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Author Topic: want to start casting  (Read 6402 times)

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Offline necessaryevil

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2016, 03:14:34 AM »
Something else equally if more important than all the good advice above. Consider your health.

I have been casting for over 20 years. I ALWAYS do so in good weather outside in the open air. All the instructions state a "well ventilated area". I believe that belt and braces can't do any harm so I do my casting, with the Lee pot incidentally OUTSIDE.

You can't get much more well ventilated than that.

Offline AntiqueSledMan

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2016, 05:13:15 AM »

I started with a Lyman Cast Iron Pot & a Lyman Dipper. I had a piece of 12 ga. steel with a cut out for the pot to sit in. It worked great, I'd heat it up with a Sunflower Heater. I could warm my molds up just by setting them beside the pot. I did advance to a Lee Production Pot, it works fine. As far as a six cavity mold, I don't think I'd mess with one. I have mostly 2 cavity and some single cavity molds. Remember, you need good ventilation, I cast out in the garage with the windows & doors open. Also, never get any water close to your lead. I cleaned up some lead pipe once, thought it was dry, thought wrong. When that stuff melts with water in it it's like a volcano going off, all you can do is back away & wait for it to quit. The lead is about 650 deg F, you get a violent reaction and also a good chance of a serious burn. I wear gloves, long sleeves, & safety glasses with side shields while casting. The Lee Pot wouldn't work very good for cleaning up lead & pouring ingots, the open pot will pour faster & give you better looking ingots. Just some things I've learned.


Offline necessaryevil

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2016, 06:06:23 AM »
VERY GOOD advice there re the protective gear. I wear glasses and welding gloves too. Yes any water in the melted lead and it WILL go off like a shotgun.

Offline mr wack

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2016, 06:36:57 AM »
I too cast outside in the carport, ( wife won't let me play in her garage,,  M__).
Also I'm not comfortable wearing all the protective gear except for my specs, it's too bulky,,, BUT absolutely take all precautions you feel comfortable with.
Moisture is your nemesis here as mentioned , the problem isn't so much the H2O or sweat hitting the melt surface ( it will fizzle and boil off in short order) But if an ingot lets say has a moisture pocket in it and is added to the melt ( submerged) the water will turn to steam and because it can't escape it will "blow up" violently and you just had a visit from the world famous tinsel Fairy.
As this happened to me,,,,?,,,, (o& 
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll, no longer riding on the merry-go-round .
I just had to let it go......... I just had to let it go.


Offline DD4lifeusmc

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2016, 07:37:16 AM »
I just leave the mould resting on the top lip of the pot  when warming up and when taking a break.
Keeps the mould at the right casting temp that way.
The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps.
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to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946
Marines Birthday  11/10/1775
USA birthday  7/4/1776

Offline soundguy

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2016, 03:20:49 PM »
I'll be casting outside where I weld.  I have welding jackets, high arm sleeve gloves, respirator and face shields.

Have heard about the water and lead problems, including sweat droplets.  I've been soldering over 30 years, so am pretty good with lead handling safety.  I had a heavy metals test about 5ys back as a checkup, since I have been restoring antique tractors about 17 years, and that involves alot of old paint removal.. Came back clean, .. Glad too.

Offline mazo kid

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2016, 12:52:01 PM »
When I am melting dirty lead, water pipe, etc., I use a propane heater outdoors. Flux the molten lead a couple of times and ladle into ingot molds. NEVER use your lead pot, especially a bottom pour, for making cleaning lead and making ingots. Too much chance for impurities to clog the pour nozzle and that is trouble to clean. When casting bullets or round balls, I can do it year 'round in the basement as I have an old range hood over the pot, vented out the wall. As DD4 said, put your mold on the edge of the pot and warm it up as the lead is melting. Cast slowly the first few times to get the mold all the way to temp, then set your casting tempo. I do have a pot thermometer, but don't use it all the time; your castings will tell you when things are right. Melt/mold too cold will give you wrinkled casts, frosty castings mean the melt/mold is too hot. Won't hurt anything as far as shooting, but there is a possibility of warping the mold. When casting with my LEE 20 pound pot, I set the temp to Hi when melting the lead, then when the bullets/balls are dropping out nicely, I turn the dial back to about 8 and just leave it there.

Offline soundguy

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2016, 01:02:05 PM »
well, my ingot mold and ladle came in today.   my furnace and molds will be waiting till june I think, as I just hit my credit card up for a target model 1858..  :)

Offline Juan Jose

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2017, 10:45:08 AM »
FWIW I haven't cast any balls for the  1858 yet, but I'd put together a very economical casting kit several years back---

Heat source---Coleman propane stove.  This is an old one that had bounced out of the bed  of my truck on at least one occasion. I replaced it with  new one and relegated the old one exclusively  for casting lead. You can find battered Colemans at swap meets and junk stores. Cost about $10

Pot---Cast iron import saucepan I picked up at a CVS for $10

Skimmer---A long handled stainless steel slotted spoon from Smart and Final, IIRC $2.99

Dipper---I didn't skimp here and bought a  Lyman but I think RCBS would work just as well, around $25-30 new, also a stainless steel ladle for pouring ingots from Smart and Final, IIRC $2.99

Flux---Sawdust courtesy of my band saw, free

Face shield and old leather welding gloves---found in my garage, free

Ingot mould---aluminum or steel muffin pan, if you get steel, let 'em develop a coat of rust before using.  If they are non-stick, remove the coating with a steel brush on an electric drill first so it can start to rust, New aluminum muffin pans from Walmart are kind of pricey but steel ones are around $6, less in junk shops.

Portable electric fan and extension cord---for blowing away bad ju-ju, appropriated from the house.

A piece of sheet steel flashing---to protect our picnic table from getting scorched, scavenged from a re roofing job.

Your new hobby doesn't need to cost a lot of money!

Offline Omnivore

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2017, 02:15:10 PM »
Hello Juan,

Stove; 10.00
Pot;     10.00
Skimmer; 2.99
Dipper; 27.50
Steel ladle; 2.99
Total;  53.48

Lee Production Pot at Midway today; 58.99 + S&H
Just sayin', and with the Lee you wouldn't need a ladle, nor to fuel and nurse a stove; just plug it in, and it has a much smaller footprint on the bench.

I use an old metal teaspoon as a skimmer.
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.   James 1:25 (KJV)

So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.   James 2:12. (KJV)

Offline Racing

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2018, 02:51:56 PM »
Altho an old post...

A good source for cheap (read-most of the time free) lead is the sheet metal used around chimneys (at least around here). That there is basically pure lead.

In turn old high voltage and amperage wiring often sports a lead "sealer" which,again,is about pure lead.

Companies like LEE sell an,IMO,rather hefty priced sort of Brinell tester but TBH i´ve never seen any REAL use of using one.

When you fool around with lead to be turned into bullets and the lead in case is real pure it CAN be a good idea to add a few percents worth of tin/solder. A few percent does it. Makes the charge flow nicer into the mold more often than not. In turn it´ll often make your boolits more shiny too... :)

In turn,as the guys touch upon above,when "reworking" lead i for one could care less as far as impuritys. As lead is heavy as...well,lead..any and all crap will come afloat and can then be shimmed off easy enough. But that said i ALWAYS make said raw material into ingots first. As that is a manner in which to physically get an idea of what came out the other end.

I use a Lyman Mag 20 i bought second hand and have NO complaints what so ever. Word of advice is to get a steel wire brush that looks like a normal brush. Just the "whiskers" are out of steel.
This comes in VERY handy as you take said brush to the innards of the pot and brush it clean from..yeah well,pollutes. A tool i use routinely when making scrap lead into ingots.

Then,as also mentioned. Personal safety,and then mainly be aware of what you come to breathe. Gloves et al..sry,never use ´em. It just makes ME to insensitive working the pot,molds...ingot forms and so on.

I always keep my Leatherman around too. Crap that gets stuck,moving metal parts that´s seen heat out of the way and what not..

Saw dust is mentioned. Hell yeah,one of THE best flux you can ever use. No matter what wood really..

Also per above. Fugedabout all them "trick of the week" BS ideas. Casting perfect bullets has been done for hundred of years sans that crap so..
Keep it simple,keep is basic and just enjoy yourself.

Btw. Drop your newly made boolits on a soaked folded many a time towel,or directly into a filled bucket. All depending the results your after.

NEVER "speed chill" your mold. EVAR! Ditto for the pot.
DVC - 2018

Offline Miguel Loco

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Re: want to start casting
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2018, 07:12:42 PM »
I use an old metal teaspoon as a skimmer.

LOL...me too....and boy was the wife pissed at me. :)
"a dios rogando y con el mazo dando"