Alternative Ballast source

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by treeclimber@xtr, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. treeclimber@xtr
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    treeclimber@xtr Junior Member

    I have to find four tonne of ballast to put in my 40 foot Steel sailboat. The keel is built of steel and there is room for lead or punchings. I have some friends who are able to get me lead shot from an army base fireing range, if I can get four tonne of it in there are there any potential problems with doing this?
     
  2. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Should work a treat. Just be carefull and use gloves and face mask to handle.
    Small bits of lead are a pain to handle, but there is no reason you cant melt them into manageable ingots and pack them down with smaller pieces.
    A few contacts have said they pour oil in amongst the loose pieces to displace moisture around the steel.
    Rather than melt ingots, I have embedded tyre weights in polyester resin or epoxy to create manageable blocks of ballast for trailer sailers. Does away with the danger of having exposed raw lead in more open situations.
     
  3. treeclimber@xtr
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    treeclimber@xtr Junior Member

    Cool :D could i just fill the keel with lead shot and pore epoxy into it?
     
  4. treeclimber@xtr
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    treeclimber@xtr Junior Member

    or would it be better to be able to remove the ballast if
    i needed to later on? I was told that If was to use punchings (steel)then I should seal them in by welding a plate over the top to prevent oxidation.
     
  5. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    if you use punchings, then first pressure the tank with 8 foot head test it as they do life rafts that is with hose in loop, , with shut off valve in the tank fill hose loop with water, clear hose, , put air in watch water level rise to top of hose, do not let water pass botton of hose of one side, or will blow out of other, , shut of air, then watch level in hose IF water level drops the tank or keel is leaking this is the ONLY way to ensure you have no leaks
    When we build to survey this is mandetory, and the surveyer comes out to inspect the level!!
    then once you have sealed, you will have no probs, with steel punching chuck in some used transformer oil from the power company, with lead if sealed you are ok
    this method will show even a tiny pinhole, on a hot day the water will rise, at night will cool and drop, watch water over at least an hour, more for big tanks
    i have to say that all thsi lead danger stuff is absolute B/S, in pouring keels all my life, I sent hair samples to USA for analysis, , my lead levels were low!! I simply do not believe all the crap that is espoused in media, my dad, he died 85, been painting since a kid with lead base, , and here we have the media saying kids will die from sucking on the painted cot!! geeze its a whole industry based on fabrications and fairy tales:))
     

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  6. treeclimber@xtr
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    treeclimber@xtr Junior Member

    I hear ya and thanks for the tip
     
  7. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Get real lazeyjack - lead has a big history of causing major health problems all the way from the Roman empire to just about any industrialised city ion the world.
     
  8. treeclimber@xtr
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    treeclimber@xtr Junior Member

    What is a good source of lead to collect? My firing range idea fell through, the shot is too contaminated with copper and mud and grass etc etc. Plus the company I was going to get it off need to show the waste bullets were received by a certified storage facility. I dont fancy collecting hundreds and hundreds of car batteries but it could be done, I know some people who know some people :cool:
     
  9. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    Current price of lead on LME is around USD2800 per tonne. Has come down from its peak but unlikely to go lower given the demand. It does not seem to be well known that lead is in strong demand.

    Unless you pour solid lead there will not be much advantage over steel plates. No good using lead shot unless it is graded as best packing factor is around 60% for single sized balls. SG of lead is 9 and steel is 7.8 so if you do not put the lead in solid you are wasting your money.

    If you can get spent tungsten bullets then you will not need to melt. Just place into epoxy matrix. Tungsten has an SG of about 19. However the military are stingy when it comes to letting people loose on the firing ranges that use tungsten projectiles.

    Depleted uranium is also worth considering if you can get hold of it. It has SG twice that of lead so will do the job without getting too concerned how it packs. Not sure about health risks though.

    So unless you have some good contacts and deep pockets it will probably be best to stick with steel.

    Recyclers are now paying money for dead batteries so even using this route will be expensive and then there are all the plastic cases and acid to dispose of (safely I trust).

    Rick W.
     
  10. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    Watson I am real i just told of MY experience, and in the smelters I have seen in NZ I saw no special protection, most don't even wear paper masks, , the air is not scrubbed So I speak from MY experience where as it seems you do not?
    Now if you were talking Isocyonates then yes, hurt my health big time try be polite to me, i'll do same to you

    Treeclimber DLM dominion lead mills ,Ask for Brian Mudford, say hello from me, were in Newmarket
    Rick, there is a designer in NZ, who has designed for the Russians, he was looking at Tungsten, as there are huge deposits there
    of spent uranium, as Taberly had in his keel!!
     
  11. treeclimber@xtr
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    treeclimber@xtr Junior Member

    Awesome!!!!!!!! I'll be sure and give him your regards.
     
  12. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Try putting the phrase "dangers of lead poisoning" in google to widen your experience.
     
  13. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    Ballast

    A guy on Triangle Road in Richmond BC melted the lead into his keel without wearing any protection whatever. Friends warned him of the dangers, but he laughed them off . He completely fried his brain and is now a vegetable for life. It never leaves your system.
    If you have a friend call the scrapyard and ask what they pay for scrap lead, then call them yourself and ask what they charge for it, you'll get a good idea of the markup. Then put your own add in the buy and sell offering a few cents more than the scrapyard pays.
    Wheel weights are 20% clip weight.
    Punchings and cement are around 300 lbs per cubic foot, lead is 700, steel is 495. Mixing half lead and half steel gives you 600, which is not that far from straight lead. Make sure your steel is welded down so it doesn't float in the molten lead. Make sure you weld an airtight cap over it and pour a bit of oil thru a welded in nut, and then put the bolt in to seal it, to eliminate electrolysis .
    A rubber gas mask has a check valve built in. If you hook the gas mask to 24 feet of 1 1/4 inch plastic sump drain hose, available from the building supply for under ten dollars , and put the end of the hose outside ,you are safe from the fumes. Sucking air thru 24 feet of 1 1/4 inch hose is easier than sucking it thru most filtres. Works well for inside painting too.
    Brent
     
  14. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    In the good old USA there are plenty of old frp junkers in the yards going for a song. I would buy up a couple and cut off the ballast.
     

  15. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    Many of my clients now set up a melting pot made form an old 40 lb propane bottle on a strong support framework of welded pipe or angle irons, outside the hull, with a 2 inch pipe from the bottom leading thru a hole in the side of the keel, with a gate valve in it. When the lead is liquid , the pipe and gate valve have to be heated to prevent the lead from freezing in it. Then the valve is opened with a wet rag and the lead pours inside. Welding a deflector to stop the hot lead from warping the keel where it first hits is a good idea. This method lets you stand upwind of the lead fumes the whole time.
    Tiger torches can be rented for the day, but a friend told me he used propane pottery kiln burners available for $20 each , which threw a lot more heat than tiger torches.
    Brent
     
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