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Thread: Lesson learned melting lead

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Lesson learned melting lead

    I was melting lead ingots in my pot and I added about 20 cast bullets that had been pan lubed but had some imperfections. When they melted , there was a loud pop like a gun shot and lead was splattered all over my loading bench. Luckely I had just walked away. Lesson learned.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    MrWolf's Avatar
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    Glad the learning didn't hurt ya. Lesson learned. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Cobble up some sort of lid for that pot.
    "Varium et mutabile semper femina." - Virgil
    Man, ain't it the truth....

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    dont see why they would pop with new boolits

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    It would seem that adding substances other than lead or tin etc. to a pot of molten lead is a bad idea. But melting down a bunch of lubed boolits starting in a cold pot seems to work without drama. Be careful what you add to a pot of molten.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    If it can become liquid and boil when placed under molten lead it will generate impressive steam explosion. The dense lead creates a pressure container, the steam a lot of pressure really fast.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    welcome to the madness John
    Happy to see you were not hurt.The cold pot is the hey here with anylead that has anything on it in it or dirty.

  8. #8
    Moderator Emeritus

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    Sooner or later the tinsel fairy visits! I had a drop of water in an ingot mold...

  9. #9
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    the fairy got me good a short time ago. have good sized scar on hand thought it had healed up blisters and scabs were gone and had been a month . started iching ( thought it was becouse it was healing) scratched my fore arm andskin came off so not quite healed yet. be carefull . an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master DW475's Avatar
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    I had a molten volcanic eruption several years ago that was thankfully outside in my driveway. Seems the batch of wheel weights I was melting had some moisture on it. Quite an exciting event for sure and thankfully I was about 20 feet away from the pot when it erupted. Besides the protective glasses, long sleeves and leather gloves I use a grease splatter screen over the top of the pots now.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    The only thing that I will add to a pot of molten lead are sprues and freshly cast reject bullets, still too hot to touch. A little moisture goes a long way!

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub dbmjr1's Avatar
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    Anything I add to a hot pot, gets preheated first to drive off any moisture. It's not hard. Set an ingot across the top of the pot, prior to adding it to the pot. With smaller things, like old cast bullets, I add before I heat the pot, so it heats with the rest of the mix.

    Living in NOLA, the humidity on my ladle can be enough to cause my pot to sputter. Holding it above the pot for a few seconds, and slowly inserting it will negate that.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I thought that I was careful, but I also got an unexpected (aren't they all?) visit from the fairy a couple months ago.

    I had a pot of molten alloy ready to ladle into ingots. Like a good boy I gingerly set my Rowell cast iron ladle on top of the melt to float while it warmed up, as it had been stored outdoors. After a minute I pushed it into the melt for the first pour. BAM. There must have been some moisture trapped under the solidified lead on the ladle shaft that hadn't steamed off yet. I was lucky just to get spatter on my shirt where my welder's apron didn't cover, and on my shoe, doubly lucky in that I had eye pro on but not a face shield.

    Now I make a point of shaking or scraping off lead on the ladle shaft when done casting, while the ladle is still hot, and warming the whole ladle over more time at each start before submerging any part of it. And a face shield is now a mandatory part of my PPE.

    ETA: Am I right in assuming that it was the lube on the bullets that sank into the melt that caused the OP's problem?
    Last edited by kevin c; 04-26-2018 at 02:09 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    ^ one reason I bottom pour


    I know introducing very cold solid lead into a pot (no water just close to freezing--I needed to cast that day) will make for some 'interesting' wave and bubble action in the pot. One of the reasons I got a lid for the pot--that and keeping in the heat
    NRA Life
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Outer Rondacker's Avatar
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    A few years ago a buddy said he had a ton of lead and wanted some bullets. So I brought over a mag pot and we started casting. He grabbed a tin with lead in it that had been sitting out and cut the tin off. Before I could say dont do it he dropped it in. I told him to get back and let the fairy have its day. Two mins later we cleaned up the mess.
    Stop being blinded by your own ignorance.

  16. #16
    Vendor Sponsor D Crockett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outer Rondacker View Post
    A few years ago a buddy said he had a ton of lead and wanted some bullets. So I brought over a mag pot and we started casting. He grabbed a tin with lead in it that had been sitting out and cut the tin off. Before I could say dont do it he dropped it in. I told him to get back and let the fairy have its day. Two mins later we cleaned up the mess.
    that witch can make a mess quicker that a 4 year old eating a candy bar I had a visit from her once a few years ago I picked up ww out of my yard for 6 month after she went off on me D Crockett

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    Kevin C. That`s what I believe happened. That was the first time I ever put lubed bullets in the hot lead pot.

  18. #18
    Vendor Sponsor D Crockett's Avatar
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    I always hold my lubed bullets that I am going to melt on top of the molten lead till the lube melts off or I put them in a ladle and let the lead melt off then pore them into the pot the lube makes good flux D Crockett

  19. #19
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    For me, fresh lead only to the hot pot. Anything that's already lubed...gets loaded. I figure it the boolit gets far enough in my process to be lubed...then its ready to be fired.

    My tinsel fairy visits have almost always been due to humidity that has condensed on my ladle. Its not a big explosion...but it is usually a series of small pops that cause tiny hot projectiles....and they do hurt. I've learned to preheat my ladle before putting it into the pot. I use an aluminum rod on a makeshift handle as my stirrer. Its straight and I can get it into the pot right away and scrape the sides "gently". The humidity that condenses on it seems to boil off before I can get the rod down into the pot. I'm not sure what it is about the ladle...but it seems to capture moisture and doesn't release it fast enough when I dip it into the pot. It must be all the curves and nooks and crannies of the steal ladle.

    At one time I used to water drop my boolits...but that to me seemed to be problematic by its nature. Lead to Water is ok...but Water to Lead....BADDDDD...... what I found was when I dropped them into the bucket...there were times when just a droplet of water would splash up and hit the pot. (I was too lazy to put my water bucket too far away from my pot....I suggest a minimum of 6 ft....I was more like 3 ft.) Live and learn...and I modified my methods when necessary. Like I said...I gave up on water dropped boolits...I just added a little Linotype to my pot and my boolits are plenty hard without the need to water drop.

    Just some of my experiences.

    redhawk

    The only stupid question...is the unasked one.


    Not all who wander....are lost.

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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