The Boat Barn Web Page
Revised Fall 2009

Pouring Keel Lead

This is the setup for pouring lead. I am inserting the lifting handle into the eyebolts on the melting pot.

This is a better view of the pot. Just a cast iron dutch oven. The eye bolts are for the lifting/pouring handle. The propane burner beneath the pot is the guts of a space heater. The green burner is a grass/weed killer with a light weight heat shield for the hand. The pot sits on a log grate from the fireplace and is held in place by some cement around the feet. The light weight metal is a wind shield to hold the heat in. The setup would melt 60 lb. Of lead in 4 or 5 minutes.

We used mainly lead electrodes (which are the brown pieces) and Linotype lead from a printing operation which no longer used the Linotype machine. The electrodes were about three feet long and we sawed them into pieces with a Skil saw.

The lead was dirty and produced a lot of dross which had to be ladled off.

The keel box had a top on one end which pitched down when the keel sat level, so we had to raise the end of the keel and pour lead into the covered end first, then lower the box when the lead under the overhang had solidified.

You can see how the lifting bar works. There is a long arm which passes through the two main eye bolts and an offset arm which passes thru the eye bolt on the edge of the pot allowing us to tip it with the tee handle on one end of the main bar. We poured about 60 pounds per melt. It took two days to pour all 4000 pounds.

Just another shot of us pouring. The box is supported with sturdy braces. Probably overkill, but I had no problems. You can see the keel bolts coming out of the box. Deadwood will be built up around the lead box.

This is what the lead looked like as it solidified. The keel bolt onn the left is tack welded to the partition in the box. There were several partitions and all but this one had holes in them. The bolts were bent into an “L” on the lower end. The copper tubing is 40 feet of ½ inch ID tubing which I buried in the lead tyo use as a keel cooler for the engine.