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Old March 31, 2014, 05:49 PM   #1
Mike / Tx
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Man what a mistake....

Well as most things are lately, I had to screw with my pot and shouldn't have. Should have just let well enough alone.

It has dripped only a little the past 4-5 times I have poured. I didn't mind it but just had to pick up a couple dozen or so dime sized drops after pouring the other day. So thinks me, I might as well relap this stem and seat while I got this ol thing empty and cleaned.

So I rooted around and found my carefully ground bit I used a couple of years back to re-cut the factory seat. Took just enough off to shine her all up. Then took the pin over to the grinder and touched it up just enough to make a shiny spot all the way from tip to the top of the angled cut. Then out comes the lapping compound and another 20 minutes hand lapping everything together into a nice 1/8 wide seat like I had before. So I thought.

Filled it up with alloy and plugged it in and it didn't even get all of the ingots melted and was not dripping but literally running out. Oh it would stop if I sat there with my finger on the handle.

Dumped the pot out again, and relapped things this time with a very fine compound instead of the heavier grit stuff. Heck this time it was almost mirror shiney. Filled her up with the same ingots and plugged it in. This time it made it up until I poured the first row of bullets before it started off. I twirled the stem and it quit. I poured a second row of bullets and again it dripped, well dribbled a pile about and inch at the bottom tapered up to about 3/8" at the top. Again it stopped as soon as I touched the top fo it with the screwdriver. Once more I poured another row and when it kept on dripping I just unplugged the whole mess, hung a weight on the handle so it would stop and walked away.

Maybe sometime later this well I will plug it in and dump it out once again. I don't know what the hell happened as when I went through this the first time with that bit and polishing things up it didn't drip a drop for close to a year. Who knows, I will work on it some more later on and if it keeps it up I'll just buy a new one and start over. Use this one for a back up.

It's not like I don't have anything else to mess with either. but that really chaps my backside.
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Old March 31, 2014, 06:27 PM   #2
Beagle333
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It sounds like you really gave it a good effort and did everything right. Something is obviously just a hair out of round though.

I found that a stainless steel bolt, nut and two SS washers fixed it perfectly.
My ladle never drips.
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Old March 31, 2014, 06:38 PM   #3
Beagle333
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new parts source

Valve Rod 3 bucks
20# pot spout 3-1/2 bucks
Buy a half dozen of em!


even a new shiny bucket is only 17 bucks

And yer back in business!

quick link to any other parts you might want
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Last edited by Beagle333; March 31, 2014 at 06:44 PM.
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Old March 31, 2014, 08:51 PM   #4
iraiam
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I have a 30 year old SAECO lead furnace that sees extensive use, I never had to do anything but clean it.

I never heard of having to do this, is this something that is common?
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Old March 31, 2014, 09:52 PM   #5
Vance
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Yeah it is common with Lee pots. It is so common it has earned a name of "Leementing" a pot. I had a Lee production pot IV that never did anything but drip and once it just emptied it's self. I stopped using it and bought an RCBS promelt and haven't had any problems with it. Just keep it clean. I gave the Lee pot away.
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Old March 31, 2014, 10:48 PM   #6
chris in va
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My Lee 10# drips a fair amount. I discovered it was crusted with rust and dirt at the bottom and cleaning that out helped a bit. It still drips though.

BTW 'Leementing' actually refers to the molds, not the pot.
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Old March 31, 2014, 10:56 PM   #7
jimmy lowboy
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If this is a 10 lb pot you may have lowered the rod seating past the point that the control pivot can push down on the slot in the rod without contacting the top of the pot.This happened to my pot and required a little tweaking of the way the wire was bent.I also made a small plate with a "V" cut in the middle to keep the rod centered,and two screw holes to match the top bracket screws. Just my OCD fix.
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Old April 1, 2014, 07:52 PM   #8
GP100man
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Just add a small pair of vise grips to the handle some where .

In actuality the whole pin may be trying to float in the full pot of lead .
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:35 AM   #9
Mike / Tx
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Well I think I may have just changed the angle enough to prevent it from seating. I looked at it again yesterday under my "big eye" (lighted magnifying glass) and could see with a smear of blueing, that the actual tip of the stem was bottoming out before the sides that seat were.

While I had lapped it the compound had only polished up the seating portion of the stem and not actually cut into the seating plug to match. I cut the angle of the stem point back a touch with a drill and some emery cloth and relapped it yesterday afternoon. I didn't get a chance to try it out as the sweetie called me in for an awesome sirloin steak dinner which pretty much ended whatever consciousness I had going for me shortly there after.

I'll be working on it a bit more sometime later this week but from the blueing I did on it yesterday, it appears that I have a MUCH better contact than I did before. We'll see......
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