I completed the last two items on this project. That is....until I come up with more items to complete.
I used a wire coat hanger for my thermocouple holder. It is easily removable and works great. I did test the temperature difference between being in the center and being close to the edge. The edge was about 5°-10° higher depending on how close it was. In general I'll keep it in the center and about 1/2" off the bottom but I have the flexibility to move it around as needed.
Next was a cover for the PID. As was pointed out, lead could splash on the PID and cause some issues. I had some Lexan laying around so made a cover to go over the PID with it. Now I have a barrier to protect the PID. It's hard to make out in the picture but the cover is there!
Time to melt lead!