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Melting Lead

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 357mag357, Apr 14, 2007.

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  1. 357mag357

    357mag357 Member

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    Will a side burner on a gas grill get hot enough to melt lead? I was going to melt some wheel weight using the RCBS lead pot and make some ingot molds. I have a Weber grill with a side burner. Will it work? Thanks.
     
  2. Hazzard

    Hazzard Member

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    It will probably work, But don't melt lead on anything you plan to use later to cook food. Too much risk of lead poisoning. Buy a heavy duty hot plate and it will work for smaller batches.
     
  3. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Member

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    Yeah, it'll work. My gas grill with a side-burner is a Sunbeam, but I'll bet it's not all that much different from your Weber.
    An old Coleman stove will work pretty well too. The fact is, there are some things I prefer about doing my bullet casting on my old Coleman stove and I have an electric Lee production pot. But that's probably just me - I learned on a Coleman stove and did it that way for 20 years before my wife gave me that production pot for Christmas one year.
     
  4. scrat

    scrat Member

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    yep i use an old camp two burner stove. In fact i just cast some bullets today. Same time i use an old pot. When im done i clean up the stove and throw all the lead scraps and other pieces in the pot just so that everyone knows that that pot is for lead only.

    By the way the stove can heat up the lead until it almost boils so you have to watch out. Turn the heat down once it is all liquified.
     
  5. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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  6. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    Why take the chance of ruining your grill, Camp Chef make a very nice 2 burner stove that runs from a 20 lb tank and is the nus for what you want to do. I use one myself with a medium sized cast iron pot and the appropriate ingot molds and can melt 60-80 lbs of WW in a little over an hour. Cost of the stove is around $100 and well woth it
     
  7. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    Heck, for less than $100 you can pick up a turkey fryer and then make 100lbs of ingots at a time. :) I'm doing about 60lbs at a time now and that's just because I'm too cheap to spend $50 for a bigger dutch oven. :)
     
  8. skinnyguy

    skinnyguy Member

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    While we are on the subject

    I have some wheel weights to melt down myself. I plan on picking up a coleman stove for the job. My question is whether the white gas or the propane type is better for the job. I'm leaning towards the white gas model.
     
  9. scrat

    scrat Member

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    i have a propane. it last a long time too. i think it burns hotter than the white gas too. anyhow im happy.

    i just did some casting today. nothing too big. just 120 bullets.
     
  10. jmabbott888@aol.com

    jmabbott888@aol.com Member

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    for under $50 you can get a new LEE pot thru Midway. You can melt lead on the burner but it's kinda hard to control the heat.
     
  11. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

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    Yard sales sell burners cheap

    I regularly see turkey burners and barbeques cheap while checking out yard sales particularly near retirement communities.
     
  12. layusn1

    layusn1 Member

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    I thought you were only supposed to use the Lee pots for melting down the pure ingots so you don't mess it up and take two years melting a 5 gallon bucket?
     
  13. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    Yup, that's my understanding as well.

    Have a good one,
    Dave
     
  14. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    That's the difference between smelting and melting! Smelting is taking scrap lead, with it's coating of oxide and those steel clips on the wheelweights, meting it, cleaning it by fluxing it a lot, then casting useable sized ingots ready for the casting pot. Fluxing? You can use several things for fluxing the melt. Candle wax,(not the soy ones), parafin, bullet lube, and sawdust. It cleans the melt of dirt, lead oxide and recombines the tin and antimoy to make a homongense lead.

    Now some recent wheel weights are made from zinc. Zinc mixed with lead is darn near impossible to cast bullets from. Good thing is, zinc melts at a higher temperature than lead. Zinc melts at 787 degrees, so keep the melting temperature below that. The zince weights being much lighter than lead, will float to the surface of melted lead. As soon as you see that happening, scoop them out before they melt.
     
  15. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Never had any problem. never have. i guess it has to be habit forming. i melt down the lead until it liquifys on my old propane stove. then back down the heat just a tad. then i wait a minute and scoop some up with my ladle and pour it back in. looking at the consistancy. if its liquidy and pours easily then im in business. place the mold block in the lead wait about 30 seconds. then pick it up. looking at the lead if it sticks its too cold if it dripped off im ok. keep the ladle in the mix for 30 seconds. check it the same way. pour some back in. if it pours in and dosent stick to the ladle im ok. if it sticks raise the heat a little. If it dosent stick to the mold block or the ladle after a few seconds. im ready to cast.
     
  16. okeybug

    okeybug Member

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    Being a science teacher please let me come in to this conversation. White gas is a much hotter flame than propane but both will do an excellent job. I have an old propane tank that a got from a plumber that melts down large amounts of lead. I have not used it much because I have an RCBS meltpot that just works much better and is safer to operate.
     
  17. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    Should work. As others have said though I would never smelt/melt lead or other metals on something I planned to use for cooking.
     
  18. skinnyguy

    skinnyguy Member

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    Okeybug, thanks for the answer!!!

    ZS, I don't plan on using anything used with the lead for food. it's going to be a dedicated lead-working deal.
     
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