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Thread: Lead keel primer

  1. #1
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    Default Lead keel primer

    Does anyone have thoughts on what primer to use on the lead ballast keel for the Biscayne Bay 14 I am building? The boat will live on a trailer, and I plan to use enamel for a finish coat as a result. Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    I don't see why any decent automotive (i.e. metal) enamel primer wouldn't work. Rustoleum products should be completely compatible and readily available in California, where decent oil based paint is difficult to come by due to environmental restrictions.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Rustoleum primer is what I used on my exposed lead keel. I painted with Petit ablative bottom paint with no issues.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Thanks for the suggestions. My brother in law happens to work for Rustoleum, I’ll see what he has to say.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Several coats of epoxy paint (Interprotect, etc) works best. It can be sanded to produce a fair, smooth surface. Paint your chosen finish (antifoul, enamel, etc) over it.
    To ensure good adhesion, sand the lead bright immediately before painting. (The West System book has a section on this and painting lead keels.)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Quote Originally Posted by Corella View Post
    To ensure good adhesion, sand the lead bright immediately before painting.
    With respect, I can't imagine this is a good practice for someone building a boat in a home shared with children.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Thanks all. I had forgotten about the West book comments, which also suggest applying neat epoxy and abrading with a wire brush after application. I do have kids and I value my health and not turning my property into a remediation site, so I lean pretty heavily to any methods that avoid creating lead dust. Hopefully the casting will come out decent.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Where are you casting? Any chance you can sand bright, add the InterProtect while it's still bright and outside, and then bring the now sealed lead inside?
    Heute ist so ein schöne Tag...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Z. View Post
    Where are you casting? Any chance you can sand bright, add the InterProtect while it's still bright and outside, and then bring the now sealed lead inside?
    I'll be casting and most likely working on this in the driveway in front of my garage. It's old concrete with cracks and nooks and crannies, so I'd need, at a minimum, some sort of barrier like thick plastic sheeting to contain dust -- which then needs to be disposed of. Even if I move it in the garage, it's an old garage with a wood floor that is also my workshop, so I'd need to line it with plastic to prevent contamination. I plan to stick to edged tools for any final shaping that's needed.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Quote Originally Posted by nrs5000 View Post
    Thanks all. I had forgotten about the West book comments, which also suggest applying neat epoxy and abrading with a wire brush after application. I do have kids and I value my health and not turning my property into a remediation site, so I lean pretty heavily to any methods that avoid creating lead dust. Hopefully the casting will come out decent.
    Wet-sand with e.g.IPA to avoid sanding dust; its just to get a bright surface, not to fair the lead. That's better done with epoxy filler. If the surface isn't bright, adhesion will suffer.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Makes sense. Some thoughts:

    We sanding will help contain the dust. You will need a bright base to ensure adhesion.

    If you collect the dust on a tarp, you can then collect it and re-melt it into an ingot. Lots of use for ingots. I'm looking for about 25 to 30 pounds to make more drafting ducks...

    Any dust less than that could be collected in a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Any dust less than that? Where do we get lead from again?
    Heute ist so ein schöne Tag...

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Thanks all, these are very helpful considerations.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Perhaps it would be worth it to take it to a sandblaster who is already set up to deal with noxious dusts.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lead keel primer

    Thanks Gib, that’s a great idea.

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