Lead Welding Guide

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Welding lead is very similar to the process of welding other types of metals. One main difference is no flux is needed with lead welding.

Besides gas welding, other processes are not widely used.

You can identify lead by an unfinished surface’s color (white to gray), the color of a surface that has been freshly filed (white), and the structure of a surface that has been recently fractured (crystalline, light gray).

Gases That Are Used In Lead Welding

Lead welding commonly uses the following three combinations of gases:

  • Oxygen-natural gas
  • Oxyhydrogen
  • Oxyacetylene

The oxyhydrogen and oxyacetylene processes work for all positions. Overhead welding does not use oxygen-natural gas.

Normally a low gas pressure that ranges from 1-1/2 to 5 psi (or 10.3 to 34.5 kPa) is used, depending on the kind of weld that is being made.

Lead Welding Torch

Welding torches are fairly small.

The flammable gas and oxygen valves are on the forward part of the handle. This makes it easy to adjust them by using the thumb of your holding hand.

The drill size of the torch tip ranges from 78 up to 58.

Bigger tips are used for heavier lead and smaller tips are used with 6 pound (2.7 kg) lead.

Welding Rods

Your filler rods should have the same composition that the lead does that you are welding.

The diameters of these rods range from 1/8 up to 3/5 inches (or 3.2 to 19.1 mm)

Bigger sizes are used for heavier lead and smaller sizes for lightweight lead.

You can check out our welding rod guide here.

Types Of Joints

With this kind of welding, the most commonly used joints are edge, lap, and butt joints. With flat position welding, either the lap or butt joint is used.

  • With overhead and vertical position welling, lap joints are used.
  • Flange and edge joints are only used in special situations.


  • Your flame needs to be neutral.
  • Reducing flames leave soot on your joint.
  • Oxidizing flames impair fusion and leave oxides on molten lead.
  • When welding in the horizontal position, the most desirable type of flame is a bushy, soft one.
  • Usually, more pointed flames are used in the overhead and vertical positions.

The flame controls the flow of the molten lead. Normally this is done by using a V-shaped or semicircular motion. That accounts for the lead weld having a herringbone appear.

The direction of your weld will depend on the weld’s position and the kind of joint you have.

  • Vertical position: On the bottom part of the joint, lap joints are begun. Usually, a welding rod isn’t used.
  • Flat position: It is preferable to use lap joints. Move your torch in a semicular path in the direction of the lap and then away from it. Also, filler meal is used except on the initial pass.
  • Overhead position: Welding is hard. A sharp flame and lap joint are used. The welding operation needs to be quickly completed and the molten beads need to be small.

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