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Thread: Homemade Melters? Pics?



  1. #1
    Sidewinder
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    Homemade Melters? Pics?

    Anybody have a homemade melter? Just starting this casting addiction, looking to go cheap as possible. Anybody have any pics or ideas for a cheap melter?.....I was thinking a small propane coleman burner with a cast iron frying pan, a ladle and a lee 459-405-HB mould......that would be a cheap setup!!
    "Said I never had much use for one,...never said I didn't know how to use it..." ~ Matthew Quigley

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  2. #2
    Gunfighter
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    I use a Lee 10 pound bottom pour furnace. It works great for everything I cast except my 45-70. With a 6 cavity 425gr mold I have to fill the furnace all the time. So like you I'm now in the market for a pot and ladle.
    With the single cavity mold you said you were looking at on another thread, a small deep cast iron pot that will hold about 10 pounds of lead will probably work well for you.
    For ladles, I found the Lyman is the best for the money. It is slightly angled so it is easier on the wrist.

    Key
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  3. #3
    Tinhorn
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    Here is some pics of my home made waste oil smelter, I must have too much time on my hands at times.
    Casting furnace pictures by boondocker6 - Photobucket
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  4. #4
    Deadeye
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    Sharpshooter81, I would buy one of the Lyman casting pots, or something similar. Flat bottom skillets don't work well, because its difficult to get the last 1/2" of lead out and into your ladle. As for ladles I like the Lyman type ladle with the spout. I hate the Lee ladle, as I always spill molten lead. The Coleman stoves work fine for melting lead. When I first started I use a Coleman Sportsman single burner stove. If you use a propane single burner make sure it has a stable base most of the single burner propane stoves are not very stable when you put a 10lb pot of lead on them. I now use a Lee 20lb bottom pour pot, before that I used the Lee 10lb bottom pour. The Lee bottom pour pots are rather inexpensive and do well for casting in quantity. If you get a bottom pour pot, DO NOT smelt lead in them, it makes a big mess and it get scum and dirt in the nozzles. An old cast iron dutch oven makes a great smelting pot. As far as do it yourself, one of the fat squatty propane bottles should make a decent little casting pot, IF you can SAFELY cut it. I would use the bottom and cut it about 3 1/2 to 4" tall.

    Gary

  5. #5
    Sidewinder
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    So what is the common practice for melting lead?.....do you flux and remove the impurities before you make your ingots, or do you do it when you melt your ingots down to cast boolits?....or do you do it both times?
    "Said I never had much use for one,...never said I didn't know how to use it..." ~ Matthew Quigley

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  6. #6
    Site Contributor Contributing Member
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    I cast for more than 20 years with a $5 yard sale Colman stove, a 2 quart stainless pot from Goodwill and a Lyman dipper. Try to find a liquid fuel Coleman 2 burner camp stove. The larger stove is more stable and you can run it economically on unleaded gasoline. The price of those little propane bottles make a grown man cry...
    MidBigWest and mrguvna like this.

  7. #7
    Deadeye
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    Something I have been looking into myself. Please keep these answers comming.

    I cast for 32-40, 38-55, .44, 45-70. Currentyly with a Lee 10lb pot. Find that I have to keep adding metal to the pot and wait for the temp to come up again.

    Chris
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  8. #8
    Tinhorn
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    I have been casting way too long and still only use an electric hot plate single burner. I use a cast iron pot thats about 4 - 5 inches across and 4 inches deep. It has plenty of heat and easily regulated. I leave about an inch of lead in the pot from the last session and it starts to melt fairly fast. Just add a little at a time till its full. I seems safer than a propane stove, especially if you are casting on the dining room table.

  9. #9
    Gun Wizard
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    I know this is not exactly what your after, but for bulk smelting Wheel weights into ingots) I saw on one of the sites someone had used the bottom half of a propane gas bottle (could be used for casting too if it was one of the smaller ones) which was cut around the weld in the middle. I would be very cautious myself cutting one, but it was what was used and it was just sitting in the middle of an open fire to smelt the lead. If I remember correctly the author of the thread said it held about 100 lbs of lead.
    For your info.
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  10. #10
    Tinhorn
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    I also have a half of grill tank for smelting on a gas turkey fryer. My advice is you can dip out of one , but if you use a bottom pour melter like me to cast you want to render your w/w ingots separately to keep the crude out. I used broken crayons.old candles, saw dust. Mostly old crayons to flux with. I have done it on a campfire and also in the wood and coal stove in a little cast iron round bottom casting pot. Just do it in a well ventilated area and wear clothes to cover your skin and the tinsel fairy is not pleasant. By time you buy all those little bottles you can get a turkey fryer on sale and use a grill tank. I also agree it is better to dip out of a round bottom pot.
    Team 45/70 #587
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