Lead Mold

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 07-28-2017 12:32 AM 2003 views 1 time favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was not going to post this, but then I thought it might be of interest to someone wanting to make an easy mold. I have not been making many wood things lately and this was wood so it qualifies. It is a walnut mold with 2 aluminum core pins for counterweights for my new solar panel system. I made it to mold lead counterweights for the top horizontal bar so that the frame is balanced for turning with ease at different angles. Doug Scott was over last night and we thought it might just burn up when I poured the molten lead into it but it just blackened and made perfect weights with screw holes down the center. These will fit into the 13/16” high Unistrut channel that I used for the frame.

I did not take any before use pictures so I pulled it apart afterwards to show how it was built. I cut out the inside on the table saw tilted at 2 degrees and then the ends were cut at 5 degrees and the pins turned at 2 degrees. This gave enough draft angle for the pieces to fall out of the mold when cooled. I broke two of them when I took them out too soon,but they easily melted down for the next shot.

Doug, thanks for the bucket of wheel weights you brought over today for future molding!!!!!!!

The 4th shot is a piece of Unistrut and they fit great. The last shot is the assembly and the weights will go across that top horizontal frame member. They weighed in at 2# 6 oz each.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

40 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


1971 posts in 3688 days

#1 posted 07-28-2017 12:43 AM

I’ve poured lead (wheel weights from tire shop) for weights on my sailboat center board.

I found that if you get the lead just hot enough to pour and not TOO hot, there will be minimal scorching. You might already know this.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10914 posts in 4727 days

#2 posted 07-28-2017 12:45 AM


How much did the Solar array / system cost?

How much does it handle? Power tools, etc.? :)

How many batteries do you have collecting the juice?

Looks nice!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View doubleDD's profile


9186 posts in 2718 days

#3 posted 07-28-2017 12:47 AM

Nice to see you putting a lot of effort to get that panel moving easily. I’m surprised. I would not of thought that the wood would burn that much. As long as it works. What are the panels going to be used for?

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Edwardnorton's profile


203 posts in 2601 days

#4 posted 07-28-2017 12:47 AM

That scorching is normal & expected. Just ask an ol’ timer who is about 80 yrs old. My grandfather used to melt a lot of lead and all his molds were made from wood.

-- EdwardNorton

View BobWemm's profile


2782 posts in 2600 days

#5 posted 07-28-2017 12:52 AM

Always something different Jim.
Well thought out and a great job.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile (online now)

woodshaver Tony C

7339 posts in 4027 days

#6 posted 07-28-2017 01:10 AM

Looks like that walnut did the job for you Jim. Nice project you have going there! Those panels look good too!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View rtbrmb's profile


723 posts in 3063 days

#7 posted 07-28-2017 01:16 AM

Very clever Jim-thanks for posting.

Bill in MI

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3187 days

#8 posted 07-28-2017 01:31 AM

Looks nice Jim.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Woodwrecker's profile


4239 posts in 4250 days

#9 posted 07-28-2017 01:45 AM

I’m glad you decided to post this Jim.
It looks really interesting, and I think your mold came out just about perfect for the desired design.
I too, like some of the other commenters am interested in your solar system array.
Can you post some information on it? Like what you are using it for, and how many batteries you charge with it and so on?
Somebody commented how you show different things.
I agree and I think that’s really cool.
Some guys just keep posting the same thing over and over, like a jewelry box or something but with a tiny change.
I like seeing guys post totally different things like you do.
It shows your ingeniuty.
Thanks and I hope to see some information on your solar power stuff.
I don’t think the Lumber jock editors will mind if a lot of the members find it interesting.
Thanks again

View John's profile


1668 posts in 1944 days

#10 posted 07-28-2017 02:13 AM

Another handy tool in your kit, good job Jim.

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24114 posts in 3780 days

#11 posted 07-28-2017 02:22 AM

Thank you all for the nice comments. It looks like it was worth posting. I’m glad to see that others have used wood for molds, too. I have a big bucket of wheel weights and I’m going to make a wood mold to mold them into ingots for future projects.

I see there is a lot of interest in the solar project. I was not going to post anything on it because there is so little wood in it ( just some treated wood in the rectangular aluminum tubing to keep it from compressing).

Hi Joe, I have $4k in the system. I bought 6 Suniva 325W panels and 6 Enphase IQ6+ microinverters and made all the rest.. Those are the largest panels out (77 1/2” x 39”) and the newest microinverters. They are 72 cell panels and they are mono crystalline ( high efficiency) panels. It is a grid tied system- it is wired right into the breaker box in the barn with a 20A 220 V breaker. Therefore it has no batteries, no charge controller and no expensive DC disconnect switch. I only wanted a system to keep us from every going over the threshold of 600 KWH where the electric rate increases. I did not plan to power the whole house. It has produced 7-12 KWH per day so far. Our usage is from 7-43 KWH per day for the year, so some months I’ll not be able to produce enough to stay under the 600 that month. I figure a 9.3 yr paybackl

The beauty of the microinverters is that it inverts the DC to AC right at the panel. And it will not put out anything until is sees 60 cycle on the line. So if we have a power outage, it will not electrify the lines that a lineman might be working on. If I pull the main and start the generator, the panels will turn on as normal.

Cheers, Jim
some shots of the system:

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24114 posts in 3780 days

#12 posted 07-28-2017 03:55 AM

Thanks, John. I have steel molds that I use to make weights for my scale, too. That old lead melting pot and ladle is one that my dad used to pour lead to seal cast iron soil pipes back when I was a kid.

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View lew's profile


13014 posts in 4430 days

#13 posted 07-28-2017 04:38 AM

Cool Idea!

Years ago I had a Scuba business. A friend got me a bunch of lead ingots used to transport radioactive isotopes. I melted them down to make diving weights. I wonder if they glowed in the dark!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2324 days

#14 posted 07-28-2017 07:01 AM

very handy tool,Jim
we all need green energy for the future,for our grandchilds…

-- bambi

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2550 days

#15 posted 07-28-2017 12:08 PM

Jim, thats a cool looking solution for your counterweight dilemma. the System you have sure looks productive too… now you are ready to survive the zombie apocalypse (a la the Walking Dead). I sure would like to put one on my place, but I live in Pittsburgh where the skies are mainly gray and we are lucky to get an hour of sunlight per day.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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