Do not waste your Fired Air-Gun Pellets: Make Statues at Home from used Lead Pellets
Making Statues from Air Gun Pellets
People often discourage reuse of lead pellets, even if they seem to be in good condition, as it may potentially damage the barrel of the rifle. So, often shooters forget about the pellet once it hits the target. Instead of throwing these pellets arbitrarily, one may use that for something very creative and beautiful. I made a small statue for my son from the used air-gun pellets.
We regularly shoot around 50-60 lead pellets with our .22 IHP 35 air-rifle. Over time the aim got better and we currently use a target as small as 45 millimeters for indoor shooting practice. In order to facilitate easy collection of used pellets, I designed my own pellet trap.
I gathered the used pellets over a period of a month, melted those in a home made furnace and made a statue with the help of an easy to make earthen mold.
How to use Waste Air-gun Pellets after Shooting
The Statue I made from lead
What all you need?
1. A heap of soil to make the mold
2. Any master statue that you want to make
3. A small but thick iron container to melt the lead pieces
4. An oven or any kind of fireplace to melt the lead
5. Miscellaneous equipments such as forceps to hold the container, fuel for the furnace, oil for making the mold and so on
Process of Making a Statue from Air Gun Pellets
I followed these step by step process to make my statue
(1) Preparing the Mold
I live on the sixth floor of a house and therefore I had to undertake all these activities in my balcony only. I collected around 2 Kilograms of sticky soil from the roadside heap, soaked it with water for some time and cleaned all the pebbles, stones and other hard particles for making it smooth. As you may see in the picture, after preparing the soil I gathered that in a small heap like structure. Then I took the small plastic GANESHA paperweight from my son's study table and lubed it well with oil (I used coconut oil as that was readily available. You may use any oil that is smooth). After oiling the master statue, I gently pressed the statue on the heap of soil in order to have the impression of the statue correctly. After ensuring that the impression has been created with semi solid soil, I removed the master statue and left the mold settle gradually. Please remember that pressing the statue too hard may deform the impression so be smooth and cautious.
(2) Melting the Lead Pellets
This is one of the most important step where we have to be very cautious and careful. Lead is a poisonous substance. In a sense, inhalation of lead fumes from the melting container can be dangerous. Again, the melting point of lead at around 300 degree centigrades can cause severe burn and injury in the event of accidents.
I took a container made of thick iron. In fact, it was an iron spice hammer container lying unused in my kitchen. I put all the used pellets in it and melted the lead by putting the container inside a charcoal furnace made at home. In a few minutes, I had all the pellets melted and the dirts floating on the top of the liquid lead.
(3) Molding the statue
This is the final stage. One needs to be very careful while holding the container by the forceps and pour the melted lead in a container. I have little experience in smelting and forging. But it was not difficult. But since I did not let the mold dry, the moment I poured the lead, it started boiling in contact of wet soil. It was dangerous. I shall be more careful in future while doing it again. Again, do not pour all the melted lead at one place or very quickly. It may deform the statue. Gently pour the container filled with melted lead on the mold and try to achieve an equal spread. It does not take much time to solidify. Lift the statue with the forceps and put it in water to cool the statue. In the picture, I have kept both the master statue made of plastic and my own forged statue alongside on my son's study table. Soon I shall fix it on the wall so that my son does not touch it often.
You may observe the following precautions while undertaking this activity
(1) Always wear gloves while undertaking forging activities no matter how careful you are.
(2) Never inhale the gas coming out of the lead while being melted.
(3) Since you are dealing with fire, take all care you may need to take
(4) Do not engage children as your assistants
(5) Do things carefully and patiently. Do not be in a hurry