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Heritage FAQs

Answering your questions about sandcast lead

Our authentic sandcast lead combines some of the traditional manufacture methods with a bang up-to-date production environment. For example, we still use a casting table filled with sand, but we heat the lead in a huge kettle – only releasing the molten lead when it hits just the right temperature. We still rely on our craftsmen to ensure the perfect finish, but we also use computer technology to ensure our sandcast lead meets optimum quality standards.

So why do we still make sandcast lead? There’s a real need for it. Our sandcast lead is put to wonderful use on English Heritage and National Trust buildings as well as private homes. In each case, traditional sandcast lead is preferred for its appearance and authenticity.

Sandcasting is a fascinating process – and we’ll answer some of your questions about it here. But if you’ve got any more specific questions, then do please contact us or give us a call on +44 (0) 1283 224 555.

What’s the difference between machine cast and sandcast lead?

Midland Lead provides all three types of lead – sandcast, machine cast and rolled lead, giving you the chance to choose the perfect type of lead for your project.

But the main difference between sandcast and machine cast lead is the distinctive, slightly grainy texture of sandcast lead. This authentic finish – makes it the preferred material for heritage projects. Other than the looks, sandcast lead is more often used – and produced – in thicker codes. Our best-selling sandcast lead has a thickness of 3.15mm (code 7) or 3.55mm (code 8).

What is your sandcast delivery time?

As with all the lead we make, each and every batch of sandcast lead is made to order. Generally, you should allow around 10 days for a 5 tonne order.

For a more precise estimate –and to discuss your requirements in more detail – give us a call on +44 (0) 1283 224 555 and tell us the quantities of sandcast lead you need.

Can I use my old sandcast lead to make new sandcast lead?

You can. That’s one of the great advantages of using lead. You can take the old lead off your roof; we will recycle it and send it back to you in a replenished form – ready to be used again. So you are not only using any recycled lead, but the same lead in recycled form.

That is obviously a great mark for your green credentials, and it helps to maintain the authentic look of your building.

Do you stock sandcast lead?

We make batches of sandcast lead to order. So as soon as you know what code and quantity of sandcast lead you need, let us know. We are usually able to turn orders around quite quickly.

What are the sizes, codes and dimensions of sandcast lead

Sandcast lead begins at code 6 (2.65mm). We can also produce sandcast lead in codes 7 and 8.

What about code 9? We can produce code 9 sandcast lead, but it is a very specialised procedure. Give us a call on +44 (0)1283 224 555 and we’ll discuss your requirements with you in more detail.

Our sand bed is 7.4m long, but it’s best to not go longer than 6 meter in order to handle the lead. The commonest length requirement for sandcast lead is around 3.0m and under, with a typical width of around 1200mm – the size of the roof bay.

Where, when and why should I use sandcast lead?

Sandcast lead is suitable for any roofing application – just like machine cast lead or rolled lead. But it’s a more specialised product – it is effectively hand-made – and is used particularly on projects in the heritage sector.

Generally, the older a building is, the more likely it is that sandcast lead will be the best choice of roofing material. Sandcast lead has a slightly different look and texture to other lead products and it will suit the look of the building better.

The fact that we can recycle existing sandcast lead so that it can be put back on the roof is another big plus. It reduces your costs and maintains historical continuity.

But here’s a useful tip: talk to English Heritage first. See if they recommend you use sandcast lead or not. Because if they don’t, machine cast lead will do the job just as well – and will be a cheaper option for you too.

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