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View Full Version : Weights, to buy or not



indatexas
11-15-2007, 02:08
Hmm, noticed that the local NEX raised prices on softweights from 4 to 4.5 a pound. Running out of lead are we?
Is it a sign to buy weights now or not...

Puffer Fish
11-15-2007, 06:22
Hmm, noticed that the local NEX raised prices on softweights from 4 to 4.5 a pound. Running out of lead are we?
Is it a sign to buy weights now or not...
By far the easiest thing to "borrow" on a dive is weights, if you just do resort and/or boat dives. Obviously shore diving you are on your own.

I like having the correct weight before I show up for a dive, and therefore, own lots of weights...but I got them rather slowly.

scubaaaronh
11-16-2007, 09:23
All metals have been going up. With China being the biggest importer of metals it is driving the prices up. Another thing that is driving prices of lead up is the health problems lead causes, and the move to other products like Bismuth. I don't think you are going to see a drop any time soon on the prices of metals. They are going to keep rising. I do a lot of reloading and brass for instance last year was 14 bucks a bag. this year its 23 bucks a bag. Shot has increased also i remember buying chilled shot a couple years ago 8 bucks a bag and now it is close to twenty.

quasimoto
11-18-2007, 18:01
Don't know that there is a shortage of lead. Just like every metal, the price is going up.
As for buying or not. Lead is one of those things that you can pick up a little at a time.

Soonerwink
11-18-2007, 20:57
There are several good buys on ebay right now for soft weights: weights, Weight Belts, Buoyancy Compensators items on eBay.com (http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?sofocus=bs&sbrftog=1&fcl=1&catref=C6&from=R10&satitle=weights&sacat=16052%26catref%3DC6&sargn=-1%26saslc%3D2&sadis=200&fpos=74033&sabfmts=1&ftrt=1&ftrv=1&saprclo=&saprchi=&fsop=1%26fsoo%3D1)

Tod
11-19-2007, 11:09
Do you (or anyone you know) know how to sew? You can buy lead shot weight from a hardware store and make your own soft weights if you're sew inclined. :smiley2:

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
11-19-2007, 11:18
Be careful of possible iron content in the shot or rust could ruin your handiwork.

CompuDude
11-19-2007, 11:53
Keep en eye out in your local penny saver / recycler or Craigslist. People dump old dive gear all the time for peanuts, and lead is one thing that never wear out.

Xspect
11-19-2007, 11:58
Buy the minimum amount of weights. Borrow / rent the required. I have forgot my weights on a few occasion. Never had any problems getting a "short term loan" of weights

BuzzGA
11-19-2007, 13:16
Both my wife and I have our own weights but it is rare we take them. Since we live in Arizona most of our diving involves a plane flight and carrying all that extra weight around is just too much of a pain.

CaribbeanDiver
11-19-2007, 13:21
it is probably not the price or availability of the lead that is making the price go up. rather it is the need for oil companies to make more and more and more and more money which translates into very high transportation costs. sometimes we forget that we pay for the high price of fuel at lots more places than at the pump.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
11-19-2007, 14:00
Transportation costs have only a minor effect on the price of lead.

Lead is going higher due to supply and demand. Supply coming down since we are not creating new lead mines. Who wants one in their back yard? Not me. The demand increased thanks in part to use in lap-top batteries. The initial tightness was met by fairly large supplies of scrap lead. After the supply of easily scrappable lead was used up lead really started to take off. Similar things have happened to most of the base metals. I often quip that the person who can find a way to turn gold into lead will make a fortune someday.

Base Metals LME Prices - Copper Price Charts & Aluminium Prices, COMEX, Nickel, Tin, Lead, Zinc, Iron, Steel: news, reports and research. (http://www.basemetals.com/Lead/)

PsychDiver
11-19-2007, 17:10
A few years ago I collected scrap wheel weight leads from a few local tire shops for free and then melted it down to make one pound bars. At one point I had 750 lbs of lead. Now I have only about 100 lbs. Sold most of it to the scrap yard. Lead can be melted on a camp stove and poured into a mold very easily. I use them now for new students that are underweighted. I ask for it back but don't worry if a few bars go missing. Mostly just people forgetting they have it in their belts.

mitchy
11-27-2007, 16:52
Anyone make their own weights (other than sewing up buckshot). Any good ideas of common products that can be converted into cheap weights?

thor
11-27-2007, 17:32
I have my own weights, but only b/c on my last dive, my buddy forgot to bring enough weight, so I had to go out and buy some at the last minute. I have always relied on the kindness of strangers. (Frankly Scarlett, I don't give a damn)

PsychDiver
11-27-2007, 22:45
Check with some of the local tires shops. They usually have an old bucket they throw the old weights in. You may get them for free or you may be able to buy them at a great price. You can melt them on your stove at home but the smell is bad and the wife or husband may get a little upset so I recomment a camp stove and an old pot. You can buy molds at a local gun shop for 1lb bars or you can buy an actual mold at LP.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
11-28-2007, 09:56
For those with children I'd definitely recommend melting lead outside the house.

Mtrewyn
11-28-2007, 11:05
The fumes are REAL bad, even without kids I'd do it out side.

mitchy
11-28-2007, 15:49
That's a great source of lead. For the first time ever I'm looking forward to a trip to the mechanic.

If I melt the lead indoors, you say it might drive my wife and kids away for a while? Any idea how long the smell will linger - I could use a few days alone.

BuzzF117
11-28-2007, 16:28
That's a great source of lead. For the first time ever I'm looking forward to a trip to the mechanic.

If I melt the lead indoors, you say it might drive my wife and kids away for a while? Any idea how long the smell will linger - I could use a few days alone.


Melt lead outside in well ventiated area not neccessarly because of the lead fumes but also because of any oils or solvents on the lead will burn off when you heat it up and can be as noxious if not more so then the lead. We do alot of lead soldering in the flute business and even with the ventelation you can get sick.

Mtrewyn
11-29-2007, 00:36
I'd be concerned with the lead fumes, Lead is absorbed through the lungs faster than most other routes, and well you get too much and well....lets just say your IQ drops real fast.

mitchy
11-29-2007, 19:39
I guess making the weights nice and pretty with lead paint is not wise either?

Goober
11-29-2007, 19:43
Do you (or anyone you know) know how to sew? You can buy lead shot weight from a hardware store and make your own soft weights if you're sew inclined. :smiley2:

Ziplock baggies work great...and no leaching:smiley20:

mitchy
12-04-2007, 12:05
For those of you who have made your own weights, what do you use as a mold for the melted lead?

fireflock
12-04-2007, 12:19
I've found a lot of weight at the local quarry on Sunday evening (students loose it - check in the water near entrance points).

I also sometimes collect big fishing weights (grouper) from wrecks. Over time you can collect enough to make a P-weight or something.

A lot of divers have extra in their closest they might be willing to sell. They used to use more than they need now, or have found weights over the years.

Rich

TravisD
12-04-2007, 14:30
The fumes are REAL bad, even without kids I'd do it out side.

I got VERy wide-eyed when my wife told me recently that her dad used to melt lead for fishing weights in the basement, on the wood stove. She had no idea that this was a bad idea...

That said, the closer you can keep the temp to just over the melting point, the better - less chance of vaporizing things. And old hot plate and pan is probably slightly safer than a torch in this area.

CaptainRon
12-05-2007, 14:16
Just pick up some imported toys from China......:smilie39:

PsychDiver
12-10-2007, 11:53
Yes the fumes can get real bad. Outside is definitely the way to go. I think the lead exposure in the fumes is quite limited and in a ventilated area posses little or no health risk in the amount of time it takes to make some weights. But I am not an MD and have not researched it. Just been around several pple who have made their own lead bullets for years without any health problems. The one risk I do know of is if you put a tire weight in to melt and it has water on it, it will vaporize the water instantly and the expanding gas will cause an explosion of lead in the pot and splatter it every. My father had a friend do this and it coated his eye. Luckily the lead cooled very fast and didn't cause burning. He did go to the Dr. to have the lead removed.

adv_diver1
12-10-2007, 20:00
I bought my soft weights years ago pretty cheap. I only take about 6-8lbs as I remember... I hate weight belts. too heavy!

Duckydiver
12-19-2007, 12:23
I just found about 20 lbs of lead scrap in my basement. So what do you guyes for a mold when making weights.

CompuDude
12-19-2007, 13:00
I just found about 20 lbs of lead scrap in my basement. So what do you guyes for a mold when making weights.

I would imagine most use a weight mold. Apologies if ST carries them, but I know LP does: http://www.leisurepro.com/Prod/CategoryID_961/Context_954/Sort_Stock/DescSort_0/AQUBM.html?Hit=1

teog
12-23-2007, 20:37
We have our own soft weights since we do dives on our own here in Florida. I would imagine if you only dive on vacation, you can always rent it on the boat. Most places Ive dove with always have extra weight.

whse56
12-23-2007, 22:06
When it comes to making your own weights, if you want to make soft weights use a .30 caliber round ball mold. Thats as small as I can find and it seems to work quite well. You can use regular bullet molds 9mm or .45 but they have sharp edges and will wear through the bag in time. If you want to keep the bags as small as you can mix the .30 with some birdshot you can buy for reloading shotguns. You can buy presewn bags to fill at Scuba.com for about $3 ea (sorry Larry).
I've also bought a mold from the afore mentioned dealer that makes regular belt weights. They aren't as pretty as the store bought ones but they are cheaper (if you get the lead cheap)
Some of the sources I've found for lead, indoor shooting ranges, tire stores, some old printing presses used lead for type, get in good with a telephone repairman (cable sheathing use to be made out of lead).

sks77
12-27-2007, 09:55
Personally, we never travel with weights. We have enough issues with the weight of our bags anyway.

Mtrewyn
12-27-2007, 10:08
I do alot of beach diving, and the boats that I dive from are local, and I don't mind taking my own weight, if I had to fly that is another story, you need to shed all the extra weight you can, for flying.

CODMAN
12-27-2007, 10:44
You don,t need to buy the bags. I buy some cheap pantyhose from the dolar store. You cut off each leg. Pour the shot into one of the legs (weigh before obviously!:smilie40:). Twist the stocking tight and make a knot. Then pass the pouch back through the stocking, twist and make a knot. Repeat a 3rd time and cut off the excess stocking. This way you tripple the stocking layering making it nice and strong. No sewing required!

I have to say, I didn't invent this. Someone on ScubaBoard put me on the trail of the stockings (but he used tiewraps).

Cheers!:smiley20:



When it comes to making your own weights, if you want to make soft weights use a .30 caliber round ball mold. Thats as small as I can find and it seems to work quite well. You can use regular bullet molds 9mm or .45 but they have sharp edges and will wear through the bag in time. If you want to keep the bags as small as you can mix the .30 with some birdshot you can buy for reloading shotguns. You can buy presewn bags to fill at Scuba.com for about $3 ea (sorry Larry).
I've also bought a mold from the afore mentioned dealer that makes regular belt weights. They aren't as pretty as the store bought ones but they are cheaper (if you get the lead cheap)
Some of the sources I've found for lead, indoor shooting ranges, tire stores, some old printing presses used lead for type, get in good with a telephone repairman (cable sheathing use to be made out of lead).

Hollywood703
12-27-2007, 12:53
I obtain wheel weights and buy the XS scuba puches and fill them to the appropriate weight, i dont melt them down, it shifts enough to make it form, without the heazards associated with melting it. You might have to shave or break one to get the exact pound.

Mtrewyn
12-28-2007, 00:52
You don,t need to buy the bags. I buy some cheap pantyhose from the dolar store. You cut off each leg. Pour the shot into one of the legs (weigh before obviously!:smilie40:). Twist the stocking tight and make a knot. Then pass the pouch back through the stocking, twist and make a knot. Repeat a 3rd time and cut off the excess stocking. This way you tripple the stocking layering making it nice and strong. No sewing required!

I have to say, I didn't invent this. Someone on ScubaBoard put me on the trail of the stockings (but he used tiewraps).

Cheers!:smiley20:




I like it, Easy and Cheep!! :smiley20: :smiley32:

Insert your choice of quote about the opposite sex here :smiley2:

carbon13
12-28-2007, 06:59
I made my own... that way they were guaranteed to fit in my BC (weight integrated) and I've got a few spare small weights if I need to add a bit for an AL tank

A$5 - 1 meter shade cloth (may be an Ozzie thing - google it)
A$30 - 30 pounds of lead shot
A$3 - 'special' water proof nylon thread
Oh... and the wife's sewing machine - priceless ;-)

Not hard to sew rectangle pouches, fill with lead and then sew the last end. By using shade cloth they drain really easily and are fast drying.

mitchy
12-28-2007, 13:03
[quote=carbon13;112241]

A$5 - 1 meter shade cloth (may be an Ozzie thing - google it)
quote]

Didn't bother googling it, but I wonder if it is landscape fabric? If not, landscape fabric would work well too.

TravisD
12-28-2007, 13:44
Isn't landscape fabric designed to break down?

Sounds more like canvas to me. Or perhaps the semi-permeable stuff that they make awnings out of.

PsychDiver
12-29-2007, 03:13
I think the nylons idea is fantastic. Easy and cheap. I will start scamming my wife's old nylons. I am really cheap!

CODMAN
12-29-2007, 09:46
No No No!!!:smiley21: She'll be blaming me for her disapearing nylons!!!!!:smilie39::smilie39:

But seriously, I would suggest new nylons (they are cheap at the dollar store). The nylon looses a lot of it's strength if it has a run in it. And how many 1-time used nylons have you seen without at least 1 run in it??:smilie39::smilie39: That,s also why I double them over 3 times. In case one of the folds run...:smilie40:

Go for the cheap, but new ones. It's not worth it... Especially if your wife finds out!!!!:smilie39::smilie39:




I think the nylons idea is fantastic. Easy and cheap. I will start scamming my wife's old nylons. I am really cheap!

mitchy
12-29-2007, 12:15
I think the nylons idea is fantastic. Easy and cheap. I will start scamming my wife's old nylons. I am really cheap!

At least wait till she takes them off first.