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Thread: Melting Pot

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Melting Pot

    What are some of the better lead melting pots out there. I bought the Lee Pro 4-20 and so far I find it to be a complete pain. I love the bottom pour when it isn't spraying everywhere one second and stopped up the next. Any tips or tricks or should I scrap the thing?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    GET A DIPPER AND PUT A SCREW IN THE SPOUT! They don't call them drippy Dick's for nothing. I have tried lapping and bigger weights and eventually I ended up with a screw in every Lee pot I had. My 1950's Saeco that I got used is still working fine with no modifications and only occasional cleaning.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    my lee pot works good my trick is never to let the pot get near empty , and no dross contamination , stir thr pot after adding lead and scrape the sides and bottom occasionally .. if it stops up i use a self igniting blow torch and heat up the bottom spout , problem solved .. hope my hints help you ,,

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    markinalpine's Avatar
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    I guess I must be the luckiest person in the world.
    I have very good results with my Lee 20. Doesn't drip too often, and when it does, I deal with it instead of just peeing in my pants, throwing a temper tantrum, and bad mouthing it.
    I empty the pot after about three loads/60 lbs. have been run through it. I scrape the sides down, and lightly wire brush it, and blow it out with compressed air.
    I keep a large paperclip hand to deal with stoppages, which usually only occur if I try to recharge it with too many cold ingots. I used to use a piezo ignition propane torch to hit the nozzle when it freezes up, but I loaned it to someone who hasn't returned it, yet.
    And by the way, I've heard the same unfavorable comments about other manufacturers products.
    Happy New Year,
    Mark
    Any way you sell it,
    No matter how you spell it,
    When you start to smell it,
    BO Stinks!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I didn't mean to come across like I'm Lee bashing. Most of my equipment is from Lee. That's why I bought their melter. It's really the only thing so far that is making me nuts. I flux, I scrape, I don't let it go empty unless I mean to, and I clean it when I do. And yet half way through a pot it will stop pouring. Maybe I just need to stop scrounging for lead and buy from Roto like I keep thinking about. Scrap lead I get is filthy and heating the pot for a while does fix it so it must just still be juuuuust dirty enough from time to time. I was just hoping someone would say something like there is a seriously better design out there or just adjust this or change that out. Oh well, the whole rest of the time is still more than enjoyable. And I did produce a bucket of cheap range fodder today. Lee tumble lube 200 gr SWC .452 caliber that I water dripped to cool them. Time to thin some alox and then ready the turret... Fun fun fun.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    It sounds like you either are in a cold area, or you have some zinc in the melt.
    I use Lee stuff, and my Lee pot slows down when I have zinc in the melt. I have to crank up the heat to get it flowing. When I have the zinc in there, I cast only my .45ACPs, or my paper patch castings.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Cowboy T's Avatar
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    I must be lucky, too, because my pot will occasionally drip a little, but it's not that bad. I did recently (after over 20,000 boolits cast from it) clean my pot, and bye-bye drippies.
    "San Francisco Liberal With A Gun"
    http://www.sanfranciscoliberalwithagun.com/
    http://www.liberalsguncorner.com/ (podcast)
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    .38 Spl, .357 Mag, .44 Spl/Mag, .45 Colt, and .22LR
    A true Liberal must by definition support the entire Constitution, and thus also the 2A, 100%. Any other position is inconsistent with liberalism.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Two things:

    1) I hadn't even thought about the zinc issue. I buy recycled range lead so I thought I might be immune to that problem. But how do I know what is really in those ingots when I get them...

    2) Zinc may have given my melting pot "drippies"??? Is that like melting pot STD??? Yikes...

    Joking...

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    There are commercial ZINC gas check washers available. Range scrap can and does have lots of unknowns in it.
    I scrounge at a range where only factory jacketed LEO ammo is fired. I haven't had a problem with the lead gleaned from that source. However any range that allows reloads will contain a real hodgepodge of anything we casters and swagers can come up with.
    As lead becomes scarce or extremely over priced, we will find the contaminated lead problem getting lots worse.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markinalpine View Post
    I guess I must be the luckiest person in the world.
    I have very good results with my Lee 20. Doesn't drip too often, and when it does, I deal with it instead of just peeing in my pants, throwing a temper tantrum, and bad mouthing it.
    I empty the pot after about three loads/60 lbs. have been run through it. I scrape the sides down, and lightly wire brush it, and blow it out with compressed air.
    I keep a large paperclip hand to deal with stoppages, which usually only occur if I try to recharge it with too many cold ingots. I used to use a piezo ignition propane torch to hit the nozzle when it freezes up, but I loaned it to someone who hasn't returned it, yet.
    And by the way, I've heard the same unfavorable comments about other manufacturers products.
    Happy New Year,
    Mark
    Yeah Mark, mine doesn't leak either. Every few potfulls I'll empty all the lead from my Lee and wire brush the interior. I also take out the valve rod and make sure it's smooth, and the valve body is clean. Plus I always make sure my melt is as clean as I can get it before I melt it in my Pro 4-20. A dab of Bullplate on the valve (don't know if it does any good) and on the guide screw for the valve lifter and she's good to go for another 100 lbs.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    sorry lee guys but ive owned a few and a lyman is hands down a better pot and the rcbs is better yet. Sure your going to pay more for them but its money well spent.
    sixgun junky

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have owned and used Lee, Lyman, Ohio Thermal and RCBS bottom pour lead pots and consider the RCBS/Ohio Thermal (RCBS bought Ohio Thermal and changed the color) to be the best.

    The RCBS is now a bit pricey, but they will last a life time.
    How's that hope and change working for you?

  13. #13
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    Doc Highwall's Avatar
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    Maximumbob54, are you smelting your lead down in the LEE pot? I melt my lead down in a dutch oven to clean it and pour it in to ingots for alloying. The LEE pot works good with clean alloy for casting bullets.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Doc Highwall,

    YES. That may very well be my problem. I have thought about getting a pot big enough to melt lead over my deep fryer burner. Maybe that will solve this issue.

    Then I can cook lead instead of turkeys.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    How many new LEE pots can I buy for the price of an RCBS???
    Money talks, and to me it says spend it where you get the value needed and save where you can. The difference between LEE and RCBS pots will buy an awful lot of primers and powder.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Maximumbob54, I do my first melt in a 11qt dutch oven and pour the lead into 8" cast iron frying pans that make 20lb ingots. After that I alloy it in a 8qt dutch oven and pour it into ingots that are small enough to fit into my LEE pot. The fluxing from the first two melts gives me pretty much trouble free use in the LEE bottom pour.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Cowboy T's Avatar
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    My method is similar to Doc Highwalls, but with only one Dutch Oven step over the fish/turkey fryer. I do the initial wheel weight meltdown in a 5qt Dutch Oven and flux well. Sawdust is cheap (free!) and very effective. Ladle cleaned lead into muffin pan. Take the resulting "muffin ingots" and put 'em in Lee Pro 4-20. Don't bother fluxing again. Get large quantities of great boolits. Get huge smile creeping across face, for all is well with the world.
    "San Francisco Liberal With A Gun"
    http://www.sanfranciscoliberalwithagun.com/
    http://www.liberalsguncorner.com/ (podcast)
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    .38 Spl, .357 Mag, .44 Spl/Mag, .45 Colt, and .22LR
    A true Liberal must by definition support the entire Constitution, and thus also the 2A, 100%. Any other position is inconsistent with liberalism.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know. After the mess I have made I might want to double flux in two pots for a while. I'm trying to clean out the pot and see if I have ruined it or not. So far it isn't so easy to really scrub hot lead and yuck from the bottom. I'm going to try and prop it up at an angle to get most of the sludge at the bottom out and then see if I can clean the drain somehow. I still want to bottom pour. When it works it works pretty darn fast... When it works...

  19. #19
    Boolit Master saz's Avatar
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    Turn the heat up......
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far"
    Theodore Roosevelt


  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I have done that and end up with frosty bullets.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check