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cylindrical leads - forming

  • 1.  cylindrical leads - forming

    Member
    Posted 03-18-2020 23:12

    Tapered leads are a pain, i really prefer to use cylindrical leads.  One can buy cylindrical leads, but I'm too cheap to spring for them, as they are about 5 times the cost of supply house cheap tapered leads.  I've tried a bunch of ways to make a cylindrical lead out of the tapered leads, but none of them worked very well, until I came up with this simple solution.  Buy a slightly undersized drill bushing, for example for 3/8" leads, drill a 3/8" hole with a forstener bit, and use a 9.4mm ( Mcmaster 96977A343) drill bushing to form the lead.  For a 1/2" hole, use 12.6mm (ID) drill bushing.  Grind a 3/8 and 1/2" rod respectively, so it fits in the undersized drill bushings.

    To form the lead, place the lead in the bushing tapered side up, put the bushing and lead on an anvil, smoosh the lead inside the drill bushing, and the eject the cylindrical lead using a small arbor press. It took me 20 minutes to do 1lb.

    Grind the bushing end on a belt sander or something so there is no chamfer in the bottom end of the bushing.  These fit with just a few thousandths clearance, and require only a light swage to install, not clicking around. 



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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
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  • 2.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Posted 03-19-2020 10:07
    Why not just melt and pour? Easy to do and quicker.





  • 3.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Member
    Posted 03-19-2020 10:19
    Molten lead! ... no way...I don't need that or its out-gassing in my shop, and am not set up to be a forge.  Also the reason they taper them is to get them out of the mold, so you would have to make them tapered anyway, to some degree, thus defeating my main goal. As far as I can tell, they need to be extruded to make them cylindrical. Then, one would have to make molds with a whole bunch of individual leads so you can pour all at once. Way more work than the 20 minutes per lb this took me, I would think.

    Plus, this gives me a brain dead task to do in between harder tasks. I find I benefit from the brain space a very simple task provides, as it allows me to to gestate other more involved and trickier schemes of daring-do.
    .

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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
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  • 4.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-19-2020 10:36
    I would think fumes would be toxic

     

     

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  • 5.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Posted 03-19-2020 11:09
    You make them the same way you make bullets. You use a split mold, that solves the tapered problem as they pop right out. Honestly, I don't know why they currently are commercially tapered. You wouldn't make them in a closet, you would make them on the back porch or something, and that solves the toxicity issue. I use a tiny pot that is about the size of my fist which I got from an antique store. Then I heat it with a torch, lead has a low melting point. My dad made bullets his whole life, and never suffered from lead poisoning. So, I think that is just fear. Just use common sense and be safe.

    -chris

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    If it's pinging, it's not singing, it's just ringing,
    chernobieffpiano.com
    grandpianoman@protonmail.com
    Knoxville, TN
    865-986-7720
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-19-2020 14:41
    Yamaha sells cylindrical keyleads (metric).

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 7.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Posted 03-19-2020 17:19
    I my career as piano technician, I have bought key leads from different suppliers, but never have seen tapered leads. But this a continent where a lot of things are different.

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    Michiel van Loon
    MEPPEL
    The Netherlands
    +31655150644
    mvanloon@xs4all.nl
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  • 8.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Member
    Posted 03-19-2020 17:25
    interesting

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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
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  • 9.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-19-2020 14:53
    If you put a tapered lead down on the concrete floor and tap it with a hammer it's not hard to size it to fit the hole.  I got in the habit of doing this because the tapered leads are often either too loose or too long.  A couple taps on the tapered end suffices. It sounds like more trouble than it is.  Admittedly not as elegant as Jim's solution, but I also like the lead to be a bit oblong so that it rubs fore and aft in the hole and there's a bit of space at the top and bottom.   Likewise accomplished with a couple taps of the hammer.  You find this in many older Steinways from the teens and twenties which show no marks from a swedging punch.  This insures that if they do swell up they're not going to split the key.

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    Cecil Snyder
    Torrance CA
    310-542-7108
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  • 10.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-20-2020 04:33
    We used to melt lead in the basement 50+ years ago on the burners installed for canning. Nobody got sick.

    Rob

    Robert Edwardsen
    Registered Piano Technician
    PO Box 334
    Pittsford NY 14534
    585-586-1360
    edwardsenpianoservice.com
    eedward2@rochester.rr.com




  • 11.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Posted 03-20-2020 11:01
    We used to make our own lead-headed fishing jigs in our basement.  I did a sophisticated medical test a few years ago for heavy metals in my body.  The only one I was off the charts on was . . . LEAD!  Explains a few things.

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    Barb Bernhardt
    Montrose, Colorado
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  • 12.  RE: cylindrical leads - forming

    Member
    Posted 03-20-2020 11:26
    Right...why expose ourselves to this stuff more than we want to. Its bad enough we have to use lead at all to start with. Anyway, a non-melting forming process works. Next step is David Stanwood's soft copper, but talk about expensive...yahoo.

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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------