Jump to content
Rollincoal420

Make tungsten weights?

Recommended Posts

Has anyone ever, or known anyone to make their own tungsten weights? I'm a welder and used a lot of tungsten electrodes over the years.  I've always saved all the pieces to short to use any more. Not sure why I've saved them, but since that stuff is expensive and there isn't much of a scrap market, maybe I can make or get someone to make me some sinkers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The melting point of Tungsten is almost 6200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 12poundbass said:

The melting point of Tungsten is almost 6200 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

I believe Phoenix reaches that mark every summer...

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It requires specialized equipment to melt and pour. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, I'm a believer in, "where there is a will, there is a way"

 

All bring this topic to a fabrication forum where people do things like this all the time.  Not necessarily melting tungsten, but fabricate simply thinking outside the box

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rollincoal420 said:

Ah, I'm a believer in, "where there is a will, there is a way"

 

All bring this topic to a fabrication forum where people do things like this all the time.  Not necessarily melting tungsten, but fabricate simply thinking outside the box

I along with a lot on this forum are with you on the "where there's a will there's a way". But there's the cost factor. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tungsten carbide weights are not melted and poured.  They are compressed under extreme pressure, which creates the heat necessary to fuse the material.  Good luck doing that in your garage.  I suppose you could try mixing the powder with some sort of epoxy, though it won't be as dense.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear you on the cost factor,  it's still worth digging around.   

 

For the matter of melting, I been thinking I don't really necessarily need to melt into liquid and poor if I cam simply fuse together,  which could be done with less heat, and more pressure.  Or even braised together and polished smooth.  There is more option popping in my head the longer I think about it. 

1 minute ago, J Francho said:

Tungsten carbide weights are not melted and poured.  They are compressed under extreme pressure, which creates the heat necessary to fuse the material.  Good luck doing that in your garage.  I suppose you could try mixing the powder with some sort of epoxy, though it won't be as dense.

Thanks.  That gives me a better understanding of what they are doing.  

Still, I've found there is always multiple paths around a problem to come up with the solution.  May not always be the proper path or acceptable to a certain procedure, but can still to acceptable results. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this falls into the realm of....penny wise and dollar foolish.

 

If you have the time and money, I wish you well.  If you want to spend more time on the water, buy them on Amazon.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The process is called "sintering". It isn't pure Tungsten either, usually 5% is nickel or some other alloy that will melt at a lower temperature. When the Tungsten is under pressure the heat created will melt the nickel or other metal alloy and that will be what binds the Tungsten together and make it a solid piece. There is Tungsten powder that you can mix with a special epoxy that will allow one to pour a jig head or sinker but it isn't efficient time wise, it is costly, and you don't get the same density so a 3/16oz sinker would be the same size as it would if it was made with lead and it wouldn't be as hard as a regular Tungsten sinker either.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @smalljaw67 for the detailed process.  I'd read about it, just couldn't remember the full story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John Crews did an interview on YouTube with Mike Iaconelli on Ike Live and Crews got asked if he'll ever make tungsten jigs. His answer was along the lines of "We make and produce everything of ours here in the USA. Any company who sells tungsten fishing tackle is getting it made overseas because the cost of the machinery and labor. So because of that, we (Missle) have no plans to start making anything out of tungsten any time soon because it's simply too costly to do domestically because I refuse to take my business over seas."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, fishballer06 said:

John Crews did an interview on YouTube with Mike Iaconelli on Ike Live and Crews got asked if he'll ever make tungsten jigs. His answer was along the lines of "We make and produce everything of ours here in the USA. Any company who sells tungsten fishing tackle is getting it made overseas because the cost of the machinery and labor. So because of that, we (Missle) have no plans to start making anything out of tungsten any time soon because it's simply too costly to do domestically because I refuse to take my business over seas."

That's sorta interesting....I generally think about off-shoring manufacturing as a result of lower labor costs.  I wouldn't have thought that labor was a key cost driver in making tungsten fishing tackle....could be, I suppose...but I'd be interested in the 'cost of machinery' part, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned earlier, the melting point of lead is 622*F, and tungsten is 6,191*F. That's 10x hotter just to get it to melt. I'm sure the machinery to do that is much more costly. Lead is simple enough that any Joe Schmoe can pour their own lead in their garage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking that there are safety guidelines here that aren't barriers in China.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I'm thinking that there are safety guidelines here that aren't barriers in China.

I'd venture to say you're correct. A coworker of mine travelled to China to oversee the operations of vacuum furnaces for a company he used to work for. Man, the crazy stuff I've heard...

 

Knowing that tungsten weights are made in China almost makes me not want to buy them, but the advantages are just too good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Nor-Cal Basser said:

Knowing that tungsten weights are made in China almost makes me not want to buy them, but the advantages are just too good.

 

Well, sure.  There's the manufacturing and packaging overseas, but there's still quite a few domestic jobs in the mix getting these weights to you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 9:04 AM, J Francho said:

Tungsten carbide weights are not melted and poured.  They are compressed under extreme pressure, which creates the heat necessary to fuse the material.  Good luck doing that in your garage.  I suppose you could try mixing the powder with some sort of epoxy, though it won't be as dense.

I actually tried a making a jig head with tungsten and plastic. You mix an equal amount of A resin & B catalyst then add tungsten powder. You could only do so much volume with the powder otherwise it's too thick to pour in the mold. If I remember correctly, it was like not even 10% of the total volume.

 

It wasn't an epic fail because it still made a nice jig head, but the 3/8 oz head I made turned out to be like half. I tried to add a colorant to the mix as well but the tungsten drowned out the color making it look like it's natural "gray" color state.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/17/2017 at 0:46 PM, Jigfishn10 said:

I actually tried a making a jig head with tungsten and plastic. You mix an equal amount of A resin & B catalyst then add tungsten powder. You could only do so much volume with the powder otherwise it's too thick to pour in the mold. If I remember correctly, it was like not even 10% of the total volume.

 

It wasn't an epic fail because it still made a nice jig head, but the 3/8 oz head I made turned out to be like half. I tried to add a colorant to the mix as well but the tungsten drowned out the color making it look like it's natural "gray" color state.

I tried this as well and my 1/4oz shakeyhead cavity produced a nice 1/16oz head. The mixture is just too thick to pour to achieve a greater density.  Now I was able to mix GP soft plastic colorant which turned them the color of Keitech heads.

 

From what the company said where I bought the powder most tungsten is mined in China. That along with their lack of regulation is why China has market share. 

 

Allen 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank to the ones that tried for posting.  I appreciate the first hand accounts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done a little experimenting so far.  Not much, haven't thought about making jigs, which would b an easier place to start.  

 

Using a torch, you can "forge" the tungsten into the shape you need, one thing holding me up was a hole for the line to pass through.  Making jigs wouldn't need to have a smooth hole.  I'll bring some tungsten pieces and a couple hooks into work when I get back from vaca and tinker a little more.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/29/2017 at 9:07 AM, Rollincoal420 said:

I've done a little experimenting so far.  Not much, haven't thought about making jigs, which would b an easier place to start.  

 

Using a torch, you can "forge" the tungsten into the shape you need, one thing holding me up was a hole for the line to pass through.  Making jigs wouldn't need to have a smooth hole.  I'll bring some tungsten pieces and a couple hooks into work when I get back from vaca and tinker a little more.

 

What size and shape is the tungsten you are working with?

 

Allen 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are tungsten electrodes used for welding.  Most are 3/32 diameter, roughly inch to inch and half length.  Just scrap pieces I been saving for some reason.  They would make good replacements for nail weights for a neko rig or something like that, but I got a bunch, and equipment that can heat and/ or melt it.   Just need more opportunities to tinker. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need ceramic crucible to melt tungsten and temperatures are 2X that of the steel hooks used in fishing, serious safety issues. Nail weights sound like a good use from tungsten electrodes. The price R2Sea gets for thier tungsten nails would make it worth while. 

Tom

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×