Lead nose weight from fishing weight...?

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ActingLikeAKid

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Working on a build and eventually I'm going to have an Eggtimer in the nose. But I just ordered it and I still need to get a battery, so it's going to be a while on that. In the meantime, though, I need weight in the nose. I had a thought: I have some fairly heavy "pyramid" lead fishing weights. I have a bulkplate with a welded eyebolt... I was thinking: Smash the weights down into a roughly round shape, pound a hole in the middle,and then just use a washer to hold it on the back of the bulkplate. Good idea? yes? No?
 

dhbarr

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The farther forward your weight, the less you need to use.
 

mpitfield

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Working on a build and eventually I'm going to have an Eggtimer in the nose. But I just ordered it and I still need to get a battery, so it's going to be a while on that. In the meantime, though, I need weight in the nose. I had a thought: I have some fairly heavy "pyramid" lead fishing weights. I have a bulkplate with a welded eyebolt... I was thinking: Smash the weights down into a roughly round shape, pound a hole in the middle,and then just use a washer to hold it on the back of the bulkplate. Good idea? yes? No?
The further forward you can get your weight the less you need. So keeping that in mind does your plan put the weight as far forward as possible?

I have thought about and seen others use lead fishing tackle without issue and it seems to be malleable enough to work with. I have only used lead shot, only because it came with a kit, and it was great to work with, nice and small pellets. However ideally I would like to use lead power mixed with epoxy and just pure it into the nosecone. Keeping in mind that it is arguably a bit more dangerous to work with so gloves and a respirator for sure. The problem is the only source I can find for lead powder is in small 1lb quantities, used for weighting and balancing golf clubs. So if anyone has a larger quantity source in Canada I would love to hear it?
 

Micromeister

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The farther forward your weight, the less you need to use.
Exactly! That's why I only use #9 Lead Shot. it's the smallest diameter pellet available. Packs very tightly in very small spaces. sealed in epoxy I can usually get away with about 1/3 the mass needed using larger split shot or other Sinkers.

If you can affort it Tungsten is actually heavier then Lead but getting small shot is very expensive.
 
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dhbarr

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Tungsten powder can be had by the pound, I'm planning to try casting it in lead.

Edit: look for fly-tying beads instead of shot.
 
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cavecentral

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Pretty much any weight will work. Some denser than others, more toward the front the better. Planning ahead for the motors you wish to fly it on helps.

I've found my CG to be off at a launch during my prep (a Red Glare?). So I tossed in a few handfuls of mud from the field using dog barf to separate it from my nomex blanket and it worked like a charm. It was renamed "Mud Puppy" by my local club members that travelled out and seen me doing this. The rocket was mostly destroyed in a cato the following year.
 

Flyfalcons

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On a couple projects I've used small fishing split weights. I like those because the epoxy can wick into the crack and really anchor the weight into the epoxy mix.
 

cavecentral

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This doesn't relate directly to your setup, but as and FYI: epoxy does not stick well to the inside of plastic nose cones. The weight can come loose if you do not drill holes for epoxy pins, use screws, or fill the rest of the cone with expanding foam.
 

Tonimus

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I've used weights attached to the eye bolt for the nosecone with great success. Requires more weights for larger motors, but allows you to remove weight for smaller motors. Just another option.
 

bill_s

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I've moved away from anything that results in a lead spike in the front of the rocket. A nose cone that, if it comes loose, tumbles or lands blunt end first is worth needing an extra ounce. Not always possible (if the cone stays attached to a payload section it will still fall nose first, but at least there is some crush section in front). Another thing that may help is using 2 ounce egg weights, at least they're blunt.
 

neil_w

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Based on this old thread and a recent post on Chris Michielssen's blog I plan to try using Gorilla Glue to adhere lead shot into a plastic NC. I haven't quite figured out the technique, though: glue first, then lead, or the other way around? The posts say just a few drops of glue, but it's not clear to me if the objective is to completely embed the lead in glue, or just create a plug below the lead to keep it in the NC.
 

dr wogz

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I believe it was Apogee that had a good video on nose weight attachment techniques. Worth a look.

In Canada, you can't buy lead shot unless you hold a valid FAC (Firearms Acquisition Certificate), same for Black powder..

I have a few friends who shoot, so I have my sources. And, one year, I made a store employee go get me all his lead fishing weights, in the winter!
 

Rex R

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tyre shops often have a bucket of used wheel weights sitting by the balancer...since they have to pay to dispose of them one can usually get a handful or two if one asks nicely. of course one may have to melt them down and recast them.
Rex
 

Banzai88

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tyre shops often have a bucket of used wheel weights sitting by the balancer...since they have to pay to dispose of them one can usually get a handful or two if one asks nicely. of course one may have to melt them down and recast them.
Rex
I make LOTS of cast lead bullets from wheel weights.

These days, lots of shops get paid for their scrap lead wheel weights, especially since the only US based virgin lead producer went out of business last year, the price of scrap lead has spiked and isn't coming down anytime soon. Doesn't hurt to ask, though. Also, not all of the weights use today are lead, so you have to sort carefully before you melt them down or you'll ruin the castability of the lead. Also, most have a nylon coating on them so that they don't react with bare aluminum rims. It's toxic when it burns off.

I use lead shot mixed into epoxy. Works perfectly.
 

Rex R

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ah, it has been a while since I was needing to ballast rc race boats :), these days I use lead shot too.
Rex
 

o1d_dude

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Lead shot is available to me only in sacks at the local Sportsman's Warehouse and costs way more than I'd care to invest.

BBs...That's what I use. Mix them into the epoxy and pour the mixture into the nose cone which is then set in vessel filled with water to soak up any thermal activity.

I have also on occasion used large 1/4" thick washers that run about 3" in diameter and weigh 4 ounces each. These were excellent for ballasting the nose cones of my two Bay Area Rocketry Crayon kit rockets.

In low power rockets I've simply used large quick links or fishing weights that I just tied to the shock cord at the nosecone. Masking taped the weight around the shock cord to keep it from trying to break loose.

I subscribe to the TLAR* method of rocketery.

* "That looks about right..."
 

rstaff3

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I got a lifetime supply of lead shot a while ago, but also have used the spilt fishing weights. I even used one of theose weights that hook to the line with a internal rubber twistie. No epoxy required. I have to admit it was not just hanging of the shock tether and couldn't shake off. It was sure easy to install!
 

highflyer1968

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I believe it was Apogee that had a good video on nose weight attachment techniques. Worth a look.

In Canada, you can't buy lead shot unless you hold a valid FAC (Firearms Acquisition Certificate), same for Black powder..

I have a few friends who shoot, so I have my sources. And, one year, I made a store employee go get me all his lead fishing weights, in the winter!
This site allows you to buy black powder in Canada without a F.A.C
https://www.cabelas.ca/product/13127/goex-black-powder
 

Micromeister

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Many folks have a thing about using lead in any form in model rocketry. Personally I do not follow that failing.

There are a couple things about using Lead Shot in epoxy that should be understood.
First: If using a plastic nose cone the INTERIOR of the plastic nosecone needs to be roughed up with a file or gouge to get the epoxy some peaks and valleys to grab as it cures.
Second: If the cone is large enough with a heavy thick wall, one can also drill and countersink small #1 or #2 size screws for the epoxy to grab around but the screw mass of these screws has to be included in your Nose Weight calculation.
Third: It is almost always suggested that the nose weight lead shot or what have you are added to the Epoxy mixed just before flowing into the NC cavity ensuring plenty of epoxy surface to flow into the roughened NC.

If using epoxy/lead shot in balsa or basswood Nosecones no additional roughen is needed as the epoxy will soak into the wood just fine.

No. 9 lead shot is smaller in diameter then any fly tying bead you'll find. They are .080" diameter with a individual mass of .046g ea. 22 = 1.0g +.

If working with larger rockets there are all kinds of lead weights, Sheets and other shapes that can easily be had. As others have mentioned Lead wheel weights and sometime discarded Elevator Weights can be had for almost nothing if we ask nicely:)

As with most things there are some safety precautions to be observed. Most important either ware glove while handling lead or wash your hands with soap after. If sanding or grinding Lead sheet, plates or rounds wear a particle mask while doing so.

Once our nose weight has been encapsulated in epoxy the material is really no longer an environmental concern.
As for using other materials for nose weight.... It's that same old addage! would you rather be hit with a pound of feathers or a pound of lead. Answer: It makes not difference at all, a pound of lead, sand or feathers it's still a pound. The only difference is the volumn involved.
 
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Steve Shannon

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I'm one of those who has a problem allowing lead to be flown at our launch site. If a rocket comes in ballistic the lead, not matter how well encapsulated it was, will shatter when it hits the rocks present in our range. I have no doubt that BLM would object. I would not have the same concern if our field was a sod farm.
Second, a pound of feathers has a much lower ballistic density and thus a much lower terminal velocity when falling in atmosphere. I would much rather be hit with a pound of feathers than a pound of lead.
One solution to the environmental concern is to use iron or sand as your nosecone weight.


[emoji1010] Steve Shannon [emoji1010]
 

MikeyDSlagle

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Lead pellets for pellet guns should be available alongside the BB's, they are soft and should smash easily.

FWIW, Lead shot goes as small as #12, or.050.

Mike
 
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