RotoMetals2ADvertise hereRepackboxTitan Reloading
WidenersLee PrecisionInline FabricationMidSouth Shooters Supply

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 28 of 28

Thread: Smelting and propane efficiency ?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    696
    Quote Originally Posted by mac1911 View Post
    I wish I knew what all of this meant.... seeing 14% seems that LP tank smelting is not the most efficient but probably the cheapest over all.
    No idea what a really nice smelter would go for LP or electric that would really increase anything in the end. I do know just by using a wind block My melt time decreases a good amount.
    I guess you've forgotten your high school physics. I just add up the energy needed to raise the temperature of the pot, copper scrap, and lead plus the energy to phase change lead from solid to liquid and compare that to the energy output of the propane burned. As alluded to here a layer of insulation helps a lot. My smelter has the pot sitting inside a 30 gal steel drum with 4" of fiberglas (paper back removed) and an inner sheet metal shell. Firebrick insulation is massive overkill for this type of smelter. For a simple smelting setup like this an efficiency of 15-20% is quite reasonable.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    954
    Quote Originally Posted by Idz View Post
    I guess you've forgotten your high school physics. I just add up the energy needed to raise the temperature of the pot, copper scrap, and lead plus the energy to phase change lead from solid to liquid and compare that to the energy output of the propane burned. As alluded to here a layer of insulation helps a lot. My smelter has the pot sitting inside a 30 gal steel drum with 4" of fiberglas (paper back removed) and an inner sheet metal shell. Firebrick insulation is massive overkill for this type of smelter. For a simple smelting setup like this an efficiency of 15-20% is quite reasonable.
    you definitely went to a better high school than me.... never learned a thing about energy phase or out put of energy of propane.
    Blue rhino exchange is actually the best deal around here through walmart. you can get the 15lbs for 14.98 almost everyone else is $18/21 fee to fill or exchange and your lucky if they put 18lbs in the tank.
    One large place will charge you per gallon at 4.98 but its a call and wait fill place for the small tanks. Amerigas is here in town but they tell you to find the exchange tanks around town.
    Either way you basically ends up with 15lbs for safety.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    954
    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    The trick is limiting heat loss and directing ALL the heat to where you need it.

    A coffee can shield cut to fit around the burner and direct the heat to the bottom of your smelting pot will decrease the required heat.

    My propane smelting pot has a ring going down to the burner grate and areas bent out around the side for flame/heat to go up the outside of the tank


    Using a lid also helps contain the heat in the pot (and limit smoke and smell)
    A little change in my set up with a slight variation of your set up. I switched back to the cast iron pots and used a section of LP tank to make a ring that surrounds the pot while on the burner. My sheet metal windscreen and my muffin pans filling the gap I was able to do almost 100lbs of ignots from 2 isotope containers and some scrap and lead heavy dross. Took less time than the LP tank pot. I used 1.3lbs a bit better than last time that gets me up to the 1000lb area . I think I have just enough fuel to do another 50-75lbs of some random scraps. Then im done until I build up the scrap pile again.

  4. #24
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    England,Ar
    Posts
    6,248
    I've never really tracked my propane usage but a good guess would be around 1000# of melted lead per 20# bottle. My burner will really put a frost line on a 20# bottle! I mostly connect to a 100# bottle that does double duty to heat my shop. I get both the 20# bottles and the 100 pounder filled at the local fuel distributor. Its a little cheaper than the exchange at the stores in town.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    954
    Well I the cost of LP 20# tank fill or exchange is marginal in my area. Had to drive 45 round trip longer than local exchange for place that fills per gallon. They how ever only fill to 4 gallons unless its a new tank purchased by them , reason from the attendant. We cant trust the OPD valves after a few years? Anyway I saved about $5
    Good news is I reconfigured my set up and was able to process 120lbs of wheel weights from setup to clean up in just over a hour and used 1.3lbs of fuel vs 1.8 for 80lbs previously

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
    Land Owner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mims, FL
    Posts
    762
    I am very grateful to boolit casting for the equipment I had on hand during several hurricanes and those power outages. Not only are cast boolits a potential deterrent for looters, but more important than that, casting equipment provides the heat to MAKE HOT COFFEE after a concerned night of torrential rain and wind.

    With the porch boarded up, the wind howling, rain beating sideways, tree limbs blowing down, missile hazards everywhere, no AC, it was NICE in the morning to be able to sit, sip, and watch while the world around "explode".

    When my wife awoke, she was surprised, remarkably impressed, and very pleased with HOT COFFEE waiting for her. She hasn't stopped praising me since (and joking about the clean white sock I used for a filter). I even repurposed the drill press with a clean bolt head and used that set up for crushing the coffee beans. Worked better than I had planned and I am King of the Castle in her eyes.

    It's the "little things" you know....
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    954
    Quote Originally Posted by Land Owner View Post
    I am very grateful to boolit casting for the equipment I had on hand during several hurricanes and those power outages. Not only are cast boolits a potential deterrent for looters, but more important than that, casting equipment provides the heat to MAKE HOT COFFEE after a concerned night of torrential rain and wind.

    With the porch boarded up, the wind howling, rain beating sideways, tree limbs blowing down, missile hazards everywhere, no AC, it was NICE in the morning to be able to sit, sip, and watch while the world around "explode".

    When my wife awoke, she was surprised, remarkably impressed, and very pleased with HOT COFFEE waiting for her. She hasn't stopped praising me since (and joking about the clean white sock I used for a filter). I even repurposed the drill press with a clean bolt head and used that set up for crushing the coffee beans. Worked better than I had planned and I am King of the Castle in her eyes.

    It's the "little things" you know....
    my wife was shocked first time we had to live with out powder how much I can do with a old "rusty" coleman stove and a little white fuel.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    954
    So a few minor updates, when I get enough scrap to do another smelt session I hope to have something a bit more refined and nicer to the eye. Im not as well hidden as I once was and there is eyes on my spot more than before.



    120lbs of Independence Day Alloy ---god bless and thank you


Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

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