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Discussion Starter #1
I currently use a oil cooker in a ventaliated garage using propane bottles. I am considering moving the melting operation to a different location. For those of you concerned about my safety, thanks, I have read all your warnings on earlier posts. Now I am NOT crazy enough to trying melting lead inside the house on the normal kitchen stove. ROFL. A friend in the appliance business owes me a few favors and said he will give me an older stove in good working condition to install in my new location. The new location is safer and better ventilated.

I can wire my own 240v line or extend my natural gas from the 2nd water heater that isn't being used. Propane would just be to refill the bottle or get a bigger bottle. If it is all my labor and time, which would be best? Pros and cons please. With lead reaching $27.00 per bag (if lucky) this problem may not go away soon. Read other posts on price of lead.
Thanks for your input. Melt ON!
 

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It would be a local thing, since the cost of all three varies. In Idaho electric rates are one of the cheapest in the nation.
So if it were in Idaho I'd say electric.
 

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I would be using this for melting wheel weights into ingots. Propane (I have heard) burns hotter than Natural Gas. But then I have lugging bottles or running out mid batch. Electric is higher (than gas) in Nebraska, but still reasonable. A lot of my melting would be done in summer when electric rates are higher and gas rates are lower (due to demand for air conditioning). Gas would be cheaper in the summer and all but tundra in the winter. Natural gas is an endless supply and never have to refill. Propane is portable which means I could melt in my neighbors garage when he goes on vacation. Just kidding. A natural gas stove says I have 4 burners and a bench top to work from. A disconnect from the unused water heater and run it through to the outside storage room, and we could be in business. Also less tracking from the garage. Just my thoughts.
 

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At one time I was casting model railroad parts with scrap linotype (a lead alloy). I installed a large lead melting furnace and had my natural gas line extended into the garage. Worked quite well. No lugging around of propane bottles. You can't cast lead outdoors here most of the year because of the rain, unless you have a patio roof or a carport.<br>
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I haven't used this furnace since around 1990. I ought to sell or trade it off.
 

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I have a propane turkey cooker. Its a Brinks. It works great and is fast. I do all my ingots outside in the open. This burner I have found to be the best. Once you get it going it will keep things going till you stop. Go with the propane.
 

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Your right propane is hotter than natural gas. If you go from one to the other there are things that need to be changed. Going from propane to natural is not so bad because the orfice in propane is smaller but if you go from natural to propane you could be asking for trouble. You will have more pressure in a bigger hole and believe me you could find yourself looking at a blue dragon.

Corey
 

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For speed, storage convenience and portability, I, like Bawana, prefer the propane "turkey cooker". Cost per BTU of heat is greatest using propane and least expensive using natural gas in my area. I do suspect the cost difference between the three sources of heat is minimal in most areas.

When I made shot, I melted a years supply of ingots during a few Summer days and stored my turkey cooker for 360 days a year. It is difficult to conveniently store a kitchen range.

Pat Ireland
 
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