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Old July 27, 2011, 05:29 AM   #1
UtopiaTexasG19
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Small Lead Ingot Cooling Times...

About how long does it take the small one pound poured lead ingots too cool enough to dump them out of the molds and re-pour a second and third time. In other words ....how long is the cooling cycle? Thanks
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Old July 27, 2011, 06:59 AM   #2
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Not long, although I realize that doesn't help you much. Sometimes when you can see the top of the ingot harden, the inside of the ingot is still liquid. What you need is a heat sink.

When I'm pouring ingots I'm outside, preferably in a shady spot in the yard. I put the ingot mold directly on the soil because the earth is generally a great heat sink. It wicks the heat from the mold fairly quickly. I'll pour an ingot mold, then grab the mold with pliers and flip it over, so the ingots fall on the earth, then flip the mold back over to refill. It's quick.

If it's raining out, and I have to use the garage the molds take longer to cool sufficiently that when I tip the mold over the ingots don't break. Generally a minute or two is sufficient.
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Old July 27, 2011, 07:05 AM   #3
UtopiaTexasG19
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I have some bulk lead comming in and wondered if I needed two sets of moulds so I could fill one while the other cools to speed up the process.
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Old July 27, 2011, 07:12 AM   #4
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Ingot molds are easy to find. I use cast iron stick cornbread molds that I pick up at garage sales. I've got four in the garage and the most expensive ingot mold I've got is the little Lee ingot mold that I paid $5.00 for a decade ago. My Lee mold casts four ingots, my cornbread mold casts eight ingots.
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Old July 27, 2011, 07:25 AM   #5
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I have four ingot molds, I pour all four, by the time I get the Fourth one poured I can dump the first, then I have a cycle that keeps me going.

I have an old sheet of plywood I work on, keeps the ingots out of the dirt.
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Old July 27, 2011, 07:34 AM   #6
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Cheap ingot molds are angle iron with the ends welded. Don't make them too big or they are hard to get in the pot.

Ingots are "dumpable" rather quickly, BUT it takes a long time for them to cool enough to be handled with bare hands.

You will figure it out quick enough!

Good luck!
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Old July 27, 2011, 08:02 AM   #7
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I have four ingot molds, and I keep a piece of 4X4 plywood on the ground next to me. By the time I've filled the last one I dump the first. Then move on down the line until I'm done. It takes about 5 minutes for an ingot to cool where you can comfortably handle it with gloved hands. At that point, it's cool enough to throw in a 5 gallon bucket without a risk of melting it. Assuming, of course, you aren't smelting your lead to 1000 degrees.
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Old July 27, 2011, 08:27 AM   #8
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At normal casting temps, about 15 seconds. If you are way too hot, 30 sec. to a minute. Not a big deal. You will figure it out yourself in the first 30 seconds.
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Old July 27, 2011, 08:30 AM   #9
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The first pour into a cast-iron ingot mold (for equivalent), will cool rapidly and dump easily almost as soon as if "freezes". However, it you are pouring a lot of lead, the as the mold gets hot and stays hot, the ingots will begin to stick until they get cooler...even cast iron molds.
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Old July 27, 2011, 10:41 PM   #10
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Hello, I guess I'm different but I have to ask Why would you ask? Just pour some & watch for lead surface to "turn". Setting ingot mould on some sort of heat sink like a concrete floor helps. If when you turn e'm over they break..or you get a nice lead mess on the floor..you'll know to wait a bit longer. Simple What?
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Old August 2, 2011, 04:13 PM   #11
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put athick wet rag or towel on the ground or floor and set the ingot mold on it . cools pretty quickly.
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Old August 2, 2011, 04:22 PM   #12
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My mold is the Lyman mold and I had it sitting on a cinder block which seemed to cool it quickly enough. That mold seems to be of a material (aluminum?) which draws the heat from the liquid lead rather quickly. About 30 seconds seemed to be typical.

I tapped the ingots out on a second cinder block to allow them to cool and then pushed them over the side into a pile on my gravel yard.

I put a couple of pics in another thread I started in the Bullet Casting Forum.

Ideally, I could have used at least one more mold, maybe two or three. Any time spent waiting for ingots to cool is time spent wasting propane to no avail.

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Old August 2, 2011, 04:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have some bulk lead coming in and wondered if I needed two sets of molds so I could fill one while the other cools to speed up the process.
I have about 20 single cavity ingot molds made out of angle iron. On the first pour the lead alloy will cool quickly and fall out when dumped. After a short time, the molds will begin to get hot, take longer for the alloy to harden and longer to cool enough not to stick in the mold. The answer in such an event is to have as many ingot molds as you can manage to scrounge up. You are not likely to get or have too many.
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