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Old April 22, 2013, 06:56 PM   #1
south.texas.dead.I
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Lee pot pours badly

I have a lee pro pot with bottom pour and it is starting to pour sporadically I've ramped the temp way up to try to burn whatever out of there without any good results. I'm thinking about taking a drill bit and going through it to maybe spread the size a little bit, but before I do any ideas??
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Old April 22, 2013, 09:00 PM   #2
snuffy
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Quote:
I'm thinking about taking a drill bit and going through it to maybe spread the size a little bit, but before I do, any ideas??
DON'T! That cost me a new spout and valve rod. The old one came out real hard!

That would be okay if you stayed with the original diameter.

Best way is to take a nail that will just make it into that hole, wait til the lead gets up to temp, then run that nail up into the hole to clear the clog. THEN don't melt crusty old lead in the pot no more! Ya got some dirt and crud in the orifice, only use clean lead. They stay open for years that way.
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Old April 22, 2013, 09:17 PM   #3
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I use a piece of wire bent at a 90 degree angle. That way the hot lead is not coming down on your finger. I use this electric fence wire. I also keep the adjustment mechanism lubricated with a modest amount of beeswax. You just have to unclog it once in a while.
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Old April 22, 2013, 09:20 PM   #4
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…And, hold that finishing nail with long needle nose pliers and not in your hand.

I have one of these pots I haven't used in years because of leaks. I'm thinking to empty it, pull the rod, and maybe lap it lightly with some valve lapping compound to improve the seal.

As for cleaning, I'm also thinking to see what Wipe Out's NO-LEAD will do. Leaving it in a bore for an hour turns all the metal fouling to an easily patched away crumbly black substance. It might loosen up a lead-bearing clog, as well.
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Old April 22, 2013, 11:13 PM   #5
south.texas.dead.I
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Lee pot pours badly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick View Post
…And, hold that finishing nail with long needle nose pliers and not in your hand.

I have one of these pots I haven't used in years because of leaks. I'm thinking to empty it, pull the rod, and maybe lap it lightly with some valve lapping compound to improve the seal.

As for cleaning, I'm also thinking to see what Wipe Out's NO-LEAD will do. Leaving it in a bore for an hour turns all the metal fouling to an easily patched away crumbly black substance. It might loosen up a lead-bearing clog, as well.
This would be very interesting to test out, I will look for a nail tomoroe
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Old April 23, 2013, 04:51 AM   #6
Mike / Tx
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The finishing nail works great to clean out the spout, and as mentioned just hold it with a pair of needle nose pliers. It won't drip much when you shove it in, just be sure to hole a light touch of downward pressure on the handle so it shuts off when you pull it out.

Once you have it up to temp and flowing good, go ahead and empty it. Then wearing a good thick pair of gloves, pick it up and pour out what ever is left inside into a small pan or ingot mold. Then unplug it. While it is cooling down take a small wire brush and clean off the sides and bottom really well taking care not to breath up the dust that will rise up. It's best to have a small fan blowing the dust away from you when you do this.

Once you have it cooled down and all cleaned out, then use some fine lapping compound on the needle valve and seat. Polish it up really good so that you can see a good wide area on the bottom of the stem. Once you have it polished up, use some brake cleaner to remove any of the oil that might be left behind from the compound, then wipe it out really good.

As mentioned do not smelt anything at all in this pot, it will only give you grief later on. If you keep your alloy clean going in, it will stay that way for quite a while. About every half dozen or so casting sessions or so repeat the pot cleaning thing. You will know when it is getting close as you will start to see a build up of crud on the sides as you empty the pot.

Hope this helps.
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Old April 23, 2013, 05:32 AM   #7
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Torch tip cleaners work really well.
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:22 AM   #8
south.texas.dead.I
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Lee pot pours badly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike / Tx View Post
The finishing nail works great to clean out the spout, and as mentioned just hold it with a pair of needle nose pliers. It won't drip much when you shove it in, just be sure to hole a light touch of downward pressure on the handle so it shuts off when you pull it out.

Once you have it up to temp and flowing good, go ahead and empty it. Then wearing a good thick pair of gloves, pick it up and pour out what ever is left inside into a small pan or ingot mold. Then unplug it. While it is cooling down take a small wire brush and clean off the sides and bottom really well taking care not to breath up the dust that will rise up. It's best to have a small fan blowing the dust away from you when you do this.

Once you have it cooled down and all cleaned out, then use some fine lapping compound on the needle valve and seat. Polish it up really good so that you can see a good wide area on the bottom of the stem. Once you have it polished up, use some brake cleaner to remove any of the oil that might be left behind from the compound, then wipe it out really good.

As mentioned do not smelt anything at all in this pot, it will only give you grief later on. If you keep your alloy clean going in, it will stay that way for quite a while. About every half dozen or so casting sessions or so repeat the pot cleaning thing. You will know when it is getting close as you will start to see a build up of crud on the sides as you empty the pot.

Hope this helps.
What do you lap with? I've never lapped anything and just googled it all I found was engine valve lapping and you just put some compound onto the part and slide the part around as it normally would.
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Old April 24, 2013, 08:22 AM   #9
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I have similar problems with my Lee 10 pound pot. Here is what I do - I empty the molten contents back into my elaborate mold, a mini-muffin tin, and then, when it is as empty as it is going to get, I unplug it. I then turn it over, wearing gloves of course, and empty the remaining contents slowly and carefully onto a piece of plywood. Most of this is debris from the melting process. I take a piece of wire and work it into the pour spout and ream it out. The key is to do this while the unit is hot enough and then I gently scrape the side of the pot with a small toothbrush sized steel brush. I also take the plunger hole-plug thingy off and clean it.

In my experience, the cleaner the lead the less often I have to do this. Since I add range scrounged bullets to my wheel weight ingots I get a fair amount of debris. It is this debris that is causing your problems I believe.

Obviously, mike texas and I use similar techniques but I have never had to lap the rod at all. Just clean as described.
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Old April 25, 2013, 04:40 PM   #10
Mike / Tx
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Quote:
What do you lap with? I've never lapped anything and just googled it all I found was engine valve lapping and you just put some compound onto the part and slide the part around as it normally would.
Yep Clover Compound is what I used, in about a medium grit. They sell, or did at one time, a two part can. One side has medium in it and the other side has fine in it. I just used the medium.

What I did was put a dab on the end of the rod where it goes into the seat. Then I used a screw driver and held a little pressure on it while I turned it slowly. After making a full turn or two I raised it up and put some more in there. After 3-4 times of adding more compound I wiped end of the stem off with a rag, and the seat out with a q-tip. I repeated this until I had a nice shiny area in the seat and a matching area on the pointed end of the stem.

Since doing that the drip has almost been completely eliminated. Usually IF it starts to drip all it takes is a quick turn of the stem with a screw drive and it goes away. About every other cleaning I use a piece of steel wool on both the seat and stem to polish it back up and get the burned up gunk off.
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