Best way to creat lead ingots [Archive] - Glock Talk

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TORCHRIDER
01-27-2010, 10:39
I have a whole bunch of wheel weights that I want to turn into lead ingots for future reloading. Given that I dont have any equipment yet, what should I purchase just to do the ingots? Do you do this kind of work with the same furnace you use to cast bullets or do you use a more primitive method (i.e. cast iron pot on a propane stove, etc.) Please let me know what I should buy to do this first step.

PBKing
01-27-2010, 10:45
http://www.lasc.us/IndexBrennan.htm

Good Read

sourdough44
01-27-2010, 13:13
Cast the ingots into a tin 'muffin' pan, works great. Just use whatever melting pot & heat you have.

fredj338
01-27-2010, 13:34
I have a whole bunch of wheel weights that I want to turn into lead ingots for future reloading. Given that I dont have any equipment yet, what should I purchase just to do the ingots? Do you do this kind of work with the same furnace you use to cast bullets or do you use a more primitive method (i.e. cast iron pot on a propane stove, etc.) Please let me know what I should buy to do this first step.
SOme use their casting pot, I don't. The only thing that goes into my casting pot is useable alloy. Most use a turkey fryer burner & cheap cast iron dutch oven or skillet. Crank up the heat, drop in the ww & flux & skim the crud. I use a stainless steel ladle to scoop out & pour into ingots. There are commercial molds or you can use some steel or aluminum muffin tins or I prefer cast iron molds, either home made from channel or angle irons or cast iron muffin tins work great.

WiskyT
01-27-2010, 17:04
I trashed three or for muffin tins and I can't figure out how some people get them to work. I pour the lead in, let it cool, and it won't come out. I had to peel the cups off the ingots which ruined them. Also, the muffins don't fit in my Lee 10# pot. I have one Lee ingot mold that cost less than the muffin tins that I wrecked. I place the full ingot mold on a soaking wet towel and it solidifies in a matter of seconds. Dump the ingots and refill the mold.

Also, I leave my Lee pot almost empty when I'm done making bullets. I render down my range lead and fill up the casting pot with a ladle so the pot is full for the next session. That makes about 8# of lead that doesn't need to be ingots.

There are no cheap cast iron pots in the store new. If you want a cheao cast iron pot, hunt them down at yard sales. Bass Pro has a propane fish fryer on sale right now for $29.00. It's 58,000 BTU which is much more than my 1000Watt hotplate and I should get one, but my hotplate works good enough and I'll probably just stick with what I have.

DO NOT use an aluminum pot to melt lead. Al is too weak at high temps and it will fail dumping molten lead everywhere. Thin steel works fine.

If i wasn't stingy by nature, I'd get the propane burner and a cast iron Dutch oven. But the stuff I had lying around was free and works well enough.

Patrick Graham
01-27-2010, 17:04
I use aluminum small muffin pans, they are perfect for the LEE 10# and 20# pots.

WiskyT
01-27-2010, 17:14
I use aluminum small muffin pans, they are perfect for the LEE 10# and 20# pots.

Yes, aluminum would work. The only ones I find at wallyworld are steel and they have a tin type plating that the lead solders itself to. Where did you get the Al muffin pan?

TORCHRIDER
01-27-2010, 17:28
How big a pot should I get for casting ingots? 1 qt., 2 qt. 4 qt., etc.?

Three-Five-Seven
01-27-2010, 17:49
Forget the muffin tins. Two problems arise with those: first, the weight of the ingot is unknown, second, the resulting ingots will not fit into a regular pot.

Forget trying to smelt with your casting furnace. Too slow, too much electricity, no safe way to get the lead out of the pot and into an ingot mold.

Do get an outdoor propane fish-boil/turkey fryer/stove gizmo. It is the cheapest way to get a regulator and get heat underneath a large vessel. They are also very stable -- you don't want 50 pounds of molten lead spilling over. Get a cast iron dutch oven of 10 to 12 quart capacity. Don't use stainless or aluminum -- dangerous. Get a propane cylinder and start smelting. You'll also need a large slotted spoon and a ladle.

Do purchase an RCBS or Lyman ingot mold. These produce ingots of known weight and shaped so they will go into any casting furnace.

Set aside a morning and melt all your lead into ingots at once. Put the ingots on some cement something or other to cool. I use the top of a concrete block wall.

By doing all your lead at once, you save a lot on fuel and you only have to get geared up once (closed toe shoes, long pants, long sleeve flannel shirt, welding gloves, safety glasses, bandana on head to keep sweat from dropping into melt. The lead melts quickly when in contact with other lead that is already molten. Use a propane torch on the top of your lead to get things started. Once you have a good pool of lead in the pot, things go quickly. I hold my ingot mold with vise-grip pliers. Ingots cool enough to drop in about a minute, so every two minutes you have four more pounds of ingots.

The reason that known weight is important is that you can then alloy your final mix easily, counting each ingot as one pound -- which they very accurately are.

This whole set up will cost you under 100 bucks.

GioaJack
01-27-2010, 18:14
All my ingots look exactly the same... just like wheel weights or range lead. Actually until I joined this site I'd never known anyone who used two pots for casting... and I've known lots and lots of casters.

Let me take that back, the exception would be casting for muzzle loaders, you use pure lead so it's best to use a dedicated pot to avoid contamination.

Some say that by putting weights or range directly into your furnace you reduce the life of the furnace... come to think of it that's probably true. It's only been 45 years and I'm on my third furnace already. :supergrin:

Is my system the correct way, it seems that the consensus of opinion would suggest not but being as lazy as I am it works for me.

What ever you decide to do have fun and be careful.

Jack

unclebob
01-27-2010, 18:14
Besides the Lyman ingot molds I use the old GI mess kit. The one that one side is a big oval and the other side looks like two kidneys.

WiskyT
01-27-2010, 20:15
What's wrong with a stainless pot? I've used mine many times. Steel, stainless or otherwise, is plenty strong at the 800* or less that you melt scrap lead at.

Jack, I do put WW right into my pot, the big 4 ounce truck ones. The problem with the Lee 10# I use is that the opening is very small and it has the valve stem right in the middle. It makes it hard to skim off the clips and especially the bullet jackets, of which there is a large volume.

Volume wise, range scrap takes up a lot of room in the small pot and yields a small amount of lead. I'd have to refill and skim it many times to fill it up. With the 3qt pot I use, when it's heaping full of range scrap, I end up with a few inches of lead after I skim it. That 3-4 inches of lead equals about 13#. The range scrap I use gets reduced about 3:1 or more in terms of volume.

GioaJack
01-27-2010, 20:26
What's wrong with a stainless pot? I've used mine many times. Steel, stainless or otherwise, is plenty strong at the 800* or less that you melt scrap lead at.

Jack, I do put WW right into my pot, the big 4 ounce truck ones. The problem with the Lee 10# I use is that the opening is very small and it has the valve stem right in the middle. It makes it hard to skim off the clips and especially the bullet jackets, of which there is a large volume.

Volume wise, range scrap takes up a lot of room in the small pot and yields a small amount of lead. I'd have to refill and skim it many times to fill it up. With the 3qt pot I use, when it's heaping full of range scrap, I end up with a few inches of lead after I skim it. That 3-4 inches of lead equals about 13#. The range scrap I use gets reduced about 3:1 or more in terms of volume.


Wisky...

You bring up an excellent point regarding the lack of room in a Lee pot. I humbly yield to you sir.

You also hit upon another good point... 4 ounce truck weights. Looks like I'm going to be eating at more truck stops and taking my pliers with me. :supergrin:

Jack

PBKing
01-28-2010, 07:55
Is my system the correct way.... it works for me. What ever you decide to do have fun and be careful.Jack

If your system provides acceptable results for you than who is to tell you you're wrong. Turkey fryer, coleman stove, campfire...all can net the same results. Muffin tins, cornbread molds, ingot molds...no diff. Marvellux, candle wax, sawdust....same results.
Who cares how the sausage is made?
Once someone has an understanding of the process and procedure, being resourceful with the tools we have at our disposal is just pure ingenuity.
Correct way? If your firearm shoots them consistent and clean...yes

fredj338
01-28-2010, 10:54
How big a pot should I get for casting ingots? 1 qt., 2 qt. 4 qt., etc.?
Depends, but nothing smaller than a 4qt to be practical, cast iron holds heat better than cheap steel pots. Garage sales have them or cheap CHinese made from Sportsmans.

WiskyT
01-28-2010, 17:42
How big a pot should I get for casting ingots? 1 qt., 2 qt. 4 qt., etc.?

I filled my 3qt pot full of tape on WW and let it melt on my hotplate today. After about 15 minutes they had all melted or collapsed down and I heaped it back up again. After about another 15 mintues it was all melted. I got about 25 pounds out of it and it was only 2/3 full of molten lead.

It took me about 5 minutes to cast the lead into ingots. So 30-45 minutes for the whole job left me with enough lead for 1,000. That's about three months worth of bullets for me. So using an admittedly clunky way of doing things, I spent only a few minutes getting a good yield of lead. I watched the news and had my dinner while the stuff melted down.

The place is filling up with ingots. Once or twice a month I render 20-30 pounds of ingots in about an hours time while watching TV. I don't know that a bigger pot and a better heat source would inprove my quality of life any.

Now what to do with the basically pure lead ingots I have. I could mix them in with harder stuff but that seems like a waste. I have no use for them as I don't have any muzzeloaders. I might just leave them at my club for the black powder guys to use.

PBKing
01-28-2010, 18:37
I use aluminum small muffin pans, they are perfect for the LEE 10# and 20# pots.
Sometimes I think so much like you it scares me.

fredj338
01-28-2010, 18:40
Now what to do with the basically pure lead ingots I have. I could mix them in with harder stuff but that seems like a waste. I have no use for them as I don't have any muzzeloaders. I might just leave them at my club for the black powder guys to use.
Hey wisky, I'm sure Jack could use them for his fornt stuffers. If not, I am always looking for alloy.:supergrin:

WiskyT
01-28-2010, 18:49
Hey wisky, I'm sure Jack could use them for his fornt stuffers. If not, I am always looking for alloy.:supergrin:

You're welcome to come get them. I can leave them on the porch. How hard is it to get a flat rate box to hold togeather? I'm picturing an empty cardboard box with the bottom ripped out showing up at your house. Since you live in pinko commie land where you are at a disadvantage leadwise, I'd give you first dibbs.

Patrick Graham
01-29-2010, 06:02
............... Where did you get the Al muffin pan?

My wife, she does garage sales every saturday.


Sometimes I think so much like you it scares me.

:wavey:

fredj338
01-29-2010, 10:07
You're welcome to come get them. I can leave them on the porch. How hard is it to get a flat rate box to hold togeather? I'm picturing an empty cardboard box with the bottom ripped out showing up at your house. Since you live in pinko commie land where you are at a disadvantage leadwise, I'd give you first dibbs.
I have gottne bullets & other lead products in the flat rate boxes. If you put ingots into the small boxes, tape them well, & then the small boxes into the med. box, also taped well, they'll make it even through Kommifornia postal workers. Let me know, I'll pay shipping & then some.:supergrin:

Colorado4Wheel
01-29-2010, 11:02
The place is filling up with ingots. Once or twice a month I render 20-30 pounds of ingots in about an hours time while watching TV. I don't know that a bigger pot and a better heat source would inprove my quality of life any.

Now what to do with the basically pure lead ingots I have. I could mix them in with harder stuff but that seems like a waste. I have no use for them as I don't have any muzzeloaders. I might just leave them at my club for the black powder guys to use.

I don't understand. You are taking tape on wheel weights which are mostly lead. Making ingots but you have no use for them? Are some of them not pure lead and others are pure lead? I know the tape on weights are much softer then the clip on. Are you choosing to not mix the two?

fredj338
01-29-2010, 13:35
I don't understand. You are taking tape on wheel weights which are mostly lead. Making ingots but you have no use for them? Are some of them not pure lead and others are pure lead? I know the tape on weights are much softer then the clip on. Are you choosing to not mix the two?

Most don't. The tape wts are nearly pure lead, the clipons a bit harder. So most sort them & cast them in separate ingots to allow a more precise blending of alloy. Is it required, not for most plinking/practice bullets, but knowing your alloy helps when you start doing bullets for higher pressure rounds.
I used to smelt everything together, now I separate; near pure lead, range scrap, ww & linotype are kept spearate (I use diff molds for each, the lino stays in type form). I use lead & tin mix for LHP to get good expansion w/o fragmentation. I sue 50/50 or range scrap for the bulk of my practice bullets for service rounds. I use ww for magnum rounds or 9mm. I use water dropped ww for 45-70 rounds to 1800fps or so. The linotype gets added in small amounts, mostly for castability, but also hardens a bullet w/o water dropping. I love my LHP.:supergrin: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/fredj338/45-215gr.jpg

Bob2223
01-29-2010, 14:38
I don't understand. You are taking tape on wheel weights which are mostly lead. Making ingots but you have no use for them? Are some of them not pure lead and others are pure lead? I know the tape on weights are much softer then the clip on. Are you choosing to not mix the two?

I have good luck with a 50/50 mix WW & lead in 45 acp and 50/50 to 75/25 for 40 cal depending on how there loaded.
It's been easier for me to get free lead then getting WW so I try to use as much lead in the mix as possible.
I copied Fred's lead/tin mix pretty close for HPs and it works!

200gn 45 HP
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b376/BobMKIII/100_2482.jpg

Bob

cohutt
01-29-2010, 21:10
I started with a more modest heat source and a smaller dutch oven but I max'd the setup not long after when I realized I didn't want to spend days & days melting & cleaning lead into ingots.

$39 125,000+ btu high pressure burner
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000291GBQ/ref=ox_ya_oh_product

and a 22 q cast iron dutch oven

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/smelt%20102/smelt014.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/smelt%20102/smelt006.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Smelt%20101/smelt010.jpg

Bob2223
01-29-2010, 22:07
I started with a more modest heat source and a smaller dutch oven but I max'd the setup not long after when I realized I didn't want to spend days & days melting & cleaning lead into ingots.

$39 125,000+ btu high pressure burner
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000291GBQ/ref=ox_ya_oh_product

and a 22 q cast iron dutch oven


cohutt
Did you ever wet pack test those big-o-boolets ?

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bullet%20porn/bp024.jpg
Bob

cohutt
01-30-2010, 06:15
Shame *on*

No Bob, I have not.

Shame *OFF*

I'll try and get to the range sometime soon

USAglock
01-30-2010, 06:41
Forget the muffin tins. Two problems arise with those: first, the weight of the ingot is unknown, second, the resulting ingots will not fit into a regular pot.

Forget trying to smelt with your casting furnace. Too slow, too much electricity, no safe way to get the lead out of the pot and into an ingot mold.

Do get an outdoor propane fish-boil/turkey fryer/stove gizmo. It is the cheapest way to get a regulator and get heat underneath a large vessel. They are also very stable -- you don't want 50 pounds of molten lead spilling over. Get a cast iron dutch oven of 10 to 12 quart capacity. Don't use stainless or aluminum -- dangerous. Get a propane cylinder and start smelting. You'll also need a large slotted spoon and a ladle.

Do purchase an RCBS or Lyman ingot mold. These produce ingots of known weight and shaped so they will go into any casting furnace.

Set aside a morning and melt all your lead into ingots at once. Put the ingots on some cement something or other to cool. I use the top of a concrete block wall.

By doing all your lead at once, you save a lot on fuel and you only have to get geared up once (closed toe shoes, long pants, long sleeve flannel shirt, welding gloves, safety glasses, bandana on head to keep sweat from dropping into melt. The lead melts quickly when in contact with other lead that is already molten. Use a propane torch on the top of your lead to get things started. Once you have a good pool of lead in the pot, things go quickly. I hold my ingot mold with vise-grip pliers. Ingots cool enough to drop in about a minute, so every two minutes you have four more pounds of ingots.

The reason that known weight is important is that you can then alloy your final mix easily, counting each ingot as one pound -- which they very accurately are.

This whole set up will cost you under 100 bucks.

Interesting thanks for the info...