Vintage Scuba: Home Made Scuba Weights – S03E02

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Today’s divers use lead weights that are environmentally sealed for safety. Alec explains why back in the early days, divers had to make their own lead weights and how the lead was moulded into different shapes and sizes.

*** In this episode of Vintage Scuba ***
– where the lead came from
– how lead was prepared and melted
– Alec’s home made wooden moulds
– moulding tools, shapes and weights

***** Alec Peirce Scuba *****

SCUBA TECH TIPS playlists
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▶︎ SEA HUNT COLLECTOR website:

Rating: 4.88

24 Comments
  1. Tyler Miller says

    Good God Kevin! Answer the man!

  2. Khalid Alaudin says

    Buying lead weights from our local dive store isn't cheap. Making your own weights is surely much cheaper. Tq for sharing.

  3. Sammy P. says

    We still make our own weights 😀

  4. Steve Austin says

    Most dive shops in New zealand still sell raw lead weights and at $12 a kg they're not cheap either!

  5. diver dave says

    my father use to pick up the lead weights that fell of car tires and he melted them down and he made me the lead weights for my SCUBA weight belt ! He also got them from the mechanic at the gas station ! I'll bet he made 100 lead weights and I sold them to the dive shop . I still use the weight belt on every dive in the last 40 years . I don't like the integrated weights that fit into a BC

  6. Luis Izquierdo says

    this is so fascinating… really enjoy this unknown history before it's erased completely from all history.

  7. Bogy 1 Kinoby says

    Hi Alec, I have an old weight belt at home which my dad found the other day. When I'm back home, I can send you pictures if you want?

  8. troop1026 says

    Cowboy action shooting clubs have all there shooter shoot lead. They might let you clean up lead at the range for free. I still have some exposed lead weight belts. Plastic dip or tool dip are great ideas. Keep them coming Alec.

  9. Cody Koh says

    Can you do your next video on normal regulators vs full face mask with regulators integrated into it

  10. David S says

    I have done a bit of work with raw lead and use Plasti-Dip to coat the lead when I am through. It seems to hold up pretty well and is easily available at the big box home centers.  I do not know how well it really seals, but it makes me feel better. For that matter, I do not know if the plastic coating on dive weights are to keep the lead from leaching into the water or just reduce direct skin contact either. I think any barrier will help reduce contamination/contact. Lots of colors to chose from also. Plasti-Dip may save some old dive/fishing weights for just a few Canadian dollars, Eh?

  11. Richard Currin says

    Your videos are interesting and fun. Thank you for sharing

  12. Jeff Lane says

    in wisconsin you cant get lead from tireshops they all have to recycle
    but you can go to a foundry and buy some for scrap prices

  13. Tom Knudsen says

    Hi Alec, very int episode. Sadly my 5 star dive center still sells ledweights, all led weights on my belt too.. Anyway, will change them soon when I can afford them, pretty expencive. PS I cannot find an episode on dive lights, how about one?

  14. Ryan Conrad says

    Love hearing your stories about how things were done in the past. You have a talent at telling a story. Have you ever considered writing a book, short stories or even campfire chat videos of your diving adventures? I have to imagine you've got some great stories over the years.

  15. Tom Sinel says

    Well well this takes me back… to 1978 when I first met you. You worked for a shop in Scarborough and were trying to sell me weights, which no doubt were made in the back of that shop! We did do business and I have enjoyed your knowledge and friendship since that time. I am enjoying these videos very much, and I hope you don't mind if I comment from time to time! Keep up the good work my friend! Tom

  16. KlixTrio says

    Good video but I think you mixed up your words at 10:30. Steel has a much higher melting point 🙂

  17. Jared Lund says

    I made my own weights. local scrap yard has lead for $1 a pound. I found a large cupcake tin at Wal-Mart for $3 and melted the lead at home and poured it into the cupcake tin while it was on a digital scale to get the right weight. they fit perfect in my weight integrated pouches. a little plasti dip and there ready to rock and roll

  18. Kevin Ellis says

    Alec
    Boy did that take me back I learned to dive in the military I joined as a boy solider 16 in the Hussars gunner on a chieftain tank.
    We had to make our own weights. If you were lucky you could go after machine gun practice and dig in the target butts for the bullet heads. If you were very lucky you would find somebody's with good steady hands on the gpmg and find a good pile in a small area. If not it was a lot of digging and sieving to find your bucket of bullets to melt down for your weights. Thank you for the videos. Kevin

  19. Rameshwar Prasad says

    Hi Alec, Thanks for your videos. I would like to share that out here in India we still make our weights the way you mentioned in the video. We get our lead from fishing weights and from tyre shops as you mentioned.

  20. haha. last week we made about 50 kg of weights by usinv our molds 🙂 main issue in this process is the lead fumes during melting and you really have to work on the created weights with a file…

  21. Miguel Gerov says

    Alec, great video. I have several of the molds you have, that I got from Ebay, just for the he k of having them . Fun stuff to talk about. Thank you.

  22. Joshua Wade says

    Alec, along the same lines as vintage scuba, I've noticed on Sea Hunt that the divers use three different tank setups, a single tank, double, and tripple. I was just curious which held the most air and if there were other advantages to each set up. Thanks for the video and info.

  23. Arron McKeown says

    Alec, I can't thank you enough for your videos. I've been a certified diver since 1998, but due to life I haven't been diving for a while. Since watching your YouTube videos I've learnt so much more. I learn everything I can. I think a person can never learn to much. Anyway you have renewed my love for all things scuba. My wife has even expressed interest in getting certified. Once again thank you so much for your years of wisdom and insight. Please keep up the good work.

  24. Jacob Fay says

    Excellent, interesting videos keep them coming :-). You ever thought about writing a book? 😉 thank you Alec and Kevin.

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