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Thread: Lead Furnace

  1. #1
    ballac is offline
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    Lead Furnace

    My lead furnace of many many years has failed. any recommendations on a new one?
    Huron Rangers Co E 5th Mich. Inf.

  2. #2
    bobanderson is offline
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    Coleman camp stove will work

    I cast on a Coleman camp stove with a 1 quart cast iron dutch oven for a pot and a bottom pour ladle.

    I have two 3 three burner camp stoves, complete with propane adapters, (from a local Boy Scout troop) for sale for a $15 each donation to the Scouts.
    You can use the small bottles of propane for starters, but I'd recommend getting a hose assembly and connecting to a 20 lb bottle. You can cast all season long on 20 lbs of propane. I might even have a spare fuel tank that could work, but casting with white gas is expensive.

    If you are interested, I can bring one or both to Maybee II.
    Last edited by bobanderson; 08-21-2018 at 03:34 AM.
    Bob Anderson
    Ordnance Sergeant
    Company C, 1st Michigan Volunteer Infantry
    Small Arms Committee

    "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a hand on.
    I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."
    - John Wayne in "The Shootist", 1976

  3. #3
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    I have been using a Lyman 20 lb. bottom pore furnace for around thirty years with no problem. I also have an old a 5 lb. Lyman furnace that I have bee using since about 1965 and have only had to replace the valve once and that was because my son screwed it up by using a nail to clean it out.
    Ron S.
    Formerly 6587V
    NRA Benefactor-Life
    Of all the things that I have lost it's my mind I miss the most.
    Great Grandson of William Gibson ( Canal boat builder ) ( 1862 Militia South Mountain )
    ( Co. C 116 Infantry, 106th Pennsylvania Regiment, Gettysburg
    Rev.22:20 - 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17 The Best Is yet To Come



  4. #4
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    I use a Lee 4-20 Production Pot. It's bottom pour. My first one lasted about 5 years; I'm on my second one. They sometimes drip a bit:

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/12...rnace-110-volt

    But, I have decided that the guys that told me to ladle-pour hollow-base bullets were right. I weigh my bullets and I get far more consistent weights with ladle-pouring than bottom pouring. With bottom pour I almost always get voids in the apex of the hollow cavity, and I suspect even when they are not visible they are there because of the greater spread of weights. With ladle pouring they are much, much better cast bullets. I use a Lyman Lead Dipper, which also has a submerged spout so you don't get dross in the mold:

    https://www.amazon.com/Lyman-Casting.../dp/B001OPLJUU

    Unfortunately, I hate ladle-pouring as it is slow and messy. Fortunately, I almost never do it anymore as I almost never shoot hollow-base bullets anymore. I now shoot the Moose Wilkinson in my Enfield with Whitacre barrel, and I shoot a Sharps carbine. Neither are hollow-base. About the only time I case hollow-base bullets anymore is if I'm loaning out my JRA Richmond Carbine or Pedersoli P58 to a new person. Or if I'm puttering about with paper-patched Enfield-style cartridges with a Pritchett bullet.

    Bottom pour works fantastically with the Moose Wilkinson, the Sharps bullets, and round ball molds.

    Steve

  5. #5
    PapaRob is offline
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    I use a Lyman Mag 25. Up until two years ago I used a Lee 20 lb bottom pour pot it lasted about 10 years. Its all really a matter of howmuch casting you do before the element fails as far as durability goes. Ease of use is a big factor too. I really like the lyman it holds the temperature of the lead more consistently just from my experience.

  6. #6
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    I have 3 Lee bottom pour pots. I think they may be the 4-20 that Steve mentions, but couldn't swear to the model. Two have been 'converted' to ladle type pots, mainly because I prefer to ladle cast on all larger bullets. I just get more consistent results. The third is a relatively new bottom pour that I keep wheel weights in for modern ammo. My black powder ammo is either pure soft or 50/50 soft and wheel weights. As those bullets are typically larger, I ladle pour them and by having two pots set up like this, I don't have to empty one out and refill with another alloy when swapping from musket to carbine bullets. My 'conversion' was to remove the valve mechanism to get it out of the way and to torch weld the spout shut on the bottom. And yes, those Lee pots tend to drip. As long as they don't pour, it's not a big deal. Maybe the more expensive pots seal better.

    As far as temperature control is concerned, the little temperature disc/button thingy tends to wear out in these Lee's. They'll get to where they shut off before reaching temperature. They will come back on, but it takes a long time to heat when they shut off too early and wait several seconds before coming back on. I built a PID controller that has a switched receptacle that I just plug the pot into. I turn the pot as high as it will go and let the switched receptacle turn it off and on based on the temperature as read by a thermocouple in the melt. One of the ones that the disc switch quit working on, I just bypassed the switch and controller and connected the element directly to line current. I have another one that is due for the same treatment. Since I use the PID controller, there is no need for any type of internal temperature regulation anymore. Some folks hard wire their PID controller to the pot. Since I want to use the same PID for all three pots, I made mine with a receptacle so I can plug any of them into it.

  7. #7
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    Bottom pour cut off

    I just dropped a nail into mine and it has never leaked.
    N-SSA Member since 1974

  8. #8
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    He didn't drop a nail in it . He used a nail to open up the pore spout when it got blocked in stead of a copper or brass wire and scratched ether the seat or the valve rode. It only takes a scratch on ether to make them leak. Needless to say I reamed him a new one.
    Ron S.
    Formerly 6587V
    NRA Benefactor-Life
    Of all the things that I have lost it's my mind I miss the most.
    Great Grandson of William Gibson ( Canal boat builder ) ( 1862 Militia South Mountain )
    ( Co. C 116 Infantry, 106th Pennsylvania Regiment, Gettysburg
    Rev.22:20 - 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17 The Best Is yet To Come



  9. #9
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    No No

    Thats how I converted my bottom pour, to ladle from the top.
    N-SSA Member since 1974

  10. #10
    John Bly is offline
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    Just get the Lee 20 lb. Mag Dipper pot. No conversion needed, it will not leak. I'll not use a bottom pour pot again forever.

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