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lead casting

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  1. #1
    dave49 started this thread.
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    lead casting

    This is my first attempt to melt lead and cast some bullets for my 44 mag. I am trying to gain some knowledge in setting this up and I have a few questions. This one has to do with the actual melting pot. I am wondering if a person could generate enough heat from a cheap hot plate? I have seen some Lyman melting pots and maybe I should avoid problems with the hot plate and just purchase the electric lyman melting pot?

  2. #2
    NobleMetalWorks's Avatar
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    Lead has a melting point of about 621-622F degrees. It doesn't take much to melt lead.

    There are many different solutions, and they are so inexpensive that instead of attempting to melt on a hotplate, I would just purchase the right equipment for the job. Check out the ones for sale on ebay.

    Lead Melting Pot: Sporting Goods | eBay

    Here is a video on youtube that relates to exactly what it is you are wanting to do:

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  4. #3
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    I don't know if a hot plate will get hot enough, but we just always used a propane fish cooker and a cast iron pot (that we will no longer use for food). We were melting wheel weights to pour fishing leads.

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  6. #4
    parrothead's Avatar
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    You can also just use a torch. Depending on how much you want to melt. There are plenty of youtube videos showing people using coals, and torches. Propane or MAPP.

    I bought a melting pot like the one in the video though.
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  8. #5
    etack's Avatar
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    I've used a hot plate the type with the rings on the top like on a stove it melted pretty quick too

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  10. #6
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    save yourself a ton of money and buy an electric LEE pot, used on Ebay, or from craig's list. Join the castboolit forums, too. I've melted lead on a gas kitchen stove or an old hotplate, but it took many minutes. if you reload, dont waste money on a lyman or rcbs sizer luber, either. get a hand sizing die from Lee for use in your reloading press. Primers are very hard to find right now, you know. :-) no point in casting if you aint got the other components. Use Lee Liquid alox lube, just roll the bullets around in it. Get your press and dies from Ebay, used, Lee's. In fact, it's well worth the money to get a used lee PROGRESSIVE loader, 700 bullets per hour, instead of 150 per hour with a single station press.

    small one at a time reload/casting tools are worth almost nothing for resale, used. Dont tie up $300 in a single sttion press, dies, and powder measure and scale, man. you can find the progressive, used, for $150, quite often. Ditto the silly 1-2 cavity molds. brand new, 6 cavity molds from lee are $80, with the handles. used, on ebay, $40. j A star Sizer luber will process 2000 bullets per hours, the lyman, rcbs, etc, 700 bullets per hour. So if you are going to spent more than a very little, get set up to do it right, your time IS worth something. there's no license or liability to selling cast bullets. it's not ammo. it's just hunks of lead.
    Last edited by janno; 08-12-2013 at 11:12 PM.

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  12. #7
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    I use a single burner propane fryer that I got from Cabelas about $60, and a 12" dutch oven that I got from Harbor Freight for around $30. The dutch oven will hold a lot of lead at least 80lbs. I think lead melts around 700 degrees, and zinc melts around 775, so you want to have a thermometer in your melt to make sure you don't get it too hot. I will probably add something for a collar to help shield the flames from wind.

    I was able to melt down about 200lbs in 3 hours, and that includes fluxing each pot full of melted lead 3 times with dry sawdust. You will want a good ladle for pouring into your molds. Rowell makes some nice ones.

    With mostly clip-on wheel weights (COWW's) and a very few stick-ons, I had about 20% waste with the clips. (About 40lbs in bucket below)

    You do not want to melt the lead wheel weights in your casting furnace, as it is just too messy and time consuming, especially with a small opening like a Lee 10lb pot. Melting and fluxing larger batches of your lead first, makes it so much easier when it comes time to cast just to put clean ingots into your lead furnace.
    Last edited by novalty; 12-23-2013 at 09:32 AM.

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