Mississippi Gun Owners banner

21 - 40 of 87 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,816 Posts
Been trying to find my "notes" I did on my @phillipd ingot mold. All I can really pass on is that the first day I tried, I wasn't getting the mold hot enough (that metal is THICK). The second time I tried, I just couldn't get my shitake together. Figured I better put it up before I had a real accident. I still melt (smelt?) my lead in a cast iron pot on top of a propane base for a smoker and ladle it into the molds. I believe that was part of the reason I was having issues with the ingots not dropping out easily (mold not hot enough, lead cooling off too quickly). When I was able to get the mold hot enough and just pour a couple ladleful's, they dropped out just fine. I will say this, the quality is pretty damn good. The handle never got hot enough to bother me, even after leaving the mold in the lead to keep it hot. Don't remember what the ingots weighed out at.

Hopefully I can get back out there and make some more soon.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,405 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I’ve got 3,000 of range lead I’ve got to get cleaned over the summer. Then when it cools off I’ll get to smelting. Got three burners with Dutch ovens holding 50 - 70 lbs each. So might get it done over two days on a weekend. The guy I’m getting from said the fastest and easiest way to clean it is a concrete mixer. He’s got a cheap harbor freight he would let me use but the motor is burned out. So, got to come up with another method.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,003 Posts
I guess I’m alone in just being happy to turn scrap lead into something useable and storable. Looks are secondary till the lead hits a bullet mold.
Now I do see the purpose in wanting something longer to help ease it into the melt of a furnace.......but,I’ve had little need for any of the extra length. That’s going from cast iron bread stick pan and corn bread sticks,to Lee/RCBS ingots. I’ve just laid them on the rim of the pot,sorta pre-heating them......and slide them in as needed. No real splash

As for tongs......needle nose pliers are cheap enough and having multiple uses.
 

·
Gatekeeper to my corner of Hell.
Joined
·
21,851 Posts
I guess I’m alone in just being happy to turn scrap lead into something useable and storable. Looks are secondary till the lead hits a bullet mold.
Now I do see the purpose in wanting something longer to help ease it into the melt of a furnace.......but,I’ve had little need for any of the extra length. That’s going from cast iron bread stick pan and corn bread sticks,to Lee/RCBS ingots. I’ve just laid them on the rim of the pot,sorta pre-heating them......and slide them in as needed. No real splash

As for tongs......needle nose pliers are cheap enough and having multiple uses.
261586
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,405 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I guess I’m alone in just being happy to turn scrap lead into something useable and storable. Looks are secondary till the lead hits a bullet mold.
Now I do see the purpose in wanting something longer to help ease it into the melt of a furnace.......but,I’ve had little need for any of the extra length. That’s going from cast iron bread stick pan and corn bread sticks,to Lee/RCBS ingots. I’ve just laid them on the rim of the pot,sorta pre-heating them......and slide them in as needed. No real splash

As for tongs......needle nose pliers are cheap enough and having multiple uses.
What length are the ingots from yours?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,003 Posts
I’ve got 3,000 of range lead I’ve got to get cleaned over the summer. Then when it cools off I’ll get to smelting. Got three burners with Dutch ovens holding 50 - 70 lbs each. So might get it done over two days on a weekend. The guy I’m getting from said the fastest and easiest way to clean it is a concrete mixer. He’s got a cheap harbor freight he would let me use but the motor is burned out. So, got to come up with another method.
Wait a minute.......doesn’t dirt (and other pieces) float? Why clean what heat will take care of?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,028 Posts
Wouldn’t washing it all yield clean rocks with wet lead or water in hollow spots in a ripped jacket?
They also can be explodey 😂
You let them dry spread out long time. Moisture is always a danger if you dump it into a heated pot.

In theory, sure, you could take a big witches cauldron over a gas burner out to the range backstop and shovel lead laden dirt into the (unheated) cauldron, turn on the burner, and back off a ways for a long time. Still a risk with the rocks even after a while in the pot. And a lot of dross to shovel off the top.

Rocks/stones/pebbles do float or explode. The problem with rocks/stones/pebbles is that they tend to retain some moisture internally and can explode even if everything else is dry.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,003 Posts
You let them dry spread out long time. Moisture is always a danger if you dump it into a heated pot.

In theory, sure, you could take a big witches cauldron over a gas burner out to the range backstop and shovel lead laden dirt into the (unheated) cauldron, turn on the burner, and back off a ways for a long time. Still a risk with the rocks even after a while in the pot. And a lot of dross to shovel off the top.

Rocks/stones/pebbles do float or explode. The problem with rocks/stones/pebbles is that they tend to retain some moisture internally and can explode even if everything else is dry.
Just seems counter intuitive to wash lead/scrap range pickup. Any rocks would surely be picked out as you dump in. Works for me anyhow.

I’ve had lead pop on me due to water and I’m certainly familiar with rocks popping. An acetylene torch is unforgiving on cement and rocks that haven’t seen any significant moisture in years.

I’m not trying to bust anyone’s balls on this,it just seems like a waste of time to do the same thing a sifting screen and a pair of hands can do without the water and concrete mixer. Yeah I know.....3000# and all that,but that’s 3000# with another step and even more time spent with extra doubt bred in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,028 Posts
Dirty (especially cast/lead) bullets are harder to distinguish from rocks. IME you'll still miss some rocks/stones/pebbles and end up with a few (even if you'd swear you've gotten then all). A friend and I used to "mine" a backstop many years ago for lead.

My procedure with ("cleaned" and "dried", usually hosed off, spread out, and left in the Sun for several days) range pickups was to put a bunch in a cold pot out in the back yard (Lee electric pot with an extension cord), load it with "cleaned" range pickup, turn on the pot, and back off for a while to let it melt. Stlll get jackets, dirt, and pebbles/stones floating to the top. Wore a leather apron, leather gloves, and face shield. Skimmed off the floating dross, fluxed, etc. Lots of better ways to do larger quantities, but that's what I used to do with what I had at that time. You get some interesting smells off a lead pot sometimes, and I always assumed those may not indicate good things, so I'd back off and do initial melts out in the yard, with all of the outdoors as ventilation, well away from anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,388 Posts
The berm I got scrap from was clay with rocks. The clay would get hard in a pot and explode. I added water to the buckets of clay and use a mortar mixing paddle in a half inch drill to make soup. Half inch hardware cloth would catch large bullets and rocks. Quarter inch hardware cloth for medium size bullets and rocks. Eighth inch hardware cloth for small bullets. Pour the catch into a bucket to rinse and pour back onto the screens and sort out rocks. Take the soup back and pour down the berm.
 
21 - 40 of 87 Posts
Top