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Thread: Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Pot for Smelting

  1. #1

    Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Pot for Smelting

    I picked up an old cast iron Dutch oven at the recycling/exchange center. It would be just the right size for smelting, but it is porcelain coated. Has anyone actually tried melting lead in a porcelain coated pot? I am curious what would happen to the porcelain coating. It is already chipped off in spots and it is definitely cast iron not steel or aluminum (it”s magnetic). If the porcelain chipped off it would just float to the surface I would think and wouldn’t affect the lead. Anyone got any first hand experience?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I started casting with a porcelain pan, about 1 or 1 1/2 quarts. Still have it and use it to cast slugs for barrels and other small jobs. The porcelain is about in the same shape as I got in in the mid 1970s'.
    If you di chip it it would float being lighter then lead.
    I would watch the temperature as it is probably not as think as a cast iron pot.

  3. #3
    The walls are 3/16" thick which is heavier than my 20# cast iron pot. I guess I will give it a try and see what happens. I think it is a 5 qt pot so should hold quite a bit. I have quite a bit of COWW to melt down and the small pot I have used in past would be slow.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    thekidd76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Let us know how it works for you, as I see them at the thrift stores occasionally.
    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
    - Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

    waksupi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Somers, Montana, a quaint little drinking village,with a severe hunting and fishing problem.
    I have a couple that I use for cooking, chipped or not. You can do tomato based sauces without buggering up seasoning.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!

  6. #6
    Moderator Emeritus

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    SW Montana
    Most of the real quality dutch ovens, $150+ are porcelin or ceramic coated cast iron. You might look for a $20 harbor freight special if you don't cook. I have some cheap stamped steel porcelin coated that I would be fearful of putting a hundred lbs of PB into. It is also magnetic. If it is abnormally heavy it is probably cast, kind of light it is probably steel.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    North Carolina, USA
    I've been smelting and casting in porcelain coated cast iron -- works fine for me (may differ from brand to brand, though).

  8. #8
    Boolit Lady

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    I, too, have a porcelain coated cast iron pot that I use for smelting -- works great, stands up to smelting temperatures just fine.

    +1 on the "if it's heavy, it's probably cast iron" thing.

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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
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