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Thread: Tinsel fairy got me!! I'm OK

  1. #21
    Boolit Man
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    Defiantly be careful out there. It could be bad with the toilet paper shortage. Seriously, molten metal is not to taken lightly. I was warming an ingot on the edge of my dripolator and accidentally knocked it in. My cat shook my hand telling me he's never seen a human move that quick.

  2. #22
    Patrick L won't lead melt right through that plastic front shield? & thanks for your post, I'm new and have never done any of this & i didn't know the lead might go pop and splash everywhere.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    It never occured to me that a lubed bullet would be a problem. I dropped on on the melt. Thankfully it was shallow enough that it just sort of "boiled" the lead. But it sure got my attention!! Lesson learned the easy way, thankfully.

    These threads are good for reminsing us of the potential traps laid by lady TF. She's a sneaky one. Thanks for starting the thread.
    "There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something."
    ~Thorin Oakenshield

  4. #24
    Boolit Master

    dondiego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnChrysostom View Post
    Patrick L won't lead melt right through that plastic front shield? & thanks for your post, I'm new and have never done any of this & i didn't know the lead might go pop and splash everywhere.
    It may eventually melt a shield but it saves the operator. If you let anything that will create steam get below the surface of molten metal, an impressive spray of molten metal will result. We call it the "Tinsel Fairy" here. Read up on it!

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmacgyver0 View Post
    Don't cha just hate it when that happens?
    What he said!

    I have a motto. I darn sure don't want to get injured with the safety equipment that would have prevented it sitting right over there. So safety glasses, or even face shield, boots, jeans, leather apron, gloves are sitting there. Using them means at least if something goes wrong I may get hurt but I won't look like an idiot for ignoring my available protection.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master

    rockrat's Avatar
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    Glad you are OK and the Tinsel fairy was just flitting by and didn't stop to take a good look at what you were doing!!

  7. #27
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnChrysostom View Post
    Patrick L won't lead melt right through that plastic front shield? & thanks for your post, I'm new and have never done any of this & i didn't know the lead might go pop and splash everywhere.
    I can't imagine it getting through. I've had splatters hit it, it cools so fast it just sticks to the inside. When I've popped the dried splatter off, the Plexiglas isn't even marked. It's easily as thick as the face shields I know some casters use.

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy nelsonted1's Avatar
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    I was explaining to my physical therapist my latest close call, why I holding myself kind of tensely.
    I said I was pouring lead and dropped a damp bullet in the pot. It burped out a good sized chunk of molten metal on my lap. I said I had never jumped up with such dismay. I pulled out my pants for her bending over and shaking it like I had the day before. She asked how it could be worse with an OMG! look on her face. I said I could have had pants on with polyester-cotton blend. The pants may have stuck to me. She said Uh, huh, could be worse. (I've been training her)
    Ted
    I didn't even know the bullet was damp. I didn't feel it when I slid it in. But, surprise, surprise....

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    If you don't believe in the fairy, one way I found her was by sticking a cold ladle in a hot pot...
    It just goes "pop!" and lead goes up and out.
    WWG1WGA

  10. #30
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44Blam View Post
    If you don't believe in the fairy, one way I found her was by sticking a cold ladle in a hot pot...
    It just goes "pop!" and lead goes up and out.
    Would the cold ladle have condensation on it? I use 3 different ladles, one slotted for skimming, a large one for lowering ingots into the melt, and the small 2 oz. Lee ladle. Being fairly new to casting, I'm curious as to how cautious I need to be.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master


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    Sometimes a ladle gets some dried dross etc. on it. When you stick that cold dross in the pot, if there is any moisture trapped, there's the Tinsel Fairy. I suppose condensation could also do the same thing. I'm always careful to slowly lower ladles, fluxing spoons, etc. into hot metal SLOWLY the first time in a given casting session.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
    I can't imagine it getting through. I've had splatters hit it, it cools so fast it just sticks to the inside. When I've popped the dried splatter off, the Plexiglas isn't even marked. It's easily as thick as the face shields I know some casters use.
    Ok Thank you Noted! That makes sense now i think about it. Glad you are ok by the way

  13. #33
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
    Sometimes a ladle gets some dried dross etc. on it. When you stick that cold dross in the pot, if there is any moisture trapped, there's the Tinsel Fairy. I suppose condensation could also do the same thing. I'm always careful to slowly lower ladles, fluxing spoons, etc. into hot metal SLOWLY the first time in a given casting session.
    Thank you for the explanation! I'm trying to get into the habit of placing the ladles under the pot of the Lee Magnum Melter, on the aluminum base. Maybe that will reduce the chance of moisture. I had only been watching for obvious water sources. But I will be more watchful now.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by kcofohio View Post
    Thank you for the explanation! I'm trying to get into the habit of placing the ladles under the pot of the Lee Magnum Melter, on the aluminum base. Maybe that will reduce the chance of moisture. I had only been watching for obvious water sources. But I will be more watchful now.
    Like I said, as long as you immerse it very slowly for the first time you'll be fine. You'll hear a rumbling/bubbling sound if there's anything there that needs to heat out. I would say it takes me a good 10-15 seconds to totally immerse the tablespoon I use to stir, flux, and skim. I also be careful to put it in in such a way that nothing would get trapped (like putting it in open side down). That way any steam etc. has a way to escape.

  15. #35
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Whenever I am introducing a ladle, spoon or dipper into molten lead I'll lay it across the pot and let the bowl float on the surface for a little while. Condensation can form on these tools but some things that stick to them can also absorb moisture. Some commercial fluxes will and if you smelt solder some of the residue from their flux will too.

  16. #36
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I've never had a real visit from The Fairy (knock on wood) but I have had a hiss or two. But I did experience a Tsunami once when I was casting with a buddy and he turned the pot over! Don't ask!!! 10# of lead hit the ground and splashed up on both of our feet and legs. We were both wearing boots and jeans and the only harm was to the thermostat housing on my pot and a mess. Our legs got uncomfortably hot for a minute or two until we could pull the fabric away from our legs. I think the lead hitting the ground first probably cooled it off some.

    Now days I get a buddy to smelt with, partly because I have the best or only smelting set up between us and partly because of some physical limitations on my part. I also usually cast with a buddy or two, most for the comradery. I have a sturdy steel work bench in my shop thats big enough for 3 of us to work comfortably. And as a retired electrician, I have enough circuits behind the bench to carry 3 pots and hot plates. But having someone else present also adds to safety. I also have a couple of fire extinguishers in the shop and will have an ice chest with some half melted ice and a clean towel near by. There might even be some beer in it!

  17. #37
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Patrick ... great ideas
    Regards
    John

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    I've been fortunate that my visits from the TF were minor and injury free. Both came from submersions of cold metal (ladle in one case, an ingot in the other) into the melt. The ladle was stored under cover but outdoors. The ingots were stored indoors but in my unheated basement. I figure condensation got under alloy still adhering to the ladle or into unseen cracks or pockets in the ingots. Now everything gets preheated.

    I've only melted lubed boolits once, and that was starting from an empty pot, so no problem there. Seems like I won't try fluxing the melt with them. I have plenty of paraffin that'll do the job.

    The plexi shield is a great idea, but I'm trying to figure out how to make it work with my outdoor casting set up. I don't have a permanent station for it, and it consists of stacked pots, like the OP's. I need access top and bottom, and the ergonomics have me moving left and right at bench level for access to all the tools, molds and landing area. I'd need an easily set up shield suspended from above that I can reach around and under. Or maybe I just need to wear my PPE consistently. It may be warm and occasionally uncomfortable, but it pretty much gives me free access with reasonable dexterity and range of motion.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    Whenever I am introducing a ladle, spoon or dipper into molten lead I'll lay it across the pot and let the bowl float on the surface for a little while. Condensation can form on these tools but some things that stick to them can also absorb moisture. Some commercial fluxes will and if you smelt solder some of the residue from their flux will too.
    This is what I do too. Also, when I am first melting, I set the bowl on top of the lead I am melting so it heats up with the lead.
    WWG1WGA

  20. #40
    Boolit Buddy
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    I don't see the lubed bullet as being the problem like some state in this thread. Both individuals that have had a problem with a lubed bullet didn't have the tinsel fairy visit them but instead jerked away from the pot with a spoon in the lead slopping lead out of the pot. The tinsel fairy is in reference to water or other liquid getting under the lead causing an explosion of lead coming out of the pot spraying lead around the area like tinsel on a Christmas tree. If a lubed bullet is set on the top of the melt and not dropped into the melt the lube will melt and cook off on top with no issues, bees wax does the same thing and no one has a problem dropping wax into there melt to flux. Wrap some bees wax around a bullet and push it under the melt and see what happens.

    Sure a lead burn sucks but it's not the fault of the lubed bullet but rather a knee jerk reaction when the lube flames up which should be expected when putting anything on the top of 650 plus degree material.

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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