Simple Homemade Aluminum Ball Mold for €5

Discussion in 'Show off your homemades!' started by Alukuchen, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Alukuchen

    Alukuchen Senior Member

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    Hey there <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_smile.gif" alt="Smile" longdesc="2"><br><br>After some experiments with wooden molds i decided to make one out of aluminium.<br>so I bought a cutter that cuts a 20mm dia negative hemisphere for 3€ on ebay and 2 aluminum blocks for 2€.<br>Tools I used: small drill press, a file, sandpaper, 5mm and 9mm drill bits, a saw, a hammer and the cutter. It works really well, it doesn't even have to be clamped together, what makes it very fast to operate <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_smile.gif" alt="Smile" longdesc="2"><br><a href="http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=15&u=17120720" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://i42.servimg.com/u/f42/17/12/07/20/23012010.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a><br><br><a href="http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=16&u=17120720" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://i42.servimg.com/u/f42/17/12/07/20/23012011.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a>
     
  2. CaptainBacon

    CaptainBacon Knowledgeable Man

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    Great looking mold. It's a shame you only get one ball out of every casting. <br><br>Locally, in Baltimore City, we have an old civil war bullet tower, where they would drip lead into the water filled tower. I would be curious about that method of forming ammunition, and how easily it could be done at home.
     

  3. pipesmoker

    pipesmoker Member

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    <table width="90%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="0" border="0" align="center">
    <tr><td><span class="genmed"><b>CaptainBacon wrote:</b></span></td></tr>
    <tr><td class="quote">Great looking mold. It's a shame you only get one ball out of every casting. <br><br>Locally, in Baltimore City, we have an old civil war bullet tower, where they would drip lead into the water filled tower. I would be curious about that method of forming ammunition, and how easily it could be done at home.</td></tr>
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    <span class="postbody"><br><br>why don't you try it out?</span>
     
  4. CaptainBacon

    CaptainBacon Knowledgeable Man

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    Because, I'm perfectly content with buying cheap marbles <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_lol.gif" alt="Laughing" longdesc="7">
     
  5. PDK73

    PDK73 New Member

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    That's a good looking mold. I believe a ball tower needs something like 6 storys or so of height before the lead hits water. Hard to find a place that high you can safely drop hot lead from.<img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_smile.gif" alt="Smile" longdesc="2">
     
  6. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    Nice!<br><br>This UK ebay store sells a commercial product (several balls done in one pouring job). I have the size six type (22 mm), works really well. <br><br><a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BALL-LEAD-SINKER-MOULD-FISHING-WEIGHT-MOULDS-/290592050300?pt=UK_SportingGoods_FishingAcces_RL&var=&hash=item8960108213" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BALL-LEAD-SINKER-MOULD-FISHING-WEIGHT-MOULDS-/290592050300?pt=UK_SportingGoods_FishingAcces_RL&var=&hash=item8960108213</a>
     
  7. Antraxx

    Antraxx #7

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    Where do you all get your lead from to make the balls?<br><br>Do you buy it? (i have no clue how to get it elsewehere without paying) and if you buy it, wouldn´t it be cheaper to directly buy the lead in ball-form?
     
  8. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    I buy scrap lead on ebay. I don't need so much, as I retrieve most of my ammo. But I recast the flattened lead balls every once in a while.
     
  9. Alukuchen

    Alukuchen Senior Member

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    So do I ^^ at the stores where they sell musket balls they cost about 0,5€ each (as far as I know) and that is way too expensive. Those molds there on ebay are really cheap maybe I'll get one. But for me the big ones do not make sense because I need few of that big lead projectiles but such a mold would be very nice for smaller ones.<br><br>Jörg, is there any difference between that cheap 16mm mold and the one of Bells of Hythe, except from the nicer look?
     
  10. Antraxx

    Antraxx #7

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    so what do you think (lets assume i retrieve 50% of my steel balls) is lead ammo cheaper? dunno how expensice lead is atm...
     
  11. Alukuchen

    Alukuchen Senior Member

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    In general lead is not very expensive but it depends on the quality, just look on ebay <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_wink.gif" alt="Wink" longdesc="15"><br>Actually if you plan to shoot lead balls you should build a catchbox because you have to retrieve as much of those balls as possible, simply because they are toxic and pollute the environment! But it is also a waste of steel balls if you get only 50% of them back <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_wink.gif" alt="Wink" longdesc="15"><br>so you have to decide what you like best. I use 10 an 12 mm steel for the weak slingshots and for practice because they are not as small as lead balls of the same weight and therefore easier to grip and although relatively cheap, for the strong slingshots I use 15,4mm lead and for the crossbow or really strong slingshots 20mm lead just because steel balls of that weight are expensive as hell. Hope I could help you <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_wink.gif" alt="Wink" longdesc="15">
     
  12. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    Lead is toxic, but then again it does not dissolve into the environment. A lead ball will quickly accumulate a coat of oxide and then stay unchanged for a long long time. They still find lead balls from the 30 year war at the old battle fields!
     
  13. Karok01

    Karok01 New Member

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    <table width="90%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="0" border="0" align="center">
    <tr><td><span class="genmed"><b>CaptainBacon wrote:</b></span></td></tr>
    <tr><td class="quote">Because, I'm perfectly content with buying cheap marbles <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_lol.gif" alt="Laughing" longdesc="7">
    </td></tr>
    </table>
    <span class="postbody"><br><br>Don't tell me you're the one who bought all m marbels off ebay before I got into slingshots! (I'm hating myself right now...)</span>
     
  14. PDK73

    PDK73 New Member

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    Your ball mould got me thinking about an aluminum bar I've had in the scrap pile for years and so I cut it in half and had a try at making one. Here's a pic of the first test. I had to cut everything a little deeper (and fix some offsets resulting from lazy measuring). Its a pretty doable project if you have a drill press. I just used some round router bits I already had for the ball parts. Not as good as a production model but free:D <img src="http://i43.servimg.com/u/f43/17/23/13/33/102_3018.jpg" style="width: 800;height: 592" border="0">
     
  15. Alukuchen

    Alukuchen Senior Member

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    Wooow great job! how did you manage to get all those exactly lined up? I mean you had to measure damn precisely, and my router bit tended to move a little over the material bevore biting into it, how did you avoid that?
     
  16. PDK73

    PDK73 New Member

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    Thanks, its not as good close up as it looks from a distance. That being said if I hadn't rushed it would be almost perfect;) Here is the way to go to make one that doesn't need touching up. First, clamp up the two blocks and drill an alignment hole through each, insert snug pin/bolt and drill the second hole (now you can bolt them together). Measure along the top for the center of each ball and drill down to less than where you want the centre of each ball (use stop on drill press or tape on bit), use a small bit to mark the spot and keep the hole half in each block (something 1/8th inch or less). Now when you open the blocks should see lines for filling channels. Carefull measure and mark ball centres, use a centre punch (or sharp nail) to indent each center. Clamp a straight edge to drillpress table at a point that lines up the drill bit with the centre of the ball holes (if you have a drill vise or use a straight edge on each side even better). Now you can drill the pilot hole for each ball using a small drill bit. Work up a couple of sizes at a time with larger bits (this will remove alot of the material and keep the cutter on centre later). Stop a little smaller and a good deal shallower than you plan to cut with the round cutter. Now move the the round cutter and finish holes to depth/shape. Clamp up the blocks again and expand the fill channels and pouring area with a countersink bit (or larger drill bit). If any of this is not clear let me know. A pilot hole is always nessasay when drilling a precise hole in metal as small cutters don't tend to wander like large ones. The centre punch is the pilot hole for the first small drill bit. Hope this helps.
     
  17. Alukuchen

    Alukuchen Senior Member

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    Thank you very much, I will try that <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_biggrin.png" alt="Very Happy" longdesc="1"> i have although thought of a center hole, but i thought that the router bit wouldn't follow it anyway (since it has no guide at it's tip) and start to jerk if I take away material with a bit....
     
  18. blackdragon

    blackdragon New Member

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    <table width="90%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="0" border="0" align="center">
    <tr><td><span class="genmed"><b>Alukuchen1992 wrote:</b></span></td></tr>
    <tr><td class="quote">so I bought a cutter that cuts a 20mm dia negative hemisphere for 3€ on ebay </td></tr>
    </table>
    <span class="postbody"><br>can you give me a link to the ebay page for it or at least a name for the kind of drill bitit is, because I'm having a hard time finding what you're talking about.</span>
     
  19. Alukuchen

    Alukuchen Senior Member

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    <a href="http://www.ebay.de/itm/220935387607?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.de/itm/220935387607?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649</a> here you are
     
  20. blackdragon

    blackdragon New Member

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    thank you very much, fast reply <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_biggrin.png" alt="Very Happy" longdesc="1">