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Thread: How many use two furnaces when casting?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man iMigraine's Avatar
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    How many use two furnaces when casting?

    Hey Gents,

    I currently use a Lee 4-20 pot to mass produce pistol boolits from five to six cavity moulds. My home build PID has been a great addition making it easier to keep the temperature within range. Normally when I cast, I drop back the spruce into the pot which drops the temperature down but not too much when the pot is half way filled with molten lead.

    The problem I'm running into when I'm casting pistol boolits, my Lee pot runs out of molten lead fast and the cools down too fast once I get below mid level in the pot. Thinking of just getting a Lee Magnum Melter to throw my spruce and extra lead into while casting. Only down side is ladling molten lead from one pot to the other so extra care will be mandatory.

    Since buying a $600 Master Cast Pot isn't an option (maybe some year) this seems like a faster method to casting longer than using just one pot. I hate waiting for my lead to melt between sessions.

    Anyone would like to share their methods and experiences?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Mike W1's Avatar
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    Mine's a little smaller scale but by the time I need metal in the bottom pot the top is ready to feed it hot metal. I slide the lower one back a bit to fill and forward to cast.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Mike

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master bosterr's Avatar
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    I use a PID controlled Lyman 20 pounder. When I need to continue to cast after the first 18 pounds or so are gone, I keep a stainless sauce pan with about 15-16 pounds of metal melted on an electric hot plate on idle ready to pour when needed. I wait until I pour the pan into the Lyman to stir and flux. I drop the "SPRUE!!!" into the Lyman as I cast too.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I know this is old school and not at all modern, but get an old Coleman gas stove, mine is YEARS old - a cast iron pot that will 40 to 45lbs of alloy and be done with it.

    The stove produces enough heat to keep the alloy in the 650 - 700 degree range and allows putting the sprues back in the pot along with adding fresh ingots all the while still running multiple 4 - 6 cavity molds.

    The Rowell bottom pour ladle is a HUGE improvement over any other I've tried.

    Crusty Deary Ol'CootClick image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    I enjoy casting. For me it is not a race. I too cast a lot of pistol bullets from 85 gr to 255. With a six banger casting 255's it doesn't take long to draw down a 4-20 but I don't fret over it. I put my mold on the hot plate, add more ingots and clean up the area putting sprues in the pot and then sit back and relax until it gets back to temp. Does not take that long. Remember, it is a hobby and not a job!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I don't use 2 pots but I do set ingots on the lip of the pot to pre warm. I also put them on the steel plate on my hot plate. I'm in no hurry and by the time I empty a 20# pot the ole back is about ready for a break anyway.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master PaulG67's Avatar
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    I use two pots when casting also. I have a new setup since I got the RCBS pot and have no pics as yet, I think it is the best way to cast when using two pots. Never have to wait for your casting pot to come back up to temp,
    Paul Gauthier AKA Dragonrider


    I am Retired, I was tired yesterday and I am tired today!!!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty Deary Ol'Coot View Post
    I know this is old school and not at all modern, but get an old Coleman gas stove, mine is YEARS old - a cast iron pot that will 40 to 45lbs of alloy and be done with it.

    The stove produces enough heat to keep the alloy in the 650 - 700 degree range and allows putting the sprues back in the pot along with adding fresh ingots all the while still running multiple 4 - 6 cavity molds.

    The Rowell bottom pour ladle is a HUGE improvement over any other I've tried.

    Crusty Deary Ol'CootClick image for larger version. 

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    Not right or wrong but I am glad you like the Rowell for casting. I have next to 100% match bullets using RCBS and Lyman ladles. My Two Rowells never get used and I sold the 6LB used for batching ingots.
    I have been casting since 1970 and have picked up used LEE pots when I find them (cheep). I have pots, more then I remember marked for alloy and only put that kind of lead in it. Example, 20-1 or pistol range scrap or 97-2-1 and like that.

    I like electric casting pots because the white gas costs more here and I do not want to be around all that heat (gas camp stove) in the summer.
    BUT - we each like what works for us!
    Chill Wills

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    I would suggest two things before you buy another pot. Set your cadence up so that you put your sprus back right after you cut them. I put mine back right after I refill the mold as the next spru hardens. They are still hot then and will not drop your temp. The other thing I would do is put a piece of metal across the top of your pot to preheat ingots on. That may save the purchase of another pot. The old Lyman and Saeco 1000 watt pots had a shelf on top and by preheating ingots you could cast all day with two 4 cavity molds. A friend of mine who loaded commercially back in the day could maintain close to 1000 bullets per hour casting with 2 H&G moulds that way.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C. S. Lewis

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    I don't use 2 pots but I do set ingots on the lip of the pot to pre warm. I also put them on the steel plate on my hot plate. I'm in no hurry and by the time I empty a 20# pot the ole back is about ready for a break anyway.
    Using the ingot on the rim method, one on each side and adding them alternately as soon as the lead level drops enough to accommodate it, I can cast continuously from a Lee 20 pound pot using a 6 cavity Lee mold.
    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Preheat ingots with some heat source to around 450 degrees .
    Add cut hot sprue's back into pot while waiting for the next sprue to set up in the mould
    Keep pot lead level no lower than 2/3 or 3/4 full at all times
    Ive run 8 cavity saeco moulds with a 11 lb pot this way and never ran out of alloy , these moulds will make between 1,000 to 1,300 bullets a hour

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    I cast pretty slow so I don't need one personally, but I've seen images of guys rigging one 4-20 above another, once the bottom is empty just drain the top one into it and you are ready to go again. No need for PID on the top one, just dump all the sprues and some fresh lead in and keep going.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    I have a SEACO and RCBS 20 pound pots going together when I'm do gang molds.
    je suis charlie

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I used 2 stacked 10 lb lees ( this was before the 20 lbers were available) Worked great and I only ran pout of lead with the biggest moulds. My 45 rifle bullets and a couple sinker moulds would drain the pot faster than it could re,elt in the top one.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I use two pots also. a 10 lb lyman for pure lead and a 20 lb. lyman for mix

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


    Walter Laich's Avatar
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    our power company sends out our weekly electricity usage.

    I can see a marked rise in usage anytime my Pro-Melt was on. I usually can last for 45 minutes before the fun is gone

    plus keeps me from thinking about a two-pot method
    NRA Life
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Mike W1's Avatar
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    Lets see if I have this figured correctly. 2 pots at 500W wide open and a hot plate at 1000W wide open would be 2 KWH if they drew juice the whole hour. Rounding up to 14 per KWH would be a whole 28. Guess I'll have to stop casting!
    Mike

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    runfiverun's Avatar
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    I have seen set-ups with 2 LEE 20 lb pots where one was right on top of the other.
    they had a linkage built so when you opened one it opened the other and fed the bottom pot.

    I just bought the 40 lb magma pot and was done with it right at the start.
    I can stack 8-12 ingots right on top of the steel lid I made to preheat, but I have to be careful or they will melt.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Laich View Post
    our power company sends out our weekly electricity usage.

    I can see a marked rise in usage anytime my Pro-Melt was on. I usually can last for 45 minutes before the fun is gone

    plus keeps me from thinking about a two-pot method
    I try not to think about the power draw when I run mine. I'm curious which provider you are using since I am in the same area, that would be a nifty feature.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  20. #20
    Boolit Man varmintpopper's Avatar
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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