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Thread: Heat sink for cooling ingots

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    JSnover's Avatar
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    Got scrap lumber? A couple of sawhorses (store-bought or homemade) under a sheet of plywood will keep the ingots off the floor. Maybe throw an old wet blanket on top
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  2. #22
    Vendor Sponsor Bantou's Avatar
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    I have a table that I put the molds on


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  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    I don't do large ingots as I want them to fit in my Lee 20lb pot for casting boolits so my method may not work for you. I use the small muffin tins set in a cookie sheet with about 1/4" of water in it. They cool off real fast. Just have to be careful pouring the lead.

  4. #24
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Just a thought. I think you mentioned being a Lineman in another post? May one of mine about pole top pins? If so, there has to be a piece of channel laying around from a regulator platform or a platform mounted transformer bank!!! Maybe a junk air break switch?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    Just a thought. I think you mentioned being a Lineman in another post? May one of mine about pole top pins? If so, there has to be a piece of channel laying around from a regulator platform or a platform mounted transformer bank!!! Maybe a junk air break switch?
    We use timbers or aluminum racks for our banks and regulators. Iíll look around for an old air switch though, that isnít a half bad idea lol


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  6. #26
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
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    I use a wet cotton towel in a shallow pan of water. Since we smelt about 300 lbs of ingots at once using 4 sets of Lee ingot molds we can't wait around for things to cool enough to dump. The Lee aluminum molds show no worse for wear after 5000 lbs of ingots, except for loosening handles. It steams a lot and you have to be careful not to get water drops into the mold cavity but it works well for us. I cool just enough for the ingot surface to solidify and frost over so it can be dumped without warping.

  7. #27
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    I use LOTS of ingot molds
    A pot is usually good for two pours
    This clears most of the pot of alloy.
    Then turn off the burner, let cool just a bit
    and add more alloy, when pot alloy is solid
    Then do it over again
    Lyman, RCBS, and Ohaus ingot molds, four one pound ingots
    14 molds x 4 = 56 pounds for 1/2 a pot
    Mold cooling is not an issue at this rate.

    Mike
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  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Once I dump my ingots I place the mold on a dampened towel, use a new mold and repeat. I use 4-6 molds at a time (small time renderer) and repeat starting with the first mold. I dampen the towel as needed.

    Slim
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  9. #29
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    I use a muffin pan from Walmart for my mold. It can make 12 ingots.
    I put the muffin pan on top of two pieces of 1-1/2" steel angle iron (point up) which is on the table that my smelter is on.

    I ladle the alloy and fill the muffin pan.
    The air space under the muffin pan works well to cool down the alloy.

    After the alloy hardens, I turn it upside down at the garage floor level and dump them out and let them cool while I pour another batch.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master


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    I like to save up my lead and then do a big batch. I have enough ingot moulds to do 75 lbs at a time. While they are cooling the next batch is melting, so little wasted time. I use an old Work-mate with a piece of plywood that is covered with an oil drip pan. The plywood is strong while the lead doesn't stick to the drip pan, making for easy cleanup. And I melt with a turkey fryer and a heavy duty stainless steel pot. I can do about 150 lbs/hr with this setup, if all the lead is ready to go. Picking clips out of the pot will slow things down a bit, but not too much.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    I got enough muffin tins to do 150lbs. 4'x4' piece of plywood on the tailgate and bed of my pickup. Smelting pot is slightly higher then the tailgate and the sheetmetal windscreen keeps the heat away from the tailgate 12" away. I reload the pot and start dumping ingots to finish cooling and mark for alloy. Ingots weigh about 2lbs each. So that's 6 tins of 12 and 1 tin of 6 or 13 tins of 6 or any combination. I got about 30 used muffin tins that I paid $1 each. No bent back or complicated setup that you'll end up trying to store or move around. Best thing is my setup is mobile. I sort while the pot is melting. Don't stand over the pot so your sweat drops in the pot. I use the sheetmetal from a 30gal lowboy HW heater for a windbreak and the top for a lid.

  12. #32
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    I have several of Lakehouse's molds. There's a lot of metal in the drafted side walls and dividers that I think would make the mold pretty stiff, but, even if there is a tiny degree of warping, this is an ingot, not a boolit mold. They'll probably still fit in a SFR Priority Mail Box no problem.

    I think that a damp towel, wicking up more water from a pie tin as it dries, is a good bet. For me and my aluminum boolit molds, I got lots of rust on the ferrous parts of the molds, but that's not an issue with your ingot molds.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Wet rag on top and concrete works for me

  14. #34
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    me too
    Quote Originally Posted by winelover View Post
    +1 on the concrete.

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  15. #35
    Boolit Master brassrat's Avatar
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    I put the tins in a metal tray and pour water carefully around them. Its exciting but often leaves craters on the bottoms. Its usually pewter melts

  16. #36
    Boolit Grand Master

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    For true production A piece of aluminum I beam and weld some fins in side. Like on an engine cylinder. A fan blowing over the sides will pull a lot of heat off. The more surface area the better the draw.

    Another way would be to line the underside of the I beam with several runs of copper tubing in a loop cap one end and 1/8 tygon tube to a bucket. A small water pump into other end with 1/4" or 3/8 inlet when using pump water thru the loop using a 5 gallon bucket for the water supply. During breaks the water can be poured out and replaced with cold again. Even better would be to make the loop to sit on top of the beam and sit the ingot moulds directly on top of the loop. The water flowing thru the loop will pull a lot of heat out fast You could make a square coil the ingot mouls set in but that might be awkward to get them in and out of. THe water flow all arounf would really pull heat. ANother option would be to add antifreeze to the water to pull even more heat

  17. #37
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by rondog View Post
    I just use a folded wet towel or a cold concrete garage floor.
    +1,,,,,
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  18. #38
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    Hmmm...production huh?

    Get an aluminum radiator from a car or truck and run the garden hose to it and from it. Mayb get a plate of aluminum to set on top spread out the weight. Probably need some creative plumbing techniques like I see on the Red and Green show.

    Test it for LEAKS!

    Country gent set me onto this idea.

  19. #39
    Boolit Buddy

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    I think the next time I'm making ingots I'm going to try the wet towel inside a cookie sheet. Pour my lead into my ingots moulds, let them get solid a little bit, and then move them to the wet towel to sizzle.
    I don't want to be pouring molten lead over any water. No matter how much I try, I will mess it up and drop some molten lead into a puddle of water.

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  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bantou View Post
    Does the towel not warp the mold? Iíve used a damp rag to cool my boolit molds when they get too hot but that is a lot thicker aluminum than my ingot molds.
    I have two aluminum ingot molds that are the same size as what Lakehouse offers (made by Beone, years earlier).
    I use a folded wet terrycloth towel on a wood stump to cool the filled ingot molds...no warpage.

    But, just to be clear about my process. I have two ingot molds, while the first mold is sitting on the towel and cooling, I have the second mold on a brick next to my smelting setup. I fill it with molten alloy. Then I dump the cooled ingots from the first mold that was on the towel, then I freshen the moisture on the towel with a half cup of water. This all happens in about a minute. In that time, the second mold, the ingots have crystalized/froze over, then I place it on the towel. Even though it's crystalized/froze, it's still too hot to dump, the ingots will break into pieces.

    Then I repeat..

    Since the ingot mold that was just dumped isn't blazing hot, when I pour new molten alloy into it, it freezes fairly quickly...like I said, it's about a minute, which is that same amount of time that it takes to dump ingots, and pour some new ones. So, I found there isn't any waiting around, even on a warm day. and have found the two ingot molds is all I need.
    Good Luck.

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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