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Thread: First time smelting

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    First time smelting

    Just wanted to show off a pic of my results smelting for the first time. Got about 28 lbs usable lead from 38 lbs mixed WWs. Used a wood mold I drilled out with a spade bit and some pop cans with the top cut off. I will get around to getting a real mold at some point but just getting my feet wet for now. Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    WHITETAIL's Avatar
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    nice job for starters!
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Careful with that wood. If it soaks up any moisture you could have a bad day.

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by sureYnot View Post
    Careful with that wood. If it soaks up any moisture you could have a bad day.
    Definitely a concern to take seriously. Ingot molds aren't expensive and make for pretty and convenient lead hoards, they're an easy investment to justify.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    That will work , welcome to the wonderful world of casting .

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    Thought of a question, how much if any stick-on wheel weights should i add to my clip on wheel weights? Casting .358 200 grain Lee gas checked for a 35 whelen

  7. #7
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    Do you plan on lubing your bullets or powder coating them?

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  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I save all stick ons in a seperate stash for casting muzzleloader fodder. If you don't need soft/nearly pure lead for such a purpose then up to about a third stick ons to clip ons still makes decent pistol bullets if you aren't pushing them hard.(or low velocity rifle bullets)
    Last edited by Treeman; 01-12-2019 at 08:26 PM.
    Cast is an adjective, a noun and a verb. Cast works as both imperative and past tense without any additional letters or helping verbs.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Awesome !
    You off to a good start.

    I'm still using an old aluminum mini muffin pan from 40 years ago...one day I'm going to get me one of those proper ingot moulds... you don't want to rush into an important decision like that !

    May the Tinsel Fairy never visit your pot !
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
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  10. #10
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    Just wanted to show off a pic of my results smelting for the first time. Got about 28 lbs usable lead from 38 lbs mixed WWs. Used a wood mold I drilled out with a spade bit and some pop cans with the top cut off. I will get around to getting a real mold at some point but just getting my feet wet for now. Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    Thought of a question, how much if any stick-on wheel weights should i add to my clip on wheel weights? Casting .358 200 grain Lee gas checked for a 35 whelen
    Welcome to the Smelting world.
    That is some clever ideas for DIY ingot molds, even if you don't get much re-use of them.

    alloy for 35 Whelen:
    Air-cooled COWW straight should be good for "book" boolit loads, you'll want a hard alloy if you plan to push harder.
    If you plan to heat treat your boolits, you could add some SOWW to you COWW, but not more than about 35%, because Heat treating works best if you have at least 2% antimony.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Welcome to the madness! Do a little reading on the site for different ideas on ingot molds. There is an active thread running right now. The wood was a good idea for a temporary mold but you will eventually want to move on.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    I will be powder coating. And yea the wood was just so I could get started today rather than put it off waiting for a mold. Gotta say though I really liked how the pop cans worked, doubt they fit in my Lee pot though. I did keep coww separate from soww so I will keep it that way until I know what I’m doing.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Randy C's Avatar
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    moulds

    I bought these here a few years back they work great. I have 2 of them.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    I will be powder coating. And yea the wood was just so I could get started today rather than put it off waiting for a mold. Gotta say though I really liked how the pop cans worked, doubt they fit in my Lee pot though. I did keep coww separate from soww so I will keep it that way until I know what I’m doing.
    After 9 years of smelting scrap alloys and casting boolits, I still keep COWW and SOWW separate.
    now, to be honest, I have had access to all kinds of different scrap lead alloys, so keeping them all separate and then testing the ones that are a mystery, before I blend usable alloys for boolits has been been a wise decision ...sometimes I get lucky, because in my life, many of my foresight ideas haven't been too wise, LOL.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have used wood also for a mold. Also used aluminum cans tuna and soup cans. They work but it sucks taking a tin snips to remove the lead. This was 30 or more years ago just wanted something quick and easy to make a mold from

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Welcome to the obsession!

    A couple suggestions: read the forums for lots of options on tools, molds and melting set ups. Read about and conscientiously apply safety recommendations. Get a good ladle; I can't recommend a good bottom pour of adequate capacity enough, even for ingot casting. Be willing to pay for better up front. Yes, we all are scroungers and cheap (well, at least I am), but good equipment will save you in the long run. Be safe, be safe, be safe!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by sureYnot View Post
    Careful with that wood. If it soaks up any moisture you could have a bad day.

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk
    Looks like it's pretty well dried out now
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  18. #18
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    Just wanted to show off a pic of my results smelting for the first time. Got about 28 lbs usable lead from 38 lbs mixed WWs. Used a wood mold I drilled out with a spade bit and some pop cans with the top cut off. I will get around to getting a real mold at some point but just getting my feet wet for now. Click image for larger version. 

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    Ingenuity! Good job.
    For me I use a muffin pan from Walmart. It's cheap and makes 12 nice stackable, usable sized ingots.

  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    Not bad, but like everyone else said, muffin or loaf pans are much easier. Cast iron is great if you can find it cheap.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    I melted some SOWW today and have 3 cast iron corn bread. And 1 Lyman 4 cavity, noticed with the 4 lined up, I could keep rhythm. Other words when last was filled, first was ready to dump and refill.this went ok 2 times then they were too hot to pick up even with gloves. By then was out of melt. The Lyman worked best with wooden handle. Good luck. And welcome to casting.

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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