RotoMetals2Graf & SonsADvertise hereInline Fabrication
Lee PrecisionTitan ReloadingStainLess Steel Media

Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 119

Thread: pay attention while smelting

  1. #41
    I'm A Honcho!

    69daytona's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,Ca
    Posts
    785
    I dont think 357max was being to hard on me, just ignorant to the fact that not all new casters know everything and a little knowledge from someone who might know goes alot farther than being smacked in the head. tyr giving up some information so others dont do what I did instead of just being yourself. I use to be like you until I grew up and learned not to be like my dead old man, peolple like you better when you help and not ridicule.

  2. #42
    I'm A Honcho!




    badgeredd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    there, not here
    Posts
    2,270
    Glad I started reading this thread. I had thought a few months ago that it would be a good idea to make a lid for my smelting pot. NOW I just finished the lid because of the thread. I found out a few months ago not to add WW to a molten pot....they can hold moisture and will make a big mess if they go into the molten metal. Luckily I had stepped back from the pot and a couple WW just bumped me and no tinsle, but it could have been much worse.

    Ironically, I had set some other lead aside because it appeared wet!!!!

    Edd
    Charter member Michigan liars club!

    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "Consider the clown(s) just one of God's little nettles in the woods, don't let it detract from the beauty. Sooner or latter you are going to run into the nettles regardless of how careful you are."

    Beware of man who types much, but says nothing.

  3. #43
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    W. Az
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by 69daytona View Post
    Last night I was smelting some indoor range material and all was going good until I dropped in a scoop of material that had some water in it, That was the closest call to major third degree burns I have ever had.
    The pot of molten lead went up like it was shot out of a cannon, as soon as I heard the pop I new what was going to happen and I dove as far as I could.
    Hot lead landed all around me but none got on me, this was just about a 30 lb pot of melt.
    Will never buy indoor range scrap from that guy again.
    Water and melted lead dont mix, I knew that before I started but dint see any wet spots in this mix of ****.
    Glad im not in the hospital.
    I've done that many times, even after it rained last weekend. I wipe mine off or if I am pre-melting lead for casting I put all ingots in a pan and put it on a $9 hotplate and slowly warm the lead up, the water evaporates, end of danger also works great to preheat molds while the pot is heating up.

    A Friend once told me don't stand directly over the pot, if a drop of sweat happens to bead off your face your screwed cause lead splash goes up.

    I been burned more times than not, from welding slag to molten steel from a cutting torch, lead hurts much less, I prefer solider though its not as hot.

    I always make it habbit though to wear safety goggles and a mask for splash back and welders gloves for handling stuff and gloves to handle cold lead, should have a full face shield but I don't have them yet.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
    WHITETAIL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NE Pa.
    Posts
    1,057
    Recluce, welcome to the forum!

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Southeast Louisiana
    Posts
    587
    I'll tell you how it happened to me one night when casting. I was outside on my covered side porch. I use a butter knife to stir my pot after fluxing and a Lee ladle to skim my dross. I always keep the butter knife and ladle under the pot to keep the moisture off. That night for some reason I just set the butter knife on the side after fluxing. I poured several bullets and after my mold got a little hot I stopped for a few minutes and smoked a cigarette. Before casting again I fluxed again and attempted to stir with the butter knife. Bam. Lucky I had my glasses on because I would have caught some in me eyes. The splash shot up to the bottom of my porch covering that is 8' high. It was all over the front of my shirt and pants. The moisture that was picked up from the knife caused an eruption. It's not the first mistake I've made when casting and I'm sure it won't be the last but I won't make THAT one again.

  6. #46
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    614
    For the last couple years I have been using sawdust as a flux in my bottom pour pots. I have found that the sawdust will draw moisture in my shop. I now spread it on a table top in the hot sun and stir a time or two and then store it in mason jars. I place enough on top of the melt to cover it maybe 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick and then char for a couple minutes before stirring it in and then leave it on the mix until I am finished with that casting session. It works great as a flux but also has several more advantages. It seems to almost eliminate the oxidation that I previously encountered and also acts as insulation on top of the melt. Most of your heat loss from the pot is from the top. This is apparently working well as the heating element seems to cycle much less often, particularily in cool weather. A more even heat should equate to better boolits and an added plus is that it should llengthen the pot life. Just keep that flux dry. Neil

  7. #47
    Boolit Master oldtoolsniper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    450
    So there I was with my 500lbs of nice 4” and smaller sewer pipe. That big ole cast iron pot was half full of melted lead and she swallowing the pipe as fast as I could stuff it in. I had those big pee traps and never gave it a thought, I grabbed one by the two foot section of pipe left on it, shoved the pee trap in the pot and for whatever reason the tube settled pointing away from me. When the side of that pee trap melted through it sounded like a mortar round being dropped down the tube. When you drop a mortar round down the tube they come back out pretty fast so you learn to duck really fast. Lead does the same thing and it has a pretty good burst radius! Note to self; melt pee traps after splitting and from an empty pot.
    “Work hard! Millions on welfare depend on it!”

  8. #48
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    947
    The moisture that was picked up from the knife caused an eruption.
    An old guy I knew had the the same thing happen. He was using a putty knife to stir, and remove dross when casting ingots for shot dripping. When he dunked the knife into the pot, there was a loud bang. The knife handle split in two, and the tang buried itself in the ceiling above! Luckily for him, the blade passed between his fingers and no harm was done.

    Molten lead and water don't mix!
    Cap'n Morgan

  9. #49
    Boolit Master

    PatMarlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,476
    Very important to take heed to your guys experiences. I even reference this thread with the instructions for my flux.

    Wood does absorb moisture so you need to feel it, to make sure it's dry at that point. Bake it, or put it in a skillet on the stove to dry it out if you have to. THEN let it set on top of your pot to burn and char. Then stir.

    We have a pretty dry climate here most of the year, but guys down south and closer to the equator need to be especially carefull with cast lead for sure.

    Thank you for posting ...

  10. #50
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NW Washington, just N. of Seattle
    Posts
    296
    Some of us, me anyway, salvage fishing sinkers. I got a big pile of 3 and 4 lb. Halibut sinkers with a brass wire loop in the top. While melting them in an old plumber's furnace converted to propane, one blew. Luckily I was standing back 20 feet as I do when melting salvaged metal so only my trousers and pride were damaged. The lesson I took was that any lead or lead alloy that has a bail or clip sticking out of it has a potential wick for water to get in alongside of. I now bandsaw halibut weights or any fishing sinker with a bail or loop in it to remove or at least expose the wire. I set wheelweights in the sun, or in an old pie tin on a hot plate to dry before melting them. I've also learned to allow the pot to cool somewhat before starting another batch. Same with salvaged plumbing and vent piping, I saw away the joints, cut the stuff into 12" or shorter lengths, then split it to show what has homesteaded in there. Spiders, snails, slugs and wasps call the tinsel fairy for a visit as effectively as water does.

    Remeber gentlemen, water is nearly as insidious as an elected democrat.

    Gerry N.

  11. #51
    Boolit Master



    mpmarty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SW Oregon aka Jefferson State
    Posts
    1,829
    I have a four foot square of formica resting on a slight incline outside my shop. When I get a bunch of wheel weights I spread them out on that and let the rain remove a majority of the dirt and crud. Being in Oregon I don't have to wait long for the rain this time of year. Each time I fire up my fifty pound smelting pot I fill it cold with those wheel weights and let them dry as the pot heats. Once up to melting temp I no longer add from the outside pile but use clean dry weights to top up the pot as I pour ingots. Always pre-heat anything like ladles or spoons before putting them in the pot. Glad you were quick enough to avoid the "incoming".
    Marty-hiding out in the hills.

  12. #52
    I had an experience with this once so far. I water quench my bullets, and the get wet right from the mould. Anyway, I done some casting on a Friday evening. Sorted my bullets that night. All the bad ones went into a dry bucket for the next time I cast. The next time happened to be the very next afternoon. I plugged the pot in and piled rejects from the night before on top of the solid lead in the pot heating up. They were "dry" in the bucket, or so I thought. I started casting and after the pot got about half way down, I proceeded to add the remaining rejects from the night before. There was apparently SOME moisture remaining on those rejects. I heard a moderate hissing noise and the pot bubbled a bit. No explosion or anything, but scared me all the same. I now have a heat gun and before any new lead goes into the pot I pre-heat it with the heat gun to get rid of any hidden moisture..

  13. #53
    Boolit Master

    ghh3rd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Posts
    1,805
    I echo what Echo said ... I was about to say that I used to mine range lead for sinkers about 30 years ago. After cleaning out the garbage I looked carefully through all of the lead for unfired rounds.

    I was afraid that someone may have had a misfire and tossed it out to the berm where it could wind up in my 5 gal bucket. I didn't want any surprises. I think that an unfired round would probably empty the entire pot of melted lead -- enough tinsel for many Christmas's!

    Randy

  14. #54
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    19
    The other night I had a 30# pot full of lead on the stove. The lead was melted and I had skimmed the dross off with a teaspoon. I keep my casting stuff indoors and thought nothing about pre-heating my 3 1/2# ladle. The ladle was at room temp but when I submerged it into the lead it began to bubble a bit. No harm done but it sure scared the hell outa me for a few seconds. To those who are new to the hobby (Like myself) I'd definatly recomend pre-heating your ladle before dipping them into the pot.

  15. #55
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer


    waksupi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Somers, Montana, a quaint little drinking village,with a severe hunting and fishing problem.
    Posts
    16,676
    Quote Originally Posted by briancraig81 View Post
    The other night I had a 30# pot full of lead on the stove. The lead was melted and I had skimmed the dross off with a teaspoon. I keep my casting stuff indoors and thought nothing about pre-heating my 3 1/2# ladle. The ladle was at room temp but when I submerged it into the lead it began to bubble a bit. No harm done but it sure scared the hell outa me for a few seconds. To those who are new to the hobby (Like myself) I'd definatly recomend pre-heating your ladle before dipping them into the pot.
    Good advise!
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  16. #56
    Boolit Master

    454PB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helena, Mt.
    Posts
    5,192
    Quote Originally Posted by briancraig81 View Post
    The other night I had a 30# pot full of lead on the stove. The lead was melted and I had skimmed the dross off with a teaspoon. I keep my casting stuff indoors and thought nothing about pre-heating my 3 1/2# ladle. The ladle was at room temp but when I submerged it into the lead it began to bubble a bit. No harm done but it sure scared the hell outa me for a few seconds. To those who are new to the hobby (Like myself) I'd definatly recomend pre-heating your ladle before dipping them into the pot.
    This is where people get into trouble when using Marvelux. Yes, always preheat all your stirring and pouring tools.
    You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

  17. #57
    Boolit Man largecaliberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    136
    For those who gather lead from indoor shooting ranges, look out for live rounds. whenever I smelt lead from an indoor range, I would first fill my stainless steel turkey fryer to the MAX, cover the pot with a heavy gauge sheet metal, light the burner and WALK AWAY. After 30 - 45 minutes, the "ore" should be melted down and any live ammo should have gone off.

    I learned this lesson when a 22 caliber went off, luckily, I was at a safe distance. In another incidence, there was a B-O-O-M and I think it was a 44 mag.
    FREE MEN OWN GUNS, SLAVES DON'T ----- GOD BLESS AMERICA.

  18. #58
    Boolit Master machinisttx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    338
    Last night just almost turned out very bad for me. I was melting ww's outside and sizing bullets while waiting for a batch to melt. Thought I saw a raindrop fall... Sized another bullet or two and then saw a heavy mist start, so I killed the burner, donned the gloves and hustled a heavy cast iron skillet full of partially molten ww's into the dry. The mist/rain stopped for a few minutes and I considered dragging stuff back out and firing up again. Glad I didn't, because it came down pretty hard a few minutes later.

    Watch the weather guys.
    Machinists do it with precision.

  19. #59
    Boolit Master
    lwknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas where the west begins
    Posts
    3,313
    Dropping battery terminals calls the tinsel fairy as efficiently as getting a live primer in your spru remelt.
    Sent from my PC with a keyboard and camera on it with internet too.
    Melting Stuff is FUN!
    Shooting stuff is even funner

    L W Knight

  20. #60
    Boolit Master Slow Elk 45/70's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Clear, AK
    Posts
    1,292
    This is why when smelting...I always dump this stuff in a big pot and let it "simmer' for a while, out side where there is no danger of the problem you self inflected....this game is as dangerous as you like to make it.....with scrap , you can never tell....glad you weren't hurt. .... m
    Slow Elk 45/70

    Praise the Lord & Pass the Ammo

Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast

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