MidSouth Shooters SupplyRepackboxLee PrecisionInline Fabrication
RotoMetals2Titan ReloadingADvertise hereWideners

Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Heat Difference: Pure Lead vs. Alloyed Lead?

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    10

    Heat Difference: Pure Lead vs. Alloyed Lead?

    I'm new to the casting scene. I have cleaned and recleaned a little over 100 lbs. of pure lead. Using a Lee Magnum Melter, with the switch at about 7 on the dial, from time to time, I was getting the bluish hue to the lead as I poured ingots. Now as I added Superhard and tin, making it 95-3-2 alloyed, I get a frosty look to the ingots. And before I can add more lead to the pot, a goldish film develops on the surface in the pot. I assume I need more heat if I get frosting. But the gold film throws me. I'm pouring ingots into a muffin tray.

    I ordered two molds from MidwayUSA last week. I'm hoping to get them later this week. I'm feeling like a kid right before Christmas.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Cass county, Michigan
    Posts
    505
    Pure lead melts at a higher temperature than alloy lead. The colors in pure lead are really nothing to worry about. "Frosting" in your ingots is also not much to worry about, frosting in your finished cast boolits indicates a mold that is too hot, or your melt is too hot.
    When casting pure lead for muzzleloading round balls or minnies the pot temperature needs to be somewhere around 700*-750*, when casting alloy for center fire boolits the temperature will be lower. You need to find the sweet spot somewhere between wrinkled boolits and frosted boolits for the mold you are using and the cadence of your casting.

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    10
    Okay, thanks! Somehow I got it backwards. I thought frosting was from being too cool. I know I have lots to learn. Back to reading!

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    1,641
    Lyman cast bullet #4 and http://www.lasc.us/ have a ton of great information

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    10
    I like that web site. I should consider Lyman's casting manual. There is so much here on this site, it's hard to take it all in.

  6. #6
    Moderator



    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    12,833
    while many do cast without a thermometer (or PID), it really helps knowing the temperature of the melt, because the Dial on the Lee melter is not consistent with anything. Also, because of the placement of the thermostat and heating element on the Lee pot, the temperature of the alloy will increase as the alloy level goes down...this happens when keeping the dial in the same position. So many people will turn the dial down a tiny bit as the level goes down, to maintain a constant temperature.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Land Owner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mims, FL
    Posts
    669
    Are you fluxing your melt? Crayons, wax, saw dust, anything? Stir it in. Remove the crud. Stir to keep elements from disassociating in the melt. You should flux. We do.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    while many do cast without a thermometer (or PID), it really helps knowing the temperature of the melt, because the Dial on the Lee melter is not consistent with anything. Also, because of the placement of the thermostat and heating element on the Lee pot, the temperature of the alloy will increase as the alloy level goes down...this happens when keeping the dial in the same position. So many people will turn the dial down a tiny bit as the level goes down, to maintain a constant temperature.
    I kind of wondered about the heat and temperature part. I could see the pot getting red when it started out empty, and that was near the bottom. I bought a non contact thermometer, but it doesn't like shiny surfaces. The PID I may have to look into sometime after things get somewhat normal.

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by Land Owner View Post
    Are you fluxing your melt? Crayons, wax, saw dust, anything? Stir it in. Remove the crud. Stir to keep elements from disassociating in the melt. You should flux. We do.
    Pine sawdust, mainly. Some popular. I got it pretty clean. I have read much on this site, and one was about the fluxes you all use.
    My daughter does have some candle wax, soy base, that she left here. I just haven't looked through the boxes to find it. But thank you for checking.

  10. #10
    Moderator



    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    12,833
    Quote Originally Posted by kcofohio View Post
    I kind of wondered about the heat and temperature part. I could see the pot getting red when it started out empty, and that was near the bottom. I bought a non contact thermometer, but it doesn't like shiny surfaces. The PID I may have to look into sometime after things get somewhat normal.
    I found that my aftermarket PID update was an awesome improvement to my Lee pot, but I rarely suggest it, as it isn't necessary (it's like comparing a car with automatic transmission to a car with a manual) and it will double or triple the cost of a Lee pot to a newbie who probably choose the Lee pot due to cost.

    I will add another large improvement to my casting hobby, since you are a newbie. Preheating the Mold on a thrift store Hot plate. Once you figure out what setting to adjust it too, it's awesome to start a casting session with the mold at the correct temp, no wrinkles or other rejects, just good looking boolits after the first couple pours. When I was starting out, I would have to cast for 20 or 30 minutes to get good boolits to drop freely from the mold. NOW, some will say that setting the mold on top of the pot does the same thing and I found it did help somewhat, and so does dipping the corner of the mold into the melt, But there is no control over what temp your mold ends up at...doing those two things I found I was still casting rejects for many many pours. The Heat plate idea was a Godsend for me, I also added a modified steel coffee can to create a oven effect (hold in Heat) on top of the Heatplate.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    10
    Thanks JonB for the tip. I will keep an eye out for one as I also am looking for pewter and a used convection oven.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    England,Ar
    Posts
    5,943
    All good suggestions above. But don't knock your self out looking for a used hot plate. You can get a new one from Walmart for 12 or 14 dollars. But if you see a used one for a lot less you can grab it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,220
    Quote Originally Posted by kcofohio View Post
    I like that web site. I should consider Lyman's casting manual. There is so much here on this site, it's hard to take it all in.
    Your not gonna learn it all overnight. Reading is fine but experience is just as important.

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by jsizemore View Post
    Your not gonna learn it all overnight. Reading is fine but experience is just as important.
    I totally agree! Contrary to popular belief, you can teach an old dog new tricks. You just have to have the right treats.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub CaptRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Myrtle Beach SC
    Posts
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by jsizemore View Post
    Your not gonna learn it all overnight. Reading is fine but experience is just as important.
    absolutely, i cut my teeth on everything reloading here on this site. all the info you need to do anything casting and reloading is here somewhere, but until you put it into practice, only then will the true learning begin
    "A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government" -George Washington

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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