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Thread: Cleaning lead pots

  1. #21
    Boolit Man

    Ranger 7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I process a great deal of Range Scrap Lead and my 4/20 gets a great deal of crud on the sides mostly.
    I use medium to fine Emory Cloth and simply sand the entire inside of the pot, makes look brand new.
    Clean out the inside of the pour spout, a 5/64 drill bit is the size.
    Then use Valve Grinding compound and the pour valve stem to get a proper seat/seal.
    Of course, do this outside, with a breeze blowing (or use a fan).
    Works great. No danger to eyes, fingers or lungs.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    I tried the water method a month ago. It did nothing at all. I let it boil over an hour, and other than the water turning slightly darker, nothing was cleaned. I do not smelt in my casting pots, but wax and wood for flux, and leaves, and other junk find their way in and over time builds up on the walls. When things go bad, the dirt gets trapped underneath the lead and causes inclusions in the bullet. It took me a couple years to figure this out being as everyone kept telling me it was impossible. Finally I took a hint from the experienced casters, many of whom stir with a wood stick, and make it a point to not touch the bottom. Ash from burning wood is the worst for getting trapped.

    Anyway, water does not work. Vinegar kind of worked. Eventually I got sick of messing around, got a respirator, a whizz wheel on a hand drill, and went to town. It only takes 10 minutes that way, and does a perfect job. I also run a drill bit through the spout as I find a lot of gunk builds up in there as well.

  3. #23
    Boolit Mold bfox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Water worked pretty good on mine .

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
    woodbutcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    LaFollette Tn
    A fellow that I know has a pretty easy way to clean his leadpot.Drill with an assortment of wire wheels,positive pressure face mask and a shop vac with a HEPA filter.
    Never has any junk floating around after cleaning.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  5. #25
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    SE Michigan
    Drained my pot as well as I could, let it cool, then filled with water. Turned on the pot and scraped with an old spoon. It's as clean as I need it.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master

    Springfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    San Jose, California
    I cast at least 4 times a week but don't ever drain the pots for cleaning. When casting I just scrape the insides with a wooden stick and it all comes off. Works on my Magma and my RCBS. I rarely put any really dirty lead in there though, that's what turkey fryers and a Goodwill pot is for. I don't need any lead dust in the air.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    barry s wales uk
    I cleaned my 10lb Lee pot by draining then hot water .took out the valve shaft cleaned it and the outlet then used solvol autosol polish to lap them together .washed it out .works better than new its 20 years old.

  8. #28
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    South Alabama
    I agree with Springfield above. I made the mistake of emptying my Lee 4-10# pot and cleaning it once. Once! After I had cast maybe 700# of bullets, I read somewhere that emptying and cleaning the pot was the thing to do. What could it hurt? I emptied, scraped, brushed, and had it looking pretty good. the next time I used it I had the drip everyone complains about. Never had a drip before cleaning, but I'd never completely emptied the pot. So I cleaned it again, ran a drill through the nipple, lapped it, rinse, shampoo, repeat, and eventually solved the leak. I now believe that most things are heavier than lead and will float to the top where I can skim them off. And I don't run the pot empty so that any gunk that gets inside will float to the top, away from the spout, where it's not going to start another drip. In fact, when I'm done casting for the day I drop in a couple ingots before I shut the pot off.

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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