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#7168089 - 12/11/12 What kind of pot?
RickinTN Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/30/10
Posts: 573
Loc: Middle Tennessee
I've been looking for a pot that will hold somewhere in the 50 to 70lb range for melting wheel weights and alloying. I think I know that a large cast-iron would be best, but having trouble finding one. I've found several of the teflon coat "no stick" pots but was not certain if this would work. I've also found several aluminum and stainless pots. I did buy a quality stainless pot with about a 25lb capacity but haven't used it. Is there a problem using a "no stick" pot (will it contaminate the alloy?) and is an aluminum pot OK to use?
Thanks for the help,
Rick

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#7168663 - 12/11/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: RickinTN]
Twinkletoes Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Prince of Wales Is., Ak
Well now, Rick, ifn ya ain't afraid of MaMa breakin' your plate, and therefore barrin' ya from ever eatin' at her table again, ya could allways try usein' her Wagner or Henderson, cast iron Dutch Oven!
Twink

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#7169047 - 12/11/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: RickinTN]
MColeman Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/15/04
Posts: 13250
Loc: Greenville, AL
You can buy a brand new cast iron Dutch oven cheaper than you can buy a small electric pot. Why not just go with one of those?

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#7169234 - 12/11/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: MColeman]
blammer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 9508
Loc: Asheville, NC
don't use the teflon, it will come off and you'll have a mess.
stay away from alum pots as they WILL fail and then you'll have a big mess.

stainless, may be ok. hold off get a small cast iron pot.

you'll need a LOT and I mean a LOT of heat if you are expecting to melt 40lbs of alloy or more at once. a one or two quart cast iron will do nicely. Something with a lid works better. smile

Make sure where ever you set up is sturdy enough to handle it. Meaning it won't sudddenly or slowly tip over. I would also advise you to get gloves, apron, goggles and a good dipper oh yea, and something to scrap the slag off the top and an old metal coffee can to put it. Collect as many ingot moulds as you can, once the lead is poured and sets up it's still 400 degrees hot. You'll not likely be handling them any time soon. An old sheet of plywood is a good place to dump the hot ingots so you can refill your moulds. You're not going to muscle a 40lb pot of lead at 600 degrees to pour into one pound ingots without disaster.


Edited by blammer (12/11/12)
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#7169648 - 12/11/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: blammer]
RickinTN Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/30/10
Posts: 573
Loc: Middle Tennessee
Thanks Mickey and Blammer.
I was thinking the same about the teflon, and am afraid of the aluminum. I do have a turkey fryer for the heat source so I'm thinking I would be good there. I think I've already realized that mixing alloys in 8 to 10 pound batches will play heck with my consistency, and want to do that in 50 or so pound batches. I do have a Lodge dutch oven that I reserve for gumbo and chili and such but just can't bring myself to use it for lead.

Thanks again guys, and the obsession continues!
Rick

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#7169756 - 12/11/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: MColeman]
FlyboyFlem Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 9286
Loc: Nebraska
Here's my setup.I use the turkey fryer propane base and a cast iron 8" pot with handle for mixing alloy into ingots.Then a stainless dipper for pouring.Works quite well and the heat is way easier to control than the electric pot I used to have.Most of my molds are 4 and 6 cavity that's the reason for the big dipper.

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#7170232 - 12/11/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: FlyboyFlem]
Otter Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 10/14/06
Posts: 3264
Loc: NW Arkansas
That's essentially the same setup I use, Woody, for the first round of "cleaning/rendering" all the lead I glean from wherever I find it. I still use an electric pot and dipper when actually casting my bullets.

The biggest problem I have with using a cast iron sauce pan is that it very heavy to try to pick up one-handed, so I usually don't. I ain't near as strong as I used to be grin, so I dip from the pan and dump in the ingot mold . . . The ingots go into storage or into the electric pot and dip to the mold.
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#7170700 - 12/11/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: Otter]
gnoahhh Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 8717
Loc: Annapolis, Md.
The biggest pot I ever used to melt lead was an old cast iron claw foot bathtub. Of course, it was to melt about 3000 pounds for a sailboat keel in an in-ground sand cast mold. Heat was via a half dozen oil burners scavenged out of old furnaces. It got pretty exciting when I opened the valve and the lead poured out through the 2" galvanized pipe. It only took about 30 seconds for the bathtub to empty! Whoo boy! (The biggest hassle was yanking that big slug up out of the ground after it had cooled.)
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#7170743 - 12/11/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: gnoahhh]
blammer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 9508
Loc: Asheville, NC
I would not worry about lot to lot inconsistency in your lead. It will be close enough each time if you do the same things each time, as far as what you toss in the pot for alloy.

I have who knows how many "different" lots of lead. They all work the same for me so far.
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Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

When your ship comes in. ... make sure you are willing to unload it.

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#7173682 - 12/12/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: blammer]
gnoahhh Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 8717
Loc: Annapolis, Md.
Yes, sometimes I think we get overly anal about our alloys. I can't tell you how often I witnessed guys going nuts with accuracy or leading problems and who were fixated on tweaking their alloys to correct them when the faults lay with more prosaic issues.
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#7173738 - 12/12/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: gnoahhh]
DGarfield Offline
Member

Registered: 08/31/03
Posts: 37
Loc: vt.
I have been casting for clse to 50yrs. I have never used anything but wheel weights, and once in awhile I put a little lead pipe I have in.
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Dwayne Garfield

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#7173755 - 12/12/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: DGarfield]
DGarfield Offline
Member

Registered: 08/31/03
Posts: 37
Loc: vt.
Hit the wrong button. I have never had any problem with leading, I shoot 38spl, 357 mag, 45-70 and load max loads and can shot 50 to 100 rounds before cleaning. How come you people are having so much trouble with your lead.
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Dwayne Garfield

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#7173787 - 12/12/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: DGarfield]
DGarfield Offline
Member

Registered: 08/31/03
Posts: 37
Loc: vt.
I use a coleman two burner stove, and run high test gas in it.
My lead pot is at least 100yrs old and the ladel to, they beloned to my wifes grandfather. Most of my molds are Lyman, I use a new Lyman sizer and lubber.
Most of the people I see on here whan to make a magnum out of the old calibers, they were not desighned to shoot 2000 fps.
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Dwayne Garfield

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#7175468 - 12/12/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: DGarfield]
PMC Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 831
Loc: Nashville, TN
Harbor Freight Cast Iron Dutch Oven
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#7175681 - 12/13/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: PMC]
RickinTN Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/30/10
Posts: 573
Loc: Middle Tennessee
Originally Posted By: PMC
Harbor Freight Cast Iron Dutch Oven


Thanks for the tip neighbor, I haven't thought of them. I'm in Franklin.
Take care,
Rick

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#7175690 - 12/13/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: MColeman]
Spotshooter Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/10/03
Posts: 11682
Originally Posted By: MColeman
You can buy a brand new cast iron Dutch oven cheaper than you can buy a small electric pot. Why not just go with one of those?


+1
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Spot shooter

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#7212424 - 12/21/12 Re: What kind of pot? [Re: RickinTN]
antelope_sniper Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 11/29/11
Posts: 9293
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: RickinTN
Originally Posted By: PMC
Harbor Freight Cast Iron Dutch Oven


Thanks for the tip neighbor, I haven't thought of them. I'm in Franklin.
Take care,
Rick


And while you are there get a pair of their Welding gloves, and one of their IR themometers.
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Go quiet or full tilt, just don't get caught in the middle of the stupids. DD

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