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Thread: Ingot Mold Questions

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Ingot Mold Questions

    I have a Lee ingot mold, and I'm going to buy at least one more - possibly a Lyman, if not another Lee. (I am not trained or equipped to "make my own": this is about commercially available ingot molds.)

    How full do I pour alloy in this type of mold to get the stated 3 (in the Lee) or 4 (in the Lyman) pound ingots? The issue is that it looks like you either pour up to the separations between the ingot parts, or you pour the whole mold full then (?) break the ingot parts apart. Which is the right way? Or IS THERE a "right way?"

    Finally, Lyman's ingot mold costs about twice what Lee's does...They're both aluminum, and the Lyman ain't that much bigger, so what's the deal?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
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    I pour up to the edges. I don't use the 1/4 lb Lee holes very often.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know if there is a "right way", but I just fill to the separations, and that works for me right fine.

    Others may do it different, but I reckon it is a personal thing to choose to do with no real "right or wrong" to it.
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  4. #4
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Different alloys will weight different if poured to the same level. So it will be near impossible to consistently pour 1 lb ingots.
    So as JBinMN says, there is no "right way".

    Is Lyman making ingot molds out of aluminum now?
    They use to be cast Iron.

    With all that said, I prefer 2 lb ingots. A recent Group Buy had 4 cavity molds that would cast 2+ lb ingots.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I have two SAECO and one Lyman and one Lee mold. Okay when emptying the pot but for smelting use aluminum muffin tins.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master nvbirdman's Avatar
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    Go to a thrift store and look for something of cast iron or aluminum you can use for an ingot mold. I have one of the cast iron corncob pans and a few aluminum muffin pans. They were very cheap (less than the Lee mold).

  7. #7
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    Look at goodwill or salvation army for muffin pans.
    See if the wife will part with one ? Mine did as it had a bit of rust... she got a new one so we were both happy.

  8. #8
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    I have collected Ingot molds for almost 50yrs. I use different brands for Different alloys.
    I only fill to just below the edge of each partition.

    One of the best ingot molds out there is the Cast Iron Scone Pan made by LODGE. It makes 7 ingots of approximately 2 1/2 lbs each. And they are big enough to write on. A heavy Black Marker will let you differentiate between alloys. Or paint the ends different colors.

    I bought mine at Ralphs (Kroeger) Supermarket on sale $10+change. Normally $26, which is almost what most Brand Name 1lbx4 ingot molds cost.

    Regardless of cost it will give you a LOT More ingots for the money.
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  9. #9
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    I wouldn't overthink this process. Ingots are just a way to store lead. Exactly how much they weigh isn't very important.I have purchased lead from a sponsor/vendor and sometimes it came in "Lyman ingots". When I weighed the total amount the weight came out close to what I ordered, but individual ingots can vary. I use muffin pans mostly and occasionally small loaf pans. I often fill the muffin pan cups up to near top, and usually just an inch or two in the loaf pans...
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  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    There is no right way. I have a RCBS mold I use for pure lead only. I just fill it full. I have larger molds for diff alloy. Every alloy type has a diff mold shape. Easier to keep track of things for me.
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  11. #11
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    I've got an old-fashioned cast iron muffin pan that produces almost exactly 2 lb. ingots from COWW and just 2 or 3 oz. over that from cleaned and fluxed range scrap....that's 24 to 26 lb. at a time if I fill all 12 cavities. I've had it for several years, but IIRC I paid $5 for it at a rural church rummage sale.

    For lino and specific alloys, I use a couple 4-cavity Lyman molds and label the ingots with a Sharpie.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I just fill to top so four are made and easier to deal with for me whatever their weight are. One thing I started doing is using aluminum soda cans for a faster run. Cut top out with can opener and rinse well, MUST BE PERFECTLY DRY INSIDE BEFORE USE!!!!!! Fill right up to neck and about two to three hours later you can almost touch it, a pair of diagonal cutters and needle nose and roll off can. Makes usually 8 pounders and change and in use after first one melts ease second in and away you go in little bottom pour. Use cans with water on cold pot to double check volume so no Lava flows.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Ed_Shot's Avatar
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    Non-stick muffin pans from W-mart. I've been using the same six for years.

  14. #14
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    I was happily surprised to see Mr. Nelson, of Night Owl Enterprises (NOE) -- a forum Vendor Sponser manufactures and sells ingot moulds. Not really the least expensive option one might find, but -- I have purchased and use a few of these -- the QUALITY is ever so much better than others I have. Just an option... which I endorse. http://noebulletmolds.com/NV/index.php?cPath=95
    BEST -- whichever/whatever you use.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I have one of the Lyman aluminum moulds. I don't have the lee but it's very similar from the pictures. The lee might be nice for alloys other than wheel weights so you get half pound ingots. Along with the Lyman, I have 2 or 3 muffin pans I use and 4-5 I've not used yet. I throw my ingots in a 5 gallon bucket so I don't care what shape they are. The Lyman ones sure are pretty though.

    I have some of the mini muffin tins that I'll use for tin should I ever have a meltable quantity.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    I've had a bad experience with what was supposed to be an aluminum muffin pan. Nope. It was tinned (and very, very thin) steel. Of course the alloy stuck to the tinning... Yuck.

    The thrust of my question was really "does it make a difference how full you pour an ingot mould." I guess the only real difference is if you're mixing alloys and depending on each ingot to be close to the same weight.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Victor N TN's Avatar
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    Personally I use an OLD Lyman cast iron mold. But I worked with a machinist that used everything but the kitchen sink. He was always happy. (But I speculated he may be using {smoking} something to keep his happiness at the top peg... If you know what I mean.) He sure did make some good bullets though.
    Last edited by Victor N TN; 10-02-2019 at 08:15 PM.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Well I didn't answer your question so I'll attempt it. I try to fill each cavity just to the top of the dividers. I don't know there is a correct way. Maybe one way will give a pound with pure and the other a pound with Linotype.

    I would weigh if I was wanting specific alloy and repeatable results.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgerkahn View Post
    I was happily surprised to see Mr. Nelson, of Night Owl Enterprises (NOE) -- a forum Vendor Sponser manufactures and sells ingot moulds. Not really the least expensive option one might find, but -- I have purchased and use a few of these -- the QUALITY is ever so much better than others I have. Just an option... which I endorse. http://noebulletmolds.com/NV/index.php?cPath=95
    BEST -- whichever/whatever you use.
    geo
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	NOE Ingot mould.JPG 
Views:	16 
Size:	59.2 KB 
ID:	249182
    I'll second that sentiment. I obtained one of the NOE 4 pound ingot molds. It is really nice to use. The fact that they connect so nicely to NOE (or Lee) handles makes them extremely handy.

    I have a couple of RCBS ingot molds too. Work great, but the NOE is a step above.



    Regarding the question in the OP, I pretty much try to fill them up. The RCBS, same, but not so much that the ingots fuse together.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Check the comments in this post...

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