I am going to start making my own jigs, and am a little concerned after doing more research about lead. The internet makes it sound like this stuff is gonna kill me lol. I'm going to be pouring the jigs outside, so do I really need a respirator?
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Assuming you are melting your own lead....controlling the temperature is very important..Lead fumes at around 800-850- degrees (lead oxide)...lead melts around 650-700 or lower if it has other metals added (tin/vanadium/Zinc) ...if you skim or dross the lead pot it will release microscopic lead particles..so stay upwind when doing this (fan blowing behind you). Put the dross in a container you can cover to contain it (old can )Unless you are pouring for an extended period of time I wouldnt think you would need a respirator especially if you dont get the lead too hot. However the dust that you create from drossing etc will contaminate the surfaces around where you work, lead is an accumulative poison that will build up in your body thru either inhalation or ingestion. Do not smoke after handling or pouring lead..wash our hands and face after working or pouring with lead...and clean the surfaces where the lead is used (wet cleaning is the best) and you should be good. Feel free to ask any other questions you might have.