View Full Version : repairing Lee Production Pot

12-22-2005, 05:31 PM
Last week I started casting bullets after many years. My old production pot worked then, but when I went to use it yesterday, it would get hot, but would not melt lead even with the heat cranked up all the way. I ordered the heater and the thermostat from Lee, but i would like to know if anyone here has repaired one of these? How hard was it and how successful were you?

12-22-2005, 09:59 PM
Nelson, they are an easy fix, and work well afterwards. I'd suggest, just replace the rheostat first. That was most likely your problem. Put in the element if that doesn't do it. It won't hurt to have a spare around, either way.

12-22-2005, 11:19 PM
I recently replaced both the rheostat and heating element in my Lee Production pot. The process is very simple and rather self explanitory so don't worry about the job being very technical. It's just kind of a pain because you have to tear the thing completely apart.

Ken O
12-22-2005, 11:28 PM
They are real simple, for the reostat take out the top four screws, the electrical connections are clip on terminals. For the heating element you will have to do some dis-assembly, it helps to take off the three back screws on the bottom, then the back pannel half will come off giving easy access.
If you have a continuity tester just pull the electrical connetors off the element and test. The same for the reostat, you might drag some paper between the points to clean them, you should show continuity.
I have a reostat on order now, I show an open, the Lee tech say there is a resisance wire on it that burns out, its kind of a fuse.

12-23-2005, 05:27 AM
Thanks all, I shall await the parts.

12-23-2005, 09:38 AM
When you have it apart check to see if the spout is tight. If there is even a little bit of give have it brazed at the joint and you will stall off any future drip problems.

12-23-2005, 11:31 AM
Do you have to order the rheostat and heating elements from Lee or will any rheostat do? (Like a household light switch reostat?)

Probably have to get the heating elements direct from Lee eh?

I have a Lee that quit heating last week...glad to hear that I don't have to throw it out!

Ken O
12-23-2005, 10:32 PM
You need to order these from Leel or Midway carries them also. The rheostat/therostat has bi-metal contacts just like your furnace thermostat, it senses the heat inside the box not really the pot itself, so it is engineered just for this purpose.
You could eliminate the thermostat and put a switch in, and turn it off and on as you want, but I think that would be a pain.

12-25-2005, 06:34 PM
Thanks Ken,

What part of the Northern Lower are you in? I'm in the Sault Ste Marie/Brimely area but grew up around Higgins Lake (North Side) :grin:

12-26-2005, 05:31 PM
I put the new parts in and it gets a little hotter, the lead sorta turns in to a slurry nut not a liquid and only that at the highest setting. Don't know what to do now.

12-27-2005, 12:05 AM
I put the new parts in and it gets a little hotter, the lead sorta turns in to a slurry nut not a liquid and only that at the highest setting. Don't know what to do now.

Nelson, you have me worried. I am thinking you have zinc, or other contamination, in your alloy. Empty the pot, clean the bejeebers out of it, and try another lot of alloy. With the new parts, it is surely going up to proper heat.

12-27-2005, 05:40 PM
It's the same stuff that was melting fine originally. All I did was throw back in the rejects and sprue cuttings from the last good run. i don't understand it either, there shouldn't be anything else in the circuit but the heater anr the heay control.

Ken O
12-27-2005, 09:50 PM
I wonder if you got a bad therostat/reostat. Do you have a lead therometer? My pot runs hot, at the 2 setting it runs at 800º, the old one did that at the 4 setting. When I replaced it and fired it up I put it on 4 and the Lyman therometer pegged past the 1000º, so they must all be different. I would call the Lee tech and talk to him.
Cayoot, if you drew a line between Grayling and Cadillac, I would be halfway between.

12-27-2005, 10:06 PM
Nice area Ken,

I graduated from Grayling High School long, loonngg ago!