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Thread: Until (RELATIVE) sanity returns to the market...

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Until (RELATIVE) sanity returns to the market...

    Currently, I'm without a melter. The ones that I can afford are out of stock. When this situation improves, I'll jump on a bottom-pour pot with all possible speed.

    UNTIL then, what items, not originally designed nor sold for melting pots, may be used to serve in the interim? I have a half-dozen Lee molds which cast better bullets than that for which I can claim full credit. I have a few ladles which make "top pour"(?) casting possible. At the moment, the "hitch in the git-along" is a manageable and adjustable heat source. I'd PREFER electric, but I'm not against the "used Coleman Camp Stove" route. I'll just have to monopolize more space in the garage, which never gets me stellar reviews from "the boss".

    All suggestions welcome.
    Last edited by Kosh75287; 10-18-2020 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Punctuation
    For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Ecclesiastes 1:18
    He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool become servant to the wise of heart. Proverbs 11:29
    ...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40


    Carpe SCOTCH!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    dtknowles's Avatar
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    When I was a kid my Mom let me cast on her kitchen stove. I use wax for flux and burned the fumes. My wife would pitch a fit and now I use sawdust to flux so I think casting outside is a better plan.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

  3. #3
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    I'm kind of an antique, but I still cast with a cast iron cooking pot over a propane burner, dip the lead and fill the molds with a Lyman bottom pour ladel. Works for me....but I've done it for years. If you've got lots of time you can keep making wrinkled boolits until the molds heat up (return them to the pot) or devise a way to preheat them. Once they get too hot and start making frosted boolits just change to a different mold and cast something else for awhile. I tried a Lyman bottom pour electric pot for awhile, but the spout kept plugging up, so returned to the stone age.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Are your ladles side pouring casting ladles or open topped versions? Either I would imagine will do, though pressure casting needs a side pour with the half covered bowl on the spout side.

    A steel sauce pan or small cast iron pot should do the trick or holding the melt. I've read warnings about potential catastrophic failure of aluminum pots used for lead melting so no to that.

    Small adjustable liquid fuel or gas burners are popular choices for small set ups. Electric, I'm not so sure of. I think the wattage and element configuration may be important factors in success. More wattage=more heat. Too small an element under a big pot of lead may get you a molten blob of lead buried under a crust of hot but solid lead too far from the heat source to melt fully.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Joe504's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kosh75287 View Post
    Currently, I'm without a melter. The ones that I can afford are out of stock. When this situation improves, I'll jump on a bottom-pour pot with all possible speed.

    UNTIL then, what items, not originally designed nor sold for melting pots, may be used to serve in the interim. I have a half-dozen Lee molds which cast better bullets than that for which I can claim full credit. I have a few ladles which make "top pour"(?) casting possible. At the moment, the "hitch in the git-along" is a manageable and adjustable heat source. I'd PREFER electric, but I'm not against the "used Coleman Camp Stove" route. I'll just have to monopolize more space in the garage, which never gets me stellar reviews from "the boss".

    All suggestions welcome.
    Sending you a PM

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    When smelting and rarely casting bullets, I use the propane Coleman camp stove. I have the adapter so I can use the tanks instead of the small bottles. That and an old cast iron pot works very well. Gp

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Coleman stove or propane side burner, smaller stainless or cast iron pot, and a stainless kitchen ladle with a 3/32” hole drilled in the bottom.

    I used a smaller commercial 2oz sauce laddle with a 3/32” hole as my primary casting ladle. Think of it as a “mobile bottom pour pot”. It works good and holds enough lead to fill a six cavity .452” mold.

    JM

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    My first experience casting was over a stainless steel pot bought at a junk shop. We used 2 or 3 propane torches, the little kind that screws onto the small canister. I got maybe 10 lbs of wheel weights from a tire shop, we melted them, and I cast them into round balls with a Lee mould. They were tough to load into the BP revolver because of the alloy. I think I used a spoon from the same junk shop as a ladle.

    You can get it done with limited funds and almost no ability to buy the right stuff. Just don't use an aluminum pot or lead from batteries.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    I have never cast from a pot heated by a flame but do not envision it being difficult. Adding a thermometer might be helpful to keep the melt at a constant temperature....but that is a good idea with an electric pot too.

    I started with a 10 cavity mold and have ladle cast 10's of thousands of bullets with a ladle. Bottom pour may be "nice" but certainly not necessary.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Single burner Coleman stove (large plastic base) adapter, 20 lb gas bottle, Lyman cast iron 10 lb pot or a ss one Qt. kitchen pot is what I have been using for years and see no reason to change. I do it in the garage in suburban Virginia with the doors open. I use the same outfit for melting wheel weights and mixing alloy.

    When using an open pot and ladle you have to use your wax more often because you are creating a considerable O2 access to the molten lead when dipping and pouring and over pouring. Don't be surprised if you see a skim of tin on the surface a lot quicker than you expected.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    when I started it was a lyman ladle. lee two cavity mold and a two burner coleman camp stove. I got a thermometer and regulated the heat that way . Cast many many a good bullet . I then moved to a lyman big dipper for heat but everything else the same. Used that for a year or so and went to the lee 4-20 pro. All worked great it was just speed that increased. still have all. I like to use the lyman big dipper on small runs like 10 lbs or less

    all have there place so dont feel you have to upgrade. just refine what you have for now if need be

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy dimaprok's Avatar
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    Midwayusa has Lee pro 4 20 bottom pour pot in stock with free shipping.

    Been in stock for some time, I am debating of picking one up or fixing the old one, the screw for slide bracket keeps falling out

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Almost any heat source will work A turkey fryer and stand, coleman stove, weed burner, ect ect. Work slow and monitor temps once you get the right settings on the controls its easy to repeat. You do want a thermometer to monitor as these will really overheat the melt if not monitored. I use a weed burner for heat under a 130 lb pot. I crank it up starting then in about 15 mins when molten starts to show around edges drop back to the setting then mount the thermometer and monitor when set it dosnt vary by much in a session. I got my weed burner from harbor freight for around $20.00

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



    SciFiJim's Avatar
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    I started off using a stainless steel sauce pan from a thrift store on the side burner of my gas grill. I used a soup ladle with a pour spout bent into the edge to pour with.


    Custom Cast Boolits Google Search


    The Learning Never Stops!

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    I ordered one of these from Midway last week. It was delivered yesterday. Been busy so I have not tried it yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by dimaprok View Post
    Midwayusa has Lee pro 4 20 bottom pour pot in stock with free shipping.

    Been in stock for some time, I am debating of picking one up or fixing the old one, the screw for slide bracket keeps falling out

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy gnappi's Avatar
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    Here's a thought, do you have a bud that casts bullets? I've had occasion where a friend was in a similar situation who brought a bunch of lead here and we cast together through the night!
    Regards,

    Gary

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I started with a twin burner coleman stove (unleaded gasoline) and a thrift store stainless steel pot. Soup ladle for ladling. Cast many tens of thousands of boolits on that setup. Still have that setup in case we ever have grid down scenario and until we run out of gas. Use bottom pour pot with one of Hatch's temperature controllers now. Ah, the good life.
    NRA Life 1992
    My avatar is almost a dead ringer for my little buddy Chico. Six pounds of mean that thought he was a Pit Bull. Miss that little guy.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtknowles View Post
    When I was a kid my Mom let me cast on her kitchen stove. I use wax for flux and burned the fumes. My wife would pitch a fit and now I use sawdust to flux so I think casting outside is a better plan.

    Tim
    My Mom even "donated" one of her old pots so I could melt the lead ... at our kitchen stove . She also gave me an old cookie sheet to cast over to keep splatters off her stove top .

    You don't need a pid controlled electric bottom pour furnace to cast with . A ladle , a pot and a heat source is all you need ...just get back to basics ...pretend it's 1959 !
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  19. #19
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    An electric hot plate and a steel cook pot of 1 to 1.5 quart size. No aluminum.
    On the hot plate the control may not go high enough to melt the pot of lead very fast. You can look at how the control works, you will find it has a stop of some sort. Defeat the stop so the control can go past the stop lets the hot plate get hotter. A second hot plate to preheat the molds is nice too.
    Most any large spoon can be used as a ladle but the L:yman/RCBS style work very well. The Lyman can be set up for left or right handed use.
    Leo

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I use an electric hotplate and an 8" cast iron skillet for melting down range scrap and turning it into ingots. Don't know why you couldn't use a ladle and pour into the molds.

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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