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Thread: Melting pot build

  1. #1

    Melting pot build

    Hello everyone. Im new to casting and am about to build a melting pot. I plan to build one that I will use a laddle and if I figure out how I might change it to a bottom pour. I plan to cut this tank at the center line and the far right line. Ill use the end as the pot and then use the 30 cylinder between the right line and center line at a stand that Ill weld to the bottom of the pot. Im also planning to cut out a panel of the cylinder so I can place a banjo burner inside it. What do you guys think? Should I drill other holes in the cylinder also or should the panel cut out from one side be enough to let the banjo burner breathe? Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    The pot has a 16” diameter and will be about 12” tall, the cylinder under it will be 30””

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I think you'll have enough without extra holes. I been pondering doing something similar with a small air compressor tank I have. Im going to set mine up to burn wood though. Basically a rocket stove for lead melting.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Here's a link to what I've done so far, there are pictures lower down. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ting-with-fire .

    See the way I have my pot down in that rim? I think that makes it more efficient. I'm thinking of making the next one like that too. I have a burner off the side of a grill, I might make it so I can use either. Will take some pondering. Anyways hope this helps.

    Bazoo
    Last edited by Bazoo; 02-11-2019 at 09:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    I guess I'm not really understanding the heights.

    You want to be able to scrape the bottom and sides. I have a 14"x12" pot and it will allow me to melt several hundred pounds at a time. I wouldnt want any deeper than 12", 14" at the most. But th as ta my preference. Any deeper than that is harder to work, especially if you ladle pour.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    The 30" piece will just be the stand for the pot which will be 12" tall.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Then you should have an awesome setup. I made mine a bottom pour with a crude valve in the bottom near the front side. I built a shelf to set the molds on during the pour. I use 8lb ingot molds mostly. Just got around to building some smaller ingot molds for ingots to fit in a SFRB.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the replies.

    The pot is 16” diameter and will be around 12” deep. The cylinder will just be welded to the bottom of the pot as a stand and also to keep the heat in and focused on the bottom. I’ll save the other half of the setup in case I figure out a way to build a bottom pour. Then I can have a dirty pot for making ingots with a laddle and a clean pot for bottom pour casting

  9. #9
    Any recommendations on how large of a panel I should cut out of the cylinder and how far down it should be from where the cylinder ties into the pot? How close do I want to mount the banjo burner?

  10. #10
    When you wield the cylinder to the pot, makes sure you lead spaces for the flame/heat to heat the sides of the pot.

    Mount the burner so the flame is just touching the bottom of the pot.

    Might be a tad bit of overkill for bottom pour casting. I'd recommend going electric for a casting pot so you can easily control the temperature with a PID.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    When you wield the cylinder to the pot, makes sure you lead spaces for the flame/heat to heat the sides of the pot.

    Mount the burner so the flame is just touching the bottom of the pot.

    Might be a tad bit of overkill for bottom pour casting. I'd recommend going electric for a casting pot so you can easily control the temperature with a PID.
    So I do want the flame coming up around the sides? I was under the impression I wanted to contain it and focus it to the bottom of the pot

  12. #12
    Has anyone built anything similar to this or have any tips to improve?

  13. #13
    I use a burner smaller than my pot, I turn the flame up until it just starts going around the sides. Too much around the sides makes it warm on the hands when fluxing or ?

    A big burner for more surface area would be nice BUT I wouldn't "crank it up" This is not something you want to hurry. many try to keep the temperature below 700

    "Lead melts at 621F. Fumes are released at 900F. Lead fumes can be breathed in and also settle on surfaces as lead oxide — the yellowish/brown dust formed when fumes mix with air."

    Most people are exposed to lead dust and lead fumes by swallowing or breathing it in. Once it is in the body, lead can be stored in your organs and bones where it can cause serious and permanent damage to your kidneys, brain, heart, and reproductive system. ... Lead exposures can cause: High blood pressure.

    http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/LeadAdult.aspx

    You are most likely to get lead poisoning during the smelting process. When you cast your dealing with (you should be dealing with) clean alloy between 680 and 725 unless you need to go hotter for casting pure.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    I use a burner smaller than my pot, I turn the flame up until it just starts going around the sides. Too much around the sides makes it warm on the hands when fluxing or ?

    A big burner for more surface area would be nice BUT I wouldn't "crank it up" This is not something you want to hurry. many try to keep the temperature below 700

    "Lead melts at 621F. Fumes are released at 900F. Lead fumes can be breathed in and also settle on surfaces as lead oxide — the yellowish/brown dust formed when fumes mix with air."

    Most people are exposed to lead dust and lead fumes by swallowing or breathing it in. Once it is in the body, lead can be stored in your organs and bones where it can cause serious and permanent damage to your kidneys, brain, heart, and reproductive system. ... Lead exposures can cause: High blood pressure.

    http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/LeadAdult.aspx

    You are most likely to get lead poisoning during the smelting process. When you cast your dealing with (you should be dealing with) clean alloy between 680 and 725 unless you need to go hotter for casting pure.

    Thanks for the advice

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    When you start chopping on that, a whole bunch of bar-b-que and smoker guys are going to cry.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes. However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    In our modern, and enlightened age: The only thing the meek shall inherit, is a berqua.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    A simpler solution is just cutting the top off an out of date propane tank. Mine will easily melt down 200+ pounds of ingots. If you can weld a bottom pour is easy to do and drops clean metal, not to mention faster and safer. Additionally you need a skirt around the pot to trap and hold the heat otherwise it will take twice as long to get the pot to temp. Here are a couple of photos.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    A simpler solution is just cutting the top off an out of date propane tank. Mine will easily melt down 200+ pounds of ingots. If you can weld a bottom pour is easy to do and drops clean metal, not to mention faster and safer. Additionally you need a skirt around the pot to trap and hold the heat otherwise it will take twice as long to get the pot to temp. Here are a couple of photos.
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    That looks great!

    I can weld but I don’t see how the mechanism would work on a bottom pour and I definitely don’t want one that leaks or drips

  18. #18
    It looks like the valve goes through the burner, like you, I don't see how he triggers the valve

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groundpounder17 View Post
    That looks great!

    I can weld but I don’t see how the mechanism would work on a bottom pour and I definitely don’t want one that leaks or drips
    Here are more photos and I have to say I didn't take a lot of time with this build as I originally planned on using it only once back in 2012 when the shelves were bare (Sandy Hook). I got back into casting then out of necessity and this was to be a temporary solution until bullets for purchase appeared back on the shelf. Temporary, because I hated the sticky mess of lube and the reason I got out of casting in the first place. But as it turned out I discovered powder coating and haven't bought a commercial bullet since. This old pot has melted down a couple of thousand pounds of ingots and every time I use it I think about re-doing a better job, but it works, it doesn't leak, occasionally a drip when it gets dirty.

    First off the bottom pour I made, but it is NOT my design, I copied the design from my RCBS Pro Melt furnace, but so far RCBS hasn't come after me for copyright infringement. Basically, the way a bottom pour works is a drop tube with a tapered ("V" shape) inside the tube. The tube is welded into the bottom of the pot. The tube seals with a round down-rod that fits inside the taper. If the bottom of the rod is cut square where the outside edge of the round rod touches the taper all the way around and if the rod is of sufficient weight it will hold it tight when in the down position and won't leak. Mine would seal out water. I will leave that one there because whether it leaks or not will depend on your mechanical ability and tools available.

    As you can see I set the bottom pour to the side of the pot not in the center for several reasons. On the outside it is easy to access for pouring your ingots; stirring the metal is easier; after the metal is poured the concave bottom of the tank retains metal that I leave in the pot as it speeds up melting on successive melts.

    I used a salvaged piece of thick brass piping for the drop tube and used a Harbor Freight taper drill bit to cut the inside taper. Spinning the tube on a lathe or drill press with compound will polish out the inside. Cutting the end of the down rod square is easier with a lathe or a a short piece in a drill press and welding it to a longer rod.

    I formed a sheetmetal skirt around and 1/2" out from the tank to hold in the heat.

    If you have more questions let me know and if anyone lives in the Katy, Texas area I have an out of date propane tank you can have. BTW: For safety, fill the tank with water first to purge any gas that remains before cutting into it.

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