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Thread: How do you melt your pewter

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    How do you melt your pewter

    I have a few pewter items I want to melt down for easier use. My Lee pot has a layer of lead and junk at the bottom and I dont want to mix the two. Can I use a camp stove and my cast iron ingot pan and drop pieces of pewter in to make an ingot?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Use your camp stove, a smaller steel or iron pot to do the melting and your ingot mold to ladle the Pewter into.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    A camp stove will work. It should melt a lot faster than lead. (I think it's around 450°)
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I just melted 14 more pounds of pewter today. Clean lead melter pot,( cut helium tank) put the pewter in,ladle out to aluminum muffin pans to make “coins” about 1/2” thick. Works for me.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I would clean the Lee pot and use it.

    That said, a Coleman stove and iron or steel pot would work. I like to use a Lyman ladle to pour 2 ounce ingots.

    It would be a good idea to clean your Lee pot even if you don’t use it for the pewter.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I have used a tin can over an open fire to render some lead into ingots. that was when I first got started. I now use a cut helium tank on a sideburner of a BBQ grill.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I made several lots of pewter ingots with different pots and ladles than what I use for lead processing. I still ended up with low percentages of lead in some lots, apparently because not all modern labeled pewter is lead free. This included lots of what I considered to be food service pewter. Ultimately, a little bit of lead in the tin added to a lead alloy is not an issue, but I was still surprised.
    Last edited by kevin c; 01-21-2022 at 02:54 AM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    I used a turkey fryer burner and a cast iron frying pan, poured from pan into Lyman molds. Next batch will be larger so I'll use my 20 pound propane tank pot, the turkey burner and a ladle.
    They way I look at it if there is a little lead in the pot is doesn't matter because ultimately the pewter will be used to "sweeten" the lead for better mold fill-out. Keeping the pewter and lead 100% separate is too much work when in the end you are mixing them for your favorite alloy and being off by a fraction of a % will not matter to the target or critter.

    If you want an exact alloy of 94 % lead, 4 % antimony and 2% tin you'll need to separate out the "bad" stuff by electrolytic processing. Only the large licensed re-processors/reclaimers have the equipment for that level of exact.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    appreciate the replies, I only have less than a lb of pewter to melt right now. I went pewter hunting recently and only could find 2 small candlesticks at a thrift store, the local antique store thinks way too much of his stuff, his prices were outrageous...as in $89-100 bucks a pound.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Beware that some candlesticks have a weighted base. That stuff will stink when heated up. Take the candlesticks apart first before melting.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    I did, it was filled with a resin substance that smelled like pine sap? Interesting

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Pewter melts at about 450 degrees. A hotplate and a thrift store saucepan is all that is necessary. your cast iron ingot mold will work for pewter, but for ease of ID use something else. Empty Al soda cans come to mind. I made a mold from 2 boards screwed together with 3/4 inch holes drilled into the joint so the slugs released when the boards were separated.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by CastingFool View Post
    Beware that some candlesticks have a weighted base. That stuff will stink when heated up. Take the candlesticks apart first before melting.
    There are pictures of weighted candlesticks on the first page of the hallmarks thread linked in my signature.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have several different burners, a couple Colemans, one with a propane adapter and run it off 20 gal tank, a few turkey/crab pot propane burners. the most economical is the Coleman double burner stove with propane adapter when melting stuff down in cast iron pot that holds just a bit less than a gallon.
    but I dont make ingots out of pewter. when I melt down a pot full of wheel weights I scoop out the steel and other crud with slotted spoon then melt either raw pewter junk or solder into pot to try and add 1-2% tin to the mix. then I throw in saw dust and some wax and mix it up and scoop the crud off the top. then pour into ingot molds for use in bottom pour pot.
    just the way I been doing it.
    but I do have a garbage can full of pure lead stuff, I'll probably melt it down the same way and add foundry type in place of solder or pewter before making ingots for the bottom pour pot. I dont do everything at once this way there is no way for raw materials to get mixed up.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy PBaholic's Avatar
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    I use an aluminum pan about 8" around, and 6" deep, with a propane torch. I like to keep my Pewter seperate, meaning I'll melt down a piece, and not mix it with the Pewter from other pieces.

    As for the Propane torch, I have one of those quick start heads, and an extension hose to a 20# tank. Lasts forever!

    I found Pewter molds, and have 2 of those as well.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by PBaholic View Post
    I use an aluminum pan about 8" around, and 6" deep, with a propane torch. I like to keep my Pewter seperate, meaning I'll melt down a piece, and not mix it with the Pewter from other pieces.

    As for the Propane torch, I have one of those quick start heads, and an extension hose to a 20# tank. Lasts forever!

    I found Pewter molds, and have 2 of those as well.
    Someone made an NC copy of the old Potter molds. I have 3 of the originals that I acquired back when I was selling.

    A Lyman dipper full makes a nice 2 ounce ingot that will snap off easily at the P if you only want half of it.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    You can prop the handle up on a Lyman ingot mold and get little wedge shaped pewter ingots.
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