Lead Melting Pot
Posted February 24 2004 - 12:22 PM
Posted February 24 2004 - 12:43 PM
Posted February 24 2004 - 01:42 PM
Originally posted by PASurfer:
Wait for Jigman to respond... he's our token leadhead.
Here is a quick run down of some commen ones that I have exerience with. All are good for the small time guy. The best one? Depends on how many jigs, what size, and how often you will use it.
Palmer Hot Pot II. The cheapest of the bunch. Handles 4# of lead. Sides have a pour spout. A couple of molds and this pot are a good starter. The only other thing you would need would be an old spoon to scoop out the lead scum that forms on top.
Lee Precission Melter. Handles 4# lead. Variable thermostat, so you can adjust the temps. You'll need a ladel to go with it.
Lee Production Pot IV. Handles 10# of lead (they also make a 20# version for more $). Both are bottom pour melters. Useful on smaller size pourings. You hold the mold under the pot, hit the leveler, lead fills the mold, pull mold away. If you are doing larger (i.e., 2 oz and up) jigs, you'll need a ladel instead.
Lee Magnum Melter. Handles 20# of lead. You use a ladel to pour the lead into the mold. Useful if you are doing a lot of larger jigs.
All but the Hot Pot have variable temp. Turn the knob to increase the heat. Start at high to melt the lead, then decrease the temp (lead needs 621 degrees F to melt). Higher temps mean more fumes. One thing to consider on the bottom pour molds, the spout will clog from time to time, so there is some maintenance there.
Note of warning. Only melt lead in a well ventalated area, wear a respirator specifically for lead, wear safety glasses (lead will splatter from time to time), and gloves. Don't eat or drink while pouring and wash well after pouring.
Other questions? Fire away. We need more leadheads here
Posted February 24 2004 - 02:08 PM
Also, while we are talking $$, how much do you usually pay for Lead, and what is a good source? I cant figure that it would be cost effective to ship lead.
Posted February 24 2004 - 09:01 PM
As for lead, check your local plumbing supply place. They'll often have ingots. If not, check around town for a scrap metal place. You'll often find sheets of lead for something like $0.30 a pound. Tire weights will work in a pinch, but I prefer not to use them, especially with the bottom pour pots. Too much other stuff in tire weights besides lead. Different melting temps, weight, etc.
Posted February 26 2004 - 09:29 AM
I have a Lee Production IV and a electric ladel. Both do a fine job. One thing about the IV is that if your pouring a large jig, say a 6 oz diamond jig, the pour hole tends to cure before the entire mold is full and you have to remelt and start over. In that case I use the 2 lb ladel since it will pour a larger amount faster. The IV just does pour alot real fast, but is fine most of the time.
Some hints, Smoke your molds with the smoke from a candle. The finish will come out better and the lead will release from the mold easier. Also make sure your molds are hot...theyget hotter as you pour and you will notice that the jigs come out better.
And make absolutely sure there is no moisture in the mold when you first start, you'll get a face full of lead and may be fishing blind the rest of your life. Hence the goggles stated by jigman a good choice.