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Old August 10, 2011, 02:44 PM   #1
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Cast iron pot

Hey all,
Just curious, can a normal cast iron pot be used to melt lead? Had one laying around, thought I'd ask before 10 pounds of molten lead goes flying.

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Old August 10, 2011, 04:07 PM   #2
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Yes.. cast iron makes a good lead melting pot.

It would be good if it were cleaned of all oil, grease, etc...

I would heat it up to 300 degrees or so for maybe 10 minutes before putting any lead in it, just to make sure any moisture is baked out of it.

If you are going to be pouring from it, make sure you have hand/foot/body protection.. keep in mind that lead is, um... heavy. Don't put more in the pot than you can safely handle.
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Old August 10, 2011, 04:22 PM   #3
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Ok good to know. I am not pouring from it. I'm ladling into ingot molds. I'm just tired of cleaning my bottom pour pot after every session
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Old August 10, 2011, 04:56 PM   #4
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Plumber's pots traditionally have been made out of Cast Iron. There are not as common as back in the day when wiped joints on lead drain pipes were the norm.
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Old August 10, 2011, 05:01 PM   #5
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I'm just tired of cleaning my bottom pour pot after every session
Why are you doing that? I generally have a casting session that ends when the pot is nearly out of metal. Then I unplug it and let it cool. When it's cool it goes into the box and up on the shelf.
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Old August 10, 2011, 06:28 PM   #6
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Good choice

As others have mentined, cast iron pot is an excellent choice. I use one for the smelting/fluxing process and dedicate my bottom pour for casting. So, in theory, my bottom pour is always fairly clean and only sees clean lead ingots.

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 10, 2011, 06:59 PM   #7
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Yes that is what I want to do: put clean ingots into the pot for easy maitinence. Besides, I only have a 5lb lee pot so it takes forever to melt the wheelweights into ingots not to mention removing the dries on such a small surface is a PITA.
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Old August 10, 2011, 11:08 PM   #8
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I use an old dutch oven for rendering wheel weights into ingots. Only clean alloy goes into my production pot for casting bullets.

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Old August 11, 2011, 05:21 AM   #9
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Just don`t over load ya heat source with weight & don`t use anything aluminum !!!

Don`t add cold wet (even if it looks dry)scrap or WW to a hot melt let it cool enuff so the added material is`nt submerged .
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Old August 11, 2011, 07:42 AM   #10
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It would be good if it were cleaned of all oil, grease, etc...
I'm into cast iron cooking and I can share with you a way to clean cast iron of all oil, grease, and cooked-on carbon. Get a container big enough to submerge the entire pot (plastic tote with a lid works great). Put in a pound of lye. Lye used to be commonly available at the grocery store (Red Devil Lye). It's harder to find now. You can find it in the hardware store in the drain cleaner section. My favorite brand is Roebic. Just look for Sodium Hydroxide as the ingredient. Put in 1 lb of lye to about 5 gallons of water. Submerge the pot and let it sit for at least a week. 2 weeks is even better. Take it out (caution, the stuff will eat your skin) and hose it off really well.

If you were going to use it for cooking, you would go to the next step and re-season the pan. For your use though, you just have to get it really dry. Heat it slowly for half an hour or so to make sure all the water has evaporated from the pores before adding lead.
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Old August 11, 2011, 07:46 AM   #11
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I use cast iron for my melting/casting. Some are reclaimed cookers and a couple small ones are made for lead casting, one is an antique.
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