View Full Version : dirty pot

08-27-2005, 11:35 AM
Hi all I am new here so I may ask this wrong. so here goes. when I am making boolits the flow of lead slows real bad. so I drain my pot and there is a lot of gunk in it. I scrub the pot and clean the hole good and every thing is ok but after about 500 boolits it starts over again. so do you empty the pot after each use and clean it ? if I do that It works ok. should I coat the inside of the pot with lube or something to keep it in good condition? I mold for my 50/70 38/55 savage and 58 cal muzzleloader. Thanks all Katie, :smile:

08-27-2005, 11:52 AM
Katie, since we don't know how you prepare your lead, whether you flux, etc, let me just tell you how I keep my pot clean. I haven't completely emptied it or cleaned it for several years now.

I melt wheelweights on a propane burner and large steel pot outside. I use Marlalux to flux it. I skim off all the ugly stuff that floats to the top, then ladel the molten lead into muffin tins. So, I now have pretty clean lead.

I don't use Marlalux in my casting pot. It seems to leave a residue.

In my Lee bottom pour pot, I cover the melt with about 1/2" of kitty litter (the cheapest non-perfumed kind I can buy). When I add to the melt, I lay the ingots on top of the kitty litter so it melts through the layer, and then stir the melt well and let it come back up to temperature, then resume casting. Since I started using the kitty litter, I've never had cause to clean the pot. No plugged up spouts or worse than normal drips.

Oh yeah -- change the kittly litter after the pot cools.

08-28-2005, 03:15 AM
.............Katie first of all, welcome to the board. Like Grumble says, ALL rendering of lead should be done elsewhere then in the post you cast boolits from. That should get clean lead ONLY.

Un-like Grumble, I find that I have to clean my Lee 20lb pot after several loads have gone thorugh. Maybe 6-8 or so. Although almost everything we commonly come into contact with is lighter then lead, and SHOULD float on the top after fluxing to be skimmed off, taint always so. At least in my experience, but I haven't used kitty litter as a barrier over the melt.

When I have had to clean the pot and have had it drained down I've always come across a small quantity of black powder or tiny grains. Even though it is light enough to float it is also so light as to get trapped between the lead and the wall, or floor of the pot. The flow of lead out of the pot through the valve can drag some of this crud along and it can find it's way to the valve seat to keep it from sealing. Or at least something does.

You can take a paperclip and after straightening out a section, make a 90* bend in it as a spout reamer. Open the valve, and with lead flowing into a ingot mould jam the paper clip up into the spout and wiggle it around. This should keep you casting awile longer.

I have seen the same thing (the black powdery crud, and actual dirt) when rendering down WW's and scrap. I have a 6 qt cast iron pot on a propane fired burner. Once all the heavy duty junk like wheel clips, bit of wire, and etc are removed I flux several times using old candle wax. Then with a dipper I begin filling the muffin tins I use for ingots.

When the level gets down to an inch or so, I'll refill with scrap. A few times of this, and the crud trapped on the bottom becomes very evident (and pleantifull!). I tip the last of the lead in the pot into a bucket of water and the amount of dirt and stuff trapped under the lead is amazing.

When you're using your pot to cast boolits and it's about time to flux, drag your spoon across the bottom of the pot or the corner between the bottom and side, and then up the side. I'll bet you get some amount of dusty crud.


I suppose it would be good to know what type of pot you're using. However bottom pours all operate basicly the same way.

08-28-2005, 12:35 PM
Katie--welcome--What form of alloy are you adding to the pot? Specifically, are you adding wheel weights or some such directly to your pot? If so,you should render them into ingots first in another pot. The other pot NOT being a bottom pour and one where you do this outdoors. When rendering into ingots,flux real well and skim off the crud--then make into ingots. Then use the bottom pour for casting and you shouldn't have the problems you have been experiencing.

08-28-2005, 10:49 PM
wheel weights or anything i find a lot of plumbers pipes. I now relize I should never use my pot to melt the dirty stuff in. so I will mend my ways thanks guys..