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Thread: My Pot died. Which new one to get?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    My Pot died. Which new one to get?

    I don't cast much in the summetime (too hot) but I got a new mold the other day, a Lee 457-340, to size down and use in my .45 colt, just for fun.

    I fired up the pot monday afternoon. Right from the start I had a hard time casting, but it slowly warmed enough that I cast about 15 good bullets....then began to cool off.

    It's dead now. Lyman Big Dipper. I think it's five years old. I was expecting longer life from it, but this isn't terrible, I guess.

    So I get on Amazon and see that the Lyman pot, by itself, is about 40 bucks, but some of the Lee pots are more expensive (which is out of character for Lee).

    Are they worth the difference? For an electric pot, is there a better value out there than the $40 Lyman Big Dipper pot?

    I strictly ladle pour and have no intention of changing that, if that matters.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master





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    Waage. I've never used one but search here on the forum for more info. Supposed to be the best.
    Semper Fi!


    Currently casting for .223, .308, .30-06, .30-40 Krag, 9mm, .38/.357, 10mm, 44 Mag and 45 ACP.

    I like strange looking boolits!

    NRA Patriot Life Endowment member.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



    NavyVet1959's Avatar
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    Are you sure you're comparing similar sizes? Isn't the Lyman pot a 10 lb pot? The Lee Magnum Melter is $54.99 over on Midway right now and is a 20 lb pot.

  4. #4
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    Since you admit to being a ladle pour caster I am probably wasting my breath about getting an RCBS pot. I have an Lyman 20 lb. dipper only pot I got several years back, I only use it to smelt small pewter pieces in it.Robert

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    I have had good performance from the Lyman 20 lb furnace.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyVet1959 View Post
    Are you sure you're comparing similar sizes? Isn't the Lyman pot a 10 lb pot? The Lee Magnum Melter is $54.99 over on Midway right now and is a 20 lb pot.
    +1. I have the Lee Magnum Melter and it is a good deal for the money. I ladle pour all my boolits.
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



    NavyVet1959's Avatar
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    On a side note...

    The 700W heating element on the Lee 20 lb electrical pots works out to be 2388.5 BTUs and the 500W that they use on the 10 lb pots works out to be 1706 BTUs.

    If a person was wanting to create a casting pot that they could still use when electrical power was not available, it would be possible to create one with a small natural gas or propane burner. A typical bunsen burner will give you around 800-1200 BTUs with natural gas and the ones for LP will give around 2000-3200 BTUs. Of if you wanted even more BTUs, one of the small backpacking camping burners would work.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/New-Ultra...450#about-item

    A 20 lb LPG tank is equivalent to 216,000 BTUs.

    So, a 20 lb LPG tank should last around 67.5 to 108 hours with a bunsen burner.

    Current exchange price on 20 lb LPG tanks is $16 at Home Depot, so you would be looking at around $0.15 to $0.24 per hour to run it.

    That's probably a bit more expensive per hour than electricity, but those 20 lb LPG tank exchanges are not the most economical way of getting LPG anyway.

  8. #8
    Perma-Banned A.K.A Castmast
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    you can probably get a replacement heating element on line. There are a couple companies that make them.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



    NavyVet1959's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rundownbear View Post
    you can probably get a replacement heating element on line. There are a couple companies that make them.
    Good point... If you look inside these pots, they really are pretty simply constructed. The thermostat is basically a piece of metal that when it heats up, it quits touching another piece of metal, thus breaking electrical contact and cutting off the power to the coil. First thing I would do is to wire around the thermostat to ensure that the problem was in the coil and not in the thermostat.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    In my opinion the Lee pots are the best value for the money. Plus they trust us enough out here to sell us parts for them if needed. I have Lee pots and a Lyman Mag 20. Lyman will not sell infinitesimal parts for the pot and I was told they quit supporting it. I would never buy another Lyman, just to many other better choices out there these days. Lyman was at one time the pioneer and leader of casting, ever wonder why they are not a sponsor here?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Get the Lee Magnum Melter , they hold an honest 15 pounds with room to stir, heat up is fast . I got one and it beats a 10 pound pot seven ways to Sunday. I wish I had bought it decades ago. My wife is right...size does matter and bigger is a good thing!
    Call Lyman ....5 years is way too short a life span for a melter , see if they will fix it for free and then keep it as a spare. If the replacement parts aren't avaible to fix it , go Lee and don't look back.
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Have you spoken to Lyman? Maybe they will be nice and replace the bad part without you having to send the pot to them.

    Sounds like the heating element.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    Call Lyman and let us know what they said/did. I'm curious if they are going to try to improve there customer service and warranty to get back in the market where their competitors are. Many of us have had bad experiences with Lyman over the last few years. Now that we can get better equipment with better warranties (often for less money) from many companies --- Ideal/Lyman is a name from the past.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



    NavyVet1959's Avatar
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    Here's a photo of the thermostat on the Lee melting pot. I suspect that the one on the Lyman is just as simple.



    I don't feel like disassembling my melting pot to verify this, so I'll just go by a photo of the Lee thermostat that I got from the web and make deductions from it.

    As you can see there are 4 horizontal pieces of metal and the adjustment knob goes on the top of the part.

    Part "A" is just the mounting plate to provide a sturdy place to mount everything else. It would remain in the same place even when the unit heats up.
    Parts "B" and "C" have some bent edges on them along their length. This is going to cause them to curl upwards or downwards when they are heated or cooled.
    Part "D" has an electrical insulator on it probably to keep "B" and "C" from moving too far in one direction or the other.
    The adjustment knob controls the distance between "B" and "C" thus setting the "set point" for the temperature.

    I suspect that there is probably another spade terminal connector on the other side of the device.

    The heating coil is going to run off of 110VAC, so there really is not much that can go wrong with a melting pot. Either the wiring has a problem, the thermostat has gone bad, or the heating element has gone bad.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsn View Post
    Have you spoken to Lyman? Maybe they will be nice and replace the bad part without you having to send the pot to them.

    Sounds like the heating element.
    Yes I have talked to them several times. Couple weeks ago I asked about buying the wire spring on the shut off handle.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grmps View Post
    Call Lyman and let us know what they said/did. I'm curious if they are going to try to improve there customer service and warranty to get back in the market where their competitors are. Many of us have had bad experiences with Lyman over the last few years. Now that we can get better equipment with better warranties (often for less money) from many companies --- Ideal/Lyman is a name from the past.
    I did call them. I started buying Lyman stuff in the 60's when I got back from the army. It was good stuff and I had good luck with it. I've never asked for a single warranty thing from them ever. Somewhere around 2008 I noticed their customer support was changing and not for the better. I feel sorry for the ladies answering the phone on the front line as their hands are tied, this is a decision made by some arrogant executive or board of directors. There are to many other good companies out there that appreciate our business and want it to waste any more time or money with Lyman.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    Thanks for the advice, guys.

    No idea what I'm going to do about a new pot, but I have options to consider, at least. In the meantime I think I'll disassemble my old pot and see if anything's obvious.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    For dipping.... the Lee Magnum melter is nice. That's what I use.
    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    If your pot died the DEA could be behind it.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  20. #20
    Boolit Master wills's Avatar
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    This is very simple. We determined the answer years ago.

    Do not even THINK about anything other than a Waage.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/goog...2123j2066693j5
    Last edited by wills; 05-18-2017 at 09:44 PM.
    Have mercy.
    A haw, haw, haw, haw, a haw.
    A haw, haw, haw

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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