Thursday, July 28, 2011

Melting lead for the sled

Work was completed on the roadster and Randy hauled it back to Keith Tardel at Rex Rods for the engines to be prepped and installed...yes, I said engines - plural. 

In the meantime, Pete ordered up the AN16 and AN20 hoses and fittings for the water tank/pump system and I sourced lead from several folks on the local Craigslist.  After a couple of trips, I ended up with somewhere around 250# for about $90...pretty damn good, because lead usually runs a buck a pound.  However, a good deal of our lead was in the form of wheel weights, dirty ol' wheel weights.  We planned on mounting about 200# of lead in surplus .50 caliber ammo cans, one on either side of the fuel cell in the trunk, directly over the rear axle to act as ballast.

Nothing that a tank of propane, a proper burner, cast iron pan and a loaf pan couldn't fix.

The crew assembled for a combined Pete and Nic birthday / good ol' fashioned lead melting party.

After a few slices of pizza, the work got started.  In all, it's real simple, throw in a bunch of lead weights in a cast iron pan over a super hot burner, heat to about 600 degrees or so and watch the lead melt away from the steel clips. Skim the steel and other impurities off the top with a slotted spoon and when the lead is nice and liquid, pour into a loaf pan.

Half way through, we'd perfected our system and were quenching the hot loaf pan once the lead had formed a crust.  This allowed us to remove the lead brick from the form and go onto the next one.  In case you're curious, an average loaf of lead is about 25#.

By the way, if you are so inlclined, take precautions to wear proper heavy clothing, welders gloves and eye protection...oh, and either do your work in open space with a breeze (like we were fortunate enough to have) or use a shop fan to blow the nasty smoke and fumes downwind.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

...and the work continues

Over the weekend, the crew assembled at the Cannarozzi ranch to make a dent in that knock list.  By the end of the day, Jered's transmission tunnel was fitted, the electric water pump bracket was mounted in the grill shell, all oil and fuel lines and corresponding filters were inspected and cleaned.  The roadster was buttoned up to take a look, check out that bitchin' grill.

Enjoy the pics...