lead loading/body soldering how to
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  1. #1
    ready salted evilzee28's Avatar
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    lead loading/body soldering how to

    I posted this in the "garage section" as part of my "Evilzee28" build thread, but was asked to put it over here for those that might have missed it. So here goes;-

    I've had quite a few people ask how I did the lead loading on my Camaro, so here's a brief outline on how it's done.

    The front of the hood had some small holes in it. I could have cut out the rusted area & welded in new metal, but as it was on the front edge of the hood I decided to lead the repair instead. This cuts down on heat that could possibly distort the flat part of the hood & is an easier/quicker repair, as that area is also multiple skinned. Here's the procedure to lead load/body solder it.

    First off all of the paint was removed & the panel taken down to bare metal. I also sand blasted the area to remove any traces of rust left. The metal was then gently tapped down below the surface of the rest of the hood.





    Here are the items you'll need to carry out a lead/bodysolder repair. A blowtorch or oxy acetylene, brushable flux, a stick of solder, tallow (in the large tub, this is rubbed into the wooden paddles to prevent the solder sticking to it), wooden paddles to smooth the solder & a file to file the repair smooth afterwards.







    The area is then brushed with flux ( the dark grey in the pic). This is then warmed up with the torch until it flows molten & is then wiped off with a moleskin cloth or leather (workmens) glove to "tin" the repair. You need to wipe it until all of the grey has turned bright silver in appearance. Keeping it clean is important at this stage







    The area has now been "tinned" & ready for the lead/ body solder to be applied.







    Applying the body solder, the lead stick (not visible in this pic, not enough hands to hold it & take photo) is melted with the blowtorch & pushed down onto the tinned metal until it starts to flow onto the panel. Put enough on until it's just proud of the surface to be repaired








    As the lead is being pushed down onto the panel, you can smooth it out as you go. Dip your wooden paddle into some tallow, this stops the lead sticking to the paddle. You can then smooth the lead out as your applying it in a molten state to the panel. Spread the lead with the paddle just as you would if buttering some bread. The aim is to get it so's the lead is just proud of the panel & as smooth as possible to save time filing to shape afterwards. It goes without saying that if you don't put enough lead onto the panel you'll have low spots in the repair, which will need for you to repeat the procedure again. The down side of this is that as soon as you heat up the repair that you've done to add more lead, your original repair will start to go molten also destroying most of the work already done





    Here's what you're aiming for, the repair is just proud of the surface & is relatively smooth ready for filing.







    The repair is then filed to shape ready for etch/epoxy primer.







    The finished article. ready for priming.








    Once completed it's nescessary to make sure that all traces of flux have been removed from the repair or it will affect the repairs in the future. Wash the repair down liberaly with panel wipe/thinners & then some fresh soapy water & dry immediately.

    Hope that's dispelled some of the worries about lead loading/body soldering. It's really quite easy to do & I find it very therapeutic you can get kits that contain everything you need to do this from people like Frosts restoration equipment. A bit of time & patience & it's easily mastered. The beauty is that moisture cannot penetrate the repairs from behind. it only takes one pin hoile in a welded & filled repair & in time the moisture will get through the filler, this way it can't as all holes are filled with lead. Obviously it takes practice, especially on a vertical panel where the lead tries to fall off as it's being warmed up but it's do-able for the hobbyist.

    Cheers.....Nige
    Last edited by evilzee28; 23-11-2009 at 13:08.
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  3. #2
    MR UN-POPULAR sqweaka's Avatar
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    nice post nige alway wonderd how hard/easy lead loading would be.. you make it look nice and easy

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    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie
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    Good article

    I used lead on most of the body repairs to my old 50's bug.

    As you get mor confident in melting the lead you learn to flick it on to vertical panels because as you say it can be tricky and you watch the lead drop off onto the floor

    I used a catch tray when I started to collect the larger bits that fell off.

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    Official RnS Addict bigjob's Avatar
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    this is a handy tool i use/made when im leading,can you guess what its for??Bry
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    ready salted evilzee28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjob View Post

    this is a handy tool i use/made when im leading,can you guess what its for??Bry
    I'd say for re melting the lead you've saved from filing etc & making a new bar Do I win anything??
    cheers....Nige
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    Official RnS Addict bigjob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilzee28 View Post
    I'd say for re melting the lead you've saved from filing etc & making a new bar Do I win anything??
    cheers....Nige
    No you dont Nige,coz, youve' been round this block too long-like me !,but well done mateBry
    My Intro
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    Semi Proffessional Prat sidspop's Avatar
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    Just as a safety thing for anybody interested, always use a file, not a sander.
    Lead in the lungs is not nice!

  9. #8
    ready salted evilzee28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidspop View Post
    Just as a safety thing for anybody interested, always use a file, not a sander.
    Lead in the lungs is not nice!
    Thanks for that, I should have pointed that out DOH!!. cheers....Nige
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  10. #9
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    is there anywhere that i can buy a cheap kit with the things ill need to do some lead work? ive looked at that frosts place but its 40 or so for what is basically two lumps of wood, two sticks of lead and some flux.
    Last edited by mk3cortina; 07-12-2009 at 19:24.

  11. #10
    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie
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    Frost do a starter kit for 36, www.frost.co.uk

    that kit doesn't include a file and they sell them for 32

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