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Thread: Stout enough material?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy

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    Stout enough material?

    Guys

    I am just about to start building my pot stand for my small LPG smelter,
    9-1/2" across the top, rounded bottom and bottom pour design, with a 1/4" Black Pipe pour spout,
    with internal valve of 1/2" dia SS down rod, thumb activated lever, and it will be filled to 5-6" deep of lead.

    I have 1/8" thick angle iron, 1-1/4" long angles, (hope it is stout enough material),
    I'll bolt it together, to get the dimensions correct, then weld it solid,
    the rounded bottom will sit down inside the top frame work, to have the most stable platform possible.

    Will have a slide in/out slot (in the bottom) made for the ingot mold that is 8" wide and 14" long x 1" thick,
    that will set under the 1/4" BP bottom pour spout, which will have BP cap with different sized holes,
    for filling the ingot mold (don't know which hole is needed yet).

    I am planning on having the base about 2-3" wider than the top dimensions,
    the Hi pressure 75,000 BTU burner will be approximately 2-3" below the bottom,
    fed via 8' hose from the 20 LPG tank.

    There will be wind shields on all 4 sides, with a narrow slot cutout for the pour spout,
    with a heat shield that is approx 1/4" bigger than the tank, that will stop at the top of the tank,
    the tank will have a SS lid that can be lift on/off as needed.

    Any suggestions or Ideas would be greatly appreciated........

    Tia,
    Don

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    The 1/8 X 1-1/4 angle should be plenty strong. If I remember correctly thats what my stand is made from and I regularly melt 350-400 pounds at a time. I made mine square and used a base plate (an old disc blade). Just a caution, be careful adding shields! I added some to mine and I guess I went too far, as it choked my burner down. I had to get a grinder after them and cut some vents.

    It sounds like you have a nice pot in the works! Post up some pictures when you get it finished and in production.

    If I was at the beginning of my casting career instead of near the end I would build a nice bottom pour pot for smelting.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy

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    Thanks Lightman

    I don't know the weight of my pot yet, with 5-6" of lead.

    I have planned on having a very slight tilt/angle of the bottom pour spout,
    to aid in getting a complete dump of lead, when filling my ingot mold,
    and hopefully having a complete heat shroud for the exit pipe will prevent any freeze ups etc.

    The bottom of the external draft shield, at the bottom, which will have door for the ingot mold,
    and hopefully will provide enough air flow for the burner etc,
    I'll have the bottom of this shield cut off about 2-3" to also aid in cooling the ingot mold,
    and will have more air flow.

    This pot was made/cut down from an OLD auto AC collection tank, I finally got the main valve removed and the small air valve,
    used the sawsall/metal blade and it zipped thru the 1/8" thick steel sides with no problems,
    there was a very heavy oil residue coating the inside, took some white gas and cleaned it,
    then a very light coating of rust coated started on the inside wall/bottom, which remains, unsure if I should remove it.

    The small air valve had a steel steel shank/stud welded into the the top of tank, which is now the bottom of this pot,
    this shank is square ended and is about 3/4" above the bottom, and has an inside hole dia of .400",
    and was thread to 1/4" NPT, this size fit my 1/4" Black pipe size.

    I turned a 1/2" dia SS rod with a small nipple in the end, with a 60* taper and will taper the top of this shank to 60* also,
    I am hoping that these angles will provide a good seal, once lapped in to each other.

    This shank is about 2" from the inside of the side, and I machined/welded a standoff to fit the bottom stud location,
    which leaves the SS rod operating straight up/down to the exit hole,
    which I was glad, as it leaves the most room for stirring/cleaning and adding ingots the inside etc.

    On top of this standoff piece, there is a thumb lever system for lifting the SS rod,
    and I have a light spring that will constantly provide a down pressure for the SS rod, when released.

    I am not sure if I need a 360* ring/bottom welded to the bottom of this pot to add more heating from the burner,
    or just have the bottom left rounded?

    Hopefully I have all the bases/spec's covered correctly, so I don't have redo everything........... only time will tell.

    I have been going thru all the 250+ pages of posts and I am finding very few photo's of all these pots and how they were made.

    Tia,
    Don

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
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    For figuring the volume of lead your pot will hold you could find all the formulas for figuring volume, or you can take the easy way and see how much water it will hold. IIRC lead is approximately 23 pounds per quart.

    Is the 8"x14"x1" just the shelf size, or is it the size of your ingot mold? That strikes me as a very unwieldy ingot, my own ingot molds are made from whatever scrap angle iron I had or found when I wanted a new mold. Anything from 1x1 to 2x2 usually eight to ten inches long. This size will rest comfortably across the top of either a Lee 4-20 or an RCBS Promelt for preheating.

    Good luck, I sometimes wish my smelting pot was bottom pour.

    Robert

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy

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    MK42gunner

    Thanks for the info on the water trick.

    As soon as this pot is finished, I'll check the lead amount it will hold via the water method.

    This ingot mold has 11 troughs that are 3/4" deep x 3/4" wide x 7" long,
    and have a round bottom, tapered sides/ends for easy dumping.

    I planned on using a flat metal alum shelf across the bottom of the area the ingot mold sits on,
    so I can slide the ingot mold as I fill each trough, when all the troughs are harden up,
    slide the mold out and dump it, then refill the mold again, to start over etc.

    These ingots will fit better into my small Lee bottom pour pot,
    as these ingots will be used for casting my 22 cal pellets from pure lead.

    That is my plan, so far, subject to change, if I find a better methods or designs etc.

    Tia,
    Don

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Having a ring around the bottom would aid is concentrating the heat to the bottom of the pot. Mine does not have one and I wish it did. I just don't think about it when I've got the welder out.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy

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    Lightman
    Thanks,

    Have to figure out to make one, the bottom of my pot has the bottom pour spout about 1-1/2" below dead center,
    I'll have to make this neat ring at least this high, to have the pot that sits dead level, with as wide of base possible to be stable.

    I have some material, I can use that is 2" high, but I will have to notch out where the bottom spout exit,
    I am thinking about adding a flip type hood off this heat ring, for this spout, to keep as much as possible heat around,
    it to prevent freeze up's etc.

    Would think that 1/4 to 1/2" deep notches/cuts be enough space to allow the heat to transfer up the sides, when using LPG?

    I can cut the notches/cuts in the mill after I figure out the diameter and lay out of the base I'll need.

    Back to the shop..........

    Tia,
    Don

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    1 1/4” x 1/8” angle ought to be enough. The bracing under the lead pot will be the other factor. Good feet is the other consideration and dependent on what surface you be smelting upon.

    Best regards

    Three44s

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master
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    My smelting setup is a lot simpler than your bottom pour design, being a 55,000 BTU fish fryer that I made a square base for out of 3/16" thick angle iron after my daughter ran into the original stand (Pickup won that round). The pot is an eight inch section of 8" iron pipe with a " plate welded to the bottom.

    After using it a few times, I made a heat shield out of a brake drum to go around the lower few inches. I just centered the pipe on the brake drum and used it to guide the cutting torch. This made the hole big enough for about a " gap around the pot, which helps keep the sides warm.

    Its main advantage is it was cheap, but I believe it has more than paid for itself due to saving propane.

    Robert

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy

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    Thanks guys

    I have an Alum turkey fryer pot that is over 36+ '' tall and 11" inside diameter,
    it appears that the bottom melted out of it, OUCH, (the sides are less than .062" thick)
    and dumped the insides out thru the bottom, other than dark smoking stains around the bottom end/sides,
    that appears in good shape otherwise.

    I cleanly cut off the bottom and may split the sides for a wind screen around my pot, that is 9" in diameter,
    I'll have raise the bottom edge a couple of inches or drill some holes to allow for air flow to the burner etc,
    as this alum can has nice handles for removing etc, I hope this will work.

    I just can't decide, if I need the heat ring on the bottom or not, with the wind screen.

    First, I have to finish some minor welding, and get it running etc to find out,
    after I find some more 1/4" black pipe, have been to 5 different hardware stores? in Reno/Fallon Nv,
    without finding any 1/4" BP, I just can't believe it, I got/found 2- 90* elbows so far, with lots of brass/galvanized pipe thou.

    I think, I have figured out how to have the top of the pot stand of the main supporting stand (that touches/supports the pot bottom)
    slanted in/cone shaped for total support and not allow any tipping during any usage and at the same time allow the heat from the burner,
    flow up the pot sides etc.

    As this a build in progress with little info, I that I have found so far, except for flat bottomed pots,
    it is hard for me to grasp the info being talked about, without photo's, to support what is being talked about,
    I am slowly working thru all info to find the best possible answers etc.

    Tia,
    Don

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    One other plus to the heat ring on the bottom is it provides a full dia foot for the pot to set on. Making it more stable. The ring will also help reinforce the tank where the highest heat is. One other suggestion is a adjusting screw in each foot on the legs, not so much to level ( though it is nice to have a level pot if your filling it close to full) but to make up for uneven surfaces so each leg bears evenly and solidly. Trust me having a couple hundred pounds of molten metal "rock" when stirring and fluxing is a scary thing.

    1/8" X 1 1/4" X 1 1/4" should be fine . I would recommend a ring of 1/8" X 1" around the top just below the tank and one just above the feet to lock the legs in position. THis will help maintain the legs when stirring fluxing and working with the pot.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy

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    CG

    Thank you,
    for the idea of adding leveling feet to the main pot stand legs, I didn't think of that item, and will add them, when I build,
    I would like to have about 1/16" to 1/8" down tilt for the bottom pour spout for complete drainage, after pouring ingots,
    and those leveling feet will provide just what I need..

    I will be pouring on the concrete floor of the shop, by one of the big roll up doors 14' high x 8' wide, for full wind directional ventilation,
    depending on the wind direction, and would like to have the top of the pot about a foot below my set height, I think.
    I haven't cut the legs yet, and my plan is to have a pyramid shape pot stand, 3-4" wider at the base, than the top section,
    so the height will depend on which ever plans I use.

    I have a mechanic's chair/seat that is low profile and rolls very easily on the shop floor, so I won't have to bend over too far, I hope........

    The bottom of this pot has a 1-1/4" Black pipe plug, and my plan is to build a ring of 1/4-3/8" rod, that will just fit around this plug top,
    allowing the plug to sit down inside of the spider legs cage, with the pot resting on the this ring bottom,
    then weld these legs/rods which will form 4-8 spider legs around the pot bottom,
    and weld these legs to the sides of the top of the main stand frame.

    The bottom of the pot will be approximately 2-4" below the top of the stand platform and surrounded via the legs/stand top,
    and there is enough room between the spider legs, to allow the pot/bottom pour spout to be tilted and lifted out when cold,
    and allow full heat from the burner, to flow around/on the pot bottom, and up the sides, if my measurements are correct,
    and all subject to change as needed.

    I am keeping notes/drawing of everything so far, as I plan, so I don't forget anything.........LOL

    Tia,
    Don

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub ANick57's Avatar
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    9-1/2 OD (?), assuming 9" ID for calculations, 6" depth for a simple cylinder, lead weight of .409 per cubic inch.

    9" dia, Area 63.6 sq. in., times 6" depth gives a volume of 381.7 cu. in.
    At .409 lbs per, 156.11 lbs.

    For reference, that 381 cu in converts to 1.6 gallons

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy

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    Anick57

    Whoa...........Holy Snackbar........I didn't think I would have that much weight inside this pot..........
    maybe I had better recalculate the strengths of the materials, being used,
    I would rather error on the HD side of building, than too lite etc.

    I guess, I can put a large plastic bag inside this pot and measure and fill it to the level I feel comfortable about,
    as I don't have a way to seal the bottom holes from leaking water yet etc.

    Out to the shop to figure all this out.......

    Thank you.
    Don

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy

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    Guys

    Had a plastic sack inside the pot, I filled my pot with 1-1/2 Gallons of water, to a level I felt comfortable with,
    so if I did the figuring right, I'll have approximately 145 to 150#'s of lead inside and this leaves over an inch of free board.

    Would 3/8" dia rods be enough strength, if everything is all tied and welded together,
    with the heat applied to the rods, from the burner, and lead in the pot, to add as a heat sink?

    Tia,
    Don

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Don since nobody else has answered I'll give it a shot.

    I don't know if 3/8" rods will be stout enough or not, and 1/2" isn't all that much more money.

    What I did when I was rebuilding my fish fryer (remember 16 year old Daughter + F150 / fish fryer = mangled mess) was climb on top of the base to make sure it would support the weight. Remember though that I built my pot to hold roughly 100 pounds and the base is basically a steel milk crate. I did run a few cross supports of 1/8"x1" flat steel on edge as pot supports.

    Nothing says you have to fill the pot to capacity either.

    Robert

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy

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    Robert
    Thanks

    I guess, I should have explained the question better.

    In referring to the 3/8" rods, I was meaning that the bottom part of the pot holder,
    a ring around the BP plug, with 8 legs formed to the pots rounded bottom,
    these legs would be extended to the top main frame of the pot stand, and welded to main frame.

    There is enough room between these legs, to allow the bottom pour spout to extend thru and reach the outside edge of the stand.
    The ring that is around the BP plug, will not allow any tipping of the pot when stirring etc.

    The main stand will be 1/8 x 1-1/4" angle iron welded stand.

    I plan on using the clean melted lead level down to about 1" left in the bottom,
    to seal off the valve outlet, to reduce the problem of any trash causing problems with dripping etc.

    Hope this makes sense.......See my post #12

    Tia,
    Don
    Last edited by nvreloader; 11-24-2018 at 02:47 PM.

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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