Processing Lead by the 100's of lbs

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    .44 Magnum

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    Join date : 2014-04-07
    Location : Utah

    Processing Lead by the 100's of lbs

    Post by Cornmastah on Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:51 am

    In case you were bored today...

    Over the weekend, I processed (melted, cleaned, fluxed) about 350 lbs of scrap lead.  My little electric lee melting pots (20 lbs capacity each) were taking way too long even when running two at a time.  I needed a better way to process large amounts of lead faster.  I ended up buying a 12" dutch oven from harbor freight for like $20 and a camp chef single burner propane stove (high output).  I tried melting the lead in the dutch oven over this stove (for awhile) wasting a bunch of propane and not getting it consistently hot enough.  

    Failure!!!  Too much heat loss and not enough heat.

    I found a few flaws in my system.  
    1. the burner sat too low from the pot, losing lots of heat  
    2. even though the stove was a high output stove, it wasn't high enough  
    3. I was losing some heat due to a little bit of wind.  

    I decided to replace the camp stove with an inexpensive harbor freight propane torch, and to make a little forge/oven to keep the fire and heat focused on the bottom of the pot and protected from the wind.  I also put a board on the side to block some wind.  This is what I made:

    It works!

    You can barely see the blue flame--it's hot!

    After the lead melts, I turn down the heat to an orange flame (just enough heat to keep the lead melted while pouring it into ingots)

    I ended up processing about 350 lbs or so of lead.  It went so much faster this time, I could melt and fill up the dutch oven with 3/4 full in about 20 min or so.

    Success!  I was able to process the lead faster than I have ever been able to with the electric melters.  I will still use the electric melters to melt ingots and cast the bullets--bottom pouring is so much easier than ladle pouring.
    Tennessee Jed
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    Location : Music City USA

    Re: Processing Lead by the 100's of lbs

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:12 pm

    Very cool. Thanks Corn.

      Current date/time is Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:42 am