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Old June 21, 2011, 10:09 PM   #1
micksis86
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What alternative can i use instead of purchasing an ingot mold?

So I'm pretty new to casting. It isn't something that I'd ever considered doing until I picked up some equipment really cheap the other day. But the more research I do the more interested i'm getting in casting. This is the first of what will hopefully not be too many questions.

Do most people buy an ingot mold? Or could I use something else like a cupcake baking tray or something. Money is tight hence part of the reason that i'm getting into casting so if i can avoid buying an ingot mold for now that would be great.

Thanks
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Old June 21, 2011, 10:20 PM   #2
BrittB
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Muffin pans.
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Old June 21, 2011, 10:37 PM   #3
micksis86
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Just any type of muffin pans? Teflon coated or anything like that doesn't matter?
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Old June 21, 2011, 10:46 PM   #4
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Heavy duty muffin pans, and I think I would skip anything coated. I was lucky enough to get an ingot mold when I got my casting gear, haven't tried muffin pans yet. Check over at castboolits.gunloads.com for a lot more casting info!
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Old June 21, 2011, 10:47 PM   #5
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Thanks armoredman i'll check it out.
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Old June 21, 2011, 10:47 PM   #6
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I would just use regular pans.If the lead sticks a little, you can wipe the pan with a rag that has a little WD-40 on it. It will burn off when you remelt it and don't forget to ladle off the dross.
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Old June 22, 2011, 12:48 AM   #7
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I use on of those cast iron corn cob shaped corn bread pans. The corn muffin ingots fit perfectly in my lee pot.
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Old June 22, 2011, 06:13 AM   #8
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I got a cast iron muffin pan off ebay for 4.00. check around at flea markets, might find 'em cheaper. I think I read on one of the threads here that lead ingots will stick to tin ones and the ones with soldered cups fall apart from the heat.
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Old June 22, 2011, 06:27 AM   #9
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I've got three different muffin tins that I use for making ingots after smelting. One, a corncob-looking cast iron pan is used for wheelweights.
Another cast iron pan that makes an odd stick looking thing, I use for linotype.
The third is a common muffin tin and I use it for pure lead.

It's easy for me to look at the shape of the ingots and know what kind of lead I'm looking at. All three were picked up at garage sales/estate auctions for little or nothing.
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Old June 22, 2011, 08:16 AM   #10
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I don't understand your resistance to using a genuine ingot mold. They are only about $10.00. You will pay that or more for a cast iron corn bread or muffin mold at an antique shopt, plus the gas to drive around looking for one.
One of the things I do to avoid (call it laziness) is to melt all my scrap lead in a cast iron saucepan (I think it is a two quart), dip out of that into a small pot I am actually casting from the just let it cool and harden between uses. Takes two heat sources, like an old Coleman cooking stove. Works for me.
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Old June 22, 2011, 09:21 AM   #11
res45
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Check the local thrift stores like Salvation Army or GoodWill or Habitat for Humanity I bought all my ingot molds and cast iron pots there and paid as little as 50 cants to a couple dollars. You just never know what you can find useful in those places on the cheap.
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Old June 23, 2011, 05:04 AM   #12
micksis86
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Rifleman, I understand you're point but i'm a student so money is exceptionally tight at the moment. I will definately buy a genuine ingot mold in the future but at the moment i'm trying to minimise expenses as much as possible.
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Old June 25, 2011, 09:56 AM   #13
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I got a 'mini muffin' pan for something like $4. As the opening in my 10# Lee is a bit tight I fill each halfway, let cool and dump it over to pop them out. No issues.
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Old June 25, 2011, 10:44 AM   #14
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Go to walmart and in the housewares sections you'll find Stainless Steel Condiment cups, they are 4 for 99 cents. If filled to the rim they go around 1 pound. The lead pops out very easy and they stack for convenience and neatness. I've been using the same ones for over a year and no problems.
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Old June 25, 2011, 02:18 PM   #15
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Most of the cheap muffin tins don't work, I destroyed one trying to make it work. Still looking for cast iron muffin pans but I'm such a cast iron cooking fan I'll likely use it for cooking something edible. I wasted more money on gas looking for them than the Lyman ingot molds cost. I'll find some muffin pans someday, will have to get by with Lyman for now.
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Old June 26, 2011, 05:07 AM   #16
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Well, I bit the bullet and got a Lyman ingot mold. I like the one pound blocks it makes. It'll make it easier to know how much lead i've put in the pot and how much solder i need to add for the tin. Figured it'd be money well spent.
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Old June 26, 2011, 10:37 AM   #17
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Good move, but keep looking for the other tins. I like PawPaw's method and want to make my Pb ingots look a little different. For now I just "label" them with a big Sharpie.
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Old June 26, 2011, 02:33 PM   #18
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For really cheap ingot molds, use upside down beer or pop cans. Have plenty on hand because the ingot won't come out until it's cold.

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Old June 26, 2011, 02:53 PM   #19
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The best that I've found (cuz I'm too cheap to buy a cast iron cornpone pan) is 2.5 ounce stainless steel condiment cups. Walmart sells them; last I checked they were 97¢ for four. I saw 10 or 12 packs of them at Sam's Club once, but not recently. Those might have been 3 oz.
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Old July 20, 2011, 02:24 PM   #20
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If you want to use muffin pans, don't use any that are soldered together, you'll just be "tinning" the pan with melted lead and it won't come out. Some of the things I've seen or heard about for ingot molds; aluminum muffin tins, alum. mess kit sides, cast alum. corn pone pans, 2" cast alum fence post caps, s.s. camp coffee mug, s.s. or alum. tubing or angle, cut in half clamped between two pieces hardwood, etc. Teflon will burn and emit toxic fumes if a non-stick pan is used. Cast iron muffin pans may need "seasoning" or rusting. Use your inmagination and find something that won't crack (or melt) when you pour molten lead into it. I don't use the commercial ingot molds (Lyman, RCBS, Lee) because I want my ingots to be different and not have their name on them...

Hmmm, I guess I'm gonna hafta go to Walmart for condiment cups!
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Old July 22, 2011, 10:15 AM   #21
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I got some of the cheap metal muffin pans (not teflon) for $2 each. I scuffed them up with some sandpaper, dipped them in saltwater and let them sit outside for a week. They developed a nice coating of rust. I then sprayed them with some graphite spray. The ingots drop right out of them. 5 of them will just about empty my smelting pot.

I also made some from angle iron that work ok. My latest experiment was a stainless mud pan from lowes. I put a piece of angle iron in it as a divider. it makes 2 5lb ingots when you pour about an inch deep.
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Old July 22, 2011, 11:51 AM   #22
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Here's a variety of ingot molds I used to re-claim range lead. The big muffin tin is steel, but NOT tin plated steel. That's where the problem arrises, the tin plated steel tins solder the lead right to the steel. Hard to see at the bottom of the pic is 2 teflon coated aluminum muffin tins. They worked great, but I suspect they may have fumed when we first filled them with hot lead. Nobody died----hack/caff/gag! That was 2 years ago, so it looks like we survived



The mold at the lower right corner is one my buddy made from channel iron scrap. It makes a 5 pound ingot that still fits into my lee 20 pounder.



I wish he had made 4 of them!
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Old July 22, 2011, 12:32 PM   #23
Roger Ronas
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Hello snuffy,
Can you give rough deminsions of that mold your buddy made? The channel iron one. How wide, long and deep are the cavities to make a 5lb ingot?
My brother is a welder and I copy pic and if I can get the specs I'm sure a 12 pack will get me a couple of them made.
Thanks
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Old July 22, 2011, 07:20 PM   #24
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Roger, the ingot measures 4-½ long by 2-½ wide on TOP by 1" thick, on the bottom it's 2 X 4 inches. It's made from 2 inch ship & car channel. The ends taper in at about 15 degrees for good release of the ingot. Completely full, it weighs 5 pounds.
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Old July 22, 2011, 10:18 PM   #25
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Thank you snuffy,
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