View Full Version : Steel Pipe Caps as Smelting Pots

02-03-2006, 04:55 PM
With all the discussion on smelting setups, I decided to post what I use.

Years ago I worked in the oilfield, and steel pipe was easily acessible. I grabbed this 6" cap out of the salvage bin and welded a old bearing ring to its base to make it stable:

Here is the photo:


I used this rather small pot to cast hollowpoints, as the lead inside is pure soft 100% lead. I may have added a little tin at some point, but can't remember. Either way, this is the rig I use with my heater.

Photo of the heater:


The heater is an old 1950's style truck rim that my dad and I welded up as one of my high school projects in the late 1970's. I have put over 400 lbs of lead on this burner without ill effect when I used to mass process wheelweights. It's sturdy to say the least. When I used to process a lot of wheelweights, I used this old 36" water flange/collar that I welded up. It's not "lead" tight, and I did get a few drips out of the bolt holes, but not enough to worry about. I can put three 5 gallon buckets of wheelweights at at time in this rig. I can put more, but it takes too long to heat up and melt.

Old water cap collar/flange pot:


Pipe caps, if you can find them in your area, are a relatively inexpensive way to get a solid steel pot to melt lead in. They range in size from 2" all the way to 48".

I've used them for years and never known one to crack. Heat retention is excellent and then will last and last.

02-04-2006, 09:31 AM
...............I saw some of those drawn steel pipe caps at a place I buy steel. Some of the 2" ones would be just the ticket for a heavy duty ladle by welding on a handle. I think they had caps down to 1".