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Thread: New to me propane burner

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    New to me propane burner

    I picked up a used bass pro propane burner yesterday for $15, less than 10 mile ride out of my way.
    Not the real beast that I wanted, but should be much better than my Coleman gas stove for smelting.



    I couldnít resist and pulled the tank off the grill to try it out.
    The Dutch oven had 1-2 inches of lead in it and a bunch of water that I poured off.

    Must have been condensation, lid was on and it was in a covered box.

    Only took a few minutes to dry out the lead, but then I ran out of propane.
    So today I filled up all 4 propane tanks and just couldnít resist a test, even though it was lightly snowing.
    5 minutes of slow heating then 10 minutes of full blast had the pot half melted, I figure 50-60lbs of lead (I added 25lbs of ingots).

    The air adjuster is frozen stiff, wouldnít move even after loosening screw.
    And I think it could use adjusting.

    Still good enough performance on a cold breezy day.

    Now if it will dry out before July so I can harvest some range scrap to really give it a workout.
    I only managed one trip last year, it was too wet.

    At least I can resmelt, clean and average out the remainder of last years haul, probably 100lbs total of dirty ingots left.


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  2. #2
    Vendor Sponsor Bantou's Avatar
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    Nice. You might want to need those legs up a little though. They look like they are bowing out in the picture.


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The legs seemed ok, I will check again next time.
    I wouldnít want a full pot of lead on them, they arenít the best.

    The real issue is the ground is so soft right now.
    I really need to level the ground a bit and put some plywood down.
    Even with all the weight on it you could step on the feet and they would sink further into the ground, then spring back up when released.
    The ground is like a sponge right now.

    I also need to figure out a new setup, I used to work on my storage boxes, kept everything at a nice working height.
    I have no interest in bending down to fill molds or pick up tools.


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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    a piece of 1/8" x 1 1.2 flat stock in edge and fitted in from bottom of ring to foot and welded down the center would stiffen that stand up a lot. then weld the tabs where its bolted together. A light sheet metal ring the dia of the ring under the pot and as tall as the pot will hold heat in better and help speed up melt times

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    You lost me at the whole welding thing.
    On my wish list, but I havenít stuck metal together since shop class, 30 years ago.


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  6. #6
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    test its capacity before melting heave amounts of lead. Get someone/something a lot heavier than the lead you're going to melt to sit/set on it and see how it reacts. nothing worse than having a leg fail with a pot full of molted lead.

  7. #7
    Vendor Sponsor Bantou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    test its capacity before melting heave amounts of lead. Get someone/something a lot heavier than the lead you're going to melt to sit/set on it and see how it reacts. nothing worse than having a leg fail with a pot full of molted lead.
    I second this. I got on mine and bounced on it before I upgraded to a bigger pot. I figure if it didnít fail with 210lbs bouncing on it, it should hold 150 lbs of lead without a problem.


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  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    You will enjoy the increased production from getting away from the Coleman stove. But I'll echo what the others have said about testing its strength and maybe beefing it up.

    I agree with you about designing your set up to avoid bending. My ingot molds set on a piece of 1/2in X 6in steel plate placed across the top of 2 plastic chemical barrels. The burner and pot set on a pallet to raise it to a comfortable working height. The whole set up sets on a 4X8 sheet of plywood to catch any drips or splashes.

    Also consider that when you increase one part of your set up you need to expand the other parts in order to gain the full benefits. A bigger burner needs a larger pot. A larger pot may require a few more ingot molds to avoid the time waiting for them to cool.

  9. #9
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    I smelt in the back of a trailer, brings everything up to a good height and any drips land in the trailer. I made 8 5-cavity ingot molds to speed up the process.



    my "tools of the trade


  10. #10
    Vendor Sponsor Bantou's Avatar
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    What do you use the whisk for?


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  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    To make scrambled lead.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Pablo 5959's Avatar
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    Itís not pretty but I have one similar to yours.
    I stiffened the legs and added a heat shield. Works great with a cut and a half propane tank.

    C5CA2977-22BC-4439-A8FC-13343E1D4CFE by Paul Mi, on Flickr
    WWG1WGA

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    That propane tank on the burner looks like one of those "hold my beer and watch this" moments

  14. #14
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    It's not hard to pour a small concrete pad to work on. A 4x4 foot pad is plenty. If you want a higher work plat from stacking a few cinder blocks is good.
    On you burner adding extra steel to the legs isn't hard. Find a place that sells metal. I have on near by. They also custom build things.
    They have a place in back where they keep the cut offs, leftovers from things they make. They sell this by the pound. The last I bought was a 3/8 inch thick piece of Hardox steel for a gong. it was about a foot wide and 18 inches tall $18.
    You may find some steel angle iron for legs and ingot molds.
    Leo

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I use that same cooker with a 10qt dutch oven. It will hold 150lbs of alloy. To test how it sets on the ground, I put a 2'x2' piece of plywood on top of the cooker, climb up the stepladder beside it and put my 245lbs on it. A little bounce confirms it sets just fine and can handle the weight. I've cleaned better than 10 tons of alloy with that setup. I use a 30gal. lowboy HW heater sheet metal jacket for a wind break. Cut the sheet metal so its slightly taller then the burner + pot height. I cut the sheet metal vertically through the thermostat openings so it can be wrapped around the cooker/pot, supply fresh air to the burner and entrance for the gas hose. I use the HW heater top for a lid with the holes for thermometer opening to monitor the melts condition. I adjust the flame so the tips are right at the bottom/side junction. I clean 1800lbs of scavenged lead with a single 20lb tank of propane. Blasting the gas is a waste and insures you'll melt those zinc WW's you missed. Keep those nuts and bolts tight. Congrats on your find.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I'd put some sort of reinforcing under the main top ring to hold more weight and stabilize it.

    Bolt angle stock to make struts going down to the ground onto a concrete base made from a bag or two of redi-mix.

    Or, cinder blocks/bricks stacked up with a couple of 1/2" round stock, square tubing, or angle going across them under the top ring.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    So it passed its first test.
    Over 100lbs of ingots remelted and mixed.
    Three batches, 1hr 40min startup to shutdown.
    I need more I got molds (muffin tins for now).
    Could have been done in an hour or less with more I got molds and if I was used to the setup.

    And a much better setup, not only was it hard on my back, but I did not feel the safest with todayís setup. Too much walking around stuff on the ground and if I trip the lead pot was right there.
    There will be improvements before next time.

    Nothing for you guys with the big boy setups, but a huge improvement over the Coleman.

    The stand seems ok for the Dutch oven, and I donít plan on filling it full of lead.

    This is not the burner of my dreams, so as long as it works ok (and it seems to for others) it will just be used a few times a year.

    Itís main purpose is to take it to the range and smelt down dirt, clay pigeons and bullets into dirty ingots which will them be reprocessed at home.

    I am done hand sorting, burn baby burn. Propane is cheap, my back and time are valuable.


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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    That is processing some lead , you got a real bargain on your setup .

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


    Springfield's Avatar
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    mjw: I have 4 angle iron ingot moulds for sale in the S&S section. 35.00 for 4 moulds, shipped.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by onelight View Post
    That is processing some lead , you got a real bargain on your setup .
    My whole casting setup has been bargain basement, although I lust after an automated master caster.
    Thrift store and garage sale finds.
    Still less than $50 invested in 2 Coleman stoves, propane burner, Dutch oven, misc pots and utensils.
    My most expensive investment outside of Lee molds was a bottle of white labs recluse lube, face shield and new set of welding gloves.

    I did splurge on a good used convection oven when I started coating, a nice oster digital convection oven, $30-$40 used.

    I cast for cheap plinking handgun ammo, and have saved a ton of money.

    Just donít tell the wife what I spent on primers and 22 ammo in the last 2 days, even I donít want to think about it. Still want more LPP, but I have a nice start.

    Then again she bought herself a few handguns last year and is the reason I am out of loaded ammo, she shot more than I did last year.


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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