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A Few Things Learned About Ingot Making

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by richrob, May 12, 2008.

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  1. richrob

    richrob TS Member

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    Well I finally took my first crack at making ingots after work today. Didn't do too bad, learned a few things for next time.

    First, make sure your burner is going properly. I don't know what was going on but for about 20 minutes I was getting almost no flame and no heat. I turned everything off and started it again and all was well, the lead started melting within minutes.

    Know the capacity of your dutch oven/pot. Mine is a little bigger diameter than I would like, it took a lot of lead to get it deep enough to get a good scoop.

    A good slotted spoon is a must. Halfway through I drilled out a 2x2 to make an extened handle and bent the end to make more of a scoop, much better results.

    Have a big bucket for clips. I used a metal coffee can and it filled up very fast, had to dump it into the lid of the dutch oven and filled it again.

    Non stick muffin tins are a must. I went cheap and bought 2 aluminum pans, luckily I only filled one and just used the non sticks I had for the others. I ended up having to peel each of the 12 cups away from the ingot. The others, turned them over and the ingots just popped out.

    Last, be prepared to sweat a little. Its hot, and if you are dressed with the proper PPE its even hotter. Also, have a rag to wipe the sweat away or you will end up with a black face from used welding gloves.

    All in all I think I did well and plan to do a lot more the first time out. If anyone with more experience has some tips that want to share I am all ears, and I'm sure others would appreciate it as well.

    - Rich
     
  2. goosecall

    goosecall TS Member

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    I use the cheap $2.88 muffin pans from Wally World. I spray the muffin pans with graphite and the ingots fall out very easily. I don't use the square sticky backed wheel weights, much softer lead, I have had problems with clogged drippers, and slow downs with these weights. As soon as the weights start melting I look for those weights that do not melt as quick, zink! If you wait a while and the lead continually gets hotter the zink weights will start to melt around the edges, and if hot enough the weights will dissolve. I use a face shield now after the first time I was burned from exploding lead above my top lip. Watch what you through in the melting pot, I presort my weights. Another shot maker uses a shovel to put the weights in the pot and noticed a shiny object as he was going to put the weights in the melting pot with the shovel. The shiny object was a head of loaded shotgun shell. Some employee had thrown the shotgun shell in the wheel weight bucket.10tenner
     
  3. rifle guy

    rifle guy TS Member

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    Would a spicket/valve at the bottom of the pot work for filling molds? I am going to start making ingots later this week and would also like to hear about tips or your setups.



    Sawyer
     
  4. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Careful about that sweat. A little bit of moisture can cause a violent eruption of hot lead if it falls in the pot.

    Full face protection, a respirator, gloves and a full leather suit come to mind. Winter up north also sounds like a good idea for timimg.
     
  5. Duck Head

    Duck Head TS Member

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    Be tough! 95 deg.90% humidity, barefoot,shorts, no shirt,no face sheild, no respirator, and pour a bunch of wheelweights with water in the bottom of the bucket in a molten pot. You'll find out if you're lucky! I just got a couple of scars to show you. ilove it!!! cough,cough.
     
  6. richrob

    richrob TS Member

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    I am interested in the porcelain pot, but I guess I don't quite understand. Do you melt the lead in this? I imagine it would crack. -Rich
     
  7. richrob

    richrob TS Member

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    Ahhhh, that makes much more sense, what did you do to form your pouring spout? -Rich
     
  8. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Kind of off the subject, but where would you guys suggest getting beeswax for fluxing? I can't think of anywhere around me that I could find some. Thanks, Josh.
     
  9. mono1393

    mono1393 Member

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    Go to the local hardware store and buy some wax toilet bowl rings. Works well for flux when melting lead.
     
  10. Ellen

    Ellen TS Member

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    Sounds like you all are having fun making your lead ingots.

    The reason for not pouring from bottom of your melting pot is: that is where all the impurities fall to while melting the lead.Then you flux and stirring the impurities to the top so you can skim off. To much of a chance of getting dirt in your ingots.

    Plain old Parafin Wax (used for canning) is a cheap and inexpensive fluxing measure. Only takes a pinch (size of your thumb nail), stir in, may smoke, may flame (not harmful), then skim impurities off the top and pour into your ingot molds.

    I have heard many people with Littleton machines have gone to pouring their molten lead directly in their machines. The Better Shotmaker is designed to allow the lead ingot the time to melt down into your drippers-it is not suggested to use any other way. You can get different size shot as an end product.
    Ellen
     
  11. omahasportingsupply

    omahasportingsupply TS Member

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  12. omahasportingsupply

    omahasportingsupply TS Member

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    <br>1. Move the air out! Wear respirator!
    <br>2. Have lots of buckets available for wheel weights.
    <br>3. Have a large metal bucket available to store the tin clips.
    <br>4. Take tin clips to metals buyer for chump change.
    <br>5. Welders gloves.
    <br>6. Shallow ladle requires less lead in the pot.
    <br>7. NO stick tins. 1# and 2#
    <br>8. Large strainer spoon to remove clips.
    <br>9. Spoons and ladels cheap at thrift store.
    <br>10. Partially cover you melting pan with a metal sorting box.
    <br>11. Preheat clips in sorting box.
    <br>12. Vent melt pan to fan.
    <br>13. Gojo hand cleaner.
    <br>14. Propane gas gauge for tank.
    <br>15. Blue flame just about lifting off the burner.
    <br>16. Adjust air intake to increase blue flame.
    <br>17. NON Contact infrared thermometer up to 700 deg.
    <br>18. 150# of shot or ingots is enough for my back.
    <br>19. Keep the surface and glassy (shiny) as possible before pouring.
    <br>20. Don't pick up the pan, it is heavier and HOTTER than it looks.
    <br>21. Don't use wife's kitchen utensils. It WILL cost you $$$!
    <br>22. Have a spare bottle of propane in case your wife decides to grill while you are melting lead.
     
  13. thomaslea1

    thomaslea1 Member

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    Except: every now and then I melt 'something' that puts a pretty purple skim on the top that's seemingly impossible to get rid of. I skim it 8 or 9 times and still have it. Any idea what I'm getting in the wheel weights?

    Tom
     
  14. k3uro

    k3uro Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    Hey,

    Jus a tip:

    Water expands at around 1200 times itself when it turns to steam.

    It can cause your entire pot of molten lead to fly all over the place and it does not care where it lands.

    Jim
     
  15. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    Do not pee in the melted pot of lead!
     
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