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Thread: Making an electric lead pot

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Making an electric lead pot

    Any one here made there own electric lead pot .I want to make one thats bigger in diameter and not as deep as say an RCBS pot .I have a 90 pound magma and like the larger diameter to work with .The RCBS and Lee are a real pain when your casting 550 grain bullets by ladle .Arnie

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    Arnie, I haven't tried making my own lead pot...but based on the work I've done on an old Saeco, it wouldn't be all that difficult. If you're ladle-casting, it should be a piece of cake.

    All you need is a melt vessel, a heating element appropriate for the task, some insulation to keep it from toasting you while you're using it, and some legs to keep it up off the bench top. Don't know what you'd do for temperature control, but it seems to me that a casting thermometer and a high-watt dimmer switch would be worth a try.

    I've written up my heating-element replacement on my pot, if you'd like to see. It might give you some ideas.

    http://pages.suddenlink.net/abittner/

    BG

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Texasflyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    Any one here made there own electric lead pot
    Yeah...

    I think some joker with more time on his hands tried that....seems to work, as he posts here still and hasn't killed himself with it yet...

    Link to Diary of a Casting Pot Construction

    The pics in that old link may not work, so try this webpage:

    Cast Boolits Model 1 Casting Pot

    The site owner of Cast Boolits has one copy of the CD with all the photos and details of the construction. For a nominal fee, I would assume he would make you a copy.

    Hope this helps...

    Tom in Texas
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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Tom i printed all the info and put all the photos in a folder from that link you had posted .Do you think theres more on that cd ? Arnie

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Tom ,What did you use for insluating your lead pot ?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master wills's Avatar
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    It seems if you are ladle casting with a large diameter pot, you are going to have a lot of lead in the bottom of the pot that you can’t get into the ladle, more than if you use a smaller diameter, deeper pot.
    Have mercy.
    A haw, haw, haw, haw, a haw.
    A haw, haw, haw

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Texasflyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    Tom ,What did you use for insluating your lead pot ?
    Rock Wool Insulation. I found it on eBay, the guy selling it is here in East Texas and it's used to re-insulate antique stoves.

    It was pretty cheap.

    Here is a link to his current auction:

    eBay Rock Wool Auction
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master Texasflyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    Tom i printed all the info and put all the photos in a folder from that link you had posted .Do you think theres more on that cd ? Arnie
    Both the original post and the webpage comprise about 20% of the photos I took. The CD has all the original photos, a few sketches (such as the wiring diagram for the temperature controller and the electrical schematic).

    The CD is worthwhile in that the photos are all original size which allows you to zoom in for better detail.

    As Wills pointed out, this is not a pot you want to ladle from. It was designed to be a bottom pour casting pot that would hold at least 200lbs of lead. Post construction I have decided that it's too big, a 6" diameter pipe that matches one 6" electric range element would probably be perfect. I've never filled it to the top as a result, and only run it about half full. With the three range elements, it's ready to cast in 15 mins or less most days, which is nice.
    Last edited by Texasflyboy; 07-19-2007 at 11:56 PM. Reason: added more info....
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  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy redbear705's Avatar
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    here is a place to purchase different styles of heating bands....

    http://www.imscompany.com

    There are all kinds and watt ratings there and prices are good too!

    We use some of them on our plastic injection machines at work...although we use the heavy insulated ones for economy.

    JR

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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Tom ,if i make one it will be like the 90 pound one i have now ,I dont need any bigger but i like the large surface area to be able to move dross out of the way instead of fighting it in those little pots.Im constantly fluxing the 20 pounder to keep it clean on top .I cast 500 plus grain bullets and those 20 pounders just run out to soon.Its about 7 3/4 id so an 8 inch pipe would be fine .Those heating bands really look like a neat clean way to go if theres enough wattage and big enough in diameter. Arnie

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Texasflyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    Its about 7 3/4 id so an 8 inch pipe would be fine .Those heating bands really look like a neat clean way to go if theres enough wattage and big enough in diameter. Arnie
    If I had to do it all over again, I would buy the range element first, take it with me to the scrap yard, and find a piece of pipe that fit it perfectly on the OD. Maybe just a bit bigger than the OD of the element. I too like those heating bands, however, in case you aren't aware, one of the primary goals of building my pot was to do it with materials you can find in any nice size city. I deliberately avoided mail order items, and found 98% of the materials at Home Depot, Lowe's, An Appliance Repair store, A common electrical supply store, etc...etc...

    The rock wool insulation and the Lee 20lb spout were items that I ordered since there was no local equivalent handy. Pretty much everything else came from around where I live within a 15 mile drive. I've already had to change out the big 240V/30A relay that powers the three elements, the original one died last week after valiant service. Replacement cost was $19.95 and took 15 mins to swap out.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy redbear705's Avatar
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    Arnie.....The heater bands come in all kinds of sizes and wattages....as there are some HUGE diameter barrels used to heat up vast amounts of plastic to be injected in to moulds of another kind!

    The heater bands go through alot of cycles and last a fairly long time on the machines so using them on a smelting pot should be no problem.

    I believe Hi-Watt makes great heater bands and elements and is a great source of those products but the prices are higher from them.


    I am currently on the lookout for a garage sale cast iron pot of some kind with fairly straight side walls I will take a heater band of appropriate size for the side and then get one of the flat bands for the bottom near the pouring spout


    If you have the time check out those web sites they have alot of different styles and types of elements....I was even thinking about trying out some of those cartridge type heaters.

    www.ppe.com
    www.imscompany.com
    www.hiwattinc.com

    JR
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    JR .Those heating bands look like they would be better than bending an element around the pot as you would get better heat transfer .There kinda expensive but would be easy to use .Arnie

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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