WidenersRepackboxInline FabricationMidSouth Shooters Supply

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 37

Thread: "20 lb" Cast Iron Do-It too small. Smelting 20-40 lb pot?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    473

    "20 lb" Cast Iron Do-It too small. Smelting 20-40 lb pot?

    Found the little cast iron pot tapped out at 15 lbs - very nearly full, so not sure how anyone could get close to 20 lbs, but perhaps they can. I found it really difficult to even get skimming spoon(s) in the pot. There is an issue with one side of the pot having a wall substantially thinner than the other side (looks like it might be overly and unevenly aggressive grinding), but that's a separate thing.

    Anyway, wanting to smelt 20 lb to likely 40 maximally at a time. I would imagine things like a 6 quart stockpot, cut propane tank, on that scale, would not be very useful at this scale of smelting - I imagine I'd have a very shallow pool subject to high oxidation due to the surface area. Any suggestions for a container at this level - at least a ballpark volume appropriate for say 30 lbs on avg.?
    -Paul

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    7,445
    A cut off propane tank is an all time favorite for that.
    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.


    OK People. Enough of this idle chit-chat.
    This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
    EVERYONE!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    473
    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    A cut off propane tank is an all time favorite for that.
    Thanks Ed. I'd thought it would be something like a skillet for this amount of lead, too shallow. I have a few tanks from old brewing days. Good to know, much appreciated.
    -Paul

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

    imashooter2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    7,506
    The Harbor Freight Dutch ovens are also very popular.
    ”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

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    7,445
    There's been lots of lively discussion about what you're doing and a lot of helpful ideas too.

    A big one is putting some sort of wind screen around the burner so all the heat goes straight into the pot and not up & around the sides.
    You'll get much more mileage from your propane.

    Don't make it too efficient though.
    Then you'll get done faster, and not have an excuse for not doing some sort of real work.
    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.


    OK People. Enough of this idle chit-chat.
    This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
    EVERYONE!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by imashooter2 View Post
    The Harbor Freight Dutch ovens are also very popular.
    You can get enough lead in a 14 inch dutch oven that a normal human can't lift it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy wilecoyote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    venice, italy
    Posts
    290
    I don't know whether to consider this a suggestion or a question, however I've always thought that an empty fire extinguisher would work, but I've never tried it, although I have ways to easily cut it to the necessary height and drill the two holes for the handle_
    each opinion is welcome, of course.
    ...next thing you know they'll want your pistol and your tobacco...

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    7,445
    Quote Originally Posted by wilecoyote View Post
    I've always thought that an empty fire extinguisher would work,
    If it's steel- sure it'll work.

    I made a Lead filled sledge hammer out of one once.
    In a trade, my tire shop guy me a thousand pounds or more of old school wheel weights when he wanted to clean shop,
    and Lead was paying less than 9 cents a pound--- if it was cleaned up.

    He worked on tires for the big earth movers, and store bought sledge hammers
    were not heavy enough to break down the bead on most of them.

    In exchange for the wheel weights, I poured a fire extinguisher body with Lead,
    and cast the handle for a floor jack in it. I think it weighed about 65 pounds, maybe more.
    His guys really liked it.
    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.


    OK People. Enough of this idle chit-chat.
    This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
    EVERYONE!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy wilecoyote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    venice, italy
    Posts
    290
    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    If it's steel- sure it'll work.
    WingerEd, I'm glad I got a competent answer and made a sensible suggestion.
    that's all I need !
    ...next thing you know they'll want your pistol and your tobacco...

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2022
    Location
    MPLS
    Posts
    907
    I made a small one hand sledgehammer out of a pineapple can and a piece of gas pipe with a bolt through it. About 20 pounds, When it got messed up, just re melted and put in another can.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    7,445
    Quote Originally Posted by wilecoyote View Post
    WingerEd, I'm glad I got a competent answer and made a sensible suggestion.
    that's all I need !
    You're more than welcome........... After you get your pot up and going- you'll be qualified to teach this class.
    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.


    OK People. Enough of this idle chit-chat.
    This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
    EVERYONE!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

    imashooter2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    7,506
    Quote Originally Posted by Shanghai Jack View Post
    You can get enough lead in a 14 inch dutch oven that a normal human can't lift it.
    Even the abnormal human has a bit of trouble.
    ”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

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    7,445
    Quote Originally Posted by Shanghai Jack View Post
    You can get enough lead in a 14 inch dutch oven that a normal human can't lift it.
    That sounds like a lot.
    I'd probably have to call Abby Normal to help with it.
    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.


    OK People. Enough of this idle chit-chat.
    This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
    EVERYONE!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Butler, MO
    Posts
    8,524
    Rough estimate (very rough), lead weighs about 23 pounds per quart. Given that, a two or three quart stainless steel pan would easily hold 30 pounds of liquid lead.

    It is surprising just how much air space there is in a pot filled with the wild wheel weight. Almost always kind of disappointing just how much space the air and steel clips take up.

    Robert

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


    GregLaROCHE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Southern France by way of Interior Bush Alaska
    Posts
    4,547
    I like a lot of others use a Dutch oven. I don’t fill it to the limit and use a stainless soup ladle to fill my ingot molds. Before I started using the Dutch oven, I used a skillet that was at the limit I could pour without making a mess. Consider a ladle.

  16. #16
    Moderator Emeritus

    georgerkahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    South of the (Canada) border
    Posts
    2,448
    Quote Originally Posted by huntinlever View Post
    Found the little cast iron pot tapped out at 15 lbs - very nearly full, so not sure how anyone could get close to 20 lbs, but perhaps they can. I found it really difficult to even get skimming spoon(s) in the pot. There is an issue with one side of the pot having a wall substantially thinner than the other side (looks like it might be overly and unevenly aggressive grinding), but that's a separate thing.

    Anyway, wanting to smelt 20 lb to likely 40 maximally at a time. I would imagine things like a 6 quart stockpot, cut propane tank, on that scale, would not be very useful at this scale of smelting - I imagine I'd have a very shallow pool subject to high oxidation due to the surface area. Any suggestions for a container at this level - at least a ballpark volume appropriate for say 30 lbs on avg.?
    LOTS of good replies to your query! I will like to add what I consider a MOST important addition: That which holds up the pot. Years back a plumber/shooter decided to melt the boxes of lead pieces he had thrown in shop's back area and used a cut-off Freon tank setting on a single-burner propane stove -- an el cheapo fueled by a Bar-b-Que grill sized tank. He had the pot about three-quarters full and -- by the grace of God -- had walked to retrieve more lead to add to it when one of the pot's legs buckled and melted lead was dumped! He was not hurt -- and brought pictures to club sharing this with other shooters. I know I changed my burner support to three fire-bricks under my burner!
    PLEASE make sure -- whatever you use to melt your lead -- what's underneath the pot will not give way!
    geo

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Martinsburg, WV
    Posts
    2,841
    I have used a cut off freon tank, stainless steel stock pot and cast iron Dutch oven. The Dutch oven is by far my favorite.

    As mentioned, make sure a fire extinguisher is steel. A lot of them are aluminum.
    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    13,725
    The dutch ovens work well, but you dont want to start out full bore heat with them. You need to start at a lower setting and warm them up a bit as you go. Cast Iron dosnt take to expansion well and will crack. The cut off propane tank being rolled steel dosnt have this issue.

    My cut off propane pot holds roughly 140 lbs of lead and the rounded bottom allows it to be ladled down to about 3-4 lbs.

    If you decide to go the propane tank route:

    1) BE SAFE MAKE SURE ALL GAS IS OUT OF THE TANK. WASH IT OUT SEVERAL TIMES AND USE A SAW OR NON SPARKING METHOD. NO GRINDERS OR TORCHES.
    2) a wrap of wide tape laid smooth gives a good straight line to cut along.
    3) once you have a tank cut off cut a ring 4" or so wide this you weld to the bottom of your pot it makes a new base that more stable than the small ring. it will also double as a wind screen. Before cutting it off cut a series of 1 1/2" holes with a hole saw evenly spaced around the ring on 1 side these make vents allowing the heat to flow,
    4) Deburr all edges for safety reasons. A neat edge is to form a 1/4" or 3/8" rod around the top of the pot and weld it on, this makes a nice rounded edge
    5) This pot will hold 140 lbs of lead or more depending on where you cut the tank. build you stand to holds this when hot.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    brisbane ,qld,australia
    Posts
    1,870
    I just fill them with water ,and leave the hose running until they are cut ......you may near a few pops and such,but nothing much can happen in a small volume...........I see lots of the big propane tanks cut round here to make crab cookers,and knowing the guys with them,Im sure they took zero precautions.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


    GregLaROCHE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Southern France by way of Interior Bush Alaska
    Posts
    4,547
    The propane tanks I cut, I first filled with fine sand.

Page 1 of 2 12 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