How to Make Lead SCUBA Weights

Written by regina edwards
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Weights are required for scuba diving to enable divers to descend underwater. While necessary, weights can be expensive to purchase. Industrious divers can construct their own soft pouches containing lead weight. Shot lead is easier to obtain from gun ranges or suppliers and is easier to prepare than scrap lead, which needs to be melted and poured into a mould. Porous but sturdy fabric such as nylon flag fabric is available at many craft and hobby stores, along with the basic supplies. Lead pouches can be customised to fit a diver's weight system or diving style.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Nylon flag fabric
  • Scissors
  • Nylon thread
  • Needle
  • 8# lead shot
  • Plastic container
  • Scale
  • Optional: sewing pins, ruler, latex gloves

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  1. 1

    Lay the nylon flag fabric on a flat surface and fold it in thirds to create three layers. If desired, pin the layers together.

  2. 2

    Cut the three layered fabric into wide strips for pouches.

  3. 3

    Fold a wide strip of layered fabric in half to create a rectangle or square.

  4. 4

    Hold the fabric rectangle with the folded end down.

  5. 5

    Sew the two open sides securely, making sure that all layers are sewn together.

  6. 6

    Insert your hand into the top opening and pull the folded end out, to invert the pouch (with sewn sides on the inside).

  7. 7

    Place the plastic container on the scale and reset the weight to zero.

  8. 8

    Add lead shot to the container until the desired weight is reached.

  9. 9

    Dispense the lead shot into the pouch.

  10. 10

    Roll the open end of the pouch to just above the top of the lead contents and sew the rolled fold securely with at least two rows of seams.

Tips and warnings

  • Use 8# or 6# lead shot which is large enough that it will not spill out of a pouch easily.
  • Construct weight pouches that will fit easily into your weight system.
  • Mark each pouch with the amount of weight and your name for easy identification.
  • Be careful when handling lead shot by using latex gloves.

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