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Thread: Hot Plate for melting lead???

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Hot Plate for melting lead???

    Do any of you folks use a hot plate for melting their lead. I have been using the electric kitchen stove and I figured a hot plate would be a similar heat source. I have a great heavy fabricated stainless lead pot and ladle and I have been getting fine results , but I would like to move the operation out of the kitchen. I have considered buying a LEE electric lead pot , but I can't begin to afford it any time soon. Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Mike

  2. #2
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    Bret4207's Avatar
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    I use a Walmart $8.00 hotplate. Mine is 900 watts IIRC. Another guy here bought one at Walmart and it turned out to only be only 6-700 watts and wouldn't work for him. If you can find one that's at least 850-900 watts it should work. I've used mine with a 10 lb Lyman cast pot and my favorite- a 12 cup stainless steel measuring cup that holds 25+ pounds. It will hold within 10-15 degrees with 3/4 full pot. Being a confirmed ladle man I see no reason to change.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I bought a cheap hot plate from big lots for $10.00. I then bought a small pot from a thrift store for $2.00. I can get the temp up to 725 degrees, and about 25 lbs of lead in the pot.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    This is all I have ever used to smelt my lead. I did bypass the temp control though. It has worked very good for me. I have melted a whole lot of lead in this pot. Burner and pot was purchased from Walmart.


  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    monadnock#5's Avatar
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    +1 to all of the above. Hot plates work very well. My only comment would be that if you're using the hot plate for ladle casting, get two. Use the second plate for preheating your moulds and ingots. Preheating the moulds gets you up to speed much faster than without. Preheated ingots drives the moisture out, and gets the melt back up to temp faster.

  6. #6
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    Bret4207's Avatar
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    Update- I checked my HP- It's 1100 watts, not 900. Get the biggest you can find.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    zxcvbob's Avatar
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    Get one with open coils. I have two hotplates; the 700W open-coil will get hot enough to smelt "heavy black sand" and dross back into lead metal (add a little motor oil, and cook it with the lid on for about 45 minutes.) The 1000W hotplate with the cast iron element barely gets hot enough to melt lead at all.

    In case you're wondering, I get a lot of range scrap and it's badly oxidized. When I melt it down, I save the ash and dross, then when I get enuf I smelt it to keep the lead out of the landfill. Six to 8 pounds of slag yields about 3 pounds of good lead.

  8. #8
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    Bret4207's Avatar
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    Ah! Good point Bob. My HP is the open coil type. I have a closed coil fancy job that doesn't get hot enough to do much.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    i have a hot plate 750 w it's just to melt the scrape lead ,i must heat the top with a propane torch ,i use it only to make lingots ,to cast i use a rcbs pro melt
    regards

  10. #10
    Boolit Master rondog's Avatar
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    Huh, never dreamed a hot plate would work! I have a 2-burner stashed in my garage that I've held onto for who-knows-how-many-years. Never could come up with a use for it, but couldn't bear to throw it out. Now I may have a use for it!

    Wish I still had the dumpster-found cast iron dutch oven that I'd dragged around for 20 years, then finally tossed out in a fit of garage cleaning. Sure would make a good melting pot now.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    forgive my ignorance of hot plates, when you say open coiled, I am picturing the same thing as an electric stove. Is this correct?

    I am just starting getting my things together to cast and want to keep my ww and scraps out of my smelter, but on a budget. Very interested in using a hot plate to cast ignots, just not very familiar with them.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master WILCO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerp89ipsc View Post
    forgive my ignorance of hot plates, when you say open coiled, I am picturing the same thing as an electric stove. Is this correct?
    Yep. Walgreens has them for under $10.00. There's a ton of discussion in forums on this topic. Just do a search for "Hot plates".
    Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

    Yeah, I love cast iron cookware.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    thank you very much. I am coming up on my weekend in 24 hours and want to be jet set for getting my WWs in order for casting next week.

    Headed to the welding shop down the street for gloves and an apron, wife donated a cast iron skillet for me and then over to wally world for a hot plate and some perifen wax, a skimming spoon and a pouring spoon .

    I have not been this excited about my reloading process in ages.

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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