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Lead loading...

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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 14:25   #1
Gordon Hunter
Ex 1800 Register Keeper
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Last Online: Apr 29th, 2022 17:04
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Central Scotland
Default Lead loading...

A couple of forum members have expressed interest in how led loading is done.
It's not much harder than using body filler, but the advantages are far greater in that it gives a permanent repair that is more flexible than filler.

Lead dust is highly toxic. Great care should be taken to wear proper breathing aparatus and to keep children and pets well away from any lead dust. Lead dust should always be vaccumed up afterwards as brushing will only cause lead dust to become airborne and spread further afield.

The following photos give an overview of a simple repair which should be well within the grasp of most enthusiasts.

This door is from an Amazon. It has started to rust out around where the wing mirror was mounted. As it is a right hand drive car a left hand mirror isn't required in this case.
I have used a grinder with a flap wheel on it to remove the paint and surface rust.

Next, I'm going to fill in the hole with the MIG welder.

As copper is a good conductor and wont weld to steel, a small piece is clamped in behind the hole in order to keep the repair flat on the inside...

The repair is now ground flat again from the outside with the flap wheel. If possible, it is a good idea to sand blast the work area and make sure that any residual rust has been completely removed.

Next, the area to be leaded has to be 'tinned' with a special flux paste which cleans any remaining impurities off the repair surface and leaves a rough keyed area for the lead to stick to. The flux paste is heated until golden brown and then washed off with a rag and clean water leaving the resulting surface...

The lead is then heated until globules of it drop off onto the repair area. (If your repair area is on a vertical plane, then this has to be pushed into the repair in a circular motion so that blobs of lead start to cool and adhere to the surface.)...

The lead is re-heated carefully on the panel (too much heat can warp the surrounding panel) and smoothed flat into the repair with a wooden padle soaked in tallow to prevent the wood from burning...

Once the lead settles into a reasonable flat repair and cools, it can be filed down with a body file and then sanded smooth ready for primer...

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