here. Hmmmm?

I don't want you to quit and go away but I don't want to read your obit or request for prayers while you recover from the kind of injuries that much energy can cause. Everybody wants a power hammer when they're getting started in the craft, EVERYBODY. Unfortunately just having the machine doesn't get anything good done with it, that takes skill and practice and that takes hammer time. What you learn with a hammer at the anvil translates directly to a power hammer, including closed die work. Without the skill to use it a power hammer just makes your mistakes permanent much more quickly.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for all of your suggestions guys. I do have decades of machine design and building behind me and years of blacksmithing experience, hand and power also.

However, I just do not like do things on the cheap or half A## and do not have access anymore to a CNC router or wood working equipment for mold making.

I also do not wish to add lead residue to my forges nor buy lead casting equipment for one pour. 

I will keep looking for someone that may be able to supply me this one part.

Thanks again guys, I truly do appreciate all of your input.

Take care,


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Only special equipment I had last time I cast a lead counterweight was a vicegrip, large coffee can, and simple propane torch. Likely the weight configuration you need is more complicated, I have no idea what that particular counterweight needs to look like. Mine was just cast into some steel pipe.

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You can also cast lead into aluminum flashing set in clay or just ram clay hard and carve a mold.

Sorry about the pun above, I know nobody here will believe me when I say it was inadvertent but if I'd intended a word play it would've been plumb better.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you are building direct from the plans then don't worry about the added angle on the sides.  Get some Durabond 45 for doing drywall.  Mix some up thick and make a blob of it on the yard.  As the stuff starts to set, carve out the correct size hole.  Let it dry for a day.  Melt lead and pour into mold.  Use a hammer to remove the Durabond.  Drill and mount the thing.  The lead isn't going to jump up and bite you.  A filter can be purchased at a welding supply store to filter the air if you are concerned about that. Wear disposable gloves.  If you watch the video on how I did it then you now know how NOT to do it. LOL. The Durabond is how I make decoy weights. Good luck with the build.

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Hey thanks guys, all great suggestions! I went ahead and bought a used propane lead melting pot set up that came with 100 lbs of lead for $30

I also bought a full casting set for $20 off Craigslist. What a deal! I used this style of cope and drag 40 years ago in high school metal shop.

I will laser cut the pattern in layers and finish the edges with air drying clay or Bondo. After it hardens, I will polish and wax the surfaces.


Since I am going ahead and making one, I may as well do it right. Now to buy some play sand, oil dry and a couple of buckets to make the green sand. 

I will have to buy my wife a new blender after I use hers for the oil dry.  Oh, I will probably have to replace her flour sifter too.....

I will give the pattern away to some other builder when I am done with it. I'll take pictures as I go.

Thanks again guys, I really like the Durabond 45 flasking idea Zadvorney!





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I got it cast OK.  Been a while since I've made a sand mold but it all came back to me!

Now to pass on the pattern to the next builder that needs to cast a counter weight for their tire hammer project.

Thanks again all!!




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