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Thread: Newbie's first smelting session

  1. #21
    This may sound crazy but awhile back, I was cleaning out my garage and had a big box of wood that was leftover scrap from projects. I was going to burn it when I thought maybe just turn it to dust and use it for casting. Using my chop saw I just kept chopping at it and in about 30 minutes had a 5 gallon bucket worth. In a squeeze it worked and quite fast.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    England,Ar
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    You can buy pine sawdust or wood chips at pet stores, farm stores or even Walmart. A few dollars worth will last forever. +1 on the cast iron molds.

  3. #23
    Boolit Man Ateam's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
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    I like to use the dust/chips from the chainsaw, it also has bar oil in it which I have rationalized as an added benefit. Needs to dry in the sun a little bit usually though.

  4. #24
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    8
    So this newbies second smelting session did not go quite as well as my first. I ended up with some usable lead and didn't burn myself so still somewhat successful.
    I scrounged about 20lbs of range scrap from the dirt berm at a range using an old spaghetti strainer/colander. I also bought some welders gloves and a thermometer meant for a BBQ. It has a threaded section on the upper part of the probe with a wing nut. I wrapped some copper wire around the probe as a handle, held snug by the wing nut.


    I put about 10 lbs of the range scrap in my cast iron pan and fired up the propane stove. The problem was my stove could not seem to stay hot enough. It melted the scrap and I scooped out the slag of empty copper jackets and some rocks and dirt. My thermometer shower I was about 600 degrees and all seemed to be going well. But the lead around the edges of the pan started to solidify and my temp was barely over 500. I was losing heat. The stove does not seem to be able to maintain pressure as the propane bottle gets near empty.
    I fluxed with some sawdust then candle wax and scooped off as much gunk as I could while stirring to keep the lead liquified.
    I tried to quickly poor the lead into my little loaf pan and tipped over the loaf pan, spilling about half the lead. No biggie I guess. Let it harden and peel it up.


    My camp stove is not a Coleman like I originally thought. It a "Greatland Outdoors" brand, from Target I think. The box says it has dual 5000 btu burners. I searched other threads and found someone mention a Carolina Cooker like this:
    http://www.agrisupply.com/carolina-c...stove/p/56913/

    How many BTUs are sufficient? I most likely won't be smelting over 40lbs at a time.

  5. #25
    Boolit Man Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    Recycle an old turkey fryer. I also like to use an enameled pot. Takes forever smelting with a castiron skillet.
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  6. #26
    Boolit Man Ateam's Avatar
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    I will second the turkey fryer. Make sure you flux with the sawdust before you scoop anything (old copper jacket material included) off the melt. You will be amazed at how clean it comes off. I actually throw in a handful with my material when still solid, I think it may help insulate the melt and get it up to temp faster.

    I use a thin stainless pot, no sense in lugging around the extra weight of cast iron. Make sure it is stainless and not aluminum though, or you may get an unpleasant surprise, poof no pan bottom!

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
    triggerhappy243's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    Albuquerque N.M.
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    this is my smelting pot with a turkey fryer burner. For smelting, I also use a propane weed burner to add heat to the top to speed things up/
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #28
    Boolit Mold
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    Jul 2017
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    I have picked up a 5qt cast iron pot. I have been looking for a turkey or fish fryer as well but haven't found a used one yet.

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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