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Username Post: No more lead        (Topic#350506)
dsacton 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 999
dsacton
Loc: Boulder, CO
Reg: 11-01-11
04-07-18 10:45 AM - Post#2730222    

I was headed over to a friend's house to help him lead over a patched fender; said he wanted to do it "old school" this time. I realized that I was completely out of lead rods, so I stopped by our local discount tire shop and asked for all of their used tire weights. To my surprise, I found that the industry now uses zinc. About 1/3 of the used weights were lead, coming from older tires, and I managed to make some new rods. I melted the lead in a cast-iron pan (outside) and made a mold with some stiff aluminum foil. Here is the result:


So, looks like we are going to need a new source of lead.

Attachment: lead.JPG (29.72 KB) 8 View(s)


Home-made leading rods.


Scott Acton
1954 Chevy Bel Air 2-door
http://www.my54chevy.com


 

Sheldon Y. 
Contributor
Posts: 216

Age: 57
Loc: Waltham, Massachusetts
Reg: 10-29-16
04-07-18 11:45 AM - Post#2730225    
    In response to dsacton

Very resourceful!
How about Lead Flashing? Comes in various width and length rolls. I get mine at Home Depot.

'49 Styleline Deluxe Build@

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/49-sty...
http://www.frankenrodz.com/frankenstyle.html


 
56sedandelivery 
Dedicated Member
Posts: 5334
56sedandelivery
Age: 66
Loc: Everett, Wa.
Reg: 02-26-08
04-07-18 02:01 PM - Post#2730238    
    In response to dsacton

I've got 77 lbs. of pure lead ingots, left over from the rear engine dragster days. If I take it in for recycle, they don't pay much at all; if I try and buy it from the same recycler, then it's depleted uranium. We've got a couple of guys that advertise on Craig's List looking for lead to make fishing weights, and they pay a decent price; they just don't want to drive 40 miles to get it. Maybe I should call a few traditional type rod builders?
I can't "get the lead out!". I am Butch/56sedandelivery.




 
RAM_51 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4763
RAM_51
Loc: Yakima, WA. USA
Reg: 12-28-02
04-07-18 06:18 PM - Post#2730266    
    In response to dsacton

I don't know if the composition of the tire weights is the same or if it would even matter, but auto body lead / solder typically had a certain percentage of tin in it for workability while it was being heated.

1951 Fleetline
'51 Fleetline DeLuxe 2 DOOR SEDAN (Fathom Green)
'51 Styleline Special BUSINESS COUPE (Shadow Gray)
'53 6500 Dump Bed (Oxidized Red)
'50 Styleline DeLuxe 4 DOOR SEDAN (Mist Green)


 
dsacton 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 999
dsacton
Loc: Boulder, CO
Reg: 11-01-11
04-07-18 08:49 PM - Post#2730288    
    In response to RAM_51

You are right! The lead sticks I made worked fine, but they melted at a much higher temperature than the commercially-made sticks. I started with the official leading sticks, and then switched to mine. The first lead melted and ran off of the car, before the new sticks melted. Looks like real leading sticks have a bit of tin, like solder.



Scott Acton
1954 Chevy Bel Air 2-door
http://www.my54chevy.com


 
junky 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2451

Loc: Northeast CT
Reg: 06-27-10
04-08-18 12:30 PM - Post#2730352    
    In response to dsacton

Body solder is usually 30/70, which means that it is 30% tin, and 70% lead, however, when it was being used extensively in auto body work, they also added a small amount (1 - 2%) of antimony also, and there was a trace amount of copper also (up to 1/2%) was considered acceptable. I know this, because I grew up in the smelting & refining business that my dad owned. He manufactured "white" metals for a number of industries, plumbing, munitions, auto body, linotype, etc.. The antimony was added to give the metal a little more hardness. Back in the day, you had to "tin" the metal before putting on the lead, and you did this with 95/5 solder. Heating the panel, and rubbing the solder on the clean ground surface, would leave a thin amount of solder in pools. Then you heated the surface again, and wiped the molten solder with a clean cotton cloth to spread it out. This was the bonding coat, so the lead would stick to the panel. You would then melt a small amount of solder onto the metal, but not so much that it was melted into a puddle (I believe the term was plastic or moldable), and work it with wooden paddles, that were rubbed with bees wax. The wax would keep the lead from bonding to the paddles. From memory, I believe the paddles were made from maple or ash wood. Once you had the lead built up high enough, you would then file it smooth with the surrounding surface. Wipe with PrepSol to remove any contaminants, and then spray red primer over the repair. Next came the nitrostan putty to fill in the marks, and sand till smooth. Another coat of primer, and more sanding, until you blended the repair into the surrounding metal.
Sorry, I got carried away with the application instructions. I learned this a very long time ago, when I apprenticed in a body shop. I got good at working lead, but realized that I didn't want to be a body many for the rest of my life. A trade is good to learn when you are young, but life takes many turns and twists, and then one day you realize that you are not as young as you though you were. That is when the Social Security checks start arriving..


Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.


 
RAM_51 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4763
RAM_51
Loc: Yakima, WA. USA
Reg: 12-28-02
04-08-18 12:45 PM - Post#2730355    
    In response to junky

  • junky Said:
one day you realize that you are not as young as you though you were


After quitting two shops [I quit one without notice but gave two weeks to the other] and being fired from the third...[I couldn't get along with management - - imagine that]...and not getting any younger, I came to the same realization. I was in the body trade long after plastic filler was common practice and really have no experience with lead. I have collected many of the old auto body text books and literature however and enjoy learning and applying methods that can be gleaned from this type of literature.

1951 Fleetline
'51 Fleetline DeLuxe 2 DOOR SEDAN (Fathom Green)
'51 Styleline Special BUSINESS COUPE (Shadow Gray)
'53 6500 Dump Bed (Oxidized Red)
'50 Styleline DeLuxe 4 DOOR SEDAN (Mist Green)


 
dsacton 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 999
dsacton
Loc: Boulder, CO
Reg: 11-01-11
04-09-18 05:09 PM - Post#2730495    
    In response to junky

Thanks for the information. I've seen videos of people leading, and it really is somewhat of a lost art.

Cheers,


Scott Acton
1954 Chevy Bel Air 2-door
http://www.my54chevy.com


 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4117
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
04-09-18 08:06 PM - Post#2730519    
    In response to junky

Hi Junky you pretty much nailed it. Body solder is close to but not the same lead /tin ratio as plumbing or electrical solder. Spot on with the rest of it also.

The only comment I would add is the paddles were always kept coated with a wax or lanolin to make sure they didn't burn and the lead flowed smoothly.

Apart from the very important tinning you mentioned the other art of this work is to not contaminate the lead from the paddles wax or or oil and to have no air bubbles.

By now in our bodies the lead panel joins may well need blowing out and replacing, particularly if the body has sat unpainted for a long time. It was still being done on-line in plants in the 70-80's but was designed out with roof seams filled with joiner strips and full plastic bumpers etc.

Unfortunately over time the lead accumulates in you body, so although it may last three to ten times longer than modern fillers, it shortens the life of hi volume users.
Body solderer's and radiator repairer's tend not to make old bones.

Cheers Kiwi



48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 
johnwd98 
Contributor
Posts: 252
johnwd98
Age: 68
Loc: Little Falls, MN
Reg: 09-05-10
04-10-18 06:16 AM - Post#2730546    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

One thing I have found in the past, is that some of the over lapped and leaded seams may rust under the lead. I assumed it was from using the wrong kind of "acid" or tinning agent for tinning or not thoroughly cleaning after tinning. Sometimes I can learn from other peoples mistakes...Haha

1950 Fleetline, 350 TBI, 700R4, 373 posi rear Blazer axle, MII front


 
dsacton 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 999
dsacton
Loc: Boulder, CO
Reg: 11-01-11
04-10-18 12:04 PM - Post#2730586    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

Close--I used beef fat, though, instead of lamb. There are a few more sheep in your part of the world, I imagine!



Attachment: fat.JPG (42.11 KB) 1 View(s)


Beef tallow


Scott Acton
1954 Chevy Bel Air 2-door
http://www.my54chevy.com


 
RAM_51 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4763
RAM_51
Loc: Yakima, WA. USA
Reg: 12-28-02
04-10-18 12:12 PM - Post#2730587    
    In response to dsacton

Another down side to using lead is that over time, there can be some [either chemical or temperature] reactivity between it and the finish.


1951 Fleetline
'51 Fleetline DeLuxe 2 DOOR SEDAN (Fathom Green)
'51 Styleline Special BUSINESS COUPE (Shadow Gray)
'53 6500 Dump Bed (Oxidized Red)
'50 Styleline DeLuxe 4 DOOR SEDAN (Mist Green)


 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4117
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
04-10-18 08:40 PM - Post#2730640    
    In response to RAM_51

Hi Ram, that's the sort of effect you get when you don't replace the 50 plus year old lead during restoration.

That's probably the factory join under there that has finally broken down.

Cheers Kiwi

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 
RAM_51 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4763
RAM_51
Loc: Yakima, WA. USA
Reg: 12-28-02
04-10-18 08:47 PM - Post#2730642    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

Yeah, probably an all original car with a lacquer top coat...as I say, over time you can end up with this. I don't know that plastic, if applied properly will lead to this type of joint / repair evidence. I'm inclined to think not.

1951 Fleetline
'51 Fleetline DeLuxe 2 DOOR SEDAN (Fathom Green)
'51 Styleline Special BUSINESS COUPE (Shadow Gray)
'53 6500 Dump Bed (Oxidized Red)
'50 Styleline DeLuxe 4 DOOR SEDAN (Mist Green)


 
johnwd98 
Contributor
Posts: 252
johnwd98
Age: 68
Loc: Little Falls, MN
Reg: 09-05-10
04-11-18 05:48 AM - Post#2730664    
    In response to RAM_51

From the look of the patina, the paint may very well be 50+ years old. I wouldn't expect any type of body work (lead or plastic body filler) to still look good.

1950 Fleetline, 350 TBI, 700R4, 373 posi rear Blazer axle, MII front


 
RAM_51 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4763
RAM_51
Loc: Yakima, WA. USA
Reg: 12-28-02
04-11-18 07:26 PM - Post#2730758    
    In response to johnwd98

  • johnwd98 Said:
I wouldn't expect any type of body work (lead or plastic body filler) to still look good.


It would totally depend on how the car was cared for and how the work under the filler was done. Kind of funny how guys want to modernize their old rides with disc brakes, V8s, 12 volt systems, A/C and the like, but when it comes to body work, some seem to believe that the old school filler [lead] is the way to go. Just kinda odd. I can completely understand the romantic notion of doing things the old school way...and that's exactly what I believe it is more than anything else.

1951 Fleetline
'51 Fleetline DeLuxe 2 DOOR SEDAN (Fathom Green)
'51 Styleline Special BUSINESS COUPE (Shadow Gray)
'53 6500 Dump Bed (Oxidized Red)
'50 Styleline DeLuxe 4 DOOR SEDAN (Mist Green)


 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4117
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
04-12-18 04:29 AM - Post#2730772    
    In response to RAM_51

Hi Ram, I would guess that plastic filler on metal won't go the 50 years the way most folks apply it.
For two reasons, the material is porous and the reactive agent is likely to eat the base metal.

However if you two pack prime the seam before filling I would expect the plastic filler to last much longer.

My panel guy uses a copper sealer in the seams first to prevent them ever sweating. No lead.

Cheers Kiwi

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 
dsacton 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 999
dsacton
Loc: Boulder, CO
Reg: 11-01-11
04-17-18 01:04 PM - Post#2731313    
    In response to RAM_51

Yep--it's completely for the nostalgia! No other reason (for me at least).



Scott Acton
1954 Chevy Bel Air 2-door
http://www.my54chevy.com


 
50hotrod 
"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 932
50hotrod
Age: 61
Loc: Wisconsin
Reg: 07-25-11
04-18-18 06:58 AM - Post#2731402    
    In response to dsacton

My father was a body man. He stopped using lead on body panels in the 60's. Why? Because the metal was getting so thin, the heat would distort the panel as he was leading. He still used lead in the seam areas. He hated using the plastic filler at first but soon perfected the technique and believed the plastic filler would last as long, if not longer then lead.....PROPERLY applied.

Most of his dislike for plastic fillers was the limited time you had to work it. With lead, if you needed to reshape, just reheat.


Well, you know what's wrong with the world today

People done gone put their Bible's away

They're living by the law of the jungle not the law of the land

"Simple Man" By Charlie Daniels



 
Happy Belair 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1228

Loc: Central Oklahoma
Reg: 10-29-06
04-20-18 02:13 PM - Post#2731671    
    In response to 50hotrod

being a reloader I have always collected lead where I can and melt it into 1 pound ingots.
I have around 300 or so in storage and another 5 gallon bucket full of loose lead from the clean out at my FIL garage. I would say that will add about 80 or so pounds to my stash.
If lead ever gets valuable I will be rich

54 Belair 1067DTX, Roman red 327 Turbo350
54 Belair Hardtop, just bod off frame,work in progress
54 210 Station wagon Father in laws pass me down


 

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