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Thread: Lead smelting thermometer

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Nov 2019

    Lead smelting thermometer

    I have finally picked up a Lee Pro 4-20 pot to start casting bullets on my own, rather than at a nearby friend's house. I have read up on the "How's" and such, and have several bullet and ingot moulds, but I don't know where to find a high temp thermometer. Is this necessary, or is it just a trial and error until you find the right setting on the dial and the right amount of time in the pot?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy leadhead 500's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    The Rcbs thermometer is outstanding! The lead pots will vary on temperature and every Mould will vary on what temperature it cast the best at.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Ed_Shot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    North Texas
    I recommend the TEL TRU Model LT225R. It has a 5" stem and a heat range of 200~1000 degrees. Look on Amazon or Ebay.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    I've had good luck with the Lyman digital thermometer. I did replace the probe with a 12" model from flea bay.


  5. #5
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Looks like your hooked LOL

    eventually, you will want to put a PID on the pot, set it and forget it

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I let the mold and pot tells me what it likes ,I do not use a thermometer, I was taught years ago with out one and did not see for me to use one for casting. But it works for me . Not all molds will cast at first on the temp that some think.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    west central Illinois
    The need for a thermometer depends greatly on how precise you want to be. Are you looking for the ultimate in cast accuracy? Then get a thermometer as well as some other testing goodies, such as hardness tester and even a way to test your alloy.
    If you want inexpensive practice ammo that is pretty accurate and easy to produce, forget the thermometer and testing eaquipment and just learn your equipment, which you will need to do anyway.
    I don't use anything beyond my experience to direct my casting. The boolits I make shoot great groups and don't cause problems for my guns.
    Much depends on what you, personally, want out of casting.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy mehavey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Get -- and use -- a Thermometer.
    Lymans' are fine. Don't go crazy.

    700 for Lyman #2 alloy
    750 for 30:1 softer alloys & standard wheelweights
    800 for pure lead

    Thermometers give you repeatable input.
    Repeatable input gives you reliable output.
    Last edited by mehavey; 03-25-2020 at 10:16 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    I have both a Tel True and an RCBS that read pretty close to what my PID reads. The Lyman that I had was way off. This was a dial, not the digital one.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Northern California
    The title said smelting.
    That is what you do when you melt down....say, range scrap in order to get the lead out.
    You are inquiring about a thermometer for your Casting pot.

    I guess I'm being a bit anal, but since you are starting out, using the correct terms would eliminate some confusion.

    Having said that, I would recommend getting a PID to control the temp. of your Lee pot.
    It is basically a souped up thermostat that has a temp. probe that goes into you alloy.
    I would use the money that you would spend for a thermometer and add some to purchase or build a PID device.

    Good goin' on your Lee pot purchase.
    It is a good feeling to be independent.....plus it's fun!
    Last edited by Rizzo; 03-26-2020 at 02:17 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    Quote Originally Posted by trapper9260 View Post
    I let the mold and pot tells me what it likes ,I do not use a thermometer, I was taught years ago with out one and did not see for me to use one for casting. But it works for me . Not all molds will cast at first on the temp that some think.
    Same for me. I can tell if the melt and mold are the right temp by listening to the "plop plop fizz fizz" The freshly canst boolits make when they hit my cooling water tub. Just takes practice.

    I see not need for a thermometer once you gain the wisdom of casting.

    And melting for CASTING is totally different than RE-MELTING (the correct term to use) scrap to make ingots. SMELTING is the refining of raw mined ore into metal.


  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Ball Ground, GA
    As others have said, the Lyman digital for the price is the best bet. Temps do matter when casting, why guess at it?

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